Find out how to cook broccolini in a pan. This pan fried broccolini recipe is super simple and makes the best healthy veggie side dish.
This three ingredient pan fried broccolini is super easy and SUPER delicious.
It also only takes fifteen minutes start-to-finish, and you'll have yourself a delicious side dish for any lunch or dinner. With so few ingredients, it's accidentally vegan, dairy free, and gluten free. If you thought broccolini was a little too fancy to cook, think again. It's actually really easy to pan fry broccolini, and it's a fun alternative to regular broccoli.
What is Broccolini?
Broccolini looks very similar to broccoli, and in many ways it is. Rather than coming in a large head, though, broccolini comes in smaller bunches, with little florets atop individual stems. Developed as a hybrid veggie to be more flavoursome, it's actually the product of crossing Chinese kale with "normal" broccoli.
You might have heard it called tender stem broccoli, long stem broccoli, or broccolette, but it's all the same thing!
What Are the Three Ingredients?
The magic of this pan fried/ pan seared broccolini recipe is that it only requires three ingredients:
- Olive oil: Use a high-quality kind for the best results. If you don't like olive oil, you can also substitute it for avocado or coconut oil, though they'll add different flavours.
- Broccolini: This is obviously an essential ingredient. I used two bunches that were about 80g each.
- Chilli flakes: Chilli flakes add a lovely spice to this broccolini. If you hate spice, feel free to leave them out, but I personally love them! Start sparingly and build your way up.
Customise Your Broccolini
The beauty of this basic recipe is that you can customise it however you like, depending on what you're serving it with. Noteworthy additions include:
- Minced fresh garlic or garlic powder
- Soy sauce
- Lemon juice/ lemon zest
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
- Salted or unsalted butter
How to Cook Broccolini in a Pan
Learning how to pan fry broccolini is super simple. You simply add oil to a pan, throw in your broccolini, and flip it as needed. You'll know the broccolini is ready when it's slightly charred. Season with your preferred spices - and that's it!
If you want to change it up, feel free to swap broccolini for any of the following
- Chinese broccoli (gai lan) which has similar tender stalks
- Regular broccoli (increase cooking time as needed)
- Broccoli rabe
- Baby broccoli
Serving, Leftovers and Storage
To serve this vegetable side, simply plate it up alongside your favourite dinner. This broccolini would taste equally awesome accompanying pork chops, chicken breasts or a tofu steak.
If you want to eat this broccolini the next day, we recommend letting the broccolini cool to room temperature, then storing in an airtight container in the fridge. This easy side dish will reheat easily in the microwave or can be warmed up in a large skillet or medium sauté pan for a couple of minutes until heated through.
This recipe is also a great meal prep option, and can last for a few days in the fridge. Making it ahead means healthier meals with less prep later on (only 2-3 minutes of reheating) — talk about a win/ win.
Yes! The best way to fry broccolini is to pan fry, using the method detailed in the recipe below.
The amount of time it takes to get your broccolini fried to perfect will depend on your stovetop temperature settings. In general, it will take about 15 minutes over medium heat to reach that subtly charred, cooked-through texture.
Editorial Note: This recipe was originally published in June 2021 and has since been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
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