Glucosinolates are an important class of secondary plant metabolites, possessing health-promoting properties. Young broccoli plants are a very good source of glucosinolates with concentrations several times greater than in mature plants. The aim of our study was to develop a liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry qualitative and quantitative method for the measure of glucosinolates in broccoli sprouts. The described method provides high sensitivity and specificity, allowing a rapid and simultaneous determination of 14 glucosinolates. The proposed method has been validated for eight glucosinolates: glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, glucoiberin, glucoerucin, progoitrin, gluconapin, sinigrin and glucocheirolin. The linear range was 1–150 µg ml−1, the intra-day and inter-day precision values are within 6% and 8% at the lower limit of quantification, while the overall recovery of the eight glucosinolates was 99 ± 9%. This validated method was used successfully for analysis of glucosinolates content of broccoli sprouts grown in different conditions. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.