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How to Boil Broccoli

boiled florets of broccoli in a glass pyrex dish

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Boiling broccoli is a quick and easy cooking method. This recipe tells you exactly how long to boil broccoli to get the texture you want. 

If you'd like to blanch broccoli, see the blog post above for more details. 

Ingredients

Scale

1 large bunch of broccoli (about 1 pound) cut into bite-sized florets OR one 12 to 16 ounce bag of pre-cut broccoli florets

Instructions

  1. Cut a head of broccoli into bite-sized florets. Try to make the florets about the same size so they cook evenly. 
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil (about 6 cups)
  3. Adding salt is optional. Add about 1/2 teaspoon for every 6 cups of water.
  4. Add the broccoli florets to the boiling water and boil for 2 to 3 minutes, until broccoli is tender (see timing notes below)
  5. Drain in a colander.

Notes

When you bite into broccoli that has been boiled for 2 minutes, it should have a crisp, slightly tender texture. In my mind, this is when broccoli is perfectly cooked. But if you want a different texture, follow the timing recommendations below (keep in mind that the size of the broccoli pieces will affect the cooking time slightly)

1 minute: Very crisp 
2 minutes: Crisp-tender
3 minutes:
Soft and easily pierced with a fork but not mushy
4 minutes: Very soft
5 minutes: Very soft/mushy

Keep in mind that the broccoli will continue to cook a little bit and get softer after the water has been drained off. So it's best to undercook the florets just slightly to get the best texture.

Keywords: boiled broccoli, how long to boil broccoli, blanching broccoli