My easy broccolini recipe is a great way to add some variety to your meals and try out a new veggie in the process!
A versatile vegetable that can be used in place of broccoli, broccolini has a similar taste and texture to broccoli but with longer stems and smaller florets. It has become increasingly popular in recent years and is now available at many grocery stores. It’s also easy to prepare and can be used in many dishes.
In this post, I’m going to show you the best way to cook broccolini for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
What Is Broccolini
Broccolini, although often called baby broccoli, is not broccoli. However, both are members of the Brassica family, which means they’re related to cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. They have the same nutrient-packed, vitamin-rich profile as other Brassica veggies, but there are some differences between broccoli and broccolini.
One of the most notable differences is that broccoli has a strong flavor that’s often described as savory or nutty. Broccolini is milder in flavor than broccoli and also has a slightly sweeter taste. Their appearance is also a little different, with broccolini having longer tender stems that are usually eaten, whereas broccoli has larger florets with tougher stems.
Broccolini has a lot of health benefits, including both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some research also suggests that it supports heart health and possibly helps to control blood sugar levels. It’s also rich in fiber and low in sugar and sodium!
How to Cook Broccolini
This easy side dish recipe relies on just a couple of ingredients and easy steps. So let’s jump straight in.
Learning how to cook broccolini in a pan doesn’t have to be complicated. For this simple recipe, here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Broccolini: You can buy frozen, but fresh broccolini is best.
- Olive oil: I love using extra virgin olive oil. You can also use unsalted butter, ghee, or your preferred oil.
- Lemon: You want a fresh lemon to garnish and add a squeeze of lemon juice when serving.
- Garlic: One clove will be fine.
- Salt and Pepper: just season to taste. You can also add red pepper flakes or your favorite spices/seasoning blends.
First things first – how to prepare broccolini. Rinse it under cold water and then pat dry to remove any excess moisture. Trim about ½ inch off from the bottom of the stem.
Next, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the broccolini to the pot and cook for around 1-2 minutes or until tender with a bit of a bite. If you prefer them softer, cook for an extra minute or two. The veggies should retain their bright green color.
Once ready, drain well.
While it is boiling, thinly slice or chop the garlic.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Then add the garlic and saute for around 1 minute. Stir constantly, making sure it doesn’t burn.
Increase the heat to high, add the broccolini to the garlic and oil, and toss to thoroughly coat the veggie. Sauté for another minute or so.
Season with salt and pepper. You can serve it warm or at room temperature with either slices or wedges of lemon for extra flavor.
Serve with your favorite protein (air fryer steak, chicken, fish) and alongside rice, poached eggs, or other veggies.
Broccolini is a hybrid of Chinese broccoli and regular broccoli. It has a similar flavor to the Chinese version but is much more tender than the normal broccoli you may be used to. The leaves are also more tender and softer than the rest of the plant, so they’re often used in salads or stir-fries where they’ll be eaten raw.
In general, it is edible raw. However, the stalk may be tough and fibrous, so cooking broccolini before eating it is best. The leaves may also be a bit tough if eaten raw, but they’re still safe to eat.
Broccolini has slightly more phosphorus, manganese, and calcium than broccoli, as well as nearly four times more vitamin A than normal broccoli!
More Healthy Side Dish Recipes
If you try this sautéed broccolini recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Easy Broccolini Recipe
- 7 oz broccolini
- 4 cups water to blanch the broccolini; with added 1-2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
- lemon for garnish
- Rinse the broccolini under cold water and then pat dry to remove any excess moisture. Trim about ½ inch off from the bottom of the stem.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccolini to the pot and cook for around 1-2 minutes or until tender with a bit of a bite. If you prefer them softer, cook for an extra minute or two. The veggies should retain their bright green color.Once ready, drain well.
- While it is boiling, thinly slice or chop the garlic.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Then add the garlic and saute for around 1 minute. Stir constantly, making sure it doesn't burn.
- Increase the heat to high, add the broccolini to the garlic and oil, and toss to thoroughly coat the veggie. Sauté for another minute or so.Season with salt and pepper and serve.
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