whole food ~ well made

Crispy roasted broccoli with bacon breadcrumbs at

Irresistible Crispy Broccoli with Bacon Breadcrumbs

I have an ongoing campaign to feed my family {and myself} more vegetables. For years, we subsisted on crudites–cut up raw vegetables in small bowls–kept everyone happy.

Now that the girls are firmly in adolescence, I’m challenging them to try more cooked vegetables, like the ever-present, always easy broccoli.

Personally, I don’t like raw broccoli. Even when I’m making a veggie platter, I blanch it. I also love it steamed for rice bowls with peanut sauce or baked into pasta.

Crispy roasted broccoli with bacon breadcrumbs at

But my most favorite way is roasted. And I mean really roasted, in the Italian style I learned from The Splendid Table cookbook Lynne Rosetto Kasper.

Crispy and speckled with brown.

Crispy Broccoli How-to

I love the fact that we’re all smitten these days with roasted vegetables. There really isn’t an easier way to take most any vegetable from crisper drawer to table:

  1. Toss with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan.
  3. Blast with heat until tender.
Crispy roasted broccoli with bacon breadcrumbs at

{Here’s a good roasting reference guide for 60 vegetables.}

And it’s doable year round, thanks to the broccoli supply. Which also makes it a craveable holiday side dish that’s just as good hot as at room temperature.

A platter of roasted crispy broccoli is a familiar complement to traditional suppers and simple weeknight meals. You can make it as plain or as dressed up as you’d like.

Crispy roasted broccoli with bacon breadcrumbs at

Dressed Up Roasted Broccoli

The beauty of it is that once it’s roasted, you can embellish roasted broccoli as you like as soon as it comes out of the oven. Try:

  • zest from 1 lemon
  • freshly grated parmesan
  • toasted chopped walnuts or pecans
  • white or black sesame seeds
  • toasted breadcrumbs {regular or gluten-free}

For this recipe, I used the bacon drippings I always reserve after making a batch of bacon. On the stovetop, I combined Panko with the drippings until golden brown.

roasted broccoli

Then I showered them all over the roasted broccoli. I sat down to dinner and watched my family eat a whole sheet pan of broccoli in one sitting!


and become a forager

What is your best strategy for feeding yourself and your family more veggies? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook

Crispy roasted broccoli with bacon breadcrumbs at

Crispy Broccoli with Bacon Breadcrumbs

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: roasted broccoli
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Lynne Curry

High-heat roasting is the best for getting broccoli crispy and tasty. Use a heavy-duty baking sheet that won't warp in the oven. Use this same technique for Brussels sprouts or cauliflower. Any leftover breadcrumbs are great for pasta dishes or casseroles.


  • 1 pound broccoli crowns
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or bacon drippings
  • fine sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons bacon drippings or butter
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, such as Panko regular or gluten-free


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the broccoli into florets that are about equal in size.

  2. Place the broccoli in a heavy-duty sheet pan and toss with the olive oil using your hands. Season evenly and generously all over with salt. Add freshly ground black pepper.

  3. Roast the broccoli in the oven until the florets brown in spots, turning once, about 15 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, heat the bacon drippings or melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and toss until thoroughly combined. Continue toasting until they breadcrumbs are evenly golden brown, about 3 minutes.

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