Broccoli Purée

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Broccoli Purèe

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Gorgeously (or shockingly?) green, this broccoli purée is a welcome change from the usual steamed or roasted broccoli. It’s also a great low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.

Spoon in a bowl of broccoli puree.

Gorgeously (or shockingly?) green, this purée is a welcome change from the usual steamed or roasted broccoli — and it’s also a great low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes. Similar to my cauliflower purée, it’s made by first steaming the broccoli florets in a flavor-infused liquid, rather than boiling them. This not only helps retain nutrients that would otherwise go down the drain, but it also ensures that the veggies don’t get waterlogged, leaving you with a nicely textured purée. I like to add butter and sour cream to lend richness and a hint of mashed potato flavor, but feel free to adjust the quantities up or down as your indulgence meter allows.

Pair this purée with simple grilled salmon, roast chicken, or a juicy steak. And be very happy if you have leftovers — you can thin the purée with chicken or vegetable broth to make a delicious and healthy creamy broccoli soup.

What you’ll need To Make Broccoli Purée

Puree ingredients including broccoli, onion, and sour cream.

How To Make Broccoli Purée

Melt half of the butter in a large pot over medium heat, and add the onions.

Onions cooking in a pan on a stovetop.

Cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

Wooden spoon in a pan of onions.

Add the water, salt, pepper and broccoli and bring the liquid to a boil.

Pan full of broccoli florets.

Cover the pot tightly and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.

Cooked broccoli in a pan.

Transfer all of the contents of the pot to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the remaining butter and the thyme.

Pat of butter in a food processor with cooked broccoli.

Process until broken down but not completely smooth. Add the sour cream.

Sour cream in a food processor with processed broccoli.

Process again until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary (I usually add up to 3/4 teaspoon more salt). Note: if your food processor is small, you may need to work in batches.

Broccoli puree in a food processor.

Transfer to a serving bowl, and top with a pad of butter and chives.

Spoon in a bowl of broccoli puree.

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Broccoli Purée

Gorgeously (or shockingly?) green, this broccoli purée is a welcome change from the usual steamed or roasted broccoli. It’s also a great low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.

Servings: 6 to 8


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for serving if desired
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion, from 1 small onion
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds broccoli crowns, cut into florets, tough stems thinly sliced (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives, for serving


  1. In a pot large enough to hold all of the broccoli, melt half of the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water, salt, and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the broccoli and bring the liquid to a boil; cover the pot tightly and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer all of the contents of the pot, including the liquid, to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the remaining butter and the thyme and process until broken down but not completely smooth. Add the sour cream and process again until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary (I usually add up to ¾ teaspoon more salt). Transfer to a serving bowl, and top with a pad of butter, if using, and chives. (Note: if your food processor is small, you may need to work in batches.)
  3. Note: Be sure to slice the tough stems very thinly, otherwise they won't cook through.
  4. Make-Ahead Instructions: The purée can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and refrigerated. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 109
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 324 mg
  • Cholesterol: 19 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • Fantastic!

    • — Robin on February 13, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi- I would like to make this broccoli dish Christmas day. Can I make it early am and reheat in the oven before serving? If so, temperature and reheating time? If I do this will reheating compromise the dish in any way?
    Last, will the recipe work for 8 of us ? I am also serving my guests your delicious honey mustard & pecan panko crust salmon, and the arugula- apple -manchego salad. Thanks foe your help!

    • — Robin on December 20, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hii Robin, it’s fine to make it ahead and reheat it. I think the easiest way to reheat it would be in the microwave or on the stovetop. And, yes, the recipe will work for 8. Hope everyone enjoys the meal!

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2023
      • Reply
  • Nice change from roasted or steamed. However, next time I’ll make with chicken or vegetable broth. It lacked flavor using just water.

    • — SusanZ on May 8, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this last night for dinner. It was fantastic! I cannot wait to make it again!

    • — Darlene E. on February 27, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was incredible. For sure a keeper. I served with grilled venison. Perfect.

    • — Missy on September 23, 2022
    • Reply
  • I was a bit hesitant thinking this didn’t look like it would taste that great, but it seemed interesting and Jen has never steered us wrong. Oh boy, this was terrific. Will definitely be putting this in the dinner rotation. Everyone loved it! Very flavorful. Made this with the zucchini tomato basil side dish and The Best Grilled chicken. Perfect meal.

    • — Christene MA on July 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • My daughter spent a semester in Florence with an Italian family in college. She brought back this recipe that was served by her host. It was almost the same recipe (no sour cream and the onions are sauteed in olive oil) except it was used as a “sauce” for pasta. Once blended with the pasta (some little addition of pasta water) it was served with parmigiano cheese and chiffonade of basil leaves. It remains one of our favorite ways to serve pasta.

  • I served this as one of the sides to fried pork chops (instead of potatoes!), and we gobbled this dish up! I didn’t have sour cream, so I used a bit of parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of garlic powder, but followed your recipe otherwise. Thank YOU!

    • — Nancy Reinking
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. A wonderful way to serve a green vegetable in a slightly unconventional way. Follow the directions and you will not be upset.

  • Last week I needed a make-ahead vegetable dish to take in for my granddad’s birthday meal – it had to be made of either broccoli, carrots or cauliflower (the only vegetables he will eat due to digestive/dental issues) and be mild, super soft, reheat-able in a microwave and really quick to make! (Supermarket shopping arrived at 10pm the night before). And still look gourmet – if possible!
    So glad I chose this recipe – it ticked all the boxes perfectly. Made exactly as described, apart from omitted the thyme as my granddad is Indian and can be funny about certain herbs. Making it was a breeze – I used a hand blender with no problem.
    It was amazingly good – the family were calling it broccoli ‘mousse’, and were even wondering whether it contained chicken stock. Tasted as good re-heated as it did the night before.
    Safe to say I’ll be making it regularly for all – whether they’re on soft foods or not!

    Thank you, Jenn!

  • This was a big hit with my family, and something different to do with broccoli. I served Jenn’s recipe for baked Panko crusted salmon on top of the broccoli purée. (Actually I had one piece of salmon left over from that previous recipe that I cut in half and served on top of the broccoli purée, with some lemon- herb yogurt sauce). This was a great way of stretching recipes and saving time. I’m confident that my family thought this was just a whole new recipe!😉😅 and another great recipe from Jenn.

    • Wow!! This recipe is a winner!!! I used broccolini (that’s what I had), sautéed shallots (also what I had) in Olive oil and butter, and subbed chicken stock for the water…This side turned out amazing even with all the modifications….Served with some seared scallops tonight-can not wait to use the left overs in a pasta dish tomorrow!!!!!

      • — Dani Z on February 16, 2023
      • Reply
  • Great recipe. My DH loved it too. Broccoli is one of the few vegetables he will eat so it was fun to serve it puréed as opposed to steamed, for a tasty twist. I changed it a little even personalizing it with some cheese. What really stood out to me was the pleasing texture of the purée.

  • I’ve been making your cauliflower purée frequently because it’s so delicious. I decided to try something different and made this broccoli purée. It was equally delicious!! I’d like to make it again with an herb other than thyme and I’m wondering if you could recommend one that would work in this recipe. Thanks!

    • Hi Krista, Glad you liked both of these! You swap out the thyme for fresh marjoram or oregano (if you can find them at your store). 🙂

  • Fantastic! A new holiday staple – the color is amazing and the flavor is so delicious – I have shared this recipe so many times (:

  • This is so good! My now favorite way to eat broccoli, thank you!

  • Hi, Jenn, thank you once again for a wonderful and different side dish. I halved the recipe for my husband and I. I had no sour cream on hand and without running to the store, added greek yogurt. We loved it. Can’t wait to try it again with sour cream.

  • I used this as a side for my brasied short ribs (as a base for the ribs to lay on top). This is an amazing, keto friendly replacement for mashed potatoes!!

  • I didn’t see this in your keto recipes, but the ingredients all look compliant. Is it keto friendly? If not, what makes it non-compliant? Thank you!

    • Hi Shannon, I am not a nutritionist, but I believe it is keto-friendly. Hope you enjoy it!

  • SO delicious!!

  • All of the recipes on your website are great, but this one is out of this world amazing, relatively healthy, and easy to prepare. (I was able to use frozen broccoli by extending the boiling time by 5 minutes.) The best part is how this dish works for all types of people. Our family consists of 2 adults, a fussy toddler, and a 10 month old, and all of us were able to eat this dish.

  • So incredible — and much healthier than mashed potatoes! I’m serving it tonight alongside your Chicken Marsala. Thanks for another great recipe!!

  • Do you think I could get away with using frozen broccoli to save time? Thank you!

    • Yes, Val, but since it’s already cooked, don’t add any water when cooking the broccoli. When you puree the mixture, add water if needed. Enjoy!

  • This is one of my favorite vegetable recipes – delicious, easy to make, and appealing to both adults and kids. I use an immersion blender instead of a blender and it works perfectly. Leftovers great too so I always make extra. A big thanks!!

  • This was delicious! It will compliment any protein! I can’t wait to try it as a bed for a piece of salmon! Thanks for the recipe!

  • This is delicious! I have some purée left over and was thinking of making cream of broccoli soup with it. Can it be done? If so, what would I need to add to the purée to make it into a soup?

    • Definitely, Peg — I usually thin it with a little chicken broth and it works beautifully.

  • I was wondering is there a way to make your broccoli puree without dairy?

    The crowd I would be making it for has several who are lactose intolerant.

    Thank you so much!

    • Sure, Susan. You can use margarine instead of the butter and just omit the sour cream. Enjoy!

    • Miyoko’s makes an incredible vegan butter. I’m not vegan and I prefer it as a butter replacement! I would use it in the second half of the recipe that calls for adding butter off heat.

  • My husband and I loved this! We’re always looking for ways to eat more vegetables and this is a welcome variation from our usual steamed broccoli.

  • This is delicious. Made as written, added Pimente d ‘ espalette for a little spice. Very pretty dish, made a nice presentation.

    • — Karen Calanchini
    • Reply
  • Do you think Greek yoghurt would work in lieu of sour cream?

    • Yep 🙂

      • *I made it as an alternative to mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving and used greek yoghurt instead of sour cream.

  • Made this for dinner tonight and my toddler asked for thirds!! Easy, simple and made eating dinner tonight a breeze for this mama. Thank you!!

  • Wow! Surprisingly delicious!!! 🙂

  • Can this be frozen? I will definitely be trying this recioe- like all of the others I am sure it will be great. I love your cookbook and gave it to my son and now daughter-in-law!

    • So glad you love the cookbook, Judy! And, yes, you can definitely freeze this. 🙂

  • I can’t believe how GOOD this is!! Made it tonight. I am a huge fan of cauliflower puree and this beats it. I am following Keto and this is so nice. Vegetables aren’t easy to do in interesting and flavourful ways; but this is a winner. Will be a go-to for sure. Thanks!!

  • Thank you Jenn for another vegetarian dish. Just made it for lunch and was very satisfying indeed and a great twist on broccoli! Will definitely follow the previous reviewer’s advice and add beans and maybe lentils. Only been vegetarian 7 months so every new recipe helps.

  • Hi Jenn ,
    This brocoli dish looks great and I can’t wait to try it . I was wondering if I might be able to use my Vitamix instead of a food processor which I don’t have .


    • Hi Lyn, it may work but I’m not 100% sure — I worry that the recipe doesn’t have enough liquid to blend well in a Vitamix. If you try it I’d love to hear how it turns out! 🙂

  • Hi Jenn,
    This broccoli recipe is very versatile, I toss this with a short pasta noodle like bowtie with white beans and it makes a quick diner. Love all your recipes.

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