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For someone who doesn't really like to cook, I cook a lot more than I probably should. I see a video or a recipe and I'll think, "Huh, that seems easy enough. And hey, I've got the ingredients. I'm going for it!" And sometimes it's good, sometimes it's awful, and sometimes I just mess it up. I'll let you be the judge about how I did with the smashed broccoli recipe currently trending on social media. 

What Is Smashed Broccoli?

There are many, many smashed broccoli recipes floating around the internet, so of course I chose one that doesn't have measurements, and guesses at cook times and temperatures. I'm brave that way. Bur seriously, this recipe from @kumardipp looked easy! And fun, maybe!

Broccoli in a bagPhoto credit: Cheapism

How Do I Make Smashed Broccoli?

  • Like the TikTok couple, I microwaved my broccoli in-bag and proceeded to smash each floret with the bottom of a glass. So far, so good. 
  • I also made the olive oil, salt, and paprika mixture, but for some reason my paprika came out of the container in an unruly blob, making the mixture bright red. Luckily, it didn't seem to distort the flavor, so I brushed the bright-red mixture on my admittedly sad-looking broccoli florets, then doused it with cheese. 
  • The finished tray, which I lined with parchment paper, went into the oven. I went with the recommended temperature — 425 degrees — though it seemed uncertain. Even less definitive? The time, which was a sketchy, "I dunno, 15 minutes?" or until crispy.

broccoli coatedPhoto credit: Cheapism

Well, even though I set my timer for 15 minutes, I'll admit I pulled them out slightly before the timer went off. The parchment paper I used to line the tray was looking awfully dark, and in my experience that means the fire alarm going off and every animal in our house shaking for hours. But hey, the cheese was melted, and they looked crispy enough. 

broccoli cooked on trayPhoto credit: Cheapism

How Is Smashed Broccoli?

Unfortunately, the finished product was definitely not crispy. At all. Try mushy and unappetizing. While I suspect the broccoli had microwaved too long, it hadn't cooked in the oven long enough, resulting in green (with a lot of red) mush, While my husband and I choked down our shares so that we maintained our "eat your vegetables" higher ground, it was no motivation for the kids. They boomeranged that broccoli back so fast it was almost impressive.

Is It Worth Making Smashed Broccoli?

Even with the massive paprika dump, I suspect these flat broccoli florets are worth another try. If nothing else, I got a window into the variances between appliances. Next time I may amp up the temperature as well as the cooking time. The recipe is easy, even if I managed to bungle it, and I think everyone in my household is getting a little tired of boring steamed broccoli. And if the fire alarm goes off, I'll be sure to get some really awesome dog treats

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