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Okay, I have something to discuss today. A broccoli recipe for picky eaters. Well, at least the picky eaters that I know.

Growing up, Mama would prepare a full meal most nights of the week that included a meat and a few vegetable dishes. Even though I was a picky eater at a young age, or at least Mama thought I was at the time, each evening we’d have a battle of the wills as we sat down to eat. I remember it well. I was determined that I wouldn’t like what was on my plate and Mama was determined that I would.

She had one rule about supper that she never budged on – you have to try everything.


There was one dish that seemed to return to my plate more often than not. It just seemed to glare at me – broccoli.

Ugh! How I just hated looking at it.

Unlike circle green beans (English Peas), I couldn’t very well mash it with the back of my fork and push it underneath something else and get away with it. Believe me, I tried.

Night after night I would sit down to the table most certain that it would be my night to not have to even attempt to eat the vegetables she’d prepared. Finally, one fateful night as she served Meatloaf and mashed potatoes – favorites of mine – she also put a bowl of broccoli on the table. But this time, it looked a little different.


Prepared to gag down a bite of the rough, tough floret, I tentatively put a bite into my mouth and immediately was surprised at how much I actually liked it. Soft and tender, I ended up asking for seconds.

I remember the night specifically because Mama sat back in her seat and laughed at how I’d eaten my broccoli. She made it the same way from that point forward – cooking it just a bit past what any cookbook would instruct and well past blanching. Her term was that she’d “cooked it to death.” All I knew was that I liked it.


Now that I’m older and have a family of my own, I enjoy broccoli cooked various ways, but one of my favorites is still broccoli that has been cooked to death by any culinary standards, I’m sure. I make it just slightly different from my Mama’s and love it just as much.



Here’s my broccoli recipe for picky eaters. Let me know if it works around your table!

5 from 2 votes

Broccoli Recipe

Side Dish β€” 25 mins

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 6
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
A broccoli recipe perfect for picky eaters.


  • 2 bunches broccoli cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • water
  • butter optional
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut florets off each bunch of broccoli, taking care to cut florets into similar sizes as much as possible for even cooking. Clean stalks with a vegetable peeler to remove any stems or leaves. Cut upper part of stalk closet to florets into 1-inch thick slices.
  • Add broccoli to a heavy-bottomed pot. Cover with water and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Cook over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes or until the stalk of a floret can be easily pierced with a fork.
  • Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon into a serving bowl. Serve warm with butter and salt and pepper to taste.

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Robyn Stone

Robyn Stone is a wife, mom, blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. Welcome to Add a Pinch where I share thousands of delicious, tested and perfected easy recipes that the whole family will love.

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Recipe Review


  1. We love broccoli at our house!For months now we have been on a kick to roast it. Tossed with some EVOO, Mrs. Dash and roasted in the oven at 450′ for about 18 minutes til the florets are brown ~ yum!

  2. I agree with Terry – roasting just about any vegetable gets my kids to eat it. Just adds that carmelized sweetness you need. Roasted carrots and cauliflower are favorites.

  3. We love broccoli. When I started preparing baby food veggies I read that some of the vitamins will be lost in the boiling. Not true for all veggies, though. We steam ours in the microwave. I have no idea where my microwave steamer came from and it probably cost $5. I use the fresh veggie setting and it turns out perfect every time. Top with melted butter, salt and pepper or parm cheese instead of butter. Yum!

  4. I could eat broccoli for breakfast! I love to boil mine for a couple of minutes then throw it on the grill with sea salt and lemon.

  5. Girl, I can’t imagine you being hard-headed. LOL!!!! The only way we eat broccoli is cooked to death, so your recipe fits right in for us. Thanks!

  6. I love all kinds of broccoli!! I’ll have to try this on Jon David…we struggle (that’s putting it nicely) with getting him to eat his green vegetables.

  7. My kids have always claimed broccoli to be a favorite food, so fortunately I haven’t had to do much convincing in that department. Your recipe looks spot on to how I would make it as a quick and easy vegetable side. Perfect for cold winter nights and comfort food.

  8. My husband and I always loved broccoli … and our son loved it … much to our surprise when our daughter came along and she questioned, and still questions EVERYTHING I wanted to put into her mouth .. to this day she isn’t a fan of broccoli. Fortunately, however, her daughters 3 of our 4 granddaughter (7 grandchildren in all) absolutely love it and whenever Grandma announces she is making it or asparagus … I get a “Yeah, my favorite” from them … ages 2, 3.5 and just 5! Absolutely warms this Grandma’s heart. They seem to prefer it more towards the ale dente then cooked to death… I’m just glad they like it!

  9. I personally like my broccoli cooked to death. But I will also eat it raw if need be. When I tried roasting broccoli, my boys wanted to know why I “burned” it! Broccoli is definitely their least favorite veggie. Cucumber and peas are their top green veg fave. While carrots (with brown sugar and butter) fall almost into the treat category for them.

  10. I have to over cook my kids broccoli too. I steam it and add lots of butter πŸ™‚ one son happily eats it and ome does his 1 bite and no more. Later when he goes for a snack I tell him you are what you eat, a little added guilt, that’s my job as mom. πŸ™‚

  11. 5 stars
    I just got home from a long vacation and realized I have limited ingredients in my house to fix a quick meal. I did have a bag of frozen broccoli in my freezer, and since I live alone, decided it would tide me over until morning. I was looking for a simple, quick way to cook it and was only finding recipes with ingredients I don’t currently have at hand. I decided to give up and toss it in the microwave, but came across this; even though I’m not a fussy eater I found I like it much better β€œcooked to death,” and now, after being in airports or airplanes for over 24 hours, I’m satisfied and exhausted and … (snore).