When you want a fancy restaurant-style side dish but with none of the fuss, this sautéed broccolini recipe is THE ONE!
You can never have too many healthy side dish recipes in your arsenal, especially the ones that take just minutes and are as beautiful to look at as they are delicious.
This sautéed broccolini dish is particularly festive and perfect for entertaining or everyday meals. It goes well with grilled fish or chicken such as this walnut and herb crusted chicken, and it even works well alongside an omelette for a super healthy start to the day!
And if you can't find any broccolini, you can try this delicious steamed broccoli side instead!
Only three ingredients are required for this recipe, along with a dash of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- large bunch broccolini
- unsalted butter or olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
See recipe card below for exact quantities.
What is broccolini?
Great question. Broccolini is actually a hybrid vegetable--a mix between regular broccoli and a Chinese broccoli variety called gai lan. It's sometimes referred to as "baby broccoli" and rightly so. It's stalks are so tender that you can eat them along with the rest of the broccolini once they've been sautéed or roasted.
Broccoli rabe vs broccolini
You may have also heard of or seen broccoli rabe which actually looks very similar to broccolini. Broccoli rabe is also a cruciferous vegetable, but it's flavor is not as sweet as broccolini--it's a bit more bitter. However, it can definitely be substituted in this recipe and especially if you prefer a more bitter taste.
Ready to learn how to cook broccolini?
Here we go! First, wash and trim any leaves from the broccolini stalks, and then cut about an inch off the stalks. Mince the garlic and set aside.
Pro tip: Can you eat broccolini leaves? Yes! If you'd prefer to keep the leaves on, they are perfectly edible and healthy too! I normally remove them just to clean them up for special occasions.
Add the butter or oil to a large skillet and warm over medium heat until it just bubbles or shimmers. Add the garlic and sauté it just for a minute until it's fragrant, but don't let it brown.
Add the broccolini to the skillet and use tongs to push and turn the stalks around in the garlic butter until they're mostly coated, sautéing for another minute or two.
Add a little water to the skillet, cover, and let the broccolini cook and steam for another minute until it's bright green.
Plate each serving of broccolini alongside the main dish or on a separate plate and season it with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Here are a few substitutions you can make for this recipe:
- Broccolini - substitute broccoli rabe instead
- Garlic - if you don't have fresh garlic on hand, use a little garlic powder instead but make sure to sprinkle it on after you start sautéing the broccolini, not before
- Vegan - use olive oil instead of butter
And here are a couple of variations you could try:
- Spicy - add some chili pepper flakes while cooking to add some extra heat to the dish
- Kid friendly - use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic for littler ones
Here is the equipment you'll need for this recipe:
- cutting board
- chef's knife
- large skillet
Any leftovers will stay fresh for up to two days in an airtight container in the fridge.
This dish does not stand up well to freezing.
🎉 Top tip
Cooking broccolini is super quick and easy because it is so delicate and cooks quickly--just make sure not to over cook it, otherwise it'll lose it's crispiness and bright green beauty.
Sautéed Broccolini with Garlic
- 1 large bunch broccolini
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter or olive oil for vegan
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon water
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Prep: Wash and trim any leaves from the broccolini stalks, and cut about an inch off the stalks. Mince the garlic and set aside.
- Sauté: Warm a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter or oil until it just bubbles or shimmers. Add the garlic and sauté just for a minute until fragrant, but don't let it brown. Add the broccolini and use tongs to push and turn the stalks around in the garlic butter until they're mostly coated, sautéing for a minute or two. Add a tablespoon of water to the skillet, cover, and let the broccolini cook and steam for another minute until bright green.
- Enjoy: Plate each serving of broccolini and season with a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Any leftovers will stay fresh for up to two days in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!