Italian-Style Sauteed Broccoli with Olive Oil and Garlic Recipe

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broccoli and garlic side dish recipe

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Who knew broccoli could ever taste so good?!  I’m not kidding either, this Italian-style recipe is in my opinion the best way way to cook fresh broccoli where it is simple and yet tastes so good.

The key to this recipe as with so many of my Italian recipes is that the ingredients are fresh and simple.  But the added bonus is that this recipe not only tastes great but is healthy!  It’s not too often we get get that sort of combination it seems. 

There are only three ingredients in this easy Italian broccoli recipe:  fresh broccoli, extra virgin olive oil, and garlic.  Four ingredients if you top it with some Romano cheese.

Alternative to using Olive oil with the Broccoli

While I personally prefer sauteing the broccoli in olive oil, you can actually just use water instead to steam the vegetable and garlic, avoiding the extra calories all together. 

You can also remove the cheese from your ingredient list, however I have to say that using just a tid bit of the stronger more flavorful Romano cheese goes a very long way.   

Ways to Serve Broccoli and Garlic

This recipe can be used as a side dish to compliment meals with chicken such as chicken cutlets or breaded baked chicken breasts (one of my favorites).   

But it also actually goes well with pasta, especially in my opinion pasta recipes that are red sauce-less, so perhaps alfredo, or even just a cooked pasta with breadcrumbs or vegetables.  

However, I’ve also used this recipe as part of another recipe called pasta with broccoli and garlic (real original name, right?).  You can check out that recipe here, but basically after cooking the broccoli, you just add in the pasta. 

Let’s get on with this recipe!

Simple Italian Side Dishes
5 from 1 vote

Italian Style Broccoli and Garlic Side Dish

Easy and healthy Italian side dish recipe that tastes delicious alone or as part of a larger meal. Simple and quick to make!

Course Dinner, Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Italian Broccoli and Garlic Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1-2 cups Fresh Chopped Broccoli This amount can vary, and you need to just decide how much you want to make. I'm assuming 1/4 -1/2 cup per person.
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil replace with water if wanted
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic If you are concerned about too much of a garlic flavor, slice the garlic thinly instead of finely chopped.
  • Romano cheese For sprinkling on top when serving (optional)
  • 2 tbsp water if needed for steam even if using olive oil


  1. Clean and cut fresh broccoli into medium size heads (shave off the sides to the stalks and chop them small if you want to use everything)

  2. Heat 2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a medium frying pan over low heat

  3. Crush the garlic and chop fine or in thin slices and add to the olive oil

  4. Simmer the garlic for a few minutes until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes)

  5. Add in the broccoli pieces and cover with lid to trap any steam.

  6. Add a little bit of water to promote steam and let cook about 5 to 10 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green and is still firm. You don't want overcooked broccoli!

  7. When done remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve.

  8. Top with grated Italian Romano cheese for additional flavor if preferred.

Recipe Notes

  1. Swap the olive oil with water and steam the vegetables if you don't want to use olive oil
  2. If you are using olive oil, make sure not to overcook the garlic.   It will continue to cook while the broccoli is cooking as well. 
  3. Recipe goes great with chicken or beef or pasta. 

I hope you enjoy this beautifully simple recipe!   Make sure to sign up for my newsletter if you’d like to receive more recipes and cooking tips. 

If you liked this recipe, you may also enjoy:

Italian-Style Sauteed Broccoli with Olive Oil and Garlic Recipe


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