Lemon Grilled Broccoli
on Jul 06, 2023
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Broccoli might not be the first thing you think of when you’re trying to decide what vegetables to grill, but once you do it, you’ll become a fan of grilled broccoli. Before it makes it to the hot grates, I toss the broccoli in a lemon marinade in this recipe. Then I finish it with a spiced mix of almonds and sesame seeds.
Another fantastic combo with this veggie is my Grilled Corn Broccoli Salad.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Broccoli Recipe
It’s quick and easy. You can grill broccoli in just 3 minutes or so per side. That’s all it takes to get grill marks and for the stalks to become tender while still retaining their crunch.
If you’re a broccoli person, this is another wonderful way to prepare it especially during grilling season. You can roast broccoli, steam it or leave it raw. You should add grilling to that list. What makes grilling different is that you can give the broccoli some smoky flavor.
Grilling vegetables with lemon is simple and pairs perfectly together. Using both the juice and the zest from a single lemon adds citrusy brightness. I do something similar when I make Lemon Pepper Grilled Cauliflower Steaks.
Sprinkling the broccoli with a mixture of nuts, seeds and spices is a fantastic finishing touch. Inspired by dukkah, a toasted Egyptian nut and seed mix, I make a quick version that has almonds, sesame seeds and ground cumin.
This is what you need:
- Broccoli: Always buy bunches of broccoli for this recipe and not florets. Since you are going to put them straight on the grill, smaller florets will fall in between the grates.
- Lemon: Since I use the juice and the zest, first I take my microplane to remove the zest. Then I slice the lemon in half and juice it.
- Spices for the marinade: I combine a mix of garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. The temperature of the grill would burn minced fresh garlic cloves, so that’s why I prefer dried garlic powder.
- Olive oil: Use extra virgin olive oil in the marinade for the best flavor.
- Almonds: You can either use roughly chopped almonds or blanched hazelnuts. I think almonds are easier to find at the grocery, and I typically have them in my pantry.
- Sesame seeds: White sesame seeds have a more mild and sweet flavor than black sesame seeds, which are stronger and more savory. Either one is good in this recipe.
- Spices for the nut seed mixture include cumin, salt and pepper.
How To Grill Broccoli
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on medium high heat.
1. Make the nut seed mixture. Combine the almonds, sesame seeds, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Cut the broccoli. Trim the bottoms of the stems off the broccoli. The stems should be 3-4 inches long. Then slice them lengthwise. They should look like small trees that have some flat sides. Each side does nut have to be flat, but it does maximize contact with the grill. Save the smaller florets that fall off for something else like roasting or eating raw with hummus or in a salad.
3. Make the marinade. Stir the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
4. Pour the marinade over the broccoli. Toss it around, so the broccoli is completely coated. I find this is easier to do on a sheet pan rather than in a large bowl because of the length of the broccoli. Utilize the space on the pan, and this is convenient way to move it to the grill.
5. Grill the broccoli for 3-4 minutes per side. It’s ready when it is lightly charred with grill marks, and the stems are crisp tender.
6. Top the broccoli the nut-seed mix and lemon zest once you arrange it on a plate.
Grilled broccoli is a side dish that goes with pretty much anything else that you are grilling. Here are some of my recommendations:
You can also pair this broccoli side dish with grilled chicken or another protein. It has just enough personality to be interesting and exciting while still working with a dynamic main dish.
Storage and Leftovers
If you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I like eating them cold by chopping the broccoli and tossing it into a salad. You can warm leftover grilled broccoli in a 350-degree F oven. It will lose some of the crisp bite it had when you first grilled it, but it will still taste good.
Marinate the broccoli on a sheet pan. That gives you enough space to toss it around in the marinade and makes it easy to carry the broccoli to grill.
Watch out for hot spots on the grill. Some broccoli pieces might be done faster than others depending on the temperature consistency of your grill. Take off the broccoli when it’s ready and don’t wait for everything to be finished at the same time.
You can make the nut, seed and spice mixture a few days in advance. Just store it in a jar or another airtight container at room temperature.
I prefer when the broccoli makes direct contact with the grill. As long as you cut it so the broccoli is big enough that it won’t fall through the grill grates, this maximizes the charred edges and smoky flavor.
No. Frozen vegetables tend to have more water content, so they aren’t great on the grill even if you thaw them first. Also, frozen broccoli typically comes in florets that would be too small to put directly on the grill. Always use fresh broccoli.
Yes. Just make sure to give the grill pan time to preheat on the stove. Also, don’t crowd the broccoli on the grill pan or it will end up steaming more than grilling.
More Grilled Vegetable Recipes
Did you make this broccoli recipe? Please leave a rating and comment below. Thanks!
Lemon Grilled Broccoli Recipe
- For nut seed mix
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- For broccoli
- 1-1/2 pounds broccoli
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on medium high heat.
- For the nut seed mix, combine the almonds, sesame seeds, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Trim the bottom of the stem off the bunches of broccoli, so it is about 3-4 inches long. Then slice the broccoli lengthwise about 1/2-inch thick, so you end up with what looks like mini trees with some flat sides.
- In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Pour the lemon marinade over the broccoli. Toss it, so it is completely coated.
- Grill the broccoli 3-4 minutes per side until it is charred at the edges and is crisp tender.
- Arrange the grilled broccoli on a serving plate and sprinkle with the nut seed mixture and lemon zest.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.