Garlic Sautéed Broccolini
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Sauteed broccolini is my favorite side dish to serve with pizza, steak, chicken, or seafood! It starts with garlic-infused olive oil then we’ll saute the baby broccoli until it’s bright green, tender on the outside, with just a bit of crunch!
Bright green and so garlicky!
That’s how I like my sautéed broccolini.
Honestly, this has to be one of the most straightforward recipes I’ve ever shared on the blog. I’m struggling to say it’s even five ingredients because that includes both salt and oil as well. But the flavor is BIG—vibrant green and tender on the outside with just a bit of crunch in the center. I’m convinced that the garlic-infused olive oil is what makes this recipe. We take our time to really allow the garlic flavor to release into the olive oil then, we spike it with a pinch of red pepper flakes to wake up the senses.
And what you’re left with is the best al dente broccolini that works beautifully with grilled chicken, homemade steak, and baked potatoes, we serve this when we make pizza for friends in our pizza oven, and you could even make this with salmon cacciatore and rice or parmesan chicken cutlets in lemon butter sauce and garlic bread.
What is the difference between broccolini, gai lan, and broccoli?
Broccolini, broccoli, gai lan, and broccoli rabe are all cruciferous vegetables, and they are both nutrient and fiber-rich and loaded with vitamin a, vitamin c, and others. Broccolini is actually a cross between broccoli and gai lan (also known as Chinese broccoli.)
Ingredients for sautéed broccolini:
- Broccolini: You’ll need a full pound of broccolini for this recipe. Start by giving the broccolini a good wash under cold running water. Then make sure to trim the stems or bottoms of the stalks. These can be woody and fibrous (like asparagus) so trimming them is necessary. Once cleaned, let them hang out in a sieve or on a paper towel while preparing the olive oil.
- Garlic Cloves: Thinly slice the garlic cloves so that they infuse the olive oil with that garlicky goodness. I find freshly sliced garlic works best for this recipe. I didn’t have much luck with minced garlic in a jar; it simply doesn’t taste the same!
- Olive Oil: You’ll want to use the good stuff for this. We’re slowly infusing the garlic flavor into the olive oil before tossing it all with the veggies.
- Red Pepper Flakes: Add just the little kick of heat. Feel free to use less if you’d like, I usually use a full ½ teaspoon, and it’s perfect for our taste that way!
- Kosher Salt: to season the broccolini.
- Lemon Wedges: These are optional. Add a squeeze of lemon juice right before serving. We like the punch of garlic flavor, so I usually don’t use acid as it cuts through the flavor but you could definitely serve these with lemon, especially if you’re having steak or salmon as the protein!
How to make the best sautéed broccolini recipe:
- Clean and trim. Once you’ve washed the broccolini, snap off or cut the fibrous ends and discard. Allow the washed broccolini to sit in a sieve or paper towel while you make the garlic-infused olive oil.
- Infuse that olive oil. Add the garlic and olive oil to a saute pan or a large skillet over low heat. Allow the pan to heat all the way through and for the garlic to just start sizzling in the pan. The garlicky aroma will soon hit the whole kitchen and it’s glorious! It takes roughly 8-10 minutes for the garlic to start sizzling; so be patient! Once it does, add in a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Saute until tender. Add the broccolini stems and kick the heat up to medium-low. Place the stems in a single layer and allow them to cook and sizzle in the pan for 6-8 minutes. You’ll want to toss them frequently and pick up any garlic chips that are starting to brown. I usually just place them on top of the broccolini so that they stop browning in the oil. Then add a tablespoon of water and cover the skillet. This allows the broccolini to cook through a little more to be crisp-tender. Remove the lid, season with salt, and toss to combine. Feel free to hit it with a little acid in the pan or serve with lemon wedges on the side.
- Serve it up. Plate up the sautéed broccolini and serve immediately. As written, the recipe is vegan-friendly, but you could add a sprinkling of parmesan cheese to this if you wanted to make it a bit nuttier, and you aren’t serving this to someone with vegan dietary needs. We like it without the lemon juice and parm! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. I usually enjoy the cold, chopped-up leftovers tossed in a salad!
Serve this recipe with:
- Fancy but Easy Salmon Piccata
- One-Skillet Chicken with Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce
- Creamy Chicken Lazone
- Spicy Shrimp Pasta with Tomatoes and Garlic
- Crunchy Lemon Pepper Baked Salmon
- 1 lb. broccolini, trimmed + washed
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- INFUSE: Add the garlic and olive oil to a cold skillet over low heat. Allow the pan to heat up and the garlic to warm through and start to sizzle slowly, stirring towards the middle and end, so the garlic cooks evenly; this usually takes 8-10 minutes total. When sizzling, add the red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
- SAUTE: Add the broccolini to the pan and kick the heat to medium-low. Allow the broccolini to turn bright green and become tender; for about 6-8 minutes, tossing frequently and moving any garlic over the broccoli so that it doesn't continue to cook in the oil. You can also add a tablespoon of water and cover the skillet if you prefer the broccolini less crunchy. Season with salt, toss to combine and serve immediately. We like it as is, but you could also hit it with juice from lemon wedges for a little acid or sprinkle it with parmesan cheese.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 6gCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 3gProtein: 2g
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