Sauteed Broccolini

Learn how to cook broccolini! Sautéed with garlic and red pepper flakes and served with lemon wedges for squeezing, it's a delicious, easy side dish.


Ok, broccolini vs broccoli. What are your thoughts?

As much as I love regular broccoli, I have to say…I’m team broccolini! In fact, it’s one of my favorite vegetables to cook with. I think it’s so pretty, with its bright green florets and long, slender stems. It’s also easy to prepare and incredibly versatile. You can serve it as a side dish or add it to frittatas, pastas, salads, and more. It’s available in many grocery stores year round, so if you’re not already cooking with it, now’s the time to start!

You can find my best tips for how to cook broccolini below, along with a simple sautéed broccolini recipe that you can serve as a side dish with just about anything. I hope they inspire you to cook this delicious veggie often!

What is broccolini?

But first thing’s first! What is broccolini, anyway?

Broccolini is also called “baby broccoli,” but the name is a slight misnomer. According to The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page, broccolini isn’t just miniature broccoli. Instead, it’s a cross between broccoli and gai-lan, a variety of Chinese broccoli. Though it tastes similar to broccoli, its flavor is milder and sweeter. And when you cook it well, the florets and stems have a fantastic crisp-tender texture.

Fresh broccolini, lemons, garlic, red pepper flakes, olive oil, and salt on marble countertop

How to Cook Broccolini

There are lots of great methods for how to cook broccolini. I love roasting it and blanching it for grain bowls and salads, but, when I want to serve it as a side dish, I typically sauté it with garlic and red pepper flakes. Here’s how I do it:

  • First, trim the broccolini. Cut off and discard the dried ends of the stems. If the stalks are very thick, halve them lengthwise. Leave any smaller, slender stalks intact.
  • Next, heat a glug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add thinly sliced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, and cook for 30 seconds to infuse the oil with flavor.
  • Then, add the broccolini and a little salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  • At this point, you’ll need to create steam in the pan to help the broccolini stems soften. Add a couple tablespoons of water and cover the pan. If you don’t have a lid that fits your pan, a large baking sheet will do the trick!
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and bright green.

Remove from the heat and season with a big squeeze of lemon juice. That’s it!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Sauteed broccolini in skillet

Broccolini Recipe Serving Suggestions

This sautéed broccolini recipe is a delicious, easy side dish that goes well with almost anything! To start, try pairing it with a simply cooked protein or one of these comforting recipes:

Leftovers keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can enjoy them again as a side dish, either reheated or at room temperature, but they’re also a great starting point for a new meal. Toss them into sesame soba noodles, add them to a grain bowl, or use them in a clean-out-the-fridge frittata. Like I said above, broccolini is one versatile veggie!

Broccolini recipe

More Favorite Veggie Side Dishes

If you love this recipe, try one of these simple vegetable side dishes next:

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Sautéed Broccolini

rate this recipe:
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves 4
This easy sautéed broccolini recipe is a perfect weeknight side dish! It's ready in minutes, and it's deliciously seasoned with garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon.



  • Heat the olive oil in a large lidded skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds, then add the broccolini and salt and toss.
  • Cook, tossing occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the water, cover, reduce the heat, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until tender and bright green.
  • Remove from the heat, toss with the lemon juice, and season to taste.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Sheila

    Can these be made ahead? Would like to make for Christmas

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I think it’s best made right away – especially since it’s so quick.

  2. Megan

    5 stars
    We have made this several times and I think this last time was the best!!! I could’ve eaten an entire plate of this!

  3. Tessa from

    I love broccolini! Can’t wait to try this.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  4. Deepak Singh

    5 stars
    Really great! I am going to try it soon

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.