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Roasted Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

January 14, 2021

Hands cradling a big white bowl filled with roasted broccoli with cheese sauce. Next to the bowl are wooden spoons, Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil, and a blue napkin with white stripes.


One of the tricks to eating more vegetables—particularly cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts—is to cook them in ways that heighten their flavor. One of the best ways to coax flavor out of broccoli: Roast it. To level up oven roasted broccoli: Make our no dairy roasted broccoli with cheese sauce. All it takes is a baking sheet, avocado or olive oil, seasonings, and broccoli.

Roasting broccoli in the oven until it’s fork-tender with lightly caramelized, crisped edges transforms raw broccoli into a side or main dish you’ll want to make again and again. When I make roasted broccoli, I toss broccoli florets in plenty of avocado oil or olive oil and season with salt and pepper to keep things quick and straightforward.

What Can You Add to Broccoli to Make it Taste Better?

Why, cheese, of course! Remake a classic family-friendly combo of broccoli and cheese with our roasted broccoli with cheese sauce. Rather than cover the roasted broccoli in a blanket of fatty, salty melted cheese sauce, we use a no-dairy cheese sauce made with nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and minced garlic.

You can also add any manner of other seasonings and dried herbs to the broccoli florets before roasting to turn everyday roasted broccoli into something a little more exotic. Try curry powder, garlic and onion powder, turmeric and lemon pepper, basil and oregano with chopped sun-dried tomatoes, or even sesame oil and sesame seeds for an Asian spin.

Our vegan, Primal, paleo, and keto-friendly roasted broccoli with cheese sauce is a no-fuss way to whip up a quick and easy weeknight dinner side dish that can double as a tasty topper for a lunchtime salad the next day.

Can You Use Regular Cheese in This Recipe?

If you prefer a more traditional cheese sauce that uses dairy, feel free to add ¼ to ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese or a combination of ¼ cup shredded cheddar and ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese. Use the nutritional yeast or not and leave out the lemon juice to make this baked broccoli and cheese keto (note that this roasted broccoli with cheese sauce will no longer be keto vegan if you add cheese).

Roasted Broccoli with “Cheese” Sauce Recipe

Time: 35 minutes

Servings: 4

Broccoli florets in a big white bowl with Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil, a small white bowl filled with nutritional yeast, garlic cloves, lemon cut in half on the side.


  • 1 lb. broccoli florets
  • 2 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Lemon slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Break crowns of broccoli into florets, then slice the florets in half vertically. Place the broccoli florets on a large baking sheet and toss with avocado oil, garlic, 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
  • Place the lemon slices on top of the broccoli florets. Roast the broccoli for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast. Toss to combine. Roast the broccoli for an additional 10 minutes or until tender and golden.

A large white bowl holds roasted broccoli with cheese sauce. Next to the bowl are Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil, wooden spoons, and a blue napkin with white stripes.

Nutrition info (per serving):

Calories: 120

Carbs: 9 grams

Fat: 7 grams

Protein: 6 grams

Nutrition info calculated using Cronometer.

FAQs About Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli florets and lemon slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Next to the sheet is a half a lemon and a small white bowl filled with nutritional yeast.

What oven temperature should you use for roasted broccoli?

We roast broccoli at 375ºF. You can roast broccoli at 400ºF as well—the broccoli florets will cook faster at the higher temperature, and any smaller bits of broccoli can burn before any larger pieces finish roasting, so try to cut your florets into uniform pieces.

How long does it take to roast broccoli in the oven?

We roast the broccoli in this recipe in two stages:

  1. Roast for 15 minutes at 375ºF.
  2. Remove broccoli from the oven and toss with an extra tablespoon of nutritional yeast before putting back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Our recipe for roasted broccoli with cheese sauce takes 25 minutes total to cook in the oven.

Do you have to steam broccoli before roasting it in the oven?

No. Pre-cooking or steaming broccoli before roasting it won’t give you the same lightly crisp, browned taste and texture you get from roasting raw broccoli. Steaming broccoli first could result in mushy, overcooked broccoli.

Can you bake frozen broccoli and cheese?

You can use your oven to heat frozen broccoli sprinkled with cheese or our no-dairy cheese sauce, but you will get cooked, warm broccoli and not the same caramelization from roasting raw broccoli.

How do you make cheesy grilled broccoli?

You can follow the same steps outlined in the roasted broccoli with cheese sauce recipe above but use your grill instead of an oven. Grill the broccoli florets for about 5 minutes, turning once during that 5 minutes. Remove and toss with the additional one tablespoon of nutritional yeast before grilling for an additional 3–5 minutes, turning once during that time. The total cook time for cheesy grilled broccoli: 8–10 minutes.

Check our recipe for Grilled Broccoli with Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette.

What goes well with roasted broccoli with cheese sauce?

What doesn’t pair well with roasted broccoli with cheese sauce? Serve it with roasted chicken thighs (for an easy sheet-pan dinner), grilled chicken breasts, sliced steak, pork chops, white fish packets, seared scallops, a sweet-and-savory ham, as a topper for a vegan salad, or alongside any plant-based protein. Turn the cheesy broccoli roast into an all-veggie party by adding additional chopped veggies. Try parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, bell peppers, onions—and adding a bit more avocado oil, garlic, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast to coat the vegetables before roasting.

You might also like these other vegan recipes:


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