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February 22, 2024

This easy recipe for broccolini is ready in 15 minutes and is the perfect accompaniment for a nice weeknight dinner.


a plate of homemade broccolini cooked in olive oil and butter with salt and garlic and sprinkled with flaky salt
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Best Broccolini Recipe

While the internet is filled with plenty of broccolini recipes, rest assured that this garlicky, crunchy, buttery, tried and true one is the best! Broccolini is much less prep (no cutting stems!) and perhaps tastier due to its natural sweetness than broccoli. It’s vibrant green, provides a great crunch, and has tons of health benefits such as being high in calcium and magnesium. Besides all that, it's great as an addition to sheet pans, frittatas, or a side to any of our favorite pasta dishes. In this broccolini recipe, we use both butter and olive oil for a fuller, complex flavor, tons of thinly sliced and sautéed garlic, and a sprinkling of flakey salt. Forget everything you thought about boring broccoli because we’re giving you the flavor packed sister, broccolini!

bowls of olive oil, butter, broccolini, salt, garlic cloves and flaky salt to make broccolini

What Is The Difference Between Broccolini and Broccoli?

Although broccolini is sometimes referred to as baby broccoli, the name is rather deceiving: it’s not actually a younger version of broccoli. So what is broccolini? It is in fact in the same cruciferous family and stems from broccoli as we know it, mixed with Chinese broccoli. Broccolini has thinner, longer, softer, sweeter stalks with spacious florets. When tossed with olive oil and butter, the outsides brown and crisp up but the insides remain soft and delicious. On the other hand, there is broccoli with thick, short stems and tightly packed, small florets – try Broccolini Au Gratin or Roasted Broccoli which goes perfectly in this Roasted Broccoli Pesto.

broccolini being cooked in a skillet with olive oil, butter, salt and garlic

How Do You Eat Broccolini?

Luckily for us, broccolini is extremely easy to prepare and even easier to eat – you’ll be asking yourself why you haven’t made it more often. While some of us like to stand directly over the pan and eat them one by one, we also serve it as a side alongside a protein such as Chimichurri Steak, the famous Marry Me Chicken (no lie, it’s that good!), or Baked Salmon. It truly pairs well with almost anything, but especially well with a side of Crispy Smashed Potatoes or Lemon Rice. If you have leftovers, which is doubtful with how delicious this recipe for broccolini is, then we suggest slicing them lengthwise and throwing them in a salad for a hearty bite, such as this White Bean Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette.

a frying pan full of broccolini cooked in olive oil and butter with salt and garlic and sprinkled with flaky salt
a frying pan full of broccolini cooked in olive oil and butter with salt and garlic and sprinkled with flaky salt

How To Cook Broccolini

There are many ways to make broccolini: steamed, sautéed, and even roasted broccolini! And because the stems are slim, it doesn’t take long to cook. But what is the best way to cook broccolini? Follow the steps below for perfectly pan sautéed broccolini every time:

  1. Steam it! Oil and water combine to create a steaming effect – cooking your broccolini until almost tender. While steamed broccolini is delectable, we like to really make it shine by combining two methods of cooking.

  2. Sautée it! Thinly sliced garlic sautéed in butter with broccolini, bringing out the natural sweetness and elevating the flavor. High heat chars the broccolini, giving it a golden-brown and seared touch.

  3. Serve it! Sprinkle it with a little flaky salt for that restaurant feel and serve right away while it’s still piping hot. Make it your own by shaving some parmesan over the top and maybe even a squeeze of lemon.

a plate of homemade broccolini cooked in olive oil and butter with salt and garlic and sprinkled with flaky salt

Tools You’ll Need For Skillet Cooked Broccolini

More Healthy and Delish Sides

We’ve put together some of our favorite ways to round out your meal because we love a full plate of healthy sides. All of these are Mom-approved for the little ones, too.

a plate of homemade broccolini cooked in olive oil and butter with salt and garlic and sprinkled with flaky salt

Upgrade Your Broccoli Game!

Show us your broccolini! We hope this recipe adds a little variety and elevation to your vegetable rotation. Snap a photo of your broccolini and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

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  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  10 min
  • Calories: 72


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound broccolini, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Flaky salt, for serving


  1. Heat the olive oil and 3 tablespoons of water in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the water is steaming, add the broccolini and toss to coat. Cover and cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated and broccolini is bright green, about 5 minutes.

  2. Uncover and add the butter and garlic. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and golden brown and the broccolini is tender, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with flaky salt. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories72
  • Protein3 g
  • Carbohydrates6 g
  • Total Fat4 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol5 mg
  • sodium73 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g


Questions & Reviews

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    Any questions?

    Need to change up some ingredients? Unsure about a step in the method? Click the Ask a Question button above. We’re here for you.

  • Jenn

    This broccolini is delicious. I love the thinly sliced garlic cloves as opposed to minced.

    Thanks Jenn!

  • Scot

    These are salty and wonderful! I love when they're roasted to perfection—not too soft, not too crispy.