10-Minute Sautéed Broccolini and Garlic

This is an easy sautéed broccolini and garlic recipe that turns out crisp tender and has a crunchy panko topping. It’s an easy side dish that only takes 10 minutes to cook!

Broccolini in a bowl sprinkled with crispy panko

Broccolini sautéed in garlic is a classic combination. I wanted to elevate the simple ingredients by adding an extra layer of texture with crispy panko on top.

It looks beautiful against the bright green color.

I’ve found that not all grocery stores carry broccolini and it’s not always available year-round. The biggest regional grocery store near me doesn’t usually carry it, but some of the smaller ones that are known for their produce do. I’ve also found it at nearby farmer’s markets.

I have not seen it at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods yet, at least not in my neck of the woods. That may change in the future if it gains more popularity.

Ingredients for Sautéed Broccolini and Garlic

  • Fresh Broccolini
  • Water
  • Olive Oil
  • Minced Garlic
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt

What is Broccolini

Broccolini, also known as baby broccoli, is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It was developed in the early 1990s by breeding the two plant varieties to create a new vegetable with the best qualities of both parent plants.

Broccolini has a unique appearance and taste. It features small, thin stalks with small florets, and has a milder, sweeter flavor than traditional broccoli. The entire vegetable, from stem to floret, is edible.

The stalks are slender and delicate, and the florets are smaller and more elongated compared to regular broccoli.

A side view of a round dark bowl of broccolini topped with crispy panko

Broccoli Rabe vs Broccolini

Broccoli Rabe:

  • Appearance: Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, has smaller florets, but it also features long, thin leafy greens and small flower buds.
  • Taste: Broccoli rabe has a slightly bitter and peppery flavor, which sets it apart from the milder taste of broccolini.
  • Culinary Uses: It is commonly used in Italian cuisine and is often sautéed with garlic and olive oil or used in pasta dishes. The bitterness can be balanced with the addition of other ingredients like garlic, lemon, or cheese.
  • Nutrition: Broccoli rabe is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as dietary fiber. It also contains beneficial phytonutrients.

Broccolini:

  • Appearance: Broccolini is a hybrid vegetable that has slender, tender stalks and small, elongated florets. It closely resembles baby broccoli and has a more delicate appearance than regular broccoli.
  • Taste: Broccolini has a milder, sweeter, and less bitter flavor compared to broccoli rabe. It is often described as a more approachable version of broccoli.
  • Culinary Uses: Broccolini is versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. It is suitable for sautéing, roasting, grilling, or steaming. It can be used in stir-fries, salads, as a side dish, or as a garnish.
  • Nutrition: Broccolini shares nutritional similarities with regular broccoli, offering vitamins C and A, as well as dietary fiber. It is a healthier alternative for those who prefer a milder flavor.

Health Benefits of Broccolini

Broccolini is a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, and potassium. These nutrients are vital for maintaining overall health.

Broccolini is a low-calorie vegetable, making it an excellent choice for those looking to manage their weight or reduce calorie intake.

It contains dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health. Fiber can help prevent constipation, regulate bowel movements, and support a healthy gut.

Broccolini on a cutting board

Broccolini contains antioxidants like vitamin C and various phytonutrients, such as glucosinolates, which can help protect cells from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

For more healthy side dish recipes, check out my air fryer broccoli and garlic roasted Brussels sprouts recipes.

How to Make Sautéed Broccolini and Garlic

Many home cooks like to parboil their broccolini first, place it in an ice water bath, and then place it in the saute pan.

However, in this sauteed broccolini recipe, I keep it a one-pan meal by steaming it all in the same pan.

I feel it’s the best way because it keeps it means fewer steps and less cleanup. Think of it as the hybrid cooking process of cooking hybrid broccoli.

The actual cooking time is really quick!

Broccolini in a collander
  • Rinse broccolini under water and remove any debris.
  • Use a sharp knife to trim the tough, woody ends of the broccolini. You’ll want to remove about 1/2″ to 1″ from the stem ends. The trimmed ends will be lighter in color and should easily snap or cut off.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add panko breadcrumbs. Cook until a light golden brown, sprinkle with a dash of salt, and set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
Sautéed Broccolini and Garlic in a large skillet
  • Add broccolini, season with salt, and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
Sautéed Broccolini and Garlic in a large skillet sprinkled with crispy panko
  • Add water, cover with a lid, reduce to medium heat, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally and cook until the broccolini is to the tenderness of your liking.
  • Remove from heat and drain any excess liquid from the pan. Sprinkle with panko topping and serve immediately.

Serving

I like to serve broccolini with a main dish of meat like Baked Stuffed Pork Chops with Stove Top Stuffing or my Pan-Seared Filet Mignon Steak. Another great choice is Air Fryer Stuffed Chicken Breast or Broiled New York Strip Steak like in the photo below.

Broccolini sprinkled with panko on a white plate next to a New York strip steak

Sautéed Broccolini and Garlic

Refrigerating

Once the cooked broccolini has cooled, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing

Freezing is an excellent way to preserve cooked vegetables, including broccolini. Here’s how to freeze cooked broccolini:

  1. After cooking the broccolini, allow it to cool to room temperature. This step helps prevent the formation of excess moisture inside the packaging, which can lead to freezer burn.
  2. Place the portioned broccolini into airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing.

Properly stored, frozen cooked broccolini can remain safe to eat for up to 6-12 months. However, for the best quality, it’s recommended to use it within the first 3-6 months.

An overhead view of a round dark bowl of broccolini topped with crispy panko
Broccolini in a bowl sprinkled with crispy panko

10-Minute Sautéed Broccolini and Garlic

Tiffany
This is an easy sautéed broccolini and garlic recipe that turns out crisp tender and has a crunchy panko topping. It's an easy side dish that only takes 10 minutes to cook!
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 100 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound Broccolini
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt to taste

Topping

  • ¼ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Instructions
 

  • Rinse broccolini under water and remove any debris.
  • Use a sharp knife to trim the tough, woody ends of the broccolini. You'll want to remove about 1/2" to 1" from the stem ends. The trimmed ends will be lighter in color and should easily snap or cut off.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and add panko breadcrumbs. Stir occasionally and cook until they reach a light golden brown. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add broccolini, season with salt, and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  • Add water, cover with a lid, reduce to medium heat, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir occasionally and cook until broccolini is to the tenderness of your liking.
  • Remove from heat and drain any excess liquid from the pan. Sprinkle with panko topping and serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 240mgPotassium: 252mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 521IUVitamin C: 68mgCalcium: 43mgIron: 1mg

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