How Long Does Broccoli Take to Boil?

How Long Does Broccoli Take to Boil?

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means that Buzzy Kitchen earns commission from purchases made – at absolutely no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting Buzzy Kitchen!

Do you have a habit of boiling broccoli for so long than it basically turns into green mush? Maybe you don’t cook it for long enough at all, serving it up hard and crunchy… and not the good, al dente kind? How long does broccoli take to boil, anyway? And how do you know when it’s done? 

Why don’t we find out? 

How Long Does Broccoli Take to Boil?

If you want the ‘al dente’ kind of fresh (not frozen) broccoli, which still has some crunch to it, you will want to boil it for a considerably shorter time than you’d expect. 

Al dente broccoli only needs to be boiled for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on how al dente you want it. 

If you’d like to serve your broccoli soft rather than crunchy, boil it for a little longer – around 4 to 6 minutes. 

The longer you boil it, the softer and mushier it will become. 

How Long Does Frozen Broccoli Take to Boil?

Frozen broccoli will, obviously, take a bit longer than fresh broccoli to boil and start to cook.

 How Long Does Frozen Broccoli Take to Boil?

You should refer to the packaging. There will be cooking suggestions on the bag or packet, and that’s what the producer recommends for the very best quality. 

How Do I Know When Broccoli is Finished Boiling?

In my opinion, the best way to see whether or not your broccoli is finished boiling is to grab a bit, blow on it so it doesn’t burn your mouth, and then eat it. If it’s too crunchy for you, leave it to boil for a little longer. If it’s soft/crunch enough, drain the water out and serve it. 

Would you prefer not go down the eat-it-to-test-it route? Grab yourself a knife or fork. I prefer a knife, personally. 

With the knife, push down into the broccoli stems. If it’s really tough to push in, the broccoli is still hard and could do with a little longer. If the knife slides right in, however, the broccoli has turned soft. You want something in the middle of those two points. 

After a few attempts at poking the broccoli, you’ll seen get a feel for how easy the knife slides in when the vegetable has finished cooking. 

Finally, you could use an actual timer so that there’s an alarm when the broccoli is done. You won’t need to eat it or poke it, then. (Theoretically, anyway.) 

How Do I Know When Broccoli is Finished Boiling?

Can You Boil Broccoli Too Long?

Yes, you absolutely can boil broccoli too long. 

“Too long” is subjective, however. My mother loves broccoli still crunchy and al dente. I like mine so mushy you could eat it with a straw. My sister… well, she hates broccoli. 

I’m not really sure who makes up the food rules, but broccoli is supposed to be served with a little bit of crunch to it (apparently), but not everyone likes theirs that way. 

Just make sure the water is boiling before you place the the vegetable in it, then keep checking it every few minutes until it is done. Use the knife-poke test. Or the eat-it-to-test-it approach. Or the timer/alarm method. 

After a while, you’ll just know that it takes X minutes to get your desired broccoli crunchiness. 

For me, it’s 5 or 6 minutes. 

Do You Boil Broccoli in Hot or Cold Water?

It is best to bring the water in the saucepan to a bubbling boil before you add the broccoli, although everyone has their own way of cooking the vegetable. 

Add the water to the pan, then add the pan of water to the heat. You don’t need too much water: just enough to cover the florets. Too much water is bad for your broccoli. 

Do You Boil Broccoli in Hot or Cold Water?

Add some salt, if that’s the kind of thing you do, then turn the heat up and wait until the boiling bubbles start to form. When they have, turn down the heat a little, throw the broccoli florets in, and serve when they’re cooked to your desired level. 

You can boil broccoli in cold water. There’s nothing to stop you from doing that. I can tell you from personal experience, though, that the broccoli turns into literal mush when you do. It’s basically mashed potato, but with broccoli. 

Is Overcooked Broccoli Still Nutritious?

Yes, overcooked broccoli is still nutritious. 

It won’t be as nutritious as it was before you overcooked it, though. 

There are two things that will reduce the high nutritional value of the green vegetable: 

1) Boiling broccoli in too much water.

2) Boiling broccoli for too long.

According to the a U.S. Department of Agriculture study featured on LiveStrong, broccoli that has been boiled for too long (overcooked) loses as much as 35% of folate, 15% of B-vitamins, and 25% of vitamin C. 

The broccoli is still good. It’s just not as good. 

By Buzzy Kitchen

Lovers of food, owners of opinions, pleased to share!