How many calories are in broccoli with garlic sauce?

Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable that is low in calories but provides essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. When eaten plain, broccoli has around 31 calories per 100 grams. However, broccoli is often served with sauces like garlic sauce which can increase the calorie count. So how many calories does broccoli with garlic sauce contain?

Quick Answer

Broccoli with garlic sauce contains approximately 40-90 calories per 100 gram serving depending on the type and amount of sauce used. Plain steamed broccoli has around 31 calories per 100 grams whereas broccoli with a cream-based garlic sauce provides about 40-50 calories. Broccoli with an oil-based garlic sauce can contain 60-90 calories per 100 gram serving. The exact calorie count depends on factors like quantity of oil and other ingredients in the sauce.

Factors That Determine Calorie Count of Broccoli with Garlic Sauce

Several factors impact the calorie content in broccoli when it is served with garlic sauce:

Type of Sauce

The type of garlic sauce used makes a major difference to the calorie count. Sauces can be divided into:

  • Cream-based – Made with butter, cream or other dairy products
  • Oil-based – Made with olive oil, vegetable oil or other added fats
  • Stock-based – Made with vegetable or chicken stock

Cream and oil-based garlic sauces add more calories compared to stock-based sauces. A cream-based sauce may provide around 50 extra calories per 100g while an oil-based one can add 60-90 calories. Stock-based sauces have minimal impact on calories.

Oil or Fat Quantity

Garlic sauces made with large amounts of oil or cream contain more calories. Generous usage of olive oil or butter to make the sauce can double or even triple the calorie count of plain broccoli. Measured use of oil leads to a marginal increase in calories.

Thickening Agent

Cornstarch, wheat flour or other thickening agents are sometimes used to give more body to the garlic sauce. These starchy thickeners add to the carbohydrate and calorie content. A sauce thickened with flour or cornstarch may have 10-20 more calories than a thinner sauce.

Extra Ingredients

Ingredients added to flavor the garlic sauce also increase the calories. Ingredients like cheese, nuts, meats and condiments enhance the taste but also provide additional calories from fat and carbs. A garlic sauce made with Parmesan cheese can add around 20-30 calories per serving compared to a plain sauce.

Calorie Comparison of Broccoli with Different Garlic Sauces

To understand the calorie contribution of various garlic sauces, let’s compare the values per 100 gram of broccoli served with different sauces:

Type of Sauce Calories
Plain broccoli, steamed 31 calories
Broccoli with stock-based garlic sauce 35 calories
Broccoli with cream-based garlic sauce 40-50 calories
Broccoli with oil-based garlic sauce 60-90 calories

As the table shows, a stock-based sauce adds only 4 calories over plain steamed broccoli per 100g. A cream-based sauce provides 40-50 extra calories while an oil-based garlic sauce can add 60-90 calories. So the richest sauces made with butter, cream or generous oil almost triple the calories compared to broccoli on its own.

Calorie Count of Specific Garlic Sauces with Broccoli

To get a more accurate estimate, let’s analyze the calorie content of broccoli when served with some popular garlic sauce recipes:

Broccoli with Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Sauce

This sauce is made by roasting garlic cloves in olive oil which is then tossed with steamed broccoli. A 100g serving provides:

  • Broccoli – 31 calories
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil – 240 calories
  • 1 garlic clove – 4 calories
  • Total – Approximately 75 calories

The olive oil contributes most of the calories in this sauce.

Broccoli with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

It is made by melting butter and mixing it with garlic, lemon juice and parsley. A 100g serving contains:

  • Broccoli – 31 calories
  • 1 tablespoon butter – 100 calories
  • 1 garlic clove – 4 calories
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice – 1 calorie
  • Total – Approximately 45 calories

Butter is responsible for most of the extra calories in this recipe.

Broccoli with Garlic Alfredo Sauce

This is a cream and cheese based sauce made from ingredients like butter, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and garlic. A 100g serving provides:

  • Broccoli – 31 calories
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream – 80 calories
  • 1 tablespoon butter – 100 calories
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan – 50 calories
  • 1 garlic clove – 4 calories
  • Total – Approximately 90 calories

The heavy cream and cheese provide most of the additional calories.

Broccoli with Skinny Garlic Sauce

This light sauce is made by sautéing garlic in broth and thickened with cornstarch. A 100g serving provides:

  • Broccoli – 31 calories
  • 1⁄4 cup chicken broth – 10 calories
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch – 6 calories
  • 2 garlic cloves – 8 calories
  • Total – Approximately 55 calories

The chicken broth and cornstarch add some calories but overall this is a lower calorie sauce.

Tips to Reduce Calories in Broccoli with Garlic Sauce

Here are some ways to cut down on calories when eating broccoli with garlic sauce:

  • Use olive oil or butter sparingly when making the sauce
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products like yogurt, milk or cream
  • Use chicken or vegetable stock instead of heavy cream
  • Avoid adding extra oil, butter or cheese on top
  • Limit calorie-dense thickeners like flour or cornstarch
  • Boost flavor with herbs, lemon, vinegar instead of fat
  • Opt for lighter cooking methods like steaming, sautéing over deep frying
  • Enjoy broccoli florets plain or dip in sauce instead of covering entirely

With some simple substitutions and adjustments, you can still enjoy delicious garlic sauce without all the excess calories.

Nutritional Benefits of Broccoli

Despite the added calories from garlic sauce, broccoli remains a very healthy vegetable. Here are some of its nutritional benefits:

Low in Calories

Per 100 grams, broccoli contains only 34 calories making it a great food for weight management. It provides nutrients and bulk without a lot of calories.

Rich in Fiber

With 2.6g of dietary fiber per 100g, broccoli helps regulate digestion and promotes fullness. The fiber is mostly insoluble which benefits gut health.

Packed with Vitamin C

A 100g serving contains 89.2mg of Vitamin C which is an excellent source. Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant and boosts immunity.

Provides B Vitamins

Broccoli is an especially good source of Vitamin B9 or folate. It also provides B1, B2, B3 and B5. B vitamins support energy metabolism.

Rich in Vitamin K

It delivers 101μg of vitamin K per 100g serving. Vitamin K promotes bone health and plays a role in blood clotting.

Good Source of Vitamin A

100g of broccoli contains 623 international units of vitamin A mostly as beta carotene. Vitamin A maintains eye and skin health.

Contains Phytonutrients

The key phytonutrients in broccoli like sulforaphane and indoles have been shown to have anti-cancer benefits.

Provides Minerals

Broccoli is a useful source of essential minerals like calcium, iron, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium. These support bone health, circulation and metabolism.


Broccoli served with flavorful garlic sauce makes for a tasty dish but also increases its calorie content significantly compared to plain broccoli. The calorie count can range from 35 calories for a stock-based sauce to as high as 90 calories for a cream or oil-based sauce per 100g. Factors like quantity of oil, butter, cream and other calorie-dense ingredients impact the calories. However, broccoli still remains packed with nutrition including vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. By making smart choices when preparing the sauce, you can balance taste and health. The key is moderating your portions and not drowning the broccoli in sauce. This allows you to enjoy both – the veggies as well as the sauce flavored with aromatic garlic.

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