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