Healthy Garlic and Chile Flakes Broccoli Rabe Saute Recipe

Healthy Garlic and Chile Flakes Broccoli Rabe Saute Recipe

Discover the secret to perfectly tender, mouthwatering broccoli rabe that will make you fall in love with this classic Italian vegetable.

Broccoli rabe, also known as rapini, can be a divisive vegetable due to its bitter flavor and sometimes tough texture. However, this recipe will change your mind about this nutritious green. The key? Cooking it longer than you might expect.

This technique, inspired by authentic Tuscan cuisine, transforms broccoli rabe into a delectable side dish. As it cooks, the bitterness mellows, and the stalks become irresistibly tender. The result is a savory, garlicky vegetable that pairs perfectly with roasted meats or hearty pasta dishes.

While many modern recipes shy away from extended cooking times for vegetables, this dish proves that sometimes, longer is better. The Italian culinary tradition has long embraced this method, resulting in dishes that are both comforting and full of deep, developed flavors.

This recipe streamlines the cooking process by combining a quick blanch with a flavorful sauté. The blanching step softens the rabe, while the sauté infuses it with aromatic garlic and spicy red pepper flakes. The beauty of this dish is its flexibility – a quick 10-minute sauté yields delicious results, but letting it go for up to 30 minutes only enhances the flavors further.

So, embrace this Italian-inspired cooking method and prepare to be amazed by how delicious broccoli rabe can be. Let’s dive into the recipe!

Zesty Sautéed Broccoli Rabe With Garlic and Chile Flakes


  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Large pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound (450g) broccoli rabe, ends trimmed


  1. Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil. While waiting, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook until it just begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Toss in the red pepper flakes and let them sizzle for about 30 seconds to release their flavor. Remove the skillet from heat and set aside.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add the broccoli rabe and cook until the thickest parts of the stalks are tender, which should take about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the rabe thoroughly. Now, add the blanched broccoli rabe to the skillet with the garlic and pepper flakes. Toss well to coat the vegetables with the aromatic oil, and return the skillet to medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to prevent burning, until the rabe is very tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. At this point, you can serve the dish immediately for a quicker meal, or continue cooking over low heat, stirring now and then, for up to 20 minutes longer. Remember, the flavors will only intensify and improve with extended cooking time.
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
150 Calories
14g Fat
4g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 150
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 117mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 24mg 118%
Calcium 127mg 10%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 233mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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