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Spicy Sauteed Broccolini with Citrus Vinaigrette

Sauteed broccolini is one of my favorite vegetables. This version, tossed in a warm citrus vinaigrette and dusted with red pepper flakes is my vegetable side of choice these days. I can’t get enough of it. 

sauteed broccolini in bowl

sautéed broccolini

Small florets sit atop long, thin stems, that’s how you know you’ve gotten your hands on some broccolini. Ready in less than 15 minutes, this easy and healthy side is packed with flavor and it even got a thumbs up from picky eaters. I deserve a trophy.

Sauteed Broccolini

Sometimes, sides seem to be a bigger challenge than the entree. Sure, we all get stuck in the “chicken rut”, but figuring out what to eat with the chicken is the more difficult problem. You’re not alone, I’m in the same boat. 

That’s why I end up doing a stir fry at least once a month. However, as I mentioned last week; my Facebook peeps asked for more sides, so I set out to come up with a few. I think this one is absolutely delicious. I might even try it with asparagus next time.

We are all trying to get more green vegetables into our diet and this is a really tasty way to do it.

what’s the difference between broccoli, broccolini and broccoli rabe?

Well, one of these isn’t even related to the other. Curious? I found an article that easily articulates the differences. Read about it here.  Some people refer to it as “baby broccoli”. 

It isn’t and they are wrong.  Sorry.  What it is though, is delicious.

It came on the scene 25 years ago as a hybrid vegetable; it’s a cross between broccoli and Chinese broccoli. 

It has a mild, sweet taste, making it really easy to eat a serving of greens in record time. It might even take you longer to eat than it will to cook it. This recipe only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish, which means it is perfect for mid-week dinners when you are searching the fridge for a side dish.

Sauteed Broccolini with Warm Citrus Vinaigrette

Because I like a little spice, I sprinkled a pinch of crushed red pepper on the broccolini. If you don’t, leave it off. I think it works really well with the bright citrusy vinaigrette. It isn’t super spicy, it’s more of a tingle.

It gives the veggies a bit of pizzazz. If you can’t find broccolini in your market, you can substitute regular broccoli and it will be divine. I had to ask the produce manager to go in the back to see if they had any, because it isn’t always out. You may have to ask too.

Whatever you can get your hands on, it’s worth making. Whether it is broccolini, broccoli, broccoli rabe or Chinese broccoli. It’s a fast, easy and delicious way to eat your greens.

Please share!

Make it a meal:

Yield: 4

Spicy Sauteed Broccolini with Citrus Vinaigrette

Spicy Sauteed Broccolini with Citrus Vinaigrette
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes


  • 1 pound broccolini
  • zest and juice of each: 1 orange, 1 blood orange and 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper


  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Trim the bottoms from the broccolini (an inch or so).
  2. When the water is at a full boil, drop broccolini in and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat - whisk together the remaining ingredients, reserving half of the zest. Toss warm broccolini in the vinaigrette. transfer to platter or bowl and sprinkle the remaining zest on top. Serve warm.


Broccolini can be blanched (cooked in water for 2 minutes) a day ahead if needed. Add vinaigrette before serving. The acid in the citrus will discolor the greens over time.

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 109Sodium: 338mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

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