How To Blanch Broccoli And Other Vegetables


Here's a way to cook vegetables ahead of time without having mushy vegetables for dinner. Blanching vegetables is a cook ahead technique that's good for broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, green beans, and asparagus.


Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil.  In a large bowl, fill with half ice and water.

Cut up the veggies while you wait for the water to boil.  Carefully, add in vegetables and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, only until they're slightly cooked through and tender.

To test, remove a piece with a slotted spoon, dip it into the ice bath to cool quickly, then eat it.  If the test is good then scoop out vegetables quickly and immediately move to the ice bath.

Keep the vegetables in the ice bath just until they've cooled, about 20 to 30 seconds.  Remove vegetables, drain in a colander, and set aside until ready to serve.

To reheat, heat a little oil or butter in a saute pan.  If using butter, allow the butter to brown a little for a nutty flavor.  Add in vegetables, salt and pepper and other spices to taste.  Continue over heat until vegetables are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remember, you're not cooking them, you're reheating them.

That's it.  Super quick, super tasty and not a mushy vegetable in sight.

Extra Cook Ahead Tip

You can also boil and chill pasta this way, for cold pasta dishes or for pasta you plan to reheat later.

  • Ben

    I had heard of that method before but I have never used it. I think it’s time for me to start doing that. Thanks for the tip!

    • You’re welcome, Ben! This time, I used broccoli, seasoned with garlic pepper. Next time, I going for asparagus with finely, grated Parmesan cheese.

  • Thks for a great tip.
    Sometimes dinner comes in 2 sessions for us, ie my son and I eat first and then much later when my hubby comes home from work, I’ll cook another batch just for him.
    I’ll try this today. Thks 🙂

    • Hi Rita!
      We have dinners like that on occasion. Soups and stews are perfect for those nights. You’re right about the veggies. Nobody wants to eat overcooked veggies. You’re a good woman to provide your husband with a hot meal when he arrives home. That’s real love.

  • Jenny

    Thank you for this tip! I am having company over for fondu later today and want everything done ahead of time.
    I will try this method and just reheat when they arrive. :):)

  • Hi Jenny!
    I love fondu! My girlfriend has an electric fondu pot that I’m secretly coveting. I figure so long as she keeps inviting me over for fondu, I won’t need to buy one. ;D

    Have fun today!

  • If you have leftover blanched broccoli, you can always freeze it and save for stir fries and pasta dishes…

    Read How To Freeze Broccoli and Cauliflower for more details and tips.

  • Christine

    I’m excited to try this!