When you pick the right spices for steamed broccoli, it can be elevated from a plain and boring side dish to an aromatic experience.
If you’re looking for more flavor in your steam-sautéed vegetables, I know exactly what those vibrant flavors can be – spices!
In this article, I am going to give you the rundown of my favorite 10 spices that pair wonderfully with steamed broccoli so that you can elevate it and get creative in the kitchen.
From dried herbs like thyme, garlic powder, and oregano, to flavorful blends like curry powder and garam masala – these unique spice mixes will add a piquant balance of savory depth and complementary sweetness to any salad or main dish.
You won’t have to wait long either – all of the seasonings are easy enough that they come together quickly!
Get ready to taste wonderful steamed broccoli like never before.
1. Garlic powder
Garlic powder is a great ingredient to keep around in your pantry as it can be used to add flavor and aroma to dishes.
It’s made from garlic cloves that have been dehydrated, then ground and processed into fine particles.
The taste of garlic powder is notably sweeter than fresh-chopped garlic, with a more subtle garlicky flavor that doesn’t overpower the other flavors in a dish.
Furthermore, you won’t get any of the caramelly undertones like they come with roasted or sautéed variations of garlic.
For steamed broccoli, I’d suggest using 1/4 teaspoon for every 2 cups of florets.
You might find it necessary to adjust according to personal preference – if you’re looking for stronger flavor, add a bit more each time until you achieve your desired taste!
2. Onion powder
Onion powder is a great addition to any dish because it provides the same flavor as fresh onions, but with a concentrated and intense flavor profile.
It can be used as an alternative to fresh onions, especially when you don’t have them on hand or when they are out of season.
Onion powder comes in different varieties like yellow onion, red onion, scallion, and shallot which all have equal amounts of nutrient content.
But how much should you add?
To give your steamed broccoli some extra flavor without being overwhelming, a quarter teaspoon is usually sufficient for one cup of vegetables.
Of course, this all depends on personal preference – if you want more robust flavors feel free to adjust accordingly!
You might find that adding a pinch into your dressing or sauces makes for a pleasant explosion in taste!
Dried thyme has a wonderful flavor that can’t be beaten.
It has an earthy, minty taste and a subtle sweetness, with hints of lavender or rosemary.
The balance is light but flavorful – it’s not overpowering like oregano or rosemary can sometimes be.
To enjoy this delightful blend of flavors to its full potential, I recommend adding between 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of dried thyme when steaming broccoli and other veggies.
The precise amount you add depends on the size of your batch of broccoli as well as personal preference – so I suggest starting small, then adjusting according to taste.
While dried thyme certainly packs a punch in terms of flavor, fresh is even better!
Leaving sprigs intact can give dishes more texture and extra flavor that sizzles right up until the last bite.
4. Dried oregano
Dried oregano is one of the essential kitchen spices, praised for its distinct flavor that enlivens dishes.
It has a definitely pungent taste and aroma associated with it, composed of earthy/musty, green, hay, and minty notes.
It tends to have slightly bitter and astringent undertones as well.
The amount of oregano you add to your steamed broccoli will depend on your preferred level of flavor.
To make a classic Mediterranean-style recipe for steamed broccoli with oregano (a favorite side dish in many homes), I recommend adding 2-3 teaspoonfuls of finely ground dried oregano or about 1 tablespoon if fresh oregano leaves are used.
You could start off with just 1 teaspoonful and taste it first; adjust accordingly from there!
Paprika is a type of spice made from grinding different varieties of peppers.
Depending on which variety you purchase, the flavor can range from mild and sweet to spicy, fiery hot, or even smoky.
The most common type is sweet paprika – it has a vibrant red color but with only a hint of spiciness.
If you’re looking for heat without adding too much flavor then Hungarian paprika is best; meanwhile Spanish smoked paprika will give food an altogether unique smoky taste.
When using paprika to season steamed broccoli, start off by sprinkling some over cooked vegetables before serving them.
You don’t need to use a lot as its intense flavor can overpower the dish if added in too quickly or heavily; somewhere between 1/4-1/2 teaspoon should be enough for 1-2 cups of steamed broccoli!
6. Curry powder
Curry powder is a unique combination of savory and sweet spices that create an intense and flavorful blend.
Savory spices like cumin, turmeric, and bay leaf give the curry a deep, earthy flavor while sweet spices, such as cinnamon and clove, add brightness with a hint of sweetness to offset the heat.
Additionally, the level of spiciness largely depends on the type (and amount!) of pepper used in creating the blend.
When it comes to deciding how much curry powder you should use in your dishes; this will depend on personal preference.
If you’re adding curry powder to steamed broccoli for example, start off with about 1/4 teaspoon for light flavoring then increase as needed depending on how strong you want it to be – but keep in mind that a little can go a long way!
7. Ground ginger
Ground ginger has a signature flavor that sets it apart from the fresh root.
It offers just a hint of sweetness with some pepper spiciness – much milder than its fresh counterpart.
Plus, high-quality ground ginger will have a stronger and more intense flavor, making it remarkably similar to the taste of freshly grated or shredded ginger.
When cooking with ground ginger, use about ¼ teaspoon per two cups of food for a subtle hint.
If you want more hearty flavors in your steamed broccoli, add ½ teaspoon per two cups instead.
Ground ginger also pairs well with sweeter fruits like apples and pears, so feel free to experiment with different types of dishes and see what works best for you!
8. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper may be small in size and appearance but it contains a powerful punch!
Its main flavor is defined by a hot, fiery sensation that pleases the taste buds and adds heat to any dish.
Despite how potent it can be in quantity, cayenne has a mild aroma that should mix well with an array of flavors.
Though this pepper brings fire and fun to many dishes, caution must be taken to ensure the right amount is used.
In other words, use it sparingly – too much cayenne can ruin a meal while just enough will give food complexity of flavor!
To add some spice to steamed broccoli, start slow; begin with 1/2 teaspoon and work your way up from there depending on preference.
Once you find the perfect balance for your palette then you’re good to go!
9. Garam masala
Garam masala is one of the oldest luxury spice blends out there.
It dates back to medieval India and has a unique, warm flavor profile with many layers of spices.
Depending on who’s making it, you’ll likely get hints of cinnamon, cloves, or peppercorns – sometimes even cumin!
Many chefs will best describe its taste as ‘warm’ and fragrant.
Garam masala isn’t just for curries though – try a pinch in roasted vegetables like carrots or cauliflower — you’ll really be able to pick up the flavors.
This same spice blend gives pizzas an earthy depth; sprinkle it over your next margherita pie!
When adding garam masala to steamed broccoli, start off by using a tiny amount – either as a light sprinkle or in a few pinches — because too much can overwhelm the dish instead of enhancing the flavors.
10. Black pepper
Black pepper has an unmistakable sharp, penetrating aroma and piquant flavor.
While it brings warmth, depth, and a beautiful woody-piney flare that instantly wakes up any dish, it also has a hot and biting taste that shouldn’t be overlooked.
In terms of how much black pepper should be added to steamed broccoli – my suggestion is 1/4 teaspoon per head of broccoli to give your veggie dish the right kick without overpowering the flavor or making it too acidic for your palate.
Start with this amount for mild intensity, if you want more heat add in increments until you find what works best for you.
Black pepper can quickly heighten the intensity of other spices so play around with moderation!
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10 Best Spices for Steamed Broccoli
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Dried oregano
- Curry powder
- Ground ginger
- Cayenne pepper
- Garam masala
- Black pepper
- Pick your favorite spices from this collection to use with your steamed broccoli.
- Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
- Enjoy in no time!