You've Been Chopping Broccoli Wrong All This Time

Learn how to cut broccoli with this clever veggie-prep hack from Food Network Kitchen.

Updated on October 20, 2023

Related To:

Pieces of fresh raw brocoli on a wooden cutting board as part of vegan healthy eating, directly above or flat lay top view shot


How to cut broccoli into florets on a wood cutting board

Photo by: Victor Yee/Getty Images

Victor Yee/Getty Images

Chopping vegetables can be tedious. But, while watching Raquel Pelzel’s on-demand class for Umami-Roasted Vegetables on the Food Network Kitchen app, I realized I’ve been doing it all wrong. I'd been hacking at my broccoli like I wield a hatchet, and missing the fun of "flipping" the process to make my vegetables work for me.

Pelzel makes a ton of vegetables and creates little magic moments out of them as she cooks, including a method of cutting carrots that makes them into a shape she sees as owl faces, and roasting radishes until they look like rose petals — watch her class to see what I mean.

Umami-Roasted Vegetables, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Umami-Roasted Vegetables, as seen on Food Network Kitchen.

Photo by: Lauren Volo

Lauren Volo

When she gets to the broccoli and cauliflower, however, the real magic happens. After offering advice on how the crown of your broccoli should look — tight and firm, without any yellow — she teaches us how to cut broccoli like a pro.

How to Cut Broccoli

Turn the broccoli crown-side-down on a cutting board and whittle it down into florets, rotating as you go, with a sharp knife.

"I like to trim it upside-down," Pelzel explains, like a topiary artist working with a box hedge. The upside-down spinning motion means there’s always something new to chop, so she sets the florets free in one fluid motion, cutting, until she’s left with just a center bit of roastable stalk, which she likens to a disco ball. From there, she chips down the florets until they’re all similarly sized and transfers them to her bowl.

When it comes to cauliflower, she first cuts away the leaves, then cuts around the core, pulling the florets off to break up with her knife or by hand. "It kind of depends on how your cauliflower is speaking to you," she says. The method keeps gravity on your side and makes the otherwise-unwieldy process feel easy.

In this same episode, Pelzel also offers pragmatic tips for nights when you don’t have time — such as buying bins of chopped vegetables before glazing them. But with this speedy hack, chopping veg is all upside.

Related Links:

50 Vegetable Sides That'll Have Everyone Grabbing Seconds

The Best Way To Chop Bell Peppers

Next Up

How to Cook Broccoli

Learn all the different ways to cook perfect broccoli that will win over even the pickiest eaters.

How Long Does Broccoli Last In the Fridge?

Keep your greens fresh with expert tips.

I Always Overcook My Broccoli — Here’s Why You Should Too

This simple "mistake" might just be the perfect way to enjoy the vegetable.

The Best Vegetables to Eat When You're Trying to Lose Weight

Here are seven especially super veggies when you're slimming down.

How to Steam Broccoli

It only takes 3 minutes.

This Cheesecake-Filled Babka Banished All My Babka Baking Fears

Sometimes a two-day baking project is just what you need to build up your confidence!

This Ingredient Completely Changed How I Eat Spaghetti Squash

And it’s probably in your fridge right now.

4 Beyond-Basic Veggies You Should Grill This Summer

Skip the peppers and zucchini and try something new.