How to roast broccoli for a flavor-packed, lightly caramelized appetizer, main, or side! This Indian curry roasted broccoli combines curry paste with a handful of pantry staples for a simple, moreish dish. However, keep reading for tons of other flavor variations, as well as top tips and tricks for oven-roasted broccoli from fresh or frozen in an oven or air fryer!
Simple Oven Roasted Broccoli – Multiple Ways
If ‘soggy’ boiled or steamed veggies aren’t your thing, then maybe it’s time to try roasting! We’ve already shared methods for delicious roasted mushrooms, tomatoes, and potatoes; now it’s the turn of this simple curried roasted broccoli (aka Indian broccoli)! Roasted broccoli is honestly the best way to enjoy this healthy green, as the process lightly caramelizes the sugars within the veg, yielding sweeter and richer flavors with a crisp exterior and slightly tender middle (and all in under 20 minutes in the oven!)
Not only does it taste great, but oven-baked broccoli is also minimal effort too. Just toss the broccoli with a little oil and seasonings, spread over a baking tray (or make air fryer roasted broccoli), and roast hands-off until lightly crisp and caramelized to impress even fussy eaters. Once baked, the crispy broccoli also pairs with dozens (and more) of dishes!
For this particular version, we’ve used a super simple curry (mild, medium, or hot) seasoning for Indian broccoli the entire family will love. However, there are tons of flavor variations to choose from, whether you want garlic roasted broccoli, balsamic, vegan ‘parmesan’ broccoli, or more (keep reading for our favorites!).
Best of all, considering that broccoli is packed with nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, we’ll never turn out noses at a new method to get our entire families eating more of this healthy ingredient. And since it’s incredibly freezer-friendly (For up to 10 months!) and easy to reheat, you can make a double or even triple batch!
All you need for these simple thyme mushrooms are 3 ingredients, plus salt and pepper (and water).
Broccoli: Use fresh or frozen (and thawed) broccoli, trimmed and separated into florets.
Oil: Use any neutral cooking oil, like avocado oil, olive oil, canola oil, etc.
Salt: Adjust the amount to personal taste.
Curry paste: Use the curry paste of your choice (mild, medium, hot) based on personal taste.
Water: To help the curry paste to coat the roasted broccoli better. It will also steam in the oven to help make the broccoli more tender.
Sugar: Will balance the flavor from the curry powder. You can use regular sugar, coconut sugar, or even a sugar alternative like erythritol.
Cashews: (technically optional) For a nut-free version, you could use pepitas/sunflower seeds or omit them entirely.
Optional Recipe Add-Ins
More heat: For extra spicy roasted broccoli, you could add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or chili sauce to the spicy broccoli.
Ginger: Just a pinch of ginger powder will add extra warmth and a little heat to the spicy broccoli.
Dry spices: Instead of curry paste, you can use dry spices like garam masala, cumin, chili powder, and turmeric powder (or as simple as garam masala and a pinch of salt).
More ways to Flavor Oven Roasted Broccoli
Base seasoning: (aka garlic roasted broccoli) Combine the broccoli with a bit of garlic powder (or minced garlic – but it’s best to use powder for the air fryer roasted broccoli as the garlic may burn) and salt and pepper. Optionally drizzle with a squeeze of lemon juice after roasting.
Lemon garlic broccoli: Along with the above, add some lemon zest (only about ½ tsp) to the broccoli. Also, add a little lemon before AND after baking the broccoli.
Balsamic roasted broccoli: Add 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (depending on how strong you want it) to the ‘base seasoning’ option.
Vegan ‘parmesan’ broccoli: Add a generous pinch of nutritional yeast and squeeze of lemon to the base roasted broccoli (or lemon garlic broccoli/ balsamic roasted broccoli) to act as the vegan parmesan cheese. A vegan commercial ‘parmesan’ would also work.
Asian roasted broccoli: This Asian broccoli combines soy sauce and sesame oil for a ton of flavor. We recommend using 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1-2 tsp of soy sauce, and a tablespoon or so of RAW sesame seeds (they’ll toast in the oven). For heat, add some chili sauce and/or red pepper flakes.
Smoked paprika: Added to the base seasoning is simple but makes for super tasty and moreish oven-baked broccoli.
Thai curry: Swap out the Indian curry paste for Thai green or red curry instead.
Breadcrumbs: Add a sprinkle of breadcrumbs (panko or regular). Use gluten-free if necessary for a crunchy roasted broccoli side dish.
Other vegetables: You can add other vegetables to the sheet pan, including green beans, asparagus, cauliflower, halved Brussels sprouts, etc.
How to Roast Broccoli?
Making oven-roasted broccoli recipe is incredibly simple and requires just a few easy steps. For the air fryer roasted broccoli method, read the FAQs!
First, preheat the oven to 400F/205C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. At the same time, prepare the broccoli by separating it into bite-sized florets and trimming the stems/leaves. Make sure the florets are fairly even-sized, so they cook evenly too.
Rinse the broccoli florets, shake off any excess water, and then toss them in a large bowl with the cashews and oil.
Transfer the broccoli to the prepared baking sheet, spread them out, and roast for 20 minutes, stirring once (or twice) while baking.
Meanwhile, prepare the curry glaze by combining the curry paste, sugar, salt, and water in a small bowl.
Remove the broccoli from the oven and drizzle with the curry glaze. Toss well to coat and then return to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes until the sauce has absorbed and the broccoli is slightly crisp on the outside but tender in the middle. Serve and enjoy the oven-roasted broccoli!
How to Store?
Baked broccoli is perfect for meal prep as any leftovers will store in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Alternatively, for longer-term storage, transfer the broccoli to freezer-safe containers/Ziplock/Stasher bags and store for up to 10 months!
We recommend flash freezing the broccoli first (spread it on a tray with space between for 30-60 minutes until solid before transferring to the container/bag). That way, the pieces won’t stick together as they freeze.
When you want some, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight (or quickly in the microwave). Then eat immediately or reheat either in the microwave or the oven (just 5 or so minutes at 400F/205C) or on the stovetop—until warmed through.
How to Serve Roasted Broccoli?
The options to serve this oven-baked broccoli are practically endless, whether you want it as an appetizer or side. Some of our favorite ways to enjoy it is:
Let us know in the comments what your favorite ways of enjoying roasted broccoli are!
Can I use pre-chopped broccoli? I wouldn’t recommend it as the whole cut florets are more likely to dry out. That means, even once roasted, less flavor!
Should I blanch the broccoli before baking it? While not necessary, it may be beneficial to some. Blanching the broccoli will not only help it keep its vibrant green color but will also slightly cook the middle for more tender broccoli without the risk of it burning. To blanch, cook in boiling water for two to three minutes, remove from the pan, and quickly plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process.
Can I make air fryer roasted broccoli? Absolutely. We recommend cooking the air fryer roasted broccoli in batches so as not to overcrowd the basket (which can cause the broccoli to steam rather than caramelize and crisp up). Cook for 8-10 minutes at 375F/190C, shaking the basket halfway.
Top Recipe Tips and Notes
Don’t crowd the baking sheet: The key to caramelizing any veggie is making sure they aren’t too packed on the tray (which can just cause them to steam). Instead, make sure there is some space between the florets for the best crispy broccoli!
Use even-sized pieces: That way, they’ll cook evenly.
Using fresh vs. frozen broccoli: Roasted frozen broccoli usually won’t become as crispy but will be more tender in the middle. You can cook them from frozen (adding more time to the oven) or thaw first (less crispy, more tender) and decide which method you prefer.
Use a dark roasting pan: It will absorb more heat than lighter pans, thus roasting the broccoli quicker.
Broil if necessary: More so when making roasted frozen broccoli, you may find you want to broil the broccoli for a minute or two at the end of the roasting time to get more crispy roasted broccoli.