One of my favorite side dishes to make is roasted broccolini! This lesser-known vegetable is not only packed with vitamins and minerals but also offers a unique and satisfying taste. It also gives our family a break from broccoli. The flavor is similar, but I think better and it looks far fancier and more elegant.
With its vibrant green color and delicate texture, roasted broccolini is a versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. Plus, my broccoli-loving kids absolutely love this, so it’s nice to have a few other options on hand.
You can stir-fry it, grill it, sauté broccolini, but my all-time favorite way to cook this nourishing vegetable is roasting it. It brings out the amazing flavors, cooks quickly and everyone loves it.
Not only is broccolini a great source of vitamins A, C, and K, but it also contains important nutrients like fiber and folate. These nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, supporting digestion, and preventing chronic diseases.
In addition to its health benefits, roasted broccolini is an easy option for adding more vegetables to your diet. Simply toss it in olive oil, season it and roast in the oven for a delicious and nutritious side dish. It’s even great as leftovers—chop and mix it into a salad or grain bowl the next day. So why not give roasted broccolini a try? Your taste buds and your body will thank you—I promise!
Nutritional Benefits of Broccolini
First off, if you’ve never heard of broccolini, it’s slightly different than regular broccoli. It’s also known as baby broccoli or less-commonly, asparation. It’s a hybrid vegetable that is a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. It has a similar appearance to broccoli but with smaller florets and longer, thinner stems. Broccolini offers various nutritional benefits, including:
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals:
- Vitamin C: Broccolini is a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system and skin.
- Vitamin A: It contains beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, promoting eye health and immune function.
- Vitamin K: Broccolini is high in vitamin K, crucial for blood clotting and bone health.
- Folate (Vitamin B9): Important for DNA synthesis and cell division.
Broccolini is a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, helps maintain a healthy weight, and supports heart health. Fiber helps keep you full for longer too.
Like broccoli, broccolini contains antioxidants such as sulforaphane, which has been associated with potential anti-cancer properties and may help support overall health. Pretty cool, eh? Especially when it tastes so great!
It provides essential minerals such as potassium and manganese, which play roles in maintaining proper heart function, bone health, and metabolism.
Low in Calories
To be honest, I’m not a big calorie-counter, but it’s worth noting that broccolini is a low-calorie vegetable, making it a nutritious option for those looking to manage their weight. Because it’s high in fiber, it will help keep you full despite being low in calories.
Rich in Phytonutrients
The unique combination of phytonutrients in broccolini contributes to its potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
How to Roast Broccolini
Step 1: Preheat Oven
Before you get started, preheat your oven. Roasted broccolini is a quick dish to prepare, so while you’re waiting for the oven to get hot, you can prep the dish.
Step 2: Clean your Broccolini
Make sure you’ve cleaned your broccolini and trimmed the stalks. I like to cut off the ends of the stems just for a fresh cut. Sometimes the ends look a little dried out and dead from sitting on the grocery shelves.
Step 3: Season
You can choose any seasoning you like if shallots and garlic aren’t your thing. Just make sure to toss with olive oil before and add salt and pepper. I toss all of this together on a rimmed baking sheet just to make clean up that much easier.
Step 4: Roast
Pop that broccolini in the hot oven and roast for about 10-15 minutes, depending on how crisp you like it. Personally, I like it more on the crisp side, so I typically err on the shorter cooking side.
Step 5: Adjust Seasonings
Taste a piece once done and make sure you like the doneness and seasonings before serving. If necessary, add a little salt or pepper.
Roasted Broccolini with Shallots & Garlic
Roasted Broccolini with Shallots & Garlic
- 2 bunches broccolini
- 1 large shallot (or 2 small ones) sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Rinse broccolini and pat dry, trim edges and split any thick stalks in half lengthwise for more even cooking.
- On a rimmed baking sheet, add broccolini and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss with shallots and garlic. Spread them in a layer so they can cook evenly.
- Roast for 10-15 minutes. They will be tender crisp when done, if you prefer softer, cook a few minutes longer. Toss everything together one last time and serve hot.
Tips for the Perfect Roasted Broccolini
Fully Dry Broccolini
To ensure that your broccolini gets crispy instead of soggy, make sure that it’s fully dried. This will prevent it from steaming in leftover water droplets. To make sure it’s dry, I recommend washing it when you bring it home from the store, drying it and then leaving it in the refrigerator overnight. The cool, dry air inside will help dry and moisture out.
Use Ample Olive Oil
You don’t need to go crazy, but don’t skimp too much either. Olive oil will help keep your broccolini flavorful and moist and help keep it from getting too crisp.
Use High Heat
I always recommend using high heat when roasting any vegetables. This will keep them from getting squishy, and also makes cook times faster.
Buying and Storing Broccolini
Whenever you’re buying broccolini, make sure to look at the stems and leaves to make sure there are no brown or black spots and that they look fresh and not limp or squishy. The stalks should feel strong and crisp and leaves should be bright green and perky!
More Health Benefits of Roasted Broccolini
We talked about some of the nutritional benefits of broccolini earlier, but I wanted to touch on a ew health benefits that eating broccolini can help with too. It has a unique combination of phytonutrients which are linked to potential health benefits.
Broccolini contains antioxidants like sulforaphane, which may help neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals can contribute to oxidative stress, and antioxidants play a role in reducing this stress and supporting overall health.
As someone who’s dealt with a fair amount of inflammation in my body, I love anything that boasts anti-inflammatory effects! Some compounds in broccolini, including sulforaphane, may have anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health conditions, and a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods may help mitigate these risks.
I’m not saying this will guarantee cancer prevention, but the presence of sulforaphane in broccolini has been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties. It may help induce phase II detoxification enzymes in the body, which can enhance the elimination of potentially harmful substances and protect against certain types of cancers.
The fiber, potassium, and antioxidants in broccolini contribute to heart health. Fiber helps manage cholesterol levels, potassium supports healthy blood pressure, and antioxidants can protect the cardiovascular system.
Broccolini is a good source of vitamin K, which is essential for bone health. Vitamin K plays a key role in bone mineralization and helps maintain bone density.
The fiber content in broccolini supports digestive health by promoting regular bowel movements and aiding in the prevention of constipation.
Broccolini is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a nutrient-dense and filling option for those looking to manage their weight. The fiber content helps promote satiety and reduces overall calorie intake.
Immune System Support
The combination of vitamins A and C in broccolini contributes to a healthy immune system. These vitamins play roles in immune function and can help the body defend against infections and illnesses. Making it a great side dish to add to your fall and winter rotation!
Incorporating Roasted Broccolini into your Diet
This is such an easy side dish to prepare, and whether you’re roasting it, grilling it or sautéing it, you can get all of these amazing health and nutritional benefits from this amazing and delicious vegetable.
Add it as a side to baked salmon or grilled chicken, or chop it up and toss on a grain bowl. There are countless ways to add roasted broccolini to simple meals!
This simple recipe remains a classic and a favorite in our house. It’s full of fiber, nutrients, minerals and tastes absolutely delicious. I hope you try out this recipe and let me know what you think!