As a kid in the 1990s, my family would visit Texas Roadhouse to celebrate special occasions. The made-from-scratch rolls baking by the front door, buckets of peanuts lining tables, and the familiar twang of country music set the scene. But one menu item called my name every time – that ooey, gooey broccoli. Something about its crispy texture paired with molten cheese resonated deep within my soul. I’d gobble every last bite doused in lemon and seasoning until the plate shone.
The tantalizing aroma of freshly baked broccoli with melted cheese is a portal back to my childhood. It transports me to cozy booths and sizzling steaks at my local Texas Roadhouse, a restaurant chain I hold close to my heart for more reasons than one. This signature side dish takes me back to better times. So when a craving strikes, I whip up my spot-on copycat recipe of Texas Roadhouse broccoli to satisfy.
Why I Love This Texas Roadhouse Broccoli?
To me, this oven-roasted broccoli recipe encapsulates the best qualities of the vegetable – it’s healthy, delicious comfort food. Roasting it crisps up and caramelizes the florets while still retaining that bright green color. Not to mention, roasting boosts its overall flavor and you get that fantastic charred edges. Then tossing it with spices like garlic, lemon, and Parmesan gives it a kick of flavor that enhances its inherent sweetness. What you end up with is a highly addictive side dish that perfectly balances texture and taste. Even the pickiest of eaters will be going back for seconds and thirds. It’s restaurant-worthy broccoli made easy at home.
How to Make Texas Roadhouse Broccoli
Recreating Texas Roadhouse’s popular broccoli side starts with good-quality fresh broccoli florets. The key is to trim them to uniform sizes so they cook evenly. My secret for getting them perfectly charred but still crunchy is to roast them in a hot oven. Lay them out in a single layer on a sheet pan so they brown well and aren’t steamed. I like to add some olive oil, salt, and pepper to lightly coat before roasting. Then it’s just a matter of cooking to your preferred level of doneness.
While the broccoli is roasting, I whisk together the flavorful dressing ingredients like minced garlic, lemon juice, and Parmesan. When the florets come out with nice char marks, toss them immediately in the zesty dressing so every bite is packed with incredible flavors. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and that’s all there is to it. Easy broccoli roasted to crispy, golden perfection every time.
For this Texas Roadhouse-style roasted broccoli, you just need a few simple ingredients:
- A head of broccoli, cut into florets—I love hand-prepping the petite tree-shaped beauties, each one unique as a snowflake. Their vibrant green hue signals peak freshness.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil – Only the finest extra virgin, cold-pressed oil to coax out flavors.
- 4 cloves garlic, minced—I fancy myself a garlic connoisseur. Selecting top bulbs with tight creamy skins makes my heart sing!
- 1/4 teaspoon salt – A sprinkling of kosher crystals draws out moisture for perfect roasting.
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper—a crack of fresh peppercorns adds warmth.
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese – Grating wedges of this hard Italian cheese is pure joy.
Like a scientist gathering experimental tools, I collect my essential kitchen apparatus brimming with enthusiasm:
- Cutting board – My sturdy wooden board feels like an old friend, scarred with love from years of prep work.
- Knife – My well-used chef’s knife slices with precision borne of experience.
- Mixing bowl – The stainless steel surface awaits ingredients, ready to transform separate components into a cohesive whole.
- Steamer basket – The expandable metal basket perches above simmering liquid, letting steam work its magic.
- Saucepan – Water bubbles merrily in my favorite saucepan, providing the ideal steamy bath.
Washing the Broccoli Florets
Start by washing the broccoli florets under cool, running water. Be sure to rinse each floret, getting into all the nooks and crannies. Pay special attention to removing any grit or debris. After rinsing, gently shake off any excess moisture. Lay the clean florets out on a kitchen towel and pat dry thoroughly with a paper towel.
Preparing the Steaming Water
Fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of filtered water. Set over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. As the water heats up, steam will begin rising up from the surface.
Steaming the Broccoli
Once the water reaches a boil, place the dried broccoli florets into a metal steamer basket. The basket should be large enough to hold all of the florets in a single layer, without overcrowding. Carefully lower the steamer basket into the saucepan, immersing it in the boiling water. Quickly cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. The lid helps trap the steam and cooks the broccoli evenly. Set a timer for 3 to 5 minutes to steam the broccoli just until fork-tender. Do not overcook.
Preparing the Garlic Oil Mixture
While the broccoli steams, prepare the flavoring mixture. Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a small cast iron skillet over medium heat. Allow the oil to shimmer to indicate sufficient heat. Add 4 minced garlic cloves to the warmed olive oil. Cook for exactly 30 seconds to bloom the garlic without browning it at all. The garlic will become soft, aromatic and lightly golden. Stir in 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 30 more seconds to release flavors.
Finishing the Dish
Once the broccoli has finished steaming, carefully remove the basket and drain off all hot water. Gently transfer the hot, drained broccoli florets to the skillet with the garlic oil mixture. Toss and stir well to coat evenly. The residual heat from the steamed broccoli will help the flavors absorb. Finish by sprinkling 1⁄4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese over the top. Toss once more and serve immediately while hot and fragrant.
Roasting the broccoli in the oven lends it a deeper, more caramelized flavor. To roast instead of steaming, preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Rinse and dry the broccoli florets well, then toss them gently with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil right on the sheet until evenly coated all over. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Arrange the oiled florets in a single layer without overcrowding. Roast for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway, until the tips of the florets are lightly charred and the stems are fork-tender.
While Parmesan is traditional, other full-flavored hard grating cheeses can be substituted. Try Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, Asiago, Manchego or aged Gouda. Their salty, nutty qualities all complement the roasted broccoli beautifully.
This quick yet flavorful broccoli pairs well with simply prepared proteins. It makes an ideal side dish for seared steaks, herb roasted chicken, sautéed shrimp or roasted white fish. The possibilities are endless!
Jazz up this roasted broccoli with complementary flavors. Before roasting, drizzle over the juice of half a lemon or lime. The bright acidity balances the vegetable’s slight bitterness. For textural contrast, scatter over some roughly chopped toasted nuts halfway through roasting. Almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts all pair nicely. Or for a touch of heat, sprinkle on a small pinch of red pepper flakes along with the salt and black pepper before roasting.
Beyond a traditional side dish, creatively incorporate this flavorful roasted broccoli into other recipes. Spoon it over hearty whole grains like brown or wild rice, farro or quinoa. Toss into leafy green or grain-based salads for heft and nutrition. Mix into egg scrambles, frittatas, pasta bakes or stuff it into omelets. Stir it into creamy soups and stews just before serving. Or top it onto pizza, bruschetta or flatbreads just out of the oven.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Let leftover broccoli cool completely after roasting, then transfer to an airtight glass container. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface before sealing to prevent oxidation. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. To reheat, place desired portions in a microwave-safe bowl. Add a splash of water, cover, and microwave on High for 60-90 seconds until hot. Stir before serving. Portions also reheat well in a skillet with olive oil over medium-low heat.
Texas Roadhouse Broccoli Recipe
I hope you’re hungry, because I’m about to share a Texas Roadhouse Broccoli recipe so good, you’ll want to make it every night! This easy and flavorful dish is perfect for a side dish or a light meal. Get the recipe and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.
- Start by washing the broccoli florets and patting them dry with a paper towel.
- In a large saucepan, bring 1 inch of water to a boil.
- Place the broccoli florets in a steamer basket and place the basket over the boiling water.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid and steam the broccoli for 3-5 minutes, or until tender.
- While the broccoli is steaming, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Add the salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- Drain the broccoli and add it to the skillet with the garlic.
- Toss to coat the broccoli with the garlic mixture.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the broccoli and serve immediately.
How do I choose the best broccoli?
Look for broccoli florets that are a deep green color and firm to the touch. Avoid broccoli that is wilted or has yellow or brown spots.
When is the best time to eat broccoli?
Broccoli is best eaten fresh. However, it can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How can I store broccoli so it stays fresh?
Store broccoli in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Do not wash the broccoli until you are ready to eat it.
What are some other ways to cook broccoli?
Broccoli can be roasted, steamed, sautéed, or grilled.
Can I substitute the Parmesan cheese in this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute the Parmesan cheese with another type of cheese, such as Romano or Gruyère.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this recipe ahead of time and reheat it in the microwave or oven.
What are some healthy side dishes to serve with this recipe?
This recipe would pair well with a variety of healthy side dishes, such as roasted vegetables, quinoa, or brown rice.
Can I use frozen broccoli for this recipe?
It’s best to use fresh broccoli florets for this recipe. Frozen broccoli releases more moisture during cooking which can make it harder to brown the florets properly.
My broccoli came out mushy and overcooked. What did I do wrong?
Overcooking is usually the culprit for mushy broccoli. Be sure not to steam the raw broccoli more than 5 minutes. And don’t crowd the baking sheet when roasting which can lead to steaming instead of browning.
Can I prepare the broccoli florets in advance?
Yes! Wash, dry and cut the raw broccoli up to 8 hours ahead. Store loosely covered in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Just be sure the florets are very dry before roasting or steaming.
What temperature should I reheat leftover broccoli at?
Gently reheat leftover roasted broccoli in a 375 ̊F oven for 8-10 minutes until piping hot. Or cover and microwave on High in 30 second bursts just until heated through. Do not overcook.
What are some vegetarian protein options I can pair this broccoli side dish with?
For hearty plant-based meals, try serving this flavorful roasted broccoli alongside dishes like vegetable curries, lentil meatballs or fritters, bean and veggie chili, tempeh steaks or eggplant Parmesan.