The 40 Best Broccoli & Friends Recipes We Know

We’re crowning broccoli (pun intended) the MVP of green vegetables—in springtime and all the time. You’ve seen it take the stage as an attention-grabbing side dish; it often mingles with cheddar for creamy soups and crunchy casseroles; and it tends to …

We’re crowning broccoli (pun intended) the MVP of green vegetables—in springtime and all the time. You’ve seen it take the stage as an attention-grabbing side dish; it often mingles with cheddar for creamy soups and crunchy casseroles; and it tends to make its way into all manner of pasta dishes, both hot and cold.

You'll notice that a few of these recipes call for broccolini (aka baby broccoli or Chinese broccoli, which has a sweeter flavor and thinner form than regular broccoli) or broccoli rabe (aka rapini, which is a bitter cousin to broccoli in the mustard family). Broccolini and broccoli rabe look very similar but taste pretty different, so keep an eye out for which one you're grabbing from the store or market before cooking. In general, you can swap in one for the other—or regular ol' broccoli for either—in any of these recipes, but just know that the flavor might be slightly different.

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How to Buy and Use Broccoli Rabe, Everyone’s Favorite Bitter Green

Broccoli rabe (pronounced “rahb”) seems like it should be a type of broccoli. Its flowers look like tiny broccoli florets, and if you stripped its stalk of leaves, you might swear it’s broccolini. You’d be wrong, but not so far off&md…

Broccoli rabe (pronounced “rahb”) seems like it should be a type of broccoli. Its flowers look like tiny broccoli florets, and if you stripped its stalk of leaves, you might swear it’s broccolini. You'd be wrong, but not so far off—broccoli rabe is a member of the brassica family, although it’s more closely related to turnips than broccoli. And don't be fooled at the market: broccoli rabe masquerades under a variety of names, including broccoli raab, rapini, bitter broccoli, turnip broccoli, and broccoli di rape.

What to Look For
Choose firm, small-stemmed specimens with compact, tightly closed, dark green florets and leaves that aren’t wilted, and make sure to avoid yellow leaves and flowers. As with broccoli, the florets turn yellow as it ages, so yellow flowers are a sign that your bunch of broccoli rabe is past its prime. For extra insurance, give your stems the sniff test, and pass on any with an unpleasant smell (think off-putting cabbage aroma).

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A Cheesy, Creamy Broccoli Rabe Gratin in 3 Ingredients

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else—flavor, creativity, wow factor. Psst: We don’t count water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (specifically, 1/2 cup or less of olive oil, vegetable oil, and butte…

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else—flavor, creativity, wow factor. Psst: We don't count water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (specifically, 1/2 cup or less of olive oil, vegetable oil, and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. This week, we’re making a dish that would be perfect for Thanksgiving.


A few fun facts about broccoli rabe: It’s also known as broccoli raab and rapini. It first arrived in the U.S. thanks to Italian farmers in the early 20th century. It’s a cousin to the cabbage and turnip. And it’s often used as animal fodder.

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Broccoli Rabe and Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Burrata

This unique piquant twist on pesto is made with broccoli rabe and toasted pistachios and served with creamy chunks of fresh burrata cheese. Mix up your dinner game with this fast and flavorful pesto-coated casarecce. No basil and pine nuts here: this beaut is made with earthy broccoli rabe and toasted pistachios. It may sound […]

This unique piquant twist on pesto is made with broccoli rabe and toasted pistachios and served with creamy chunks of fresh burrata cheese.

Mix up your dinner game with this fast and flavorful pesto-coated casarecce. No basil and pine nuts here: this beaut is made with earthy broccoli rabe and toasted pistachios. It may sound weird, but trust me, this recipe will quickly become one of your new weeknight staples!

Broccoli Rabe and Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Burrata

I’m of the opinion that if it’s green, it can probably be made into pesto.

I’ve done it with arugula and beet greens and kale and even garlic scapes.

Need further proof? Take broccoli rabe. And pistachios. Both green. And together they make for a fabulous homemade pesto.

Broccoli rabe, also called broccoli raab or rapini, somewhat resembles an extra leafy and leggy broccoli with very small, loose florets (although technically speaking, it’s more closely related to a turnip than anything). It has a flavor somewhere in between broccoli and turnip greens, slightly bitter and mildly earthy (but less so than say, beet greens).

If you can’t find it, you can use a mix of regular broccoli or broccolini and dark leafy greens such as turnip greens or kale.

Broccoli rabe can be quite bitter in its raw form (it tends to mellow as it cooks), so we’ve blanched it first to help remove some of that bitterness, before blending it into a piquant pesto along with pistachios, pecorino and parmesan cheeses, and even a splash of toasted pistachio oil for another layer of buttery richness.

Also helping to offset that bitterness? Chunks of rich, creamy burrata cheese scattered on top. (Seriously though, is there any pasta recipe out there that’s not improved by the addition of burrata? I think not.)

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