The Best Sauteed Broccolini Recipe

Sauteed Broccolini recipe with garlic and butter cooked to a tender-crisp perfection, topped with lemon zest and fresh parsley. This side dish takes just minutes to make and it’s one of the tastiest and healthiest ways to enjoy broccolini. 

closeup shot of sauteed broccolini served with lemon wedges

Easy 10 Minute Sautéed Broccolini Recipe

Busy, busy, busy! That’s life these days, right? Somehow, I often find myself short on time, especially at the end of the day, when it’s time to get dinner ready. But, it’s still a priority to get some good, healthy meals on the table – I just need it to be fast and easy. Well, that’s this recipe in a nutshell!

This super-simple broccolini recipe is just perfect for those busy, time-crunch dinners! All you have to do is give your fresh broccolini a rinse, and cut off any tough stems. Then it’s ready for a quick saute in butter, with a blast of flavor from fresh garlic and lemon.

This is one that everyone will truly enjoy, it’s also healthy, and it only takes about ten minutes to make. A “win” in every way!

What is Broccolini?

You might be wondering, “Is broccolini the same as broccoli?” Well, sort of! It’s a hybrid between ordinary broccoli and its Chinese counterpart. The result is long, tender stalks with tight, crunchy florets.

But, the real question is, what does broccolini taste like? Good news there, too: it tastes just as delicious as regular broccoli, and maybe even better, with a slightly sweeter flavor.

Is broccolini healthy? You bet! It’s a great source of vitamins A and C, and it also contains folate, iron and potassium. On top of that, it’s a low-calorie vegetable, which can make it a great choice for those counting calories.

Recipe Ingredients

When you see a nice, short ingredient list, you know it’s gonna be a good dish, amirite? I love how easy and fast it is to get this on the table. Just make sure your veggies are fresh and don’t forget to grab a couple of lemons.

  • Broccolini: For this recipe, you’ll need 1 to 1.5 pounds of fresh broccolini.
  • Butter: I use a tablespoon of real butter for this sauté.
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic, lightly chopped, adds so much flavor!
  • Water: A half a cup of water is needed for creating a steamy environment to tenderize the broccolini.
  • Lemon Zest: This makes a lovely optional garnish.
  • Lemon Wedges: Optional, for serving.

trimming broccolini with a knife

How to Cook Broccolini in a Pan

This dish comes together in one skillet for a quick prep. Be sure to have your skillet lid on hand, and take care not to let the butter burn while sautéing. Pro tip: add a touch of high-heat oil, like avocado oil, to the butter to help prevent scorching.

  1. Prep Broccolini: Rinse the broccolini well and pat it dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Cut off the bottom third of the broccolini stems and discard. Set the broccolini aside.
  2. Sauté Broccolini: Melt the pat of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is heated, add the prepared broccolini to the butter, and saute for 5 or 6 minutes, until the broccolini turns bright green and the stems and tops are lightly browned.
  3. Season: Season the dish with salt and pepper, then stir in the chopped garlic and toss lightly to coat.
  4. Steam: Add the water to the skillet and cover. This will trap the steam in the skillet. Cook this way for 1 to 2 minutes, or until broccolini is crisp-tender.
  5. Serve: Transfer the veggies to a serving dish, garnish with lemon zest and serve with lemon wedges.

sauteeing broccolini in a skillet

Tips for the Best Sautéed Broccolini

Like most of my veggie side dishes, this one is fun and flexible. You can make substitutions and additions to tweak it to your taste. Just be sure to choose good, fresh veggies!

  • Choose Fresh: Broccolini should have firm, tightly packed florets and fresh green stems that are firm and unblemished. Steer clear of yellowed, limp, or spotted stalks of broccolini.
  • Substitutions: For a vegan version of this dish, you can simply use avocado oil, olive oil, or vegan butter. You can also use lime zest and wedges rather than lemon, and even use broccoli florets instead of broccolini!
  • Mix-In Magic: Dress up the dish by adding sliced mushrooms with the broccolini, topping with freshly grated Parmesan, or garnishing with thinly julienned basil.

What to Serve with Sautéed Broccolini

If you need something to serve with this broccolini side dish, you have to try one of these hearty entrees!

  • Pork Marsala: This easy recipe for Creamy Pork Marsala goes perfectly with the lemon and garlic flavors of this yummy side dish!
  • Short Ribs: Rich, savory and warming, my Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Ribs complement fresh, crisp-tender broccolini to perfection.
  • Shakshuka: This delicious vegetarian Macedonian Shakshuka is made with roasted red pepper sauce, fresh eggs and feta. Yum! And the green, sautéed broccolini makes a perfect side for the rich red sauce.

overhead shot of sauteed broccolini and lemon wedges pictured in a stainless steel skillet

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

If you like having leftovers, you’re in luck! This dish keeps well in the fridge or freezer.

  • To Refrigerate: Cool the broccolini to room temperature, and then place it into food storage bags or shallow, airtight containers. Refrigerate for up to two days.
  • To Freeze: Cool the broccolini to room temperature and place it in freezer bags. Freeze for up to 9 months.
  • To Reheat: thaw broccolini overnight in the refrigerator (if frozen). Then, heat a spoonful of olive oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the broccolini and toss to coat. Cover and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.


Easy Sauteed Garlic Broccolini

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time10 mins

Total Time15 mins

Tender broccolini, butter, fresh garlic, and lemon combine in this Easy Sauteed Garlic Broccolini.


  • Rinse and pat dry the broccolini.

  • Cut off the bottom third of the broccolini and discard. Set broccolini aside.

  • Melt butter in a skillet set over medium-high heat.

  • Once butter is heated, add broccolini to the butter and saute for 5 to 6 minutes, or until bright green and stems are lightly browned. Stir occasionally.

  • Season broccolini with salt and pepper.

  • Stir in garlic and toss around to coat.

  • Add water to the skillet; cover and cook for 1-½ to 2 minutes, or until broccolini is crisp-tender.

  • Transfer broccolini to a plate.

  • Garnish with parsley and lemon zest; serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Facts

Easy Sauteed Garlic Broccolini

Amount Per Serving

Calories 88
Calories from Fat 36

% Daily Value*

Fat 4g6%

Saturated Fat 3g15%

Trans Fat 1g

Cholesterol 11mg4%

Sodium 363mg15%

Potassium 12mg0%

Carbohydrates 9g3%

Fiber 1g4%

Sugar 3g3%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 2133IU43%

Vitamin C 105mg127%

Calcium 87mg9%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Keywords: broccolini recipe, how to cook broccolini, sauteed broccoli, sauteed broccolini, vegetable side dishes, veggie side dish, what is broccolini

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