How to Cook Broccoli Stalks

by Joshua McCarron

The woody stalks of broccoli can be peeled and eaten.

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The bright green, tightly packed florets on the top of a head of broccoli are what most people think of when broccoli is on the menu. However, although the tougher stalks that act as a base for the florets are often thrown away, they can be eaten too. Broccoli stalks may be eaten alone or added as an ingredient to different dishes. Woody broccoli stalks require some extra care and maintenance to get them ready for eating.

Steam the broccoli stems. Place a pot containing 2 inches of water on your stovetop and bring the water to a boil. Peel your broccoli stalks with a vegetable peeler and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Place the stalks into a steamer basket. Set the basket on top of the pot and cover it to steam the broccoli for three to five minutes or until the stalks are tender. Add the florets for the last two minutes if you are eating them too.

Boil the broccoli stems. Peel the broccoli stalks with a vegetable peeler and add them to boiling water. Boil the stalks for two to three minutes before adding the florets. Boil the broccoli for two more minutes and drain in a colander before serving.

Sauté the broccoli stems. Peel the broccoli stalks with a vegetable peeler. Slice each broccoli stalk into small, ¼-inch medallions and add them to a wok. Stir-fry the broccoli with other firm vegetables, like carrots, in a stir-fry dish.


  • Add boiled or steamed broccoli stalks to a blender with the florets, stock and cream to make a base for cream of broccoli soup.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Joshua McCarron has been writing both online and offline since 1995. He has been employed as a copywriter since 2005 and in that position has written numerous blogs, online articles, websites, sales letters and news releases. McCarron graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor's degree in English.