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The Best Kickin’ Crispy Roasted Broccoli With Lemon and Feta

by | Jul 27, 2021 | Recipes

Fresh broccoli florets tossed with olive oil, salt, oregano, and crushed red pepper are quickly roasted at high heat to create a super simple and delicious side dish. This Kickin’ Crispy Roasted Broccoli is finished off with a sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese, warmed through in the oven, and then drizzled with fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Close up of roasted broccoli with feta cheese in a bowl.

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This Kickin’ Crispy Roasted Broccoli with Feta and Lemon is seriously addictive! I’m just warning you now that when you make it, you’ll wish you’d have doubled the recipe. So when you pop these lil nuggets of bright, slightly spicy, and crispy goodness into your pie hole and utter, “Damn, that *is* tasty!” don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

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INGREDIENTS    SWAPS    TIPS & TRICKS    HOW-TO    RECIPE

The Best Kickin’ Crispy Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Feta

So, I’m not on TikTok (who knows if I ever will be), but as with all things viral that TikTok baked feta pasta recipe eventually made its way through the internet onto the platforms that I *do* use. I saw it on one platform from a few people and thought ooh that looks yummy and stupid simple…I’ll try it…one of these days. Then it kept popping up everywhere and so I finally made it a point to buy a block of feta. The dish was delicious, but I personally thought it was too oily and greasy. A characteristic that, unfortunately, meant it wouldn’t be a friendly option to reheating in the microwave as leftovers to be used in future meals.

If you know me, you know that I am BIG on leftovers. I have the mentality of cook once, eat twice. It’s been ingrained in my lifestyle since about 7 years ago when was burning both candle at both ends in my professional life and trying to change my eating habits. So, sadly, the Tik Tok baked feta pasta isn’t a dish on heavy rotation in my house, but it did get me thinking about flavor combos and the use of feta in food dishes.

Macro photo of roasted broccoli with crumbled feta cheese in a serving bowl.

The Salty Tang of Feta Cheese

I began thinking about what oven baked items would go with that familiar salty tang of feta cheese. Broccoli was a stand out to me because on it’s own, it’s pretty meh in my opinion. Even when I would oven roast broccoli and season it with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Just like it’s little white friend cauliflower, roasted broccoli was something I generally had to season quite liberally and roast to nearly a burnt crisp for it to be “good” to me.

I’m talking seasoning to the level where I might as well have just mixed all the seasonings in a bowl and then funneled them straight into my mouth. So I knew that, for me, the salty tang of feta would be an excellent pairing with broccoli…and that this would then mean I could dial it back on the other seasonings.

If you’ve ever roasted broccoli before, you know that it starts off as this big bulky veggie and ends up severely shrunken and withered unless you just lightly roast it. But who wants oven roasted broccoli that is roasted so little that it comes out with a texture that makes it seem like the broccoli never even made it into the oven?? Certainly not me. If I’m gonna roast, I want to see those dark caramelized crispy edges.

Because of this, it takes A LOT of fresh broccoli to create sizable portions of roasted broccoli. So while you’re preparing this dish step by step in the recipe directions it will look like you’re making enough roasted broccoli to feed half of an Army infantry, please know that you’ll end up with what looks like considerably less.

Close up photo of roasted broccoli with feta in a serving bowl.

Transitioning the Flavors to a Leftovers-Friendly Option

I carried over the feta from the TikTok trend and paired it with dried oregano and crushed red pepper to honor that nod to spicy Italian pasta dishes. To get a good crisp on this roasted broccoli, I use a generous amount of olive oil to ensure I thoroughly coat the florets and that whatever side of them is making contact with the baking sheet will be ready for a sizzle in the oven. And even though I use more oil than general, this roasted broccoli doesn’t come out oily or greasy.

This version of the roasted broccoli was delicious, to say the least. But, it was missing something for me still. A few days later and I was scrolling on the ‘gram and saw someone finish off their roasted asparagus with fresh lemon zest and it hit me – fresh squeezed lemon juice is that finishing touch missing from my roasted broccoli and feta dish!

So the next time I roasted broccoli, I seasoned it as you see in the recipe below, added in the feta after getting a good initial roast on the veg, and finished it all off with a bit of lemon juice.

KABLAM! This flavor bomb side dish did not disappoint! It was all there…bright, tangy, salty, nutty, crispy, and spicy. I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever roast broccoli any other way from this point forward. I feel like if I do, I’ll just be wanting this addictive dish that gives just enough kick to keep me interested and coming back for more.

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Ingredients For Kickin’ Crispy Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Feta

Overview photo of ingredients needed to make the Kickin Crispy Roasted Broccoli with Feta and Lemon recipe.
  • Broccoli Florets – Break down a full head of broccoli or bust out a bag of the florets already cleaned and cut for you.
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese – This salty, tangy cheese is what separates this roasted broccoli from all other roasted broccoli.
  • Kosher Salt – Even though feta is a salty cheese, kosher salt is used in roasting the broccoli and helping draw out the moisture from the florets.
  • Crushed Red Pepper – Just enough to make your tongue tingle and remember that it’s alive and well.
  • Dried Oregano – Bold, earthy, slight bitter, and slightly sweet, this herb pairs well with the bitter earthiness of fresh broccoli and the heat of the crushed red pepper.
  • Olive Oil – To coat the broccoli florets and help the seasonings stick as well as to ensure the broccoli gets nice and crispy.
  • Lemon Juice – The razzle dazzle zippy brightness that makes this dish shine.

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Graphic for pinterest pin of Kickin Crispy Roasted Broccoli with Feta and Lemon.

Ingredient Swaps & Variations

  • Crumbled Gorganzola Cheese – If you don’t like feta or don’t have any on hand, swap one salty cheese for another. Gorgonzola will give you a more earthy flavor due to its marbling, but that plays nice against the heat of the pepper and the zip of the lemon juice.
  • Hot Sauce – The crushed red pepper gives this dish a noticeable lil’ kick of heat. If needed, you can swap out the dried seasoning for your favorite hot sauce. If you use this swap, I recommend add it to the roasted broccoli after you’ve finished warming the feta through and just before you add the lemon juice.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

What to Remember – Don’t forget to flip your broccoli at the 20-minute mark! If you don’t, your broccoli florets have a good chance of burning on the bottom and will taste bitter.

Ways to Use Kickin’ Crispy Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Feta Leftovers – I love using leftovers of this dish in veggie omelets with onion, tomato, and potatoes. This broccoli and feta also makes a nice complement to a grain salad.

What Goes Well with This Side Dish – My favorite way to serve this roasted broccoli is with pan seared or grilled steak. It also goes great with grilled chicken as well as baked salmon.

Overhead photo of roasted broccoli with feta in a serving bowl.

Recipe Notes

Storage – Store leftover broccoli and feta in an airtight glass or plastic container in the fridge. Leftovers will last up to 7 days.

Reheating – This side dish gets a little too mushy for my taste if I reheat it in the microwave, so I prefer to set my container of leftovers on the kitchen counter for 45-60 minutes before I’m ready to eat. Then, I pour them out onto a foil-lined baking sheet and pop them into a 325 degree oven for about 5-7 minutes.

Servings & Nutrition – This recipe makes 4 servings. Each serving has approximately 140 calories, 7 g of carbohydrates, 3 g of protein, 12 g of fat, and 2 g of sugar. For the full recipe and additional nutritional information, please see the recipe card below.

How to Make the Best Kickin’ Crispy Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Feta

Step 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add broccoli to a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle in the salt, red pepper, and oregano; toss to coat the broccoli and set aside.

Side by side photos showing steps 1 and 2 of how to make kickin' roasted broccoli with feta and lemon.

Step 2. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the broccoli out on the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the broccoli from the oven.

Two photos side by side showing step 3 of how to make kickin' roasted broccoli with feta and lemon.

Step 3. Using a large spatula, flip the broccoli and then sprinkle the feta over the broccoli. Return the broccoli mixture to the oven for an additional 7 minutes.

Step 4. Remove the broccoli mixture from the oven and toss with the lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Close up overhead photo of roasted broccoli in a serving bowl.

If you make this recipe, tag me in your photos on Instagram—I love seeing what you guys decided to make!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I roast frozen broccoli?

You can swap out fresh broccoli for frozen, but it’s highly likely that it won’t get as crispy as fresh broccoli. To help get a better, crisp as possible finished product when using frozen broccoli…defrost the broccoli in a mesh strainer place above a large mixing bowl. This will help the water run off of the broccoli and into the bowl as the broccoli defrosts. You can go one step further if you like and line your baking sheet with paper towels, and then dump the broccoli out onto the paper towels and let sit for 5 minutes to soak up any excess water. Toss the broccoli into a dry mixing bowl and then follow the recipe as directed.

Can I use regular salt instead of kosher salt?

Absolutely! Kosher salt grains are bigger than those of table salt, so if regular table salt is all you have on hand, then use half the amount of salt called for in the recipe.

Can I swap the feta cheese with parmesan?

You could, but feta and parmesan have pretty different flavor profiles. Feta is salty and tangy while parmesan is salty, nutty, and can sometimes have a slight sweetness depending on the brand. If you swap for parmesan, the roasted broccoli will still be super tasty, but you’ll lose the tang. To adjust for this, I’d suggest adding in another 1-2 teaspoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

close up of roasted broccoli in a bowl

The Best Kickin' Crispy Roasted Broccoli With Lemon and Feta

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes

This super simple side dish is seriously addictive! Roasted with olive oil, salt, oregano, and crushed red pepper, this kickin' crispy broccoli is finished off with crumbled feta and fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz broccoli florets
  • 3 tbsp crumbled feta
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Add broccoli to a large bowl and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle in the salt, red pepper, and oregano; toss to coat the broccoli and set aside.

3. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the broccoli out on the baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the broccoli from the oven.

5. Using a large spatula, flip the broccoli and then sprinkle the feta over the broccoli.

6. Return the broccoli mixture to the oven for an additional 7 minutes.

7. Remove the broccoli mixture from the oven and toss with the lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 258mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

This nutrition data is provided and calculated by Nutritionix. Please keep in mind that your specific nutritional values may vary based on the brand of ingredients you use to make this recipe.

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Hey there! I’m Krystal, the sassy-mouthed, self-taught, home cook behind the content here at Sweet, Savory & Sassy. I have a deep love for sharing food with people and showing folks just how easy it really is to make dishes that will bring a little extra joy to those you love. There’s nothing like making something special for friends and family and seeing their face light up in delight during that first bite!
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