How To Cook Broccolini
Tender and vibrant with caramelized red onion and garlic, this is how to cook broccolini for an easy weeknight side dish.
Broccoli is great, but do you know what’s even better?
Broccolini has all the green grassiness we love about broccoli but with crisp tender stems that are 1000% edible—you don’t even have to peel them! That means, zero waste (just a little trim off the bottom) and lots of delicious flavor, even a bit sweeter than regular broccoli.
And because there’s virtually zero prep, it is a snap to whip up for a quick side. Blanch and toss with caramelized red onion and lots of thinly sliced garlic and you’re good to go!
In fact, this method of blanching, then sautéing with aromatics can be used for any number of vegetables; cauliflower, green beans and asparagus immediately come to mind.
Serve this healthy side dish with everything from Chicken Cacciatore to Pan-Fried Steak.
What Is Broccolini?
Despite its name, Broccolini is not baby broccoli. It is a hybrid of broccoli and kai-lan or Chinese broccoli and has a more delicate flavor than traditional broccoli. You may have seen it by its other name, Aspiration, which has to be the most fabulous name ever given a vegetable—I aspire to eat my veggies!
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Red onion
How To Cook Broccolini
Prep the veg. Trim the ends off the broccolini, slice the red onion and the garlic.
Blanch the broccolini. Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the broccolini and cook until broccolini is bright green and the stems are knife tender, about 4-5 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on how thick your broccolini stems are—check frequently.
Cut broccolini. Using kitchen tongs, remove broccolini from the water and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet until cool enough to handle. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
Saute. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add red onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and a pinch of pepper). Cook until starting to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add broccolini and toss to coat in the oil. Keep cooking until broccolini is warmed through. Transfer the sautéed broccolini to a platter and serve!
What Goes With Broccolini?
Really just about anything. Have you tried broccolini and chocolate cookies? Delicious! If you’re looking for a more traditional pairing, how about:
- Double Pork Pork Burgers (so good, so easy)
- Falafel from Scratch (the ultimate vegan spread)
- Dill and Mustard Seed Salmon (a salmon-lovers dream)
- Carne Picada (from our sister site, ¡Hola! Jalapeño)
What Makes This The Best Broccolini Recipe?
- This is how we cook vegetables in the restaurant for a reason. Blanching takes the guess work out of if they are cooked too little or too much, keep testing the stems with a knife to see if they are ready. If it slides through easily, you’re good to go.
- Blanching also allows you to prep in advance. Having a container of blanched broccolini in the fridge is awesome for quick meals—I also eat it as a snack.
- The sautéing step gives you creative freedom to add whatever you want and embeds the flavor into the broccolini.
How To Cook Broccolini FAQ’s
What can I add to zhuzh it up? So the idea of this recipe is that it is simple but the beauty of it is in its versatility. Add anything! Red pepper flakes for spice, lemon juice for acid, toasted nuts, grated cheese, the options are endless. Obviously if you’re Alison Roman you would add an anchovy or six. All these can be added right before serving.
Can I make this ahead? You can blanch and chop the broccolini up to a day in advance and keep covered in the refrigerator. You can also slice the onion and garlic and have that in the fridge as well. Then all you have to do is sauté right before serving.
More Side Dishes To Try!
- Warm Wild Rice Salad (I love this salad so much, it’s basically a meal unto itself)
- Easy Cornbread Recipe (bake as muffins or as a loaf)
- Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts (break out that sheet pan!)
- Cucumber Tomato Salad (ready in less than 15 minutes)
- Best Ever Canned Black Beans (from our sister site, ¡Hola! Jalapeño)
Tired of Roasted Broccolini?
Try this method instead! When you do, I want to see those broccolini pics! Let me know by tagging me on Instagram @katesbestrecipes so I can see or leave me a comment below (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating) !
How To Cook Broccolini
- 2 bunches broccolini ends trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt, plus more to taste
- pinch freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add broccolini and cook until bright green and knife-tender, about 4-5 minutes. Drain and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. (This can be done up to 8 hours in advance and chilled.) Once cool enough to handle, cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat oil a large frying pan over medium heat. Add red onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until starting to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add broccolini and season again with the measured 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Cook until broccolini is warmed through, about 2 minutes.