Broccoli is a brilliant green vegetable to add to your keto diet, and in this list we’ve got 13 of our favorite keto broccoli recipes for you.
A common keto mistake is getting so focussed on fat content, and avoiding carbs on the keto diet, that they can lose sight of the bigger picture of good nutrition, eating a variety of foods and ensuring they get enough minerals and vitamins into their diet.
That’s where broccoli comes in, this cruciferous vegetable (the same family as brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower etc.) is packed with healthy vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, while coming in with only 4.5 grams of net carbs per 100 grams.
That same 100 grams would also give you 148% of you minimum daily recommendation for vitamin C (don’t worry, going over a bit is probably not a bad idea, those are minimums for a reason.). It also brings 2.6 grams of fiber, as well as 2.8 grams of protein.
The Health Benefits of Broccoli
There are plenty of reasons to eat more broccoli, whether you’re on a keto diet or not, here’s just a few of the many health benefits of eating more broccoli and perhaps cooking up some of these easy keto broccoli recipes we’ll be giving you later on!
- Super High Vitamin and Mineral Content: One cup of broccoli can pack in over 100% of you minimum recommended vitamins C and K, with a big contribution of vitamins A, B9 and potassium too.
A cup of broccoli brings about as much vitamin C as an orange would, but without all the added sugar content. Eating enough fruit can be tricky on a keto diet, so swapping some fruit out for green veg is a great idea to keep nutrition up
- High Anti-Oxidant content: Broccoli is a brilliant source of anti-oxidants, molecules which help reduce cell damage and inflammation.
- Could Reduce Inflammation: Broccoli contains compounds which have been shown to reduce inflammation. More research is needed to understand this fully, but work to date has been promising.
- May Help Blood Sugar Control: Broccoli may help people with diabetes to better control blood sugar level according to one study. How exactly it does this isn’t clear, but some combination between it’s antioxidant content, and high fiber levels are thought to part of the answer.
The high fiber content is particularly helpful, with higher intakes being associated with lower blood pressure and better control of diabetes.
- Improved digestion and constipation: That fiber again can really help your digestion, making it a great addition to your diet. A study recently found that people who ate broccoli had improved bowel movements compared to the control group.
- Support the Immune System: Vitamin C is hugely important for the immune system, and fortunately is found in good quantities in Broccoli.
Cooking Broccoli on the Keto Diet
A lot of people don’t really know what to do with broccoli. At it’s worst it gets boiled into oblivion, and becomes a soggy, unpleasant mess.
I honestly think the main reason for people saying they don’t like broccoli (or any greens for that matter!) is that they just haven’t been served them roasted, grilled, or steamed and dressed. If all they’ve ever tried is boiled broccoli then I wouldn’t blame them for not liking it!
The key to elevating your keto broccoli recipes comes down to three things: seasoning, dressing, and the cooking method.
- Seasoning: Green veg like broccoli, kale etc. really do need to be properly seasoned to bring out flavor, and prevent them having a strong sulphuric taste which can be off putting. A good sprinkle of sea salt flakes onto steamd broccoli is a good start, but also try tossing in soy sauce (or gluten free coconut aminos) for a great flavor boost.
You could also experiment with cooking them alongside saltier foods, perhaps frying with a couple of anchovies for a subtle saltiness and umami flavor.
- Dressing: Serving green veg plain on their own after boiling or steam isn’t particularly inspiring; that’s where dressings come in!
Adding fat to your veg will go a long way to turning them into a delicious, moreish dish people fight over.
The easiest of dressings is simply to toss your just cooked broccoli with some cubes of softened salted butter. Mix around until just coated and serve straight away, no need to return them to the heat as we don’t want the butter to completely split. Delicious!
Even just a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil will make a difference. Combine this with a little acid like a squeeze of lemon to brighten things up, and a little salt of course. You could even add a little lemon zest, and maybe some crushed garlic for a really tasty side dish.
My personal favorite way to coat broccoli (or kale, sprouts, or just about any greens really) is a combo of buttering the greens out of the pan, with a clove of crushed garlic, lemon zest, and finishing with plenty of grated parmesan – truly delicious! This is especially good with broccoli cooked in a griddle pan or broiled.
- Cooking Methods: This is the one that makes a huge difference. Boiling is just not the most exciting way to cook anything really. Steaming retain the most nutrition benefits, which is great if you like broccoli already.
For those on the fence though, I really recommend cooking them with drier heat, like roasting, broiling or grilling in a griddle pan.
The brown, almost charred parts have a really distinctive, nutty flavor that makes broccoli so much more exciting to eat. The key is finding a way to ensure the florets cook through, without getting too burnt on the outside, though it is nice to keep a bit of crunch in the stalks.
They’re not as easy to find, but tenderstem broccoli is perfect for cooking like this. My favorite way to make broccoli is in a griddle pan, smoking hot. Lightly coat the broccoli in oil beforehand, and season with salt. Add to the hot pan in a single layer, then cover with a pan lid and press down to make sure there’s good contact. I leave the pan lid on top to retain some moisture and steam the veg at the same time they’re getting lovely grill marks.
Leave them alone for a few minutes, then flip over and replace the lid and steam / griddle for another 5 minutes. At the end you want the broccoli to be just cooked through, with a little crunch, and most importantly to have lots of charred griddle marks – toss with a little butter – delicious, simple and one of my favorite keto broccoli recipes!
Our Favorite Keto Broccoli Recipes
To kick things off, we have this super simple keto broccoli salad recipe, by us here at I Eat Keto. Shaved parmesan and pecans complement the broccoli really well, bringing saltiness, umami flavor and crunch.
This makes a great, more substantial side salad, or a light meal in itself. You can mix this up in loads of ways, but the key is that the broccoli stays the star of the show!
Crustless quiche is a great keto dish, and this easy broccoli keto quiche is no exception. The recipe for this is super simple, and what's great is you can make a big batch and just cut a slice when you need one, it'll keep for a few days in the refrigerator just fine.
This one is great to customise too, you can play around with the cheeses you add, think things like blue cheese and walnuts as an alternative approach.
Broccoli Fritters With Cheddar Cheese
This is a great idea for using up broccoli that's a little past it's prime. It's mainly a mixture of cheese, eggs and of course, broccoli, so nothing too complicated. This recipe uses some cajun seasoning, but you could mix these up any way you like, try different herbs and spices, and varying the cheese.
These pair great with a dipping sauce - try a spiced mayo, remoulade sauce, garlic aioli or whatever you have to hand. This is a great keto broccoli recipe for getting more greens into your low carb diet, whilst still feeling a little indulgent!
Easy Keto Broccoli Cheese Casserole
If you're looking for an indulgent keto meal, but still want to eat your greens, then this is the keto broccoli recipe for you!
This cheesy creation is a riff on mac and cheese, without the carbs from the pasta. Not the sort of dish to make every day, but a fantastic treat meal, or even as a keto friendly side dish (great with a roast!)
What's great about this is that's it can all be prepped in one pan, a perfect weeknight dinner that won't keep you glued to the kitchen making it.
Garlic Broccoli Side Dish
If like me, you can never have too much garlic in your food, then this is the keto side dish for you!
It's a super simple recipe, with plenty of options to vary it. The recipe calls for powdered garlic, though fresh garlic would be my personal favorite.
A little lemon juice adds acidity and plenty of heart healthy extra virgin olive oil to finish off makes this a great, well rounded dish, definitely worth a try.
Keto Instant Pot Beef and Broccoli
This is one for the Instant Pot lovers! A straightforward beef and broccoli keto stir fry recipe.
I love using aromatics like garlic and ginger to elevate meals. Here they also use a little fish sauce, an asian condiment that brings huge flavor even though you only need a little.
This keto broccoli recipe is kept low carb by avoiding the usual rice or noodles, and bulking out the broccoli instead.
This makes a huge difference to the nutrition of this dish, packing plenty of fiber, minerals and vitamins you would otherwise miss by bulking out with rice.
The fact this is an instant pot broccoli recipe means it can be prepped in no time, perfect when you just don't have time to be watching the stove.
Easy Keto Broccoli Nuggets
A great keto broccoli snack recipe, the keto nuggets are a brilliant blend of broccoli, cheese and eggs, and a perfect for dipping!
These would go great with a home made mayo, garlic aioli, or a sugar free ketchup to dip.
Keto Broccoli Cheddar Soup
For the winter months, a warming keto soup is just what I need. This keto broccoli cheddar soup recipe is a great way to use up leftover broccoli, or florets that are starting to look a little tired.
Enriching the soup with cheddar is a great idea. Broccoli soup on it's own might be a little thin and uninspiring. Adding cheese does a great job of intensifying and complimenting the flavor of the broccoli.
Adding fats into your soups makes a huge difference to the end result. I learnt a lot about improving my cooking, and the role fat plays in building flavor from the book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat - I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking to improve their cooking.
Keto Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
Another quick and easy keto broccoli side dish here, this time complementing the broccoli with umami Parmesan cheese.
Roasting your broccoli rather than boiling or steaming it is a revelation! I roast most of my green veg these day, the flavor is just so much better.
Crispy edges taste amazing, and the veg keep some crunch and texture which can easily get lost when boiled.
Keto Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
Another great keto stir fry recipe here, this time with chicken. This dish can be prepped and cooked in under 30 minutes, baking it an ideal weeknight keto dinner recipe.
This recipe calls for soy sauce, though a lot of people on keto prefer coconut aminos as a substitute, with Bragg's Coconut Aminos being the most popular brand.
This is a great gluten free condiment to have to hand, perfect for asian cooking, but also to add more depth to casseroles and similar dishes, as an alternative to regular salt.
Keto Broccoli Salad
This is a great keto salad recipe, perfect for a lighter lunch, or even as a side dish.
Broccoli and bacon go great together, while adding walnuts is a great idea, as they have a ton of health benefits (I try to eat a handful a day of walnuts, keto friendly and so much more!)
A sour cream and vinegar based dressing coats everything nicely and brings it all together. This would be a great dish to prep for lunch at work, dressing it just before serving.
Loaded Cauliflower Broccoli Casserole with Bacon
Another broccoli keto casserole recipe, this time from Eatwell 101. This is a great dish to make for the whole family, and easy as it's all in one pan.
Bacon is great paired with broccoli, as we've seen in a bunch of these recipes.
What's great about this sort of dish is that it's cheap, quick and easy. That's why it features in our list of our favorite cheap keto dinner recipes.
Quick Roasted Broccoli with Soy Sauce and Sesame Seeds
The last dish, and we're finishing with one of my favorites, a brilliant keto broccoli side dish recipe (or light lunch snack) comprised of broccoli, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Again roasting the broccoli rather than boiling is the key here, the flavor is just soo much better!
I also like mixing in just the tiniest bit of tahini into this (just a teaspoon) to add a little more fat and a subtle creaminess. Tahini is basically sesame paste, so goes great with the toasted sesame oil used here.
Let us know if you try any of these brilliant keto broccoli recipes – what’s your favorite low carb broccoli dish? Let us know in the comments!