Easy Garlic Broccolini Recipe

By Jeri Mobley-Arias
February 28, 2024 | Updated on February 28, 2024

This easy broccolini recipe combines the crisp freshness of vibrant, blanched broccolini with garlic-infused olive oil. With just 6 simple ingredients and a quick sauté, garlic broccolini is a delicious veggie side dish for a nutritious weeknight meal.

Looking for more vegetable side dish recipes? Try Soy and Sake Sautéed Mushrooms, Maple Roasted Carrots, and Baked Candied Yams.

close up view of garlic broccolini in a pan

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Broccolini is bound to become your new favorite vegetable. The tastier, tender cousin to broccoli, broccolini is tossed with garlic and olive oil for an easy dinner side. Whether served alongside pasta or paired with your favorite meat or seafood, its vibrant flavor and crisp texture will elevate your dining experience.

Why This Sautéed Broccolini Recipe Works

  • Restaurant Quality Sleeker than broccoli, this veggie looks fantastic on a plate. Make this impressive dish for an at-home date night or dinner party.
  • Customizable – Broccolini has a mild flavor so it pairs well with a variety of ingredients and flavors.
  • Delicious – Flavorful and fresh, sautéed broccolini is enhanced with fresh garlic, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. It’s incredibly simple but so tasty!
plated broccolini

What is Broccolini?

Broccolini, also known as “baby broccoli”, is a hybrid of broccoli and gai-lan (a Chinese broccoli). It’s trademarked by a Japanese corporation as Tenderstem broccoli. The vegetable is characterized by its long thin stem and small, tender florets.

Tools You’ll Need

Ingredients You Will Need for this Broccolini Recipe

Vibrant broccolini, minced, garlic, and high-quality olive oil are the essential ingredients of this recipe.

  • Broccolini – Trim and cut lengthwise if thick.
  • Packed garlic – Minced garlic provides the best flavor.
  • Quality olive oil – This adds richness to the dish.
  • Water – You’ll need this to blanch the broccolini and then to halt the cooking process with an ice bath.
  • Kosher salt – Add Diamond Crystal to taste.
  • Freshly cracked black pepper – Generous grinds add a bold, peppery flavor to the dish.
broccolini submerged in water for boiling

How To Cook Broccolini

There are just a few simple steps to this broccolini recipe: blanching the vegetable, submerging it in ice water, and then infusing it with garlic flavor by sautéeing.

1. Prepare an ice water bath.

2. Bring a 4-quart dutch oven filled halfway with water to a boil. Add broccolini and cook until bright green and crisp (about 2 minutes for thick broccolini and 1½ minutes if thin and small).

Use a strainer to scoop out broccolini and quickly transfer to an ice bath.

3. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add oil then lower heat to low and add garlic. Keep a consistent stir for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Do not let the garlic brown as this is just to infuse the oil with flavor. If needed, remove the pan from heat and keep a consistent stir.

4. Drain broccolini well and add to the sauté pan and add salt. Increase heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Add water and bring to a simmer and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until cooked through and crisp and tender. Serve with desired sides and protein and enjoy!

raw broccolini soaking in an ice water bath

What to Serve With Broccolini

  • Pasta Add some nutrients to a pasta dish by adding this vegetable. Try it with Pasta al Limone.
  • Meat This recipe complements a variety of meats including grilled chicken, steak, or pork.
  • Seafood – Serve with baked salmon for a low-carb, well-balanced meal.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Broccolini Recipe

  • Once the blanching is done, quickly transfer the broccolini to an ice water bath. This halts cooking and locks in color and crunch.
  • Keep garlic on low heat when sautéeing to avoid browning. This allows the flavor to delicately infuse the olive oil without burning.
  • Wondering how to store broccolini? Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, warm up leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350°F for 7-10 minutes.
garlic broccolini in a pan

Variations

  • Cheese – Add some parmesan cheese for a savory, cheesy finish.
  • Lemon Want a bright pop of citrus flavor? Add lemon zest or juice.
  • Spicy Sprinkle the dish with red pepper flakes for a kick of heat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you need to blanch vegetables?

Blanching helps to lock in the vegetable’s color, preserve its texture and flavor.

How do you take the bitterness out of broccolini?

Cruciferous vegetables like broccolini sometimes have a bitter taste. Remove the bitterness by blanching the broccolini before cooking it. This mellows the flavor for a more palatable dish.

What’s the difference between broccoli and broccolini?

Broccolini is longer and slimmer than broccoli. It cooks faster than broccoli and has a milder taste. You can serve broccolini just as you’d serve broccoli.

How do you cut and cook broccolini for this recipe?

Trim any tough ends and cut them lengthwise if needed. Sometimes you may need to trim the stalk of leaves. Blanch the broccolini in boiling water for 1.5 to 2 minutes until bright green and crisp, then quickly transfer them to an ice water bath. Sauté minced garlic in olive oil, add the blanched broccolini, season with salt, cook briefly, then add water and simmer until tender.

garlic broccolini in a pan

Looking for More Side Dish Recipes?

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close up view of garlic broccolini in a pan

Sautéed Garlic Broccolini Recipe

This easy broccolini recipe combines the crisp freshness of vibrant, blanched broccolini with garlic-infused olive oil. With just 6 simple ingredients and a quick sauté, garlic broccolini is a delicious veggie side dish for a nutritious weeknight meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Jeri Mobley-Arias
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vegetarian

Equipment

  • 4 quart dutch oven
  • Sauté pan
  • Ice Water Bath
  • Fine Mesh Strainer

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces broccolini, trimmed and cut lengthwise if thick.
  • 4 teaspoons, packed garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons quality olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ plus ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste, Diamond Crystal
  • freshly cracked black pepper, generous grinds

Instructions

  • Prepare an ice water bath.
  • Bring a 4-quart dutch oven filled halfway with water to a boil. Add broccolini and cook until bright green and crisp, about 2 minutes for thick broccolini and 1½ minutes if thin and small). Use a strainer to scoop out broccolini and quickly transfer to an ice bath.
  • Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add oil then lower heat to low and add garlic. Keep a consistent stir for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Do not let the garlic brown as this is just to infuse the oil with flavor. If needed, remove the pan from heat and keep a consistent stir.
  • Drain broccolini well and add to the sauté pan and add salt. Increase heat to medium and cook for 2 minutes. Add water and bring to a simmer and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until cooked through and crisp and tender. Serve with desired sides and protein and enjoy!
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close up view of garlic broccolini in a pan

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Hey, I'm Jeri!

At Whisper of Yum, we explore ALL cuisines - comfort foods, classics, elevated originals. If you love food like me, I invite you to settle in to this place, where swoon-worthy food is attainable + inspo for your next meal awaits.

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