Olive Oil Marinated Broccoli

Updated 05/16/2019: This post was edited to add better photos, to make the make blanching & shocking the broccoli mandatory, and to reduce the olive oil. It’s still my favorite side dish. You should double it.Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliLet’s take a sugar break. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on the real food side of things, and I’ve honestly overdone it with all the treats lately. But who can blame me? There were Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream to be had! I don’t care to admit how many I ate in three days…

It was seven. I ate seven cupcakes in three days 😁 Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliSo, let’s eat some broccoli. Really good, crunchy broccoli coated in a salty, spicy, garlicky marinade. 

This recipe is a riff on a side dish that an old boyfriend’s dad used to make all the time. We had dinner with his parents every Sunday, and while everything they served was good (I still dream about the arroz con pollo), the marinated broccoli was always my favorite. And while that boyfriend didn’t last, my obsession with this side dish has continued for years.Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliYes, I get psyched up over vegetables. His dad also made the best peach pie I’ve ever had, but that’s a story for another day. Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliOlive Oil Marinated BroccoliThis broccoli is super easy and so good it’s ridiculous. There’s hardly any cooking involved. All you have to do is warm up some olive oil with garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes, and then pour it over a ton of broccoli florets that have barely been cooked.Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliOlive Oil Marinated BroccoliOlive Oil Marinated Broccoli Toss it all together, cover it in plastic wrap, and let it sit for an hour or two at room temperature. That’s it–barely even a recipe. The broccoli softens just slightly and it soaks in all the salty, spicy goodness from the marinade. Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliThis recipe makes a lot. Like 8-10 servings a lot. But that means your vegetable side is done for at least two days, depending on how many you are feeding. Also, like soup and stew, the longer this sits, the better it will be. It’s great on day one, but the leftovers are *amazing.* The broccoli pictured only sat for two hours, and it was good, but when I went back for more later that night it was truly fantastic. Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliMarinated broccoli is great with chicken, pork, fish, beef, tofu, mac and cheese…it literally goes well with any main you can imagine. I’ve been known to eat a giant pile of it with a hunk of bread and some cheese and call it dinner.

This is the kind of side dish that will make you want to eat your vegetables. I made some for my nine year-old friend last week and she went back for seconds. Of broccoli. Her main dish that night was pizza, so that’s practically a miracle.Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliOlive Oil Marinated Broccoli is a great side for weeknight dinners, and is great in packed lunches. I’ve served it at casual dinner parties and am planning to bring it to picnics in Prospect Park all summer long! Add this to your list of easy side dishes–it’ll be a favorite in no time! Olive Oil Marinated Broccoli

Olive Oil Marinated Broccoli
makes 8-10 servings*

8 cups broccoli florets (about 5-6 crowns)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
10-12 cloves (about 1 head) fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
1-1 1/4 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season well with salt. Add broccoli and let come back to a boil for one minute. Strain broccoli and plunge into a large bowl of ice water.

Once cool, strain broccoli well (I like to set it on paper towels) and place in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Place olive oil, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat just until the oil starts to bubble and the garlic begins to sizzle. Do not let garlic brown. Remove pot from heat. Pour oil mixture over the broccoli, using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to scrape any remaining spices from the bottom of the pot into the bowl. Use a large spoon to coat the broccoli in the oil mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit 1-2 hours at room temperature, tossing occasionally. It may also be marinated overnight in the refrigerator; let sit at room temperature for for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Use a slotted spoon to serve. Broccoli is best served at room temperature.

Cover and refrigerate leftovers in marinade for up to four days, bringing them back to room temperature before serving.


  • This recipe halves and doubles easily, should you like to make a smaller or greater amount.
  • Olive Oil Marinated BroccoliOlive Oil Marinated Broccoli
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    1 thought on “Olive Oil Marinated Broccoli

    1. emotionalbaker

      I’ve never made marinated broccoli! With such great ingredients, I know I’ll love this – looking forward to trying soon 🙂 (& 7 cupcakes in 3 days doesn’t break my record 😉 )



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