Broccolini recipe with garlic & kale is an easy vegan and gluten-free side dish with gobs of color. It comes together in just minutes, and it’s packed with antioxidants.
Sometimes you just want to kick it old school at dinner. You want something protein-dense like lentil loaf, a scoop of mashed potatoes, and a pile of green vegetables. Just like mom used to make.
And when the classics call, answer it with this sautéed broccolini recipe. It’s made simply with chopped broccolini and kale. They are sautéed with minced garlic, and steamed in a skillet with a pinch of salt. It doesn’t get much easier!
This broccolini recipe with garlic & kale is a super easy side dish that adds color, texture, and nutrients to your plate.
What is broccolini?
Broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale. In stores, it’s sometimes labeled as baby broccoli. (It’s labeled as broccolini at my local Co-op. However, at Trader Joe’s, the package reads baby broccoli.)
If you’re a broccoli fan, then you’re going to love broccolini. They taste very similar, but broccolini is slightly milder in flavor. It also has a thinner stem, which makes it quicker cooking.
The whole spear of broccolini can be eaten – including the leaves, “tree top” portion, and stem.
However, I do like to cut off the ends, which can get a little tough or dried out. And if there are any portions that are starting to look a little rough or discolored, gently slice off that portion.
How to make this easy side dish
Start by slicing off & discarding the ends of washed broccolini. Cut the remaining broccolini spears into 1-inch pieces.
Then remove the leaves from the ribs on a bunch of kale. Roughly chop the kale leaves.
Finally, mince garlic.
Now sauté the garlic in a lightly oiled skillet. Add the broccolini, and sauté a bit more. Add a couple Tablespoons of water, and cover with a lid until the water steams the broccolini and cooks off.
Add the kale to the skillet, and cook it down with a pinch of salt.
Make it your own
It’s easy to make this broccolini recipe your own by finishing it with a squeeze of lemon juice or a pat of non-dairy butter at the end.
If you’re not a big kale fan, add less of it, or omit it altogether. You can keep everything else in the recipe the same.
If you have leftovers, add them to your vegan tofu scramble or Buddha bowl.
What to serve with it
Sautéed broccolini & kale is a great side dish with any of the following:
- Vegan eggplant parmesan
- Easy baked tofu recipe with lemon & rosemary
- Vegan lasagna for one in the air fryer
- Vegan arancini (Italian rice balls)
- Creamy vegan risotto
- Chicken-style vegan pot pie (Using frozen pie crust!)
- Baked farro with tomatoes & herbs
Sautéed broccolini recipe with garlic & kale
- ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 bunch broccolini about 11 ounces, cut into one inch pieces with ends removed
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 bunch curly kale leaves removed from ribs and roughly chopped
- Pinch salt
- In a large skillet, bring extra virgin olive oil to a medium heat and sauté garlic for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.
- Add broccolini to the skillet and sauté for a minute more. Add water to the skillet and cover for about 3 minutes, allowing the broccolini to steam.
- Once most or all of the water is gone, uncover the skillet and add chopped kale. Evenly combine the kale with the broccolini and sauté for a few minutes more, until the kale is soft and wilted.
- Add a pinch of salt and serve warm.
Originally posted September 2014. Content and photos updated September 2019.