Steamed Broccoli with Lemon and Curry Mayo is a great recipe for busy cooks who want a delicious side dish in just minutes. In fact, it’s so easy to make that I often turned to it while camping in our Airstream. Make sure to try this recipe out soon; it’s going to quickly become a favorite among your friends and family.

Table of Contents
  1. Steamed Broccoli Made Easy
  2. What You’ll Need
  3. Swaps and Substitutions
  4. Tips on How to Steam Broccoli Perfectly Every Time
  5. How to make Curry Mayo at Home
  6. Steamed Broccoli with Lemon & Curry Mayo Serving Suggestions
  7. Steamed Broccoli FAQs
  8. Steamed Broccoli with Lemon & Curry Mayo

Steamed Broccoli Made Easy

Broccoli was one of my mom’s favorite vegetables. Why? Well, it’s readily available at the grocery store, quick and easy to prepare, good for you and full of both fresh flavor and vibrant color. She often would just steam or roast it, but occasionally she wanted to jazz it up a bit – so she created this 3 ingredient sauce of mayonnaise, sour cream and curry powder. I’ve modified it a bit, switching out the sour cream for nonfat Greek yogurt. This Indian-inspired sauce adds a bit of tang and earthy spice to the sweet, flavorful steamed broccoli – a perfect pairing!

white bowl holding curry mayo sauce with a spoon on the side and broccoli in the background

What You’ll Need

Here’s all you’ll need to make this quick and easy broccoli recipe:

  • Fresh broccoli
  • Mayonnaise
  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Curry powder
  • Lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)

In terms of equipment, you’ll need a steamer basket that fits inside a large saucepan or Instant Pot cooker.

Swaps and Substitutions

  • If you can’t find good quality fresh broccoli, substitute frozen.
  • In place of water, steam the broccoli with chicken or vegetable broth for added flavor.
  • To make this recipe your own, add toasted sesame seeds, chopped walnuts or pecans just before serving.
  • A sprinkle of chopped cooked bacon would be delicious.
  • Lastly, you could omit the curry sauce and add some grated Parmesan cheese instead!
overhead shot of white plate holding steamed broccoli drizzled with curry mayo sauce, with more sauce on the side

Tips on How to Steam Broccoli Perfectly Every Time

Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable that contains lots of vitamins and minerals. And, when steamed properly, it becomes tender and delicious. Here are some tips for cooking broccoli perfectly every time, either in a steamer basket or in an Instant Pot (see detailed instructions by cooking method in the recipe card below).

1. Buy Fresh Broccoli

Fresh broccoli is best, but frozen broccoli also works well. To ensure freshness, stalks should be firm and straight, with no sign of wilting or yellowing. Stalks and leaves should be bright green in color, florets tight and dark green.

2. Cut into Broccoli Florets

Starting with a fresh head of broccoli, cut the broccoli florets off from the stalk, leaving some of the stem. Then slice the larger florets in half or quarters. Cutting the broccoli into  pieces helps it cook faster and more evenly. You can peel and slice the stalks into 1/2-inch pieces and steam them, too – or save them for another use (like Healthy Broccoli Soup).

3. Steam Broccoli Properly – Don’t Overcook

Place in steamer basket (over boiling water in a covered saucepan or in an Instant Pot) and steam broccoli until it turns bright green and just starts to soften. Don’t overcook it; broccoli should be crisp tender (I provide recommended times in the recipe card).

4. Season With Lemon Juice

Lemon juice gives broccoli a bright citrusy flavor. Sprinkle a squeeze of lemon juice over cooked broccoli right after removing it from the heat.

white plate holding steamed broccoli drizzled with curry mayo

How to make Curry Mayo at Home

Curry Mayo is a popular condiment used in Indian cuisine. It is made by combining yogurt with a variey of spices. My mom came up with her own easier version of this savory sauce that you can easily make at home. And, it only has 3 ingredients! Simply stir together Greek yogurt (or sour cream, that’s what mom used), mayonnaise and curry powder. How easy is that? (Specifics provided in the recipe card below).

Steamed Broccoli with Lemon & Curry Mayo Serving Suggestions

This versatile side dish goes with almost any grilled, roasted or sautéed main dish. Here are a few recommendations to try:

Steamed Broccoli FAQs

How do I Choose Broccoli?

1. Look for Firm Stalks. Broccoli stalks should be firm and straight, with no sign of wilting or yellowing. They should be bright green in color.

2. Check the Leaves. Look for bright green leaves that aren’t wilted or browned.

3. Check the Florets. They should be compact and dark green, with no yellow or brown spots.

How Do I Store Broccoli?

Store fresh broccoli in the refrigerator, in a loose bag to allow air to circulate around it. If you want it to last for several days, place the end of the stalk in a glass of water and loosely cover with a plastic baggie (this is also how I store my fresh parsley and cilantro).

How Long Does it Take to Steam Broccoli?

Depending on the size of the florets and your altitude, it will take around 4 to 6 minutes to steam broccoli in steamer basket over around 1 inch of boiling water, in a covered saucepan.

Can I Steam Frozen Broccoli?

Yes you can steam frozen broccoli. Total cook time will be 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the florets, your altitude and how crispy you like broccoli.

Print
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white plate holding steamed broccoli with lemon and curry mayo sauce

Steamed Broccoli with Lemon & Curry Mayo

Steamed Broccoli with Lemon and Curry Mayo is a great recipe for busy cooks who want a delicious side dish in just minutes. In fact, it’s so easy to make that I often turned to it while camping in our Airstream. Make sure to try this recipe out soon; it’s going to quickly become a favorite among your friends and family.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  •  teaspoon curry powder, or more to taste
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together mayonnaise, yogurt (or sour cream) and curry powder. Cover and refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend.
  2. Cut broccoli into florets; save stems for another use.

A. Steamer Basket in Saucepan Method

  1. Place florets in a steaming rack over boiling water; cover and steam for 7 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender (time needed depends on size of florets and altitude where you live).

B. Instant Pot Method

  1.  Pour 1 1/2 to 2 cups water into inner pot of cooker. Insert steamer basket (water should be below the basket). Place florets in basket; seal. Set on Pressure Cook for 0 minutes. As soon as the timer beeps, quick release the steam.

Serving

  1. Place broccoli on a serving platter or individual dinner plates.
  2. Squeeze fresh lemon over the top.
  3. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. Spoon some sauce over the top, passing remaining sauce on the side.
     

Notes

Make ahead: Sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered and refrigerated.

Roasted broccoli variation: Place broccoli florets in a bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir broccoli; continue cooking for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, or until crisp-tender.

  • Author: From “Fresh Tastes” by Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: Side dishes
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 237
  • Sugar: 2.5 g
  • Sodium: 371.4 mg
  • Fat: 21.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.1 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 4.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 12.1 mg
white plate holding steamed broccoli with lemon and curry mayo sauce

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About the author

Hi, I'm Lee.

I am inspired by my mother, Sally’s, love of cooking and entertaining to gather friends and family together over great meals and conversation. In fact, I held my first dinner party at the age of 16. Throughout the years, I haves provided recipes, menu advice and cooking tips to friends seeking uncomplicated and delicious ideas for home entertaining.


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  1. wonderfully flavorful recipe as written. went with your mom’s sour cream as I already had that. perfect curried dish I served with branzino. thanks for sharing