Kalyn's Kitchen

Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan

Pine Nuts and Parmesan add amazing flavor to simple pan-fried broccoli, and you can also add thinly sliced garlic if you prefer! Either way you make it, this is perfect for a special side dish that’s quick, easy, and low in net carbs!

PIN Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan to try it later!

Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan finished dish served in pan

Is broccoli a must-have vegetable for Thanksgiving in your family? For years my family made Thanksgiving Broccoli with Cheese Sauce, a humble dish that even uses canned soup, but now I think most of them would enjoy this Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan. And with yummy flavor boosters like pine nuts and parmesan, as well as thinly-sliced garlic cloves adding even more flavor, this is definitely special enough for a holiday like Thanksgiving.

But this amazing way to cook broccoli is easy enough to make for a week-night dinner too. This is a recipe from the very earliest days of my blog, and although I’ve made it a few times through the years, it never made it to the front of the line for new photos until now! And let me say it one more time: Pine Nuts and Parmesan! I hope that the new photos and that reminder is enough to get you to try this absolutely delicious way to cook broccoli! Check out Low-Carb and Keto Broccoli Side Dishes if you’d like more broccoli options!


Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan process shots collage

How to Make Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Trim broccoli so each piece is about 2 inches long, then cut through stem and pull apart to make each piece about 1 inch wide. 
  2. Measure out the pine nuts and grated Parmesan so it’s ready to go. 
  3. You also need 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves, which I missed taking a photo of! 
  4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add pine nuts, and cook 1-2 minutes, until barely starting to color. 
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same pan, add broccoli, and pan fry, stirring constantly, until broccoli turns bright green, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
  7. Move broccoli to side of pan, add the remaining oil and garlic slices and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  8. Turn heat to high, add chicken stock, stir, and cover pan and cook about 2 minutes, or until broccoli is slightly tender.
  9. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until liquid has evaporated and broccoli is fork-tender, about 3 minutes longer.
  10. Sprinkle broccoli with Pine Nuts and freshly-grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan close-up of finished broccoli served in pan

More Favorite Ways to Cook Broccoli:

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic
Sweet and Sour Broccoli Salad
Broccoli and Three Cheese Keto Breakfast Casserole
Sesame Chicken and Broccoli Sheet Pan Meal
Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Curry Casserole

Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan finished dish served in pan

Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Obviously, it's the pine nuts and Parmesan that makes this Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan such a wow!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 lb. broccoli florets (6 cups)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. If you buy pre-cut broccoli pieces that come in a big bag, no need to wash the broccoli. If you're using broccoli with stems attached you might want to wash the cut broccoli in a salad spinner and dry very well.
  2. Trim broccoli so each piece is about 2 inches long, then cut through stem and pull apart to make each piece about 1 inch wide. (Cutting through the stem and pulling apart prevents the messy "crumbs" you get when you cut through the florets.)
  3. Measure out the pine nuts and grated Parmesan so it's ready to go. Use more of less of either of these ingredients, whatever you prefer. You also need 4 thinly sliced garlic cloves.
  4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add the pine nuts, and cook 1-2 minutes, until barely starting to color. (You can add a teeny bit of oil if your pan isn't non-stick.)
  5. Remove pine nuts to a plate.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same pan, add broccoli, and pan fry, stirring constantly, until broccoli turns bright green, about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
  8. Move broccoli to one side of pan, add the remaining oil and garlic slices and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.
  9. Turn heat to high, add chicken stock, stir, and cover pan and cook about 2 minutes, or until broccoli is slightly tender.
  10. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until all the liquid has evaporated and broccoli is fork-tender, about 3 minutes longer.
  11. Sprinkle broccoli with Pine Nuts and freshly-grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

Notes

I used my homemade chicken stock, but you can use canned chicken broth for this.

This recipe was adapted from Cook's Illustrated The Best Vegetable Recipes (affiliate link) with a few changes by Kalyn and Kara to make it more foolproof and a bit easier to make!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 382mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan thumbnail image of broccoli in pan

Low-Carb Diet / Low- Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This is a great recipe for low-carb and Keto diets and for the original South Beach Diet. Broccoli does have some carbs, but check the fiber and it’s fairly low in net carbs. You may wish to use fewer pine nuts and/or Parmesan if you’re strictly following South Beach.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Side Dishes or Thanksgiving Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterestor Punchfork to see all the good recipes I’m sharing.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2007, yikes. It was finally updated with better photos and more complete instructions November 2020.

Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan Pinterest image

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    15 Comments on “Pan-Fried Broccoli with Pine Nuts and Parmesan”

  1. I just wanted to vouch that these are delicious! I found the identical recipe in my Cook's Country magazine (same company) and have made this three times. It's always a huge hit in my house 🙂

  2. Did I mention I added a little extra garlic? Like maybe 8 cloves? Hehehe! Glad you mentioned the option of adding extra – it was a "heads up" to me that I should be generous with them!

  3. Oh my! This was absolutely delicious! My hubby's fav was your roasted broccoli until tonight. Broccoli is the primary veggie in our home, and this recipe brought new life to our plain ol' steamed broccoli! Another wonderful recipe!

  4. I love this recipe too; so glad you enjoyed it.

  5. This is so delicious & amazingly simple!

  6. What a perfectly delicious and simple recipe! I makie a blanched broccoli salad with pine nuts, cheese and a wholegrain mustard vinaigrette dressing that sounds very similar. Yum!

  7. Sounds great, Kalyn! I love anything with pine nuts! Thanks for the link 🙂

  8. A real classic. One of those sides you’d happily eat with everything.

  9. I make mine with the extra garlic! Why are pine nuts so good?

  10. Last year, my cousin asked me for a good cheesey broccoli recipe for her Thanksgiving meal–so I gave her your traditional family recipe. She loved it. This recipe looks so pretty, with the bright green color intact. And pine nuts, yum.

  11. What a great way to spice up broccoli!

  12. I love broccoli! Love this recipe!

    Paz

  13. Another simple yet inviting vegetable recipe – thank you, Kalyn! Will be excellent in the run-up to the over-indulgent Christmas:)

  14. Kalyn, it’s simple, tasty and elegant enough for dinner guests as well.

  15. I remember broccoli with cheese sauce! It was a total favorite of mine as a kid. This looks great though, I bet those pine nuts add some real good crunch.