How to Cut Broccoli

Learn how to prep this tasty cruciferous vegetable.

3 different. types of cut broccoli on a wood cutting board with a knife
Photo: Casey Barber

Broccoli—you either love it … or love to push it to the side of your plate. At EatingWell, we're definitely fans of broccoli because of its versatility, flavor and impressive health benefits, including protecting against certain cancers and fighting inflammation. But if you've ever bought a bunch of broccoli from the store, you might have been unsure about how to cut it—and you're not alone. Learn how to cut broccoli and get step-by-step photos, so you can enjoy this tasty cruciferous vegetable.

How to Cut Broccoli

Step 1. Using a chef's knife, cut off the stalk of the broccoli and trim any leaves.

A head of broccoli being cut on a cutting board
Casey Barber

After you cut off the stalk, you'll be left with a broccoli crown, which consists of the florets and stems. Depending on your grocery store, you may be able to skip this step and purchase broccoli crowns, which have the stalk already removed.

Some people prefer to just eat the florets of the broccoli and throw out the stalk. However, the florets, stems and stalk are all edible and can be used in a recipe like our Use-All-the-Broccoli Stir-Fry, so nothing goes to waste.

Step 2. Cut the crown into individual florets.

Broccoli being cut on a cutting board
Casey Barber

Broccoli naturally branches off into separate pieces, so simply cut where the stems meet the base and you'll be left with individual florets. As you cut the florets off, you'll be left with a piece of broccoli stem, which can be cut into cubes or slices and used in your recipe.

Step 3. Cut the florets in half, if desired.

Small broccoli pieces being cut on a cutting board
Casey Barber

Depending on the size of your broccoli, you may want to cut the florets in half or even quarters. The key is to have florets that are the same size, so they cook evenly.

How to Cut Broccolini or Chinese Broccoli

Chinese broccoli, which is also called gai lan, has slender stalks with dark green leaves. This variety of broccoli has a slightly bitter flavor similar to broccoli rabe. Broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli and has a more delicate flavor than broccoli. These bright green stalks are topped with loose bouquets of buds and have a crisp, smooth texture. Both Chinese broccoli and broccolini are super-easy to prep with just one quick step.

Step 1. Trim off the ends of the stalks.

Chinese broccoli and broccoli rabe being cut on a cutting board
Casey Barber

Once you have your broccolini or Chinese broccoli prepped, you can steam it, sauté it or roast it for an easy, flavorful side dish.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles