In this easy recipe, broccolini (aka baby broccoli) is sauteed in butter with garlic until tender-crisp.
It's a simple and tasty vegetable side dish that you can make in about 15 minutes. It's definitely faster than cooking broccoli!
I have quite a few vegetable recipes on this website. I usually skip the starch at dinner and simply serve a vegetable side (or two). So I'm always on the lookout for interesting veggies to make for my family.
This is one of my favorites. It's super tasty, and it's very easy to make. Especially when you use my easy method of sauteing first, then - if the stems are still tough - briefly steaming in the same pan.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this sauteed broccolini recipe. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh broccolini: You can find it in the vegetable aisle, usually right next to the broccoli. It's sometimes labeled as "baby broccoli."
Unsalted butter: I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great. Olive oil works too, but I do think that butter tastes better in this particular recipe.
To season: I use kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
Sauteing broccolini is easy! The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
You start by melting the butter in a large saucepan.
When the butter starts foaming, you add the broccolini and season it with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
Cook the baby broccoli until it has absorbed the butter, 2-3 minutes per side over medium-high heat.
Check to see if the stems are fork-tender. If they are, you're done! If they're still tough (this happens with relatively thick stalks), add a bit of water to the skillet, cover, and steam until the stems are tender-crisp, 1-2 minutes.
How long you'll need to saute (and then steam) the broccolini will depend on how thick the stems are. As you can see in the photos and video on this page, the broccolini I used today had very thin stalks, so it was ready fast. Thicker stalks will require a slightly longer cooking time.
In fact, if the stems are very thin, you might be able to skip steaming altogether and simply saute the broccoli for 2-3 minutes on each side. Check the stems - if they're fork-tender, they're ready to serve.
Frequently asked questions
Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It has small florets and long, thin stalks. It is sweeter and milder than broccoli and it cooks faster.
No. The entire vegetable is edible, so you don't need to remove the leaves or the stems before cooking.
When making broccoli, it's best to cook the florets and the stems separately, because the stems are tough and need a longer time to cook. Here's a good recipe for roasted broccoli stalks.
It's actually easier to make sauteed broccolini because you can cook the entire vegetable at once.
Blanching means cooking the broccolini briefly in salted water, then quickly rinsing it in cold water or dipping it in ice water to stop the cooking process.
I do it a little differently, and I think my method is easier. I like to simply sauté the baby broccoli. If the stems are very thin, I simply cook it in butter for about 5 minutes. If they're thicker, I add a bit of water to the hot skillet, cover it, and briefly steam, just until the stems are tender-crisp.
One way to vary the basic recipe is to use different fat for cooking the baby broccoli. For example, you could use olive oil or ghee.
You can also use fresh minced garlic instead of garlic powder and experiment with adding more spices if you'd like - thyme is good, and I also sometimes like to sprinkle the finished dish with red pepper flakes and/or dry-grated parmesan.
I don't really like to keep the leftovers. They tend to become a bit limp and soggy in the fridge. So I try to make just as much as we can eat immediately.
But if you end up with leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. You can reheat them in the microwave.
I sometimes chop them up and add them cold to a salad the next day for my lunch, or mix them into an omelet the next morning.
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Sautéed Broccolini Recipe
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 bunch fresh broccolini (8 oz)
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Heat the butter in a very large skillet (12-inch minimum) over medium-high heat until foaming. Swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet.
- Add the broccolini and season it with kosher salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Sauté the baby broccoli for about 2 minutes on each side, until it has absorbed most of the butter.
- Check to see if the stems are fork-tender. If they are, you're done! If they're still tough (this happens with relatively thick stalks), add 2 tablespoons of water to the skillet, cover, and steam until the stems are tender-crisp, 1-2 minutes.
- Serve immediately. If there are liquids on the bottom of the skillet, remove the broccolini with a slotted spoon.