Prepare To Fall in Love With Healthy Broccolini

Prepare To Fall in Love With Healthy Broccolini

If you typically try to avoid broccoli due to it’s pungent, bitter flavor, you should try broccolini instead. It’s appreciated by cooks and foodie palates alike for its mild, sweet and earthy flavor.

Where Can You Find Broccolini?

You should be able to find broccolini in the produce section of your grocery store, located near traditional broccoli and the other cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens, or you may find it at the farmer’s market.

Once you bring your broccolini home, store it in a plastic or reusable produce bag in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Try to use it within four days if possible, although a fresh bunch of broccolini may last as long as a week.

Note: Once the florets begin to pale or turn yellow, it’s nutrient value is notably reduced.

Another reason to give this delicious, Spicy Garlic Broccolini Recipe a try? Broccolini has all of the same health benefits of broccoli. That means it’s loaded with nutrients.

Some health benefits and nutritional information for broccolini include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Sulphorphanes, a family of powerful antioxidants
  • Glucosinolate compounds, which your body converts into even more antioxidants
  • High fiber content, good for digestion, blood sugar balance and appetite suppression
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Protein (Yep! Broccoli has the same amount of protein as its equivalent amount of rice or corn, but with only half the carbs and calories.)

If you’re looking for ways to reduce meat consumption, or you’re trying to focus on a diet that is higher in protein and lower in carbs, you should consider adding broccolini into your roster of sides and mains.

While you can eat it raw, broccolini is best when blanched or cooked. There are seemingly countless ways to cook broccolini. It can be simply steamed and eaten with salt and pepper, and it’s surprisingly delicious when roasted on a baking tray in the oven. Broccolini is tasty when cooked in an egg scramble, frittata or quiche, and it also tastes great in soups or when added raw to any sauteed dish or stir fry recipe.

That leads us to the focus of today’s post: an extra-delicious way to cook broccolini. This recipe works great as a vegetarian main dish, paired with a cup of brown rice or quinoa and a fresh, green salad. You can also serve it as a side dish with your favorite, lean grilled meat or meat substitute.

Spicy Garlic Broccolini Preparation & Serving Info

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes or less

Serves 2-4 as a main dish (depending on your appetite), serves 4-6 as a side dish

Great news! A one-cup serving has only 80 calories.

Spicy Garlic Broccolini Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds fresh broccolini or broccoli rabe**, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (should yield about 10 loose cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced thinly (check out this Live Science article to learn more about the health benefits of onions)
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (this amount should be modified in either direction for spice-sensitive or spice-friendly palates)
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (Did you know garlic is used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis [hardening of the arteries] and it’s been shown to reduce the risk of cancer?)
  • Salt and Pepper

**also called rapini, broccoli rabe is actually a member of the turnip family.

Spicy Garlic Broccolini Recipe Directions

  1. Bring a medium-pan of water to a boil. Add your prepared broccolini to the boiling water and let it bob around for two minutes. Drain the pan into a colander and immediately rinse the broccoli in cold, running water to stop the cooking process. You can also drop it into a bowl of ice water.

    This shorter cooking time makes for a beautiful, bright green color and a nice, al dente texture – but don’t let that alarm you. The broccolini will still cook a little bit more when you reheat it in the saute pan later on. If you prefer your broccolini on the softer side, boil it for just a little bit longer, but remember that the longer you cook it, the more nutrients you lose by the time you sit down to enjoy it.

  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer a bit, you know it’s hot enough.
  3. Add onion, garlic and red pepper to the pan. Stir occasionally, until tender (about two minutes or so). Onions should be translucent, but not brown.
  4. Now add the broccolini to the saute pan and stir frequently, tossing with sauteed onions and garlic until the broccolini is heated through again. This should take about two more minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This dish is so delectable that it will pack the same powerful flavor punch as the much loved Broccoli Cheese Casserole (270 calories per serving) your family orders at O’Charleysand with less than one-third of the calories.

What To Do With Your Leftover Spicy Garlic Broccolini?

Our guess? Unless you double the recipe, you won’t have any leftovers when you use this method to prepare broccolini – it’s that delicious. In the rare event that you do have some leftovers? It’s easy to re-purpose them.

Spicy Garlic Broccolini is excellent when lightly reheated the next day (overheating can wind up turning the cooked veggies into mush, so beware). You can use it cold and toss it with a fresh green salad, or it can be added to tomorrow night’s veggie stir-fry. You can use Spicy Garlic Broccolini in your own version of grass-fed beef and broccoli, and it’s also tasty when warmed up and added as a baked potato topping.

After you’ve had broccolini done right, you’ll be inspired to find all kinds of ways to add this nutritious vegetable into your regular cooking line-up.

For more health and fitness tips, visit or contact American Family Fitness to get advice from a certified fitness professional.