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What to do with Broccoli Stems? LOTS of Ideas!

What to do with Broccoli Stems will give you ideas on minimizing food waste while adding a nutritious element to your meals. Often overlooked after cooking the broccoli florets, these sturdy stalks possess a tender and mildly sweet flavor that can be transformed into various culinary delights.

If you’re looking for more ideas on avoiding food waste, What to do with Orange Peels and Ideas for Leftover Strawberry Stems will help you on your waste-free journey.

What to do with Broccoli Stems - Raw Broccoli Stalks
What to do with Broccoli Stems

When you buy a bunch of fresh broccoli at the grocery store, you usually pay for the vegetable by the pound. Most people buy broccoli for the tender florets. If you’re not using your broccoli stems, that’s money going to waste. This delicious vegetable is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A, so it would be a shame to toss them out.

Once peeled and trimmed, the pale green broccoli stalks can be cut into thin slices and used as a crunchy addition to salads or slaws, bringing a refreshing texture to the mix. Alternatively, they can be chopped into small pieces and incorporated into stir fries, and or soups, providing a subtle yet delicious boost of fiber and vitamins. There are so many different ways to use these nutritious gems.

Embracing the potential of leftover broccoli stalks showcases our commitment to sustainability and opens up a world of culinary possibilities.

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Here’s What to do with Broccoli Stems

1. Broccoli Noodles

Use a spiralizer to create long, thin noodles from broccoli stalks. You could also use a vegetable peeler. Cook the broccoli stem noodles like regular pasta, serve with your favorite sauce, and top with a bit of Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast. They have a mild flavor and are great for a low-carb diet.

2. Broccoli Stalk Slaw

How to Use Broccoli Stalks - Broccoli Slaw
How to Use Broccoli Stalks – Broccoli Slaw

Peel and shred the stems and mix them with shredded carrots, cabbage, diced green onions, and a tangy dressing for a refreshing slaw.

3. Broccoli Stem Chips

Slice the stem ends into thin rounds and toss them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with your favorite seasonings like garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bake them in the oven until crispy. You can also add cheese to your broccoli stalk chips or serve with a dip of your choice.

4. Broccoli Stalk Stir-Fry

Slice the broccoli stems into thin strips and add vegetables, protein, and your favorite sauce for a delicious and nutritious meal. I plan on making my stir-fried broccoli stems recipe whenever I buy a head of broccoli.

5. Broccoli Stalk Soup

Using Broccoli Stems to Make Creamy Broccoli Soup
Using Broccoli Stems to Make Creamy Broccoli Soup

Cook the stems with vegetable broth, onions, garlic, and your choice of seasonings to make a flavorful soup. Puree the soup after cooking. Add heavy cream for a more creamy soup.

6. Broccoli Stem Puree

Steam or boil broccoli steams until tender, then blend them with a bit of chicken stock, spices, and garlic for a creamy and nutritious puree. You can use the puree to plate your favorite meat dish.

7. Broccoli Rice

You’ve heard of cauliflower rice, so why not use peeled broccoli stems instead? Making broccoli rice is an easy way to reduce waste and create a versatile ingredient to use in various dishes.

To prepare the broccoli rice, remove the tough outer layer of the broccoli stems with a vegetable peeler or knife and chop them into smaller pieces. Then using a food processor or food grater, pulse or grate the stems until they resemble rice grains. You can cook them like regular rice by sautéing, steaming, or boiling.

8. Broccoli Stalk Powder

You can dehydrate the broccoli stems and grind them into a powder. Broccoli powder can be added to rubs, soups, and sauces.

Uses for Broccoli Stems - Raw broccoli stalks cut in half
Uses for Broccoli Stems – Raw Broccoli Stalk

9. Roasted Broccoli Stalks

Roasted broccoli stalks are a delicious way to use this leftover ingredient. Peel the tough outer layer, cut into sticks, and toss with extra-virgin olive oil and your favorite spices and roast on a baking sheet in a single layer for 15-20 minutes. You can also air fry them.

10. Broccoli Stem Tempura

Slice the stems into thin strips, dip them in tempura batter, and deep-fry until crispy. Serve with a creamy dipping sauce.

11. Broccoli Stem Pickles

Cut the stems into spears or slices and pickle them with vinegar, spices, and herbs for a tangy and crunchy snack.

12. Broccoli Stalk Fritters

Peel off the tough outer layer of the stems and grate them. Mix flour, spices, eggs, herbs, and spices to make flavorful fritters. Pan-fry them until golden brown and crispy.

13. Broccoli Stalk Smoothie

What Can You do with Broccoli Stems? - Broccoli Smoothie
What can you do with Broccoli Stems? – Broccoli Smoothie

Broccoli Stem Recipe – peel and blend the stems with fruit, yogurt, honey, and your favorite milk for a nutritious boost to your smoothie.

14. Broccoli Stem Curry

Cut the broccoli stem into bite-sized pieces and simmer them in a flavorful vegan curry sauce with coconut milk, vegetables, and spices.

15. Broccoli Stem Stir-Fried Rice

Dice the stems into small pieces and stir-fry them with cooked rice, vegetables, soy sauce, and your choice of protein for a tasty meal.

16. Broccoli Stalk Pasta Sauce

Cook diced broccoli stems along with your favorite pasta sauce recipe. You can puree the sauce for a creamy texture.

YouTube video
Do you know this about broccoli stems?

17. Vegetable Soup Stock

An easy way to use your broccoli stem is to save it in the freezer with other veggie scraps in an airtight container or freezer bag. Save it for the next time you make vegetable soup broth. You can also add it to my slow cooker chicken bone broth recipe.

18. Meatballs

A creative way to use up a raw broccoli stalk is to mince it and use it as a binder in meatballs.

19. Baby Food

You can steam or roast your sliced broccoli stems and puree them with other vegetables like carrot peels to make baby food. Add a little bit of chicken broth and salt to get the desired consistency.

20. James Beard Foundation Vinaigrette Recipe

The James Beard Foundation is a nonprofit organization that offers a few different recipes for stalks of broccoli like this peeled broccoli stem vinaigrette.

21. Broccoli Hummus

You can add even more flavor to your hummus when you blend it with steamed or roasted broccoli stems. It’s a great way to add more nutritional value to an awesome snack.

22. Broccoli Casserole

When making your favorite broccoli casserole recipe, add minced broccoli stems along with the florets and bake as usual.

23. Dog Treats

The next time you make dog treats, add minced raw stems to your recipe for a simple way to boost your dog’s nutrition with a healthy snack. Broccoli stems are a good source of fiber too.

24. Grain Bowls

A grain bowl is a wholesome and customizable meal consisting of a variety of cooked grains, vegetables, proteins, and flavorful toppings. This layered dish is typically served together in a large bowl. Adding roasted diced broccoli stems to your grain bowl

YouTube video
Harvesting and Storing Broccoli Stems

Broccoli Leaves

Don’t toss out broccoli leaves either. You want to use as much as you can of the broccoli plant to reduce waste.

Broccoli leaf chips (like kale chips), juice them, or add them to smoothies are just some ideas to try.

FAQ About Broccoli Stalks

Can you eat broccoli stems and are they safe to consume?

Yes, broccoli stalks are edible and safe to eat. These parts of broccoli are often discarded but have great potential for culinary use.

What are the nutritional benefits of broccoli stalks compared to the florets?

Broccoli stalks are rich in fiber, vitamins C and K, and contain more calcium than florets, offering a nutritionally valuable addition to your diet.

How should I prepare broccoli stalks for cooking or eating?

To prepare broccoli stalks, simply trim off the tough outer layer with a paring knife or veggie peeler, then chop, mince, or slice them for various recipes.

We’ve reached the end of What to do with Broccoli Stalks. Now you know that the broccoli floret isn’t the only part of the broccoli plant you can enjoy in your culinary journey.

Let me know in the comments below how you like to used leftover broccoli stalks.

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What to do with Broccoli Stems

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Saturday 23rd of December 2023

Brocoli stems good article. For years I did exactly what you described. I usually just tossed the stems in the garbage. Then I read about peeling them and cooking them. I did that a few times and did enjoy the stems, but even though I knew that would work I still did not mess with the stems most of the rime. Then I don't know how I discovered this but somehow I found out that if I just cook the unprepared stems a little longer they softened and became delicious. So now when I cook broccoli I chop off the stems and cook them a little longer than the florets and they are delicious.


Monday 25th of December 2023

Hello Charlie! I'm so glad you now enjoy broccoli stems. They are amazing when prepared properly. - Kelly

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