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May 26, 2023

Spicy Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Shrimp

Shrimp and broccoli rabe are our fast-cooking friends, and a delicious accompaniment to white beans. Spice it up with red pepper flakes and top it all with freshly grated parmesan.


spicy broccoli rabe with white beans and shrimp in a bowl served with crusty bread topped with parmesan and fried garlic
Photography by Gayle McLeod

One Pot Broccoli Rabe With White Beans

This brothy white bean with spicy broccoli rabe and shrimp is a meal that easily brings together many simple ingredients in one pot. Crunchy greens, creamy white beans, and juicy shrimp are ready in less than thirty minutes. Of course, this wouldn’t be a meal at our house without Garlic Bread. White beans with broccoli rabe is great alongside Caesar Salad, and any pasta such as Cacio e Pepe or our Spicy Kale Orecchiette.

spicy broccoli rabe with white beans and shrimp in a bowl served with crusty bread
Spicy Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Shrimp in a pan with a serving spoon

What is Broccoli Rabe?

Looking for the best broccoli rabe recipe? Well you’ve got broccoli rabe questions, we’ve got answers! Broccoli rabe, or rapini in Italian, is part of the mustard family and is more closely related to turnips than it is to broccoli. Broccoli rabe is more tender than broccoli, and can be eaten in its entirety–leaves, stem, and heads. It is known for being both bitter–hence the mustard green relation–and nutty. We blanch it quickly to maintain its verdant color and remove the bitterness, then cook it with beans and stock.

broccoli rabe, white beans, shrimp, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, chicken stock and parmesan in bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Spicy White Beans With Broccoli Rabe

  • 2 cans of white beans – Cannellini, or great northern beans are the easiest to find at the grocery store.

  • Broccoli rabe – If you can’t find broccoli rabe, broccolini would be a great second choice, and even kale could work in a pinch.

  • Shrimp – Peel and devein one pound large raw tail on shrimp. It’s worth the work!

broccoli rabe being blanched in boiling water
garlic being cooked in olive oil in a skillet
shrimp being cooked in a skillet
shrimp being cooked in a skillet

How to Make Spicy Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Shrimp

  • Blanch the broccoli rabe quickly in boiling salted water.

  • Cook garlic in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot and set aside, this will be a topping for the finished dish.

  • Cook shrimp until just pink.

  • Add broccoli rabe, beans and stock and simmer until the liquid reduces by half.

  • Transfer to a serving dish and top with crispy garlic, grated parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes, if desired.

cooked shrimp and blanched broccoli rabe cooking in a skillet seasoned with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes
shrimp, broccoli rabe, white beans salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and chicken broth cooking in a skillet

How to Store Broccoli Rabe With Shrimp And White Beans + Tips

  • Leftovers are best eaten from the fridge within 3-4 days. Beans and shrimp freeze well. Just make sure everything has cooled to room temperature before storing in an air-tight container in the freezer.

  • Shrimp Cooks Fast! If you don’t trust your instincts, follow our method of cooking until just pink, about one to two minutes per side.

  • Fish is the name of this dish, but if shellfish isn’t your jam, precooked chicken sausage is an excellent substitution and complement to the spicy broccoli rabe.

  • Give your family or guests a full feast with Garlic Bread, Kale Caesar Salad, and a big bowl of pasta.

Spicy Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Shrimp in a pan surrounded by red pepper flakes, parmesan & crusty bread for serving

More Easy Recipes With White Beans

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Spicy Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Shrimp

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:  10 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 390


  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped (6-8 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, tail on, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Finely grated parmesan, for serving
  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until bright green, about 20 seconds. Drain and squeeze to remove excess liquid.

  2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the shrimp to the pot and cook, undisturbed, until just pink, about 1 minute per side.

  3. Add broccoli rabe, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and toss to coat. Stir in the beans and stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.

  4. Transfer to a platter and top with crispy garlic, grated parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve immediately with crusty bread on the side.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories390
  • Protein31 g
  • Carbohydrates40 g
  • Total Fat12 g
  • Dietary Fiber10 g
  • Cholesterol165 mg
  • sodium1713 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

Spicy Broccoli Rabe with White Beans and Shrimp

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Mary

    how much of the ingredients to make this recipe for four people

    This recipe is made to serve 4 people. hope you enjoy!

  • Jessica

    This was delicious! I switched the shrimp for halibut that I cubed and it was so yummy! Delicious and filling but also bright and light. And easy. So. Easy.

    Thanks Jessica, glad you enjoyed it! Sounds delicious with halibut too, nice swap!

  • Jenn

    This was very quick but felt very upscale. Will definitely be serving it to company next time.

    Thanks Jenn!