How To Cut Broccoli

By Rena Awada | Updated On January 23, 2024

Learn the best method for how to cut broccoli, so you end up with perfectly sized florets and just enough stem on the end. You will have uniform pieces for roasting, eating raw, or adding to a variety of recipes. Also, find out tips for buying, washing, and storing fresh broccoli.

Cut up broccoli in a white bowl.


Once you learn this simple method for how to cut broccoli, you will have uniform-sized florets for dipping into ranch dip, adding to stir-fries, making casseroles and so much more!

Broccoli is one of the best foods to add to your diet, and enjoy it often! Not only is it low in calories, fat-free, and a good source of plant protein, but it contains many nutrients, including glucosinolates, which the body can convert into substances that fight cancer.

Follow our step-by-step tutorial on how to cut a fresh broccoli head into florets.

Why you will love this guide

  • Delicious: Broccoli takes on any seasoning that you add to it, and it is a great way to incorporate heartiness and nutrition in a variety of meals from soups to pasta dishes.
  • Healthy: Broccoli is considered one of the healthiest vegetables! Broccoli is a rich source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins C, K, and A. It also contains several important minerals, including potassium, calcium, and iron. These antioxidants help protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
  • Great for meal prep: Cut up your fresh broccoli, and have it ready to add to salads, soups and various other recipes on your weekly menu. If stored properly, once cut, it will keep in the fridge for up to about 4 days. You can even freeze it for months!
Three heads of broccoli on a cutting board.

What you’ll need

Here’s what we recommend for cutting broccoli into florets:

  • Knife: Use a large 7 to 8-inch chef’s knife or paring knife to make cutting a head of broccoli easier. You may also want a paring knife for slicing off the stems from smaller florets.
  • Cutting board: For cutting vegetables, you’ll want a cutting board that is gentle on your knife edge, easy to clean, and durable. Wood and bamboo cutting boards are popular choices for cutting vegetables as they are gentle on knife edges and can help to maintain the sharpness of your knives.
  • Broccoli: Grab however many heads of broccoli you need for your recipe. One head of broccoli is equal to about 3 1/2 cups of florets.

How to cut broccoli into florets

Broccoli is one of the easiest veggies to cut, and doesn’t make too much of a mess. Here’s how:

  1. Cut off the stalk: Start with the head of the broccoli down on the cutting board, slice through the stalk to separate it from the smaller stems and the head of the broccoli, about 1 inch below the base of the head.
  1. Remove the stems: You can leave the stems longer, or cut the stem completely off making the florets more stubby, depending on how you plan to use them.
  1. Slice apart florets: Slice through any very large florets, and pull the floret apart with your fingers. You can leave the florets larger for recipes like air fryer chicken and broccoli, or create smaller pieces of broccoli depending on your desired use. Smaller pieces are good for adding to cheesy pasta casseroles.
  1. Make smaller florets: For short, stubby broccoli florets without a stem, slice through them the same way, and then pull them apart with your fingers, as seen below.

Expert tips

  • Uniform size: It’s best to cut the broccoli florets into similar-sized pieces so that they cook evenly. For roasted broccoli, cut the florets into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces. If you are adding the florets to soup, salad, or a casserole, we recommend that you cut the florets into even smaller bite-sized pieces.
  • Buying: Look for broccoli that is bright green in color and has a firm stalk without any discolorations or brown spots. It should also feel heavy for its size.
  • Washing: Just before cutting, rinse the broccoli plant off by holding it under running cool or warm water. You can soak it in water for a couple of minutes, but no longer than 5 minutes, as this can result in a loss of nutrients.
  • Serving amount: One serving of broccoli, cooked or fresh, is one cup, which is approximately 30 calories. One head of broccoli will yield about 3 to 4 servings of broccoli florets.

Frequently asked questions

Do you cut the stems off broccoli?

Yes, you’ll want to cut the stems or stalks off of the broccoli. However, don’t throw them away! The stems and stalks are super nutritious and can be used in a variety of ways. The entire stalk can be spiraled into veggie noodles. You can also chop them up and add them to salads, soups, and stir-fries.

What part of broccoli is not edible?

You can actually eat the entire broccoli plant! The top parts of the head are the most common part to consume, but the broad outer leaves, stems, and florets can all be eaten raw, steamed, grilled, sautéed, roasted, or cooked any other way.

Which is healthier broccoli florets or stalks?

The whole broccoli plant is good for you and contains vitamins and minerals, but the florets have the highest concentration of nutrients and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are chemical compounds produced by plants, generally to help them resist fungi, bacteria, and plant virus infections, and they can help humans in the same way.

Recipes with broccoli

How to store cut broccoli

  • Storing: Store freshly cut broccoli in an airtight container, in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freezing: Flash freeze the cut broccoli for 30 minutes, on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. It will keep fresh for up to 6 to 9 months.
Broccoli florets on a cutting board.

More how-to cut guides

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Knife cutting over broccoli stem.

How to Cut Broccoli

Learn the best method for how to cut broccoli, so you end up with perfectly sized florets and just enough stem on the end. You will have uniform pieces for roasting, eating raw or adding to a variety of recipes. Also, find out tips for buying, washing, and storing fresh broccoli.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 3.5 cups (1 head)
Calories: 59kcal
Author: Rena

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli

Instructions

  • Start with the head of the broccoli down on the cutting board, slice through the stalk to separate it from the smaller stems and the head of the broccoli, about 1-inch below the base of the head.
  • You can leave the stems longer, or cut the stem completely off making them more stubby, depending on how you plan to use them.
  • Slice through any very large florets, and pull the floret apart with your fingers. You can leave the florets larger for recipes like air fryer or roasted broccoli, or create smaller pieces of broccoli depending on your desired use.

Notes

  • Storage: Store freshly cut broccoli in an airtight container, in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freezing: Flash freeze the cut broccoli for 30 minutes, on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. It will keep fresh for up to 6-9 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1head | Calories: 59kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 549mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1082IU | Vitamin C: 155mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1mg
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