Are you new to Roasted Broccolini? It was something I often saw listed as a side at restaurants, but didn’t give much thought to making it at home. Had anyone told me how easy, delicious, and FAST cooking broccolini in the oven is, I wouldn’t have waited so long!
Broccolini, also called “baby broccoli” is similar to broccoli but with smaller florets and a milder taste. (It’s often confused with broccoli rabe, which is actually more bitter and more closely related to kale than it is broccoli.)
Broccolini has long, thin stalks that, unlike mature broccoli stalks, are tender all the way through. That means that you can eat the stems right along with the florets.
You do need to trim off the end of broccolini before cooking, which takes all of 20 seconds (I line up the stems and trim the whole bunch at once). Other than *maybe* this Roasted Frozen Broccoli, vegetable prep doesn’t get much easier.
In addition to minimal prep time, our friend baby broccoli has a few other distinct advantages over his larger cousin.
- Less Waste. You eat the entire broccolini, floret and stem! (You can cook the core of regular broccoli stems too, but you need to trim away and discard the outsides first—see this post for the best ever Roasted Broccoli for a tutorial.)
- More Surface Area for Caramelization. Vegetables caramelize most on the surface that is touching the sheet pan. Those long, slender broccolini stems mean more surface area to turn golden.
- FAST. Broccolini cooks in as little as 15 minutes, and may be even faster if you have a convection oven.
- Versatile. Garlic, cheese, red pepper flakes, lemon—you can gussy up your broccolini in a variety of ways, or enjoy it just as it is. See below for specific ideas and serving suggestions.
- Fancy. OK, it’s not actually fancy (it’s ridiculously easy) but it FEELS fancy, and sometimes that’s what counts.
Broccolini’s quick cook time and all-around plate appeal make it an ideal choice whether you need a fast weeknight side or a last-minute, easy addition to a holiday dinner.
Tips for Perfect Roasted Broccolini
Pay attention to these easy tips to ensure your broccolini turns out crispy and caramelized, not burnt or soggy.
- Roast at 425 degrees F. Since broccolini is so thin, it cooks through quickly and benefits from faster, higher-temperature cooking. (By contrast, a harder vegetable like Roasted Sweet Potatoes needs longer in the oven to become tender in the center, so you have to cook it at a slightly lower temperature.)
- Don’t Skimp on the Oil. Those cute little broccolini florets burn easily. To make sure they don’t, be sure to be generous with the oil and use your fingers to coat the florets thoroughly.
- Give Them Space. While the florets can touch a little bit, you want to avoid overcrowding the pan, or the broccolini will steam instead of roast, becoming soggy. Be sure the broccolini is spread in a single layer.
- Cut-Sides Down. This is a tip I also love for perfect Roasted Brussels Sprouts. When possible, flip the broccolini so that any cut sides (if say, you have a very thick broccolini that needs to be cut in half through the stem) are touching the pan for maximum caramelized surface area.
- Season Well. Kosher salt and black pepper are especially important and will make the broccolini taste its best.
How to Cook Broccolini
This recipe yields enough for two or three servings and is easy to double.
If all of your broccolini doesn’t fit on a single pan without overlapping, divide it between two pans and switch their positions in the oven halfway through.
- Trim the broccolini, then add it to a baking sheet. Cut large stalks in half lengthwise so that they are all about the same diameter
- Top the broccolini with garlic, oil, salt, and pepper. I do this right on the pan.
- Spread them into a single layer, then roast at 425 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through. ENJOY!
Ways to Flavor Broccolini
Keep it simple with olive oil, salt, and pepper, or elevate your broccolini with one of these easy additions.
- Garlic. Our go-to! Toss the broccolini with smashed, peeled garlic cloves (you’ll find this recipe for garlic roasted broccolini below). I recommend leaving the cloves large so that they do not burn.
- Lemon. Thinly slice 1 small lemon. Toss the slices with the broccolini (and garlic if you like) before roasting.
- Red Pepper Flakes. Sprinkle on a pinch just before serving.
- Cheese. Parmesan, cheddar, feta, and even goat cheese or blue cheese all taste delicious with roasted broccolini. Sprinkle it on during the last few minutes of baking.
- Herbs. Finish your roasted broccolini with a sprinkle of your favorite fresh herbs just before serving.
- Balsamic. Add a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the broccolini just before serving.
- Chopped Toasted Nuts. Add crunch with pecans, walnuts, almonds, or for something extra special, pine nuts.
- To Store. Refrigerate broccolini in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- To Freeze. Freeze broccolini in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. They’ll be a bit soggy but still edible.
To make sure your broccolini stays separated in the freezer, start by freezing them on a baking sheet until solid. Then, freeze them in an airtight storage container or ziptop bag.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Sheet. My go-to for making roasted vegetables.
- Citrus Juicer. The easiest way to juice a lemon or lime.
- Non-Slip Cutting Board. Stays in one place while you chop.
All of this leaves me wondering: could roasted broccolini actually be superior to roasted broccoli? There’s only one way you’ll know for sure!
If you try this roasted broccolini, I’d love to hear what you think. Please let me know how it turns out for you in the comments below.
FOR THE ROASTED BROCCOLINI:
- 2 medium bunches broccolini (baby broccoli), just shy of 1 pound
- 2 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus additional as needed (do not skimp or it may burn!)
- 3 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus additional for serving
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
- Trim off the end of the broccolini stems. If your broccoli stalks are thick, cut them in half lengthwise. You want all of the broccolini pieces to be roughly the same diameter. Place the broccolini in the center of the prepared baking sheet.
- Place the garlic on top of the broccolini. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (if using red pepper flakes, add them here).
- Toss to very thoroughly coat the broccolini with the oil and distribute the garlic evenly. Make sure all of the tips of the florets are nicely coated with oil to help protect them from burning. If any seem dry, drizzle on a little extra oil as needed. Arrange the broccolini in a single layer. Flip any cuts sides so that the cut part of the stem is touching the pan. (If you are adding Parmesan, sprinkle it over the top.)
- Roast the broccolini for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is crisp-tender and beginning to char. Halfway through the baking time, rotate the pan 180 degrees. No need to turn the broccolini over. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a pinch of additional salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if desired. Enjoy immediately.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate broccolini in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze broccolini in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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