This sautéed broccolini and garlic recipe is a simple and decadent recipe! It’s vibrant and flavorful, requires just 6 ingredients and 5 minutes of prep, and can be served in a number of different ways. Enjoy it as a side dish or incorporate it into your favorite pasta dish.
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Maybe you've heard of broccolini. Maybe you've even seen it, but you haven't quite known what it is or what to do with it. It looks like broccoli, but it's not quite broccoli...right?
Well, get ready to learn how to cook broccolini, because this Sautéed Broccolini with Garlic is about to be your new favorite side dish. I love it served alongside my gluten-free spaghetti and meatballs.
📖Why This Recipe Works
This recipe originally came from blanching the broccolini and then drizzling on my homemade garlic butter sauce. But over time I consolidated it down to one pan to make it the perfect quick side dish. A few more reasons to love this sauteed broccolini recipe;
- Versatile. This broccolini is so tasty but can be paired with so many different dishes. Pasta, meat, rice, you name it! You can also use this recipe for cooking standard broccoli or broccoli rabe.
- Impressive. It tastes and looks a whole lot more complicated than it actually is. Meaning it's easy enough to whip up for a quick dinner at home but pretty enough that you can show it off at your next dinner party.
This broccolini recipe only requires a few super basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
Broccolini - For this recipe, I typically use 2 to 3 bunches of broccolini. If you’re not sure, just grab an extra bunch. You can always use it in another recipe like my broccolini and sausage pasta recipe!
Oil - I use olive oil, but you can swap it out for ghee or butter if preferred.
Garlic - Use freshly minced garlic cloves for the best garlicky flavor. You just don’t get the same flavor with garlic powder or prechopped garlic.
Chicken Stock - Vegetable stock will work too if you want to keep this recipe vegetarian.
Lemon Juice - Adds a touch of citrus to brighten up the flavor of this dish. If you don't have lemon use a splash of apple cider vinegar.
Seasonings - I like to keep it simple with a little bit of kosher salt and black pepper. Feel free to add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper if you like a little bit of spice.
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
What is Broccolini?
Broccolini is often thought to be just baby broccoli. But as it turns out, it’s a hybrid of regular broccoli and Chinese broccoli.
What sets broccolini apart from regular broccoli is its appearance and its flavor. Compared to regular broccoli, broccolini has longer, thinner stems, smaller florets, and a sweeter, earthier, more mild flavor.
What is the Difference Between Broccolini and Broccoli Rabe?
Broccolini and broccoli rabe are actually even more different than broccolini and regular broccoli.
Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, is actually part of the turnip family. It sits on long, thin stalks and is primarily made up of leafy greens as opposed to buds. It also has a more bitter flavor than broccolini—although they can be used interchangeably in some recipes.
How to Select Broccolini
When you’re picking your broccolini out at the grocery store, there are a few things to look out for;
- Check the bases. Look at the base end of each stalk. It should look fresh and bright green with no dry spots.
- Feel the stems. The texture should be pretty firm. If there are any soft spots, ditch it.
- Check the heads. The buds should be pretty tightly furled and the color should be a darker green. If they’re looking yellow at all, then it’s past its prime.
⏲️How to Make Sauteed Broccolini
This is an incredibly easy side dish. Start by washing your broccolini. You can place in a large bowl of water, swish it around and then pat it dry with a clean dish towel before prepping.
STEP 1 - Prep the Broccolini
Wash each bunch of broccolini, then trim the bottom ½-inch off of each stalk. Don't cut off more than the bottom third of the broccolini stems.
Removing the tough end ensures that the broccolini cooks evenly and the texture is perfect!
If the stalks are very thick, I recommend slicing each piece in half lengthwise. The goal is to have even sizes of broccolini stalks so they cook at the same rate.
STEP 2 - Combine and Cook
Next, heat your oil of choice in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic to the hot skillet and allow it to cook on its own for about 30 seconds to release the flavor.
Add in the broccolini along with the chicken stock, then cover the skillet and cook until the broccolini is al dente, i.e. crisp yet still fork tender.
This can take anywhere from 6-8 minutes, so I recommend checking to make sure the veggies are fork-tender before removing them from the heat.
You can also usually tell when broccolini is done by looking at the color. If it’s turned a brighter, more vibrant green, then it’s probably good to go!
STEP 3 - Season and Serve
To finish, remove the lid and add the lemon juice and sprinkle with the salt. Cook until the liquid evaporates, season with a little black pepper, then serve immediately.
🥗What to Serve with Sauteed Broccolini
The broccolini is pretty darn delicious as-is, but feel free to dress it up with parmesan cheese, a pinch of red pepper flakes, toasted sliced almonds, or lemon wedges, or even a sprinkle of lemon zest.
And of course, there are plenty of yummy dishes you can serve alongside your sautéed broccolini!
Complimentary Side Dishes
Think another type of sauce sounds good? Check out these 25+ sauce recipes!
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
Can’t find broccolini? This recipe works great with regular broccoli or broccoli rabe too! Just keep in mind that cooking time and flavor may be slightly different.
Raw broccolini will usually last in the fridge for up to 1 week, depending on how fresh it was when you bought it. Store loose in your crisper drawer.
The sautéed broccolini is definitely best right away, but any leftovers you have will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing it.
To reheat, warm in a skillet on the stove with a splash of water or oil to moisten.
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💬Frequently Asked Questions
The broccolini stem has delicious flavor and texture. You can cook and eat the whole stem. No need to let any go to waste!
Yes and no. You do need to cut the tough ends off of the stems, but besides that, you can leave the broccolini as-is. Since it’s so thin, it cooks quickly without creating any smaller pieces.
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Sauteed Broccolini and Garlic
- Wash and trim the bottom ½ inch of the broccolini stem. If the stalks are thick slice each piece in half lengthwise.1 lb fresh broccolini
- Heat the oil n a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the broccolini and toss to coat with the garlic.1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 tablespoon garlic
- Add the chicken (or vegetable) stock and cover skillet. Cook 6 to 8 minutes until green beans are al dente.⅓ cup chicken stock
- Uncover the skillet and add the salt and lemon juice. Cook until liquid evaporates and green beans are tender. Add a few cracks of black pepper and add additional salt if needed.1 tablespoon lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- Optional serving suggestions: Add parmesan cheese, crushed fresh red pepper, toasted sliced almonds, fresh parsley or chives, or lemon wedges when serving.