8 Tasty Ways to Use Broccoli Stems

Love broccoli but hate throwing away the stalks? I’ve got you covered with 8 creative and tasty ways to use broccoli stems.

Okay, I’m going to be totally real with you, I HATE wasting food. Not only do I feel horrible because I know having access to good, healthy food is a luxury, but it pains me to toss food that I paid good money for! Whenever I’m cooking a meal, I always try to be innovative in using every part of the ingredients I’m cooking with. It’s so important to try and be conscientious of how much you’re leaving as waste, and in an effort to combat that, I thought I’d give you a couple of ways to use something we’ve all been guilty of tossing away: broccoli stems.

Broccoli stalks chopped on a table without the floret.

It’s easy to forget that broccoli stems are just as (if not more) important than the florets. They’re packed full with calcium, iron, and Vitamin A – so when you’re throwing these babies away, you’re also missing out all of those awesome nutrients. Let’s fix that! I always feel so much better when I’m able to use every part of the ingredients I’m cooking with, and I bet you will too.

Broccoli stalks chopped into pieces and sitting in a bowl.

Here are some of my all-time favorite things to do with broccoli stems or stalks:

Broccoli stems being made into noodles through a spiralizer.

Spiralize broccoli stalks to make noodles: 

You guys know I love any excuse to use my spiralizer, and that definitely includes whipping up a batch of broccoli stem noodles. I’ve found that broccoli stem noodles are thicker than the typical zucchini noodles that I’m used to, but I actually kind of prefer the texture they add to a dish. If you want to try it out for yourself, check out my broccoli noodle stir-fry which uses the broccoli stems and florets and has an added protein-boost from shrimp!

Make broccoli rice:

You’ve likely tried cauliflower rice before, but have you tried broccoli rice? It’s so yummy and easy to make! Just use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer layer of the stalks. Chop into even chunks, about 2 inches long. Place the chunk into a food processor and pulse for a few seconds, just until the pieces are about the size of rice.

Bowl of broccoli stem hummus on a plate with raw broccoli for dipping.

Make hummus:

This one is simple. Blend the stalks up into a thick and delicious Broccoli Stem Hummus . . . perfect for dipping!

Make vegetable broth:

Before you throw away your broccoli stems, consider adding them in with some other vegetables to make a homemade veggie broth. They’re also the perfect addition to broccoli soup! Instead of only using the broccoli florets, chop up the broccoli stems and toss it in along with the rest of your ingredients.

Add the chopped stems to anything for an added texture:

I like adding broccoli stems to scrambled eggs, frittatas or casserole-type dishes. The stems can be tossed into just about anything and will automatically give whatever you’re cooking a heartier texture.

Add them to soup or stew:

Chopped broccoli stems are a great addition to soups and stews. Bonus veggies! Try using broccoli stems in place of cauliflower in my Mexican Sweet Potato Soup.

Broccoli stem salad with black pepper.

recipe and photo by Sher Castelleno

Make a salad:

My love for salads has me obsessed with how pretty and delicious this Simple Broccoli Stem Salad with Black Pepper Crumbs looks. Can’t wait to try it!

Roast it:

Roasting is by far the best way to cook veggies, IMO . . . and broccoli stems are tasty roasted too. I’ve been eyeing this Crispy Roasted Broccoli with Tahini Sauce that incorporates most of the stem into the dish!

And if you want my easy go-to recipe, try my broccoli noodle stir-fry below!

Broccoli Noodle Stir-Fry

5 from 1 vote
This broccoli noodle stir-fry uses the entire head of broccoli – stems and florets! Just spiralize the stalks to create broccoli noodles and use them as a base for this low-calorie  meal.
Healthy, broccoli noodle stir fry in a skillet with broccoli, carrots, peppers and teriyaki shrimp.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons avocado, coconut or olive oil
  • 2 medium stalks of broccoli, look for thick, large stalks
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 4-5 Tablespoons teriyaki sauce, store-bought or use the recipe below
  • Optional: sriracha, for topping

Teriyaki Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ⁄4 cup low-sodium tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1 ⁄2 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced

Instructions
 

  • Make teriyaki sauce: whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Measure out 4-5 tablespoons, set aside.
  • Make broccoli stem noodles: chop florets from the stems leaving as much stalk as possible. Place stalk/stem(s) on spiralizer and spiralize into noodles. Set aside.
  • Add shrimp to large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Sauté shrimp for 4-5 minutes or until pink and no longer translucent. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Discard any leftover liquid in the skillet. Add 2 teaspoons oil to skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, garlic, ginger and broccoli noodles to the skillet. Sauté for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper while cooking. Add broccoli florets to the pan and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until broccoli starts to soften and turns bright green.
  • Add shrimp back into the pan, along with the teriyaki sauce and toss to coat. Top with sriracha before serving, if using.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 of recipe Calories: 335kcal Carbohydrates: 37g Protein: 41g Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 330mg Fiber: 11g Sugar: 14g
Course: Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: broccoli noodle stir-fry

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

Please leave a comment and star rating on this post and share on social media using the hashtag #eatingbirdfood. I love seeing your recipe shares!

So there ya have it — 8 different ways to use your broccoli stems! Let me know which one you’re going to try first!

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Recipe Rating




    14 comments
    1. Yolande
      May 9, 2020 AT 4:42 pm

      Often at the grocery store I see only the broccoli crown for sale. What happen to the stem does it go in the garbage? I have never seen no broccoli stem for sale no were? One thing is for sure I never buy broccoli crown I go to a store were they have the whole broccoli because it is so good. Plus the crown is always more expensive Why pay more to have less!

    2. Trotter
      April 22, 2020 AT 7:33 am

      It is an awesome recipe. I like oily food. Can I add here a little bit more oil in this recipe?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 22, 2020 AT 1:30 pm

        Sure!!

    3. Kristi
      February 9, 2020 AT 11:44 am

      Haha. I never understood why people threw these out. Even when my mom would make steamed broccoli as a side when I was a child, she always included the stem (peeled). In fact, at the time, I preferred it to the crown! I always include it in any meal that calls for broccoli. I just peel and cut the stem into little coins and add it with the florets. My husband often leaves the stems in the fridge when he’s cooking because he doesn’t feel like peeling them. That just means that we have extra stem when I’m cooking, or I add it to the food processor with the cabbage when I make coleslaw. There is never a reason not to use the stem. 😂

    4. rohit aggarwal
      December 26, 2019 AT 3:14 am

      thank you eatingbirdfood for giving me wonderful information

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 26, 2019 AT 9:08 pm

        So glad you found this post helpful, Rohit! Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. I so appreciate it!

    5. amel snv
      November 26, 2019 AT 10:44 am

      Thank you for saying it.

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