How to Make Broccoli Rice

4.91 from 50 votes
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Learn how to make broccoli rice if you’re looking for a low-carb, Paleo, or Whole30 alternative to grains. Rice alternatives have become popular to add to meals because they are easy to prepare and neutral in flavor.

Bowl of broccoli rice and a metal spoon.

Recipe Science

  • Pulsing broccoli florets in a food processor breaks them down into rice-sized pieces, creating a low-carb alternative to traditional rice while retaining the nutritional benefits of broccoli.
  • Cooking the broccoli rice briefly ensures it maintains a slightly crisp texture and bright green color, preserving its vitamins and minerals.
  • Using minimal water during cooking prevents the broccoli from becoming soggy, allowing it to maintain its shape and providing a satisfying texture similar to al dente rice.

Why It Works

Learning how to cook broccoli was one of the first things I did in culinary school. However, since then, I’ve learned a few new tricks in the kitchen. Like cauliflower rice, broccoli rice can be made by chopping it with a chef’s knife, pulsing it in a food processor, or mixing it in a blender.

Once cut into small pieces, it can be used in recipes as a substitute for white rice or brown rice. Broccoli delivers vitamins C, E, and K, folate, calcium, potassium, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, protein, and dietary fiber. Make your next meal a healthy one!

3 Ways to Make Broccoli Rice

Incorporating broccoli into your meals will boost your plate with extra nutritional benefits. Here are three simple ways to prepare broccoli rice.

#1) Chopped Method

Broccoli being chopped on a wooden cutting board in rice sized pieces.

Use a chef’s knife to cut the broccoli florets into 1-inch pieces. Then chop them into smaller grain-sized pieces, keeping some of the florets intact. This method takes the longest but allows for full control.

#2) Food Processor Method

Broccoli florets in a food processor cup.

Cut the broccoli into 1-inch florets, then add 4 cups of it, or fill the processor cup ¾ of the way. Work in batches as needed, or add more if you have a larger unit.

Broccoli rice in a food processor cup.

Pulse until small grains of rice form. Stop to scrape the sides of the cup as needed.

#3) Blender Method

Broccoli florets inside a blender.

Cut the broccoli into 1-inch florets and add about 4 cups into a high-speed blender.

Broccoli rice inside a blender cup.

Mix until small rice-sized pieces form, about 15 to 60 seconds. Use the tamper handle on top to push down the florets as needed. Stop and scrape the sides of the blender cup to process the florets evenly.

How to Cook Broccoli Rice

Two heads of fresh broccoli will yield about 4 cups of broccoli rice once chopped down. The total volume was reduced by about half. Now that you know how to prepare broccoli rice, you have a couple of options for cooking it.

Broccoli rice sautéing in a stainless steel skillet.

The cooking methods below are for 4 cups of broccoli rice. You only need a light amount of cooking to make the florets less chewy in texture and tame the sulfurous flavors. Just cook until bright green with some bite, not to the point of being mushy.

  • Sauté: Heat a large pan over medium heat, then sauté the rice in 1 tablespoon warmed oil or butter until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir-fry: Heat a wok with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil over high heat. Add the rice in a single layer, and allow it to cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
  • Steam: Add to a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, mix with 1 tablespoon of oil, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, and cook another 1 to 2 minutes until tender.
  • Casserole: Add to a cheesy broccoli rice casserole as part of a rice ingredient and bake.

The stalks are edible!

The broccoli stalks or stems can also be eaten, so don’t throw them away! Simply peel the tough outer layer with a paring knife and cut it into smaller pieces. It can be added to the florets to make broccoli rice. It may take a few more minutes to make them tender, but they are packed with nutrients.

More Low Carb Recipes

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Broccoli Rice

Learn how to make broccoli rice to create a low-carb, Paleo, and Whole30 alternative to grains. Saute, steam, or eat raw for a nutrient-rich side dish.
4.91 from 50 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Side
Cuisine American


  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 1 tablespoon oil, olive, vegetable, butter or ghee
  • kosher salt, for seasoning
  • black pepper, for seasoning


  • Preparation – Use a knife to cut the broccoli into 1-inch sized florets.
  • Make Broccoli Rice – Select one of the three methods:
    #1) Hand Chop: Use a chef's knife to chop the florets into smaller rice-sized pieces.
    #2) Food Processor: Fill the cup about ¾ full with florets and pulse until small pieces form. Scrape the sides of the bowl and work in batches as needed.
    #3) Blender: Add the florets to a blender cup and process on medium-high speed until small pieces form, about 15 to 60 seconds. Stop and scrape the sides of the container. Work in batches if needed.
  • Cook Broccoli Rice – Select one of the two methods:
    #1) Saute: Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add oil, and once hot, add the broccoli rice in one layer. Cook until it becomes bright green and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
    #2) Steam: Add broccoli to a microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and stir to combine. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Mix and cook another 1 to 2 minutes until bright green and tender. Season with salt and pepper as desired.


  • Yield: 1 head of broccoli makes 4 cups (227g) of florets.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 71kcal (4%)Carbohydrates 8g (3%)Protein 3g (6%)Fat 4g (6%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Polyunsaturated Fat 2gMonounsaturated Fat 1gSodium 37mg (2%)Potassium 359mg (10%)Fiber 3g (12%)Sugar 2g (2%)Vitamin A 700IU (14%)Vitamin C 138.6mg (168%)Calcium 50mg (5%)Iron 0.9mg (5%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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30 Comments Leave a comment or review

    • Jessica Gavin says

      The broccoli rice has the characteristic earthy taste, but the sauteeing or stir-frying adds a nice toasted nutty flavor so the vegetable doesn’t taste as grassy.

  1. Jennifer says

    I have been buying frozen I am so happy to find this recipe. Would u cook then freeze or could I freeze then cook while I defrost?

  2. Chris says

    I am wondering about using frozen broccoli too since I have a lot on hand right now. Anybody? Jessica hasn’t commented for a year. Is she OK??

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Chris- I’m here and doing ok! You can roast broccoli without having to thaw the florets. You can also defrost them in the microwave to remove the excess moisture before sauteeing so it’s not so much. You can steam it from frozen, then toss it with some seasonings for a healthy side dish. I like to make a crustless broccoli quiche too for a healthy breakfast. Let me know what you make!

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