Braised Broccoli with Orange and Parmesan

A simple one-pan broccoli recipe I've made three times in the past ten days. Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, orange juice, and oregano deliver a wild ride of big flavor.

Braised Broccoli with Orange and Parmesan

I discovered this gem of a braised broccoli recipe in a round about way.  It’s the sort of thing you can throw together on a weeknight, in a single pan, with next to no fuss or time commitment. It incorporates a blast of orange and a bit of fresh oregano into a tomato base, and is finished with a sprinkling of cheese. I added some crunchy toasted almonds because I couldn't help myself. Simple, vibrant, and amazing.

braised broccoli with orange and parmesan served on a plate

Let’s talk about how I ended up cooking this recipe on repeat.  I saw an old friend, Lucy Attwater when she came through San Francisco for a photoshoot. Lucy and I met when she was the stylist on a feature I did with Whole Living Magazine. Thankfully, we kept in touch over the years! That night we were chatting over drinks, and she was telling me about a fantastic shoot she'd just come from related to True Food Kitchen. Ditte Isager was the photographer and the cookbook was related to Dr. Weil's restaurants. It sounded great, I made a mental note to keep an eye out for the book - but as many of you know, these things can take time and the book wouldn’t be published for months.

A year and some passes, and I was emailing with Sebastian Beckwith (a friend who runs In Pursuit of Tea). He mentioned that he was having dinner at Ganso, a Ramen / Japanese Comfort Food restaurant opened by a mutual friend. He was there with Dr. Weil, who btw, has a fantastic new book out - True Food.

True Food Dr. Weil

I was clearly meant to track down a copy and spend time with this book. So I did. It has been out on my counter for a few weeks now, filled with inspired, clean-eating recipes, beautiful photography & design. It is printed on uncoated paper and beautifully done on many fronts. I think it will resonate with many of you. 

I’m including a sampling of spreads from the book here so you can get a sense of the project. Many of the recipes in it are wonderful, but the Braised Broccoli with Orange and Parmesan (recipe below) was the breakaway hit in our kitchen, and I've cooked it three times in the past ten days.
True Food Dr. Weil
True Food Dr. Weil
True Food Dr. Weil
True Food Dr. Weil

Braised Broccoli: Serving Ideas

Today's recipe is a fantastic, versatile recipe and a power side. Here are a few of the ways we’ve enjoyed it.

washing broccoli in large bowl of water

More Broccoli Recipes

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Braised Broccoli with Orange and Parmesan

5 from 1 vote

I've been using fire-roasted tomatoes here, and they're extra delicious. I also can't help but at a few almonds for a bit of crunch.

  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 14- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 head of broccoli or broccolini, florets and stalks trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat combine the orange juice and tomatoes.
  2. Bring to a boil and stir in the broccoli. Stir in the oregano and red pepper flakes, then cook until the broccoli is just tender and bright green - a couple minutes. Do your best to avoid overcooking the broccoli.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the cheese and almonds before serving.

Serves 4-6 as a side.

Adapted from True Food: True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure by Andrew Weil, M.D., Sam Fox, and Michael Stebner

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating


Waouh, this looks so delicious!


I have just completed this recipe and the results are rewarding; it’s delicious and much healthier than using pasta. However, I found cooking the broccoli in the tomato sauce was problematic; very difficult to see ‘bright green’ and it took about six minutes for the florets and stem pieces to soften while remaining tender/crisp. Next time I will steam the broccoli which is much easier to cook to perfection and then add it to a herbal and spiced sauce. Also, while I had Parmigiano Reggiano on hand, I was out of almonds and walnuts so I substituted toasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds.


Looks like a fabulous match, broccoli, orange and Parmesan! Will try it for sure!


Heidi thank you for the inspiration. My son loves broccoli and I made this tonight with a few variations–didn’t have an orange so I used some lemon juice and a little bit of reduced apple cider for sweetness and I added some minced garlic. We had creamy polenta with it and it was one of my favorite dinners of the last few weeks. Thank you!

Katherine D.

Just went to Ganso on and had the privilege meeting the owner! Thanks for the great recommendation! We loved it.

HS: Happy to hear it Kami! Can’t wait to visit on my next visit to NY.


This was a wonderful recipe–thank you so much for sharing it! I wasn’t sure about the tomato/broccoli combo, but it was spectacular. So much so, I can’t wait to make it again. I think the key is, as you said, cooking the broccoli until just crisp tender (reminds me of great Thai food). I think this also would be good with chopped cashews. Would love to use the sauce on spaghetti squash. Ahhh…the possibilities!


I am so intrigued by your open faced avocado tartine! Any chance you will post about this? Happy Holidays Heidi!!


I love your posts you have such a great selection of ingredients. Not many cook that way.


I have not cooked broccoli in quite some time – it will return to the table in my house now with this intriguing blend of flavors and textures. The almonds are a perfect touch!

Kendall @ Dharma Feast

This looked good but I had 2 thumbs down of the 3 who ate it. I halved the tomatoes because a 14 oz can was overkill for a head of broccoli. I liked it, but won’t make it again.

HS: Sorry to hear that Timbo! Maybe give it a try with cauliflower or even asparagus when it is in season?


I just made this recipe yesterday, it was delicious, I used dried oregano, couldn’t find fresh one. Definetly will do it again!! Thanks Heidi!!


Thanks for telling me about that book, I wasn’t familiar with it – great thing to put on my list to Santa!


I have a head of broccoli languishing in my fridge and a fruit bowl full of oranges, so now dinner is all set for me. Gorgeous recipe, and I can’t wait to check out Dr. Weil’s book!

Sara @ The Cozy Herbivore

This looks absolutely delicious and up my street! For a vegan version would you use a nut-nutritional yeast parmesan replacer or just add a few more almonds and more salt? I don’t want to miss out! And Leah’s suggestion above sounds delish too!


I took the recipe in a bit of a different direction and used coconut milk and fresh roma tomatoes in place of the canned ones. It was fantastic!!


I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. I’ve flipped through it at B&N many times now, and it is certainly gorgeous. I actually worked at True Food, the restaurant, for awhile and became even more attracted to eating a more anti inflammatory diet the more I learned about it. All to say, it’s wonderful and I’m so glad to read your review.

sara forte

I made this for lunch, I used fresh cut tomatoes and tall organic broccoli stalks. I cooked the sliced stalks longer, and the leaves were last. It was perfect! My boyfriend even slowed down as he inhaled it and gave a moment of happy contemplation of the flavors.
Lovely recipe, A keeper for sure.

Mandy Jene

I had my doubts when reading the recipe (tomato and orange?) but forged ahead bravely. It’s a keeper! Delicious! My husband and I enjoyed it a lot. I zested the orange before I juiced it, and stirred the zest in after adding the broccoli, so it wouldn’t cook too much. I toasted the sliced almonds in a small heavy skillet and then let them cool slightly. Used a potato peeler to get some Parm shavings, and ta-da!


Is Parmigiano-Reggiano a vegetarian cheese? If not, has any substitute?
Thanks for a lovely recipe!
HS: Hi Mochi – the traditional kind is typically made with animal rennet, but where I live Parmesan-style cheese is available made with vegetable rennet. You could certainly swap in the cheese of your liking here.


I just made this to go with baked cod for our dinner tonight. It was delicious–the orange gave a light, refreshing tone, and the red pepper flakes added just enough heat to keep it intriguing. (I used 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed OJ plus a little bit of orange zest. I also forgot the olive oil). THANK YOU for sharing the recipe, Heidi! You’re such an inspiration to me 🙂


OK, I am really trying to imagine the taste here, but I cannot get over the pairing Orange/Parmesan, although even the pairing orange/tomato makes me think… and broccoli with tomato too sounds incredibly ‘unfamiliar’. Maybe I am too much of an Italian limited by my taste buds and tradition, but I don’t think that I would ever have the courage to make this :-). But if you made it three times already, and liked it, I am curious and I would probably taste it if someone else made it and offered it to me (thus hoping that they wouldn’t expect me to eat a full plate of it!). Where is Dr Weil from?


Broccoli with almonds, I’ve done. Broccoli with parmesan, I’ve done. Broccoli with orange, I’ve never even considered. Thanks for always pushing us just a little farther!

Ruthie @ the tasty tRuth

This cookbook looks amazing! I just added it to my Christmas list. I can’t wait to try this dish. Broccoli is a family favorite.

Kim at Cook With 2 Chicks

This cookbook is right up my alley and it sounds like the two of you had a wonderful time getting to know each other. The parmesan and broccoli sound wonderful together and the whole thing looks so fresh and nutritious! Can’t wait to pick up a copy of the book!

Julia {The Roasted Root}

OMG this looks DELICIOUS! I’m stealing this and making it for a friend’s house warming party this weekend… 🙂


Braised Broccoli with orange and Parmesan ,what a great idea.
I would never have thought of this combo
Thanks for sharing


You know, I would not have thought to combine broccoli and orange, but this sounds fantastic! Yay! 🙂


Tried this last night and wow, what a great combination of sweet and salty with the parm and citrus. Loved it!

Scott @ The Healthy Eating Guide

This looks and sounds so yummy!

Monica Justesen Photography

Sounds like a nice dish for tonight’s easy weeknight meal, and my children LOVE broccoli, which we have at least once a week. Btw Heidi, I could not wait until Christmas, so I picked up your “Super Natural Every Day” book over the weekend and we have already made your Multigrain Pancakes, Chanterelles Tacos, Black Sesame Otsu over the Thanksgiving break and they were all so easy and delicious. I cannot wait to try more recipes soon, I have been eyeing at your Macaroon Tart. THANK YOU TONS for sharing your passion for food & cooking with us all. Back to my kitchen now to prep for my classes. Good day! 🙂

Ketmala's Kitchen

I’ve been eyeing this book the last few weeks…thanks for the inspiration to put it on my Xmas list!

Suzanne @ RollWithIt

I love Andrew’s work; this looks amazing, Heidi! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

The Healthy Apple

Lovely! Thanks so much for this idea and for sharing what looks to be a wonderful cookbook.

Kelly Turnbull

The True Food book is gorgeous and so full of delicious recipes, I’m enjoying cooking from it regularly…that is, when I’m not cooking from a HS recipe!


This looks absolutely delicious! Broccoli is one of my favorites!

Sweet Tooth

This truly looks like the ideal way to enjoy broccoli! And it’ a beautiful dish, too!


Yum! I just picked up some broccoli and was needing some inspiration–thanks! 🙂


What a gorgeous dish! The flavor profile is amazing. Looks like a beautiful cookbook, too!

Little Kitchie

This is such a fabulous looking side. Yum!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Mmm broccoli and orange, what a combo!

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan

I would never think to add orange to a dish like this but it looks great!

Simply Life

You + this book = destiny
Love this recipe idea and thanks for adding something to my holiday wish list!

Sarah @ Two Blue Lemons

It’s about to jump from summer into spring here in Australia and that dish sounds like the perfect way to end a long warm day. Thanks! x Em and Rog

Em and Rog

I normally have broccoli with white sause but that looks delicious


Cookbook looks fantastic! you always inspire Heidi. just curious – when you post a recipe from a cookbook do you need permission or is credit enough as you always do? I notice many books don’t allow for reproduction which is usually noted inside the book. I only ask this because I have a vegan lifestyle blog and want to know the boundries. I cook from your books all the time always pleased.
HS: Thanks Diana! I typically request permission from the publisher. Unless I do a significant adaptation or rewriting of the recipe – and in those cases I note the original inspiration.


That book looks gorgeous! Is there a good amount of vegetarian recipes? It might just be the next book on my cookbook shelf! And the broccoli! I love making a meal of broccoli and will do it in any number of ways. I just happen to have all of the ingredients for this on hand, and I think it’ll make a fine dinner tonight. Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

Katie (The Muffin Myth)

Wonderful and healthy looking salad. I love the added crunch of almonds. The book looks beautiful too. It might have to go on my Christmas list 🙂


I never tire of broccoli, and am always looking for new ways to prepare it. The combination of orange juice and tomato is intriguing. That cookbook is absolutely gorgeous and I’ll keep my eye out for it.

la domestique

I love True Food Kitchen! It’s one of my favorite cookbooks this year. Love the additions of citrus and almonds to this broccoli dish – definitely a must-try! 🙂

Anjali @ The Picky Eater

I love Andrew Weil. This cookbook looks absolutely incredible as does your braised broccoli.

Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

Such an easy and convenient dish! And it reminds me of those simple pasta dishes – but with broccoli instead of pasta. Lovely.

leaf (the indolent cook)

The cookbook looks beautiful – great images and recipes and the actual book itself looks like a really nice cookbook!
And I love broccoli and cabbages with citrus – great recipe!

Averie @ Averie Cooks

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