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Roasted Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan Black Pepper Cream Sauce

Roasted Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan Black Pepper Cream Sauce

Contrary to what you might hear on the news in political bickering, broccoli is one of the most popular vegetables in the United States. It’s true! The number of American farms harvesting broccoli in the last 35 years has skyrocketed by almost 400%. In fact, broccoli harvesting volume is at an all time high. Despite its bad reputation brought on by being the butt of the joke in recent (and not so recent) political discourse, broccoli is one of the most beloved vegetables in this country.

Roasted Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan Black Pepper Cream Sauce

But why? That probably has a lot to do with the fact that it’s relatively easy to grow, handles transport well and can be grown year round within the United States (the locations vary by time of year, of course). This means the trip from farm to table is one that the hearty broccoli can tolerate quite well so it makes it an affordable option for most American diners’ plates. It’s also packed with nutrients so it’s a pretty healthy option for a side item. Taste and convenience cannot be overlooked, either. Broccoli can be steamed in the microwave really easily plus it tastes wonderful, especially covered in some type of cheese sauce. All things considered, it might be the perfect vegetable.

Roasted Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan Black Pepper Cream Sauce

When I was growing up, we ate a fair amount of broccoli in my house, but I don’t remember being inundated with it. I think my mom most often served it steamed with lemon juice, salt and pepper. I don’t remember much cheese sauce, and if there was one, it was a delicious cheddar cheese sauce my mom made from scratch. No Velveeta in our house – I grew up in a household where my mom cooked daily. And she was always interested in feeding us pretty healthy, delicious stuff so it really worked out well.

Today broccoli is my five year old nephew’s most favorite vegetable. The kid cannot get enough. His favorite meal is chicken nuggets with a side of steamed broccoli. Sure, he’s a nut for French fries like most kids. But when you put broccoli on his plate, he’s never complaining. My sister also does this great beef and broccoli dish that is out of this world. My nephew also likes that so he’s used to broccoli that tastes really good. Can’t really blame him for loving it, can we?

Roasted Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan Black Pepper Cream Sauce

Although you can get broccoli anytime of the year, it is actually in season right now. Know how I know? Because I can actually get it at my local farmer’s market – Hollygrove Market & Farm. I’ve bought it twice now. The first time was when I tested this recipe, and the other was for the photos you see here. I’ve adapted this particular recipe from Bon Appetit’s version. I made some improvements and added the Parmesan black pepper cream sauce. I’m sure you’ll approve. Grab up as much broccoli as you can from your local farmer’s market – it doesn’t have a terribly long season so get it while the getting is good.

Roasted Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan Black Pepper Cream Sauce

If you’ve never had roasted broccoli before, you’re in for a treat. I definitely prefer it to steamed broccoli. The roasting imparts a richer, deeper flavor than steaming. Also, I find the florets stay crunchier when roasted versus steamed. Even though it’s not steamed, I still finished off this dish with a squirt of fresh lemon juice. I used Meyer lemons since they’re in season. I just love the way the citrus brightens up the flavor of the broccoli. It’s like the two were made for each other. Oh yeah.

So what about you? How much of a broccoli fan are you? And what’s your favorite way to have it? Let me know in the comments below. I wanna hear about it!

Yield: 4 side servings

Roasted Broccoli Recipe with Parmesan Black Pepper Cream Sauce

This roasted broccoli recipe is paired with a creamy Parmesan black pepper sauce. It's the perfect side for roasted chicken or pork.


Roasted Broccoli

  • 1 pound broccoli, stalks trimmed to 2 inches below crowns
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil (like olive oil, grape seed, safflower)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 of a large lemon, wedged

Parmesan Black Peppercorn Cream Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut each crown of broccoli lengthwise into 4-6 spears, depending on size.
  3. Place broccoli in large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Transfer broccoli to large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat.
  4. Roast broccoli for 25 minutes, until it begins to brown and wilt a bit. Flip broccoli halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  5. While the broccoli is roasting, start on the cream sauce.
  6. In a small-sized pot, melt butter over low heat. Mix in flour with a wire whisk and cook, stirring often for about 3-5 minutes, until roux is golden blonde.
  7. Whisk in the milk, salt, cracked pepper and Parmesan. Allow mixture to slowly come to a boil.
  8. Immediately turn down to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes. Sauce will thicken as time passes. Stir the sauce often with a whisk to prevent sticking.
  9. Shut off flame and wait for broccoli to finish.
  10. After 25 minutes, remove the sheet pan of broccoli from the oven and squirt about a 1/4 of a lemon over the broccoli.
  11. Serve the broccoli with the Parmesan cream sauce. This is a great side for roasted chicken.

Adapted from Bon Appetit's recipe.

Prep:10 min

Cook:25 min

Total:35 min

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