Garlicky Broccoli Rabe with a Punch: A Flavorful Delight

Welcome to my garlicky broccoli rabe recipe! If you’re looking for a simple and delicious way to enjoy this nutritious green, then you’ve come to the right place. This recipe is a classic Italian side dish that’s packed with flavor and easy to make.

Broccoli rabe is a leafy green that’s similar to broccoli but has a slightly bitter taste. It’s a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and iron. This garlicky broccoli rabe recipe is perfect for anyone looking to add more greens to their diet while also enjoying a delicious and satisfying dish.

I’ve been making this recipe for years and it’s always been a hit with my family and friends. It’s a great side dish for any meal and pairs well with a variety of proteins, from salmon to chicken to steak.

So, let’s get started on making this delicious garlicky broccoli rabe recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
Garlicky Broccoli Rabe


Are you tired of the same old boring side dishes? Look no further! This garlicky broccoli rabe recipe is the perfect addition to any meal. Not only is it packed with flavor, but it’s also incredibly easy to make.

First of all, the star of the dish, broccoli rabe, is a leafy green vegetable that is similar to broccoli but with a slightly bitter taste. It’s sautéed in a skillet with garlic and red pepper flakes, giving it a bold and delicious flavor.

But that’s not all, the dish is also topped with grated parmesan cheese, adding a touch of saltiness and creaminess to balance out the bitterness of the broccoli rabe.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also incredibly versatile. It can be served as a side dish or even as a main course when paired with your favorite pasta. The possibilities are endless!

What’s even better is that this dish is healthy and low in calories. Broccoli rabe is packed with nutrients such as vitamin A, C, and K, as well as iron and calcium. So not only will you be enjoying a delicious meal, but you’ll also be fueling your body with important nutrients.

In conclusion, this garlicky broccoli rabe recipe is the perfect addition to any meal. It’s packed with flavor, versatile, and healthy. So why not give it a try? Your taste buds and your body will thank you!

Ingredient List

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Recipe:

  • 1 bunch of broccoli rabe
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese

Note: You can adjust the amount of garlic and red pepper flakes based on your preference. If you like it spicier, add more crushed red pepper flakes.

If you plan on making Broccoli Rabe Pasta, you’ll also need:

  • 1 pound of penne pasta
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup of capers
  • 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese


The Recipe How-To



  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed and washed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for 6-8 minutes, until tender. Drain the broccoli rabe and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the cooked broccoli rabe to the skillet and sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli rabe is lightly golden brown.
  4. Season the broccoli rabe with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste.
  5. Serve the garlicky broccoli rabe as a side dish or use it as a topping for pasta, sandwiches, or salmon. Top with grated parmesan cheese and pine nuts, if desired.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Be sure to trim the tough ends of the broccoli rabe before cooking.
  • To save time, you can blanch the broccoli rabe a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • For a more intense garlic flavor, add more garlic cloves to the skillet.
  • If you prefer a spicier dish, add more crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet.
  • To make a pasta dish, cook penne pasta in salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the garlicky broccoli rabe. Toss the pasta with the broccoli rabe and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until the pasta is fully cooked.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a skillet over medium heat.

Substitutions and Variations

When it comes to making garlicky broccoli rabe, there are a few options for substitutions and variations to customize the dish to your liking. Here are some ideas to switch things up:

– Broccoli Rabe: If you can’t find broccoli rabe, you can use regular broccoli or broccolini instead. While the taste will be different, it will still be a delicious and healthy side dish.

– Garlic: If you’re not a fan of garlic, you can omit it from the recipe or reduce the amount to your liking. Alternatively, you can try adding other aromatics like shallots or onions.

– Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Adjust the amount of crushed red pepper flakes you use based on your spice tolerance. You can also substitute with black pepper or skip it altogether.

– Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is best for this recipe, but you can use any type of cooking oil you prefer.

– Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese adds a nice savory flavor to the dish, but you can use any type of cheese you like or omit it for a vegan option.

– Pasta: If you want to turn this dish into a main course, you can toss the garlicky broccoli rabe with some pasta. Penne pasta works great with this recipe, but you can use any type of pasta you prefer.

– Pine Nuts: For added crunch, you can sprinkle some pine nuts on top of the garlicky broccoli rabe before serving.

– Salmon: This garlicky broccoli rabe recipe pairs well with salmon. Simply grill or bake a salmon fillet and serve it alongside the sautéed broccoli rabe.

– Sandwich: Transform the garlicky broccoli rabe into a sandwich by adding some ricotta cheese and capers on a crusty baguette.

These substitutions and variations allow you to experiment with different flavors and textures while still enjoying the delicious taste of garlicky broccoli rabe.

Serving and Pairing

Garlicky broccoli rabe is a perfect side dish for any meal. The dish is versatile and pairs well with a variety of entrees, making it a great addition to your recipe collection. The bold and earthy flavors of the broccoli rabe are balanced out by the garlic and olive oil, making it a perfect complement to grilled meats or fish.

For a light and healthy meal, you can serve the garlicky broccoli rabe alongside a grilled salmon fillet. The dish also pairs well with a hearty sandwich, such as a chicken or turkey sandwich, or even a vegetarian sandwich with roasted vegetables.

If you’re looking for a pasta dish, you can toss the sautéed broccoli rabe with penne pasta and ricotta cheese for a simple and satisfying meal. The garlicky broccoli rabe can also be used as a topping for pizza, adding a burst of flavor to your favorite pie.

For a complete Italian-style meal, pair the garlicky broccoli rabe with a glass of red wine, such as a Chianti or a Pinot Noir. The wine’s acidity and bold flavors will complement the dish’s earthy and garlicky notes.

No matter how you choose to serve it, garlicky broccoli rabe is a delicious and versatile side dish that will add a burst of flavor to any meal. So, get ready to impress your family and friends with this mouth-watering recipe.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

This garlicky broccoli rabe recipe is an excellent choice for meal prep as it can be made ahead of time, stored and reheated easily. Once cooked, broccoli rabe can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, heat a skillet over medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. Add the leftover broccoli rabe to the skillet and sauté for a few minutes until heated through.

If you want to make this dish ahead of time, you can cook the broccoli rabe up to two days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat it in a skillet with some olive oil and garlic.

You can also freeze the cooked broccoli rabe for up to three months. To freeze, let the broccoli rabe cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat it in a skillet with olive oil and garlic.

Leftover garlicky broccoli rabe can be used in a variety of dishes, from pasta to sandwiches. For a quick and easy lunch, add the sautéed broccoli rabe to a sandwich with some ricotta and capers. For a heartier meal, toss it with some penne pasta and grated parmesan cheese. The possibilities are endless!

Overall, this garlicky broccoli rabe recipe is a versatile and delicious dish that can be made ahead of time, stored and reheated easily. Whether you’re meal prepping for the week or looking for a quick and easy side dish, this recipe is sure to please.

Tips for Perfect Results

Now that you know how to make garlicky broccoli rabe, let me share with you some tips and tricks to ensure that you get perfect results every time.

1. Blanch the broccoli rabe before cooking

To reduce the bitterness of the broccoli rabe, blanch it in boiling water for a minute before sautéing it. This will not only make it taste better but also retain its vibrant green color.

2. Use high-quality olive oil

Since olive oil is a key ingredient in this recipe, it’s important to use a good quality extra virgin olive oil. It adds flavor and richness to the dish and enhances the garlic and red pepper flavors.

3. Don’t overcook the garlic

Garlic has a tendency to burn quickly, which can result in a bitter taste. To avoid this, cook the garlic on medium heat for a minute or two until it turns golden brown. If it starts to brown too quickly, reduce the heat.

4. Adjust the spice level according to your preference

The recipe calls for red pepper flakes, which add heat to the dish. If you prefer a milder version, reduce the amount of pepper flakes or omit them altogether.

5. Add parmesan cheese for extra flavor

For an additional layer of flavor, sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese over the sautéed broccoli rabe before serving. It complements the garlic and olive oil and gives the dish a delicious umami taste.

6. Serve it as a side dish or with pasta

Garlicky broccoli rabe is a versatile dish that can be served as a side dish with grilled meats or fish, or as a pasta topping. It pairs well with penne or any other pasta shape.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to make a delicious and flavorful garlicky broccoli rabe that will impress your family and friends.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this garlicky broccoli rabe recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves bold flavors and healthy greens. With just a handful of ingredients and simple steps, you can create a delicious and nutritious side dish, pasta, or sandwich that will impress your family and guests. By using fresh broccoli rabe, garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes, you can add a touch of Italian-style garlicky goodness to your meals. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a fancy weekend brunch, this recipe is versatile and easy to customize. You can adjust the amount of garlic or red pepper flakes to your liking, or add some pine nuts, capers, or salmon for extra texture and flavor. You can also use this recipe as a base for other dishes, such as rabe pasta or rabe sandwich. The possibilities are endless, and the result is always satisfying. So, go ahead and give this garlicky broccoli rabe recipe a try, and let your taste buds do the talking!

Garlicky Broccoli Rabe Recipe

I love my veggies, so I do make this one often. Boiling the broccoli rabe helps remove some bitterness before it’s sautéed in garlic-infused oil. If you like it hot, double the amount of crushed red pepper.

  • 2 lbs broccoli rabe, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Cook broccoli rabe in boiling water 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and plunge broccoli rabe into ice water; drain. Coarsely chop. (can be done ahead of time).
  2. Spray large skillet with Pam. Heat oil in a over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in broccoli rabe, salt, and peppers. Cook until heated thoroughly.
Side Dish
< 30 Mins, Easy, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Vegetable

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