16 Broccoli Rabe Recipes That Prove Just How Versatile This Vegetable Really Is

Get to know and love this under-appreciated cruciferous veggie with our best recipes.

simply sauteed broccoli rabe healthy sidedish on blue table
Photo: Justin Walker

Delicious, nutritious, and slightly bitter broccoli rabe hardly needs dressing up. Its rich green stems, abundant leaves, and succulent florets are packed with minerals and vitamins. A quick steam and slick of olive oil preserve all of that goodness.

Still, we love to use broccoli rabe as an ingredient in all kinds of dishes. The vegetable is not as trendy as kale or as classic as Brussels sprouts, but it's flexible—and not just because of its pliant stalks. It adapts to many techniques, like roasting, boiling, braising, and sautéing and can easily become the basis of an antioxidant-rich meal. One of broccoli rabe's best nutritional qualities is its glucosinolates, which, as we digest, break down into biological compounds known for their anti-cancer properties. They're also responsible for the vegetable's bitterness.

Read on for broccoli rabe recipes that are so quick, easy, and appealing, they're sure to tempt even the white-food-only gang (we're looking at you, kids).

01 of 16

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

orecchiette with broccoli rabe pesto and crisp salami
Julia Gartland

A deeply green broccoli rabe pesto is made by blanching the vegetable, then blitzing it with sweet walnuts (or pecans), salty pecorino, fresh lemon juice, and spicy olive oil. The sauce collects in the hollows of orecchiette, making the most of every bite.

02 of 16

Crispy Broccoli Rabe, Chickpea, and Ricotta Salad

Johnny Miller

Broiling broccoli rabe concentrates its inherent sweetness, as its sugars begin to caramelize. Combined with mild chickpeas and luscious fresh ricotta, the contrasts of flavor and texture in this warm salad are sublime.

03 of 16

Chicken Thigh Piccata with Broccoli Rabe

chicken-thigh piccata with broccoli rabe
Nico Schinco

Is piccata sauce (lemon juice, capers, butter, and broth) the best thing ever invented? Possibly. Served across savory, juicy chicken thighs, atop a tender bed of braised broccoli rabe, it's delicious acidity permeates every bite of dinner.

04 of 16

Sautéed Broccoli Rabe

simply sauteed broccoli rabe healthy sidedish on blue table
Justin Walker

After a quick blanch to speed up the pan process, broccoli rabe is sautéed with reckless quantities of garlic, brightened with fresh lemon juice, and heated with pepper flakes.

05 of 16

Broccoli Rabe Pizza


Transform pizza night with our toasty hazelnut dough, topped with quickly-blanched broccoli rabe, onion slices, pecorino, and spicy pepper flakes.

06 of 16

Pressed Sandwich with Prosciutto and Broccoli Rabe

pressed sandwich with prosciutto and broccoli rabe recipe on wooden cutting board
Justin Walker

This sandwich can be a tailgate star or cozy home supper. Ciabatta panini are stuffed with garlicky, sautéed broccoli rabe, prosciutto, the sweet heat of Peppadews, fresh basil, and salty tapenade. The sandwich is pressed for eight hours (in the fridge). Pro tip: To serve hot, cook these beauties (after pressing) in a skillet with olive oil for 20 minutes. Flip once.

07 of 16

Roasted Broccoli Rabe Crostini


After a massage with extra-virgin olive oil, and roasting for 10 minutes, broccoli rabe makes the best topping for crunchy crostini.

08 of 16

Vegan Lentil Soup with Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe

vegan lentil soup in bowl on blue table
Justin Walker

Warm with the aroma of cumin and coriander, this hearty vegan lentil and tomato soup is spiked with earthy broccoli rabe.

09 of 16

Broccoli Rabe in Chicken Broth


Instead of cooking broccoli rabe in water, use good chicken broth to infuse the stems with even more flavor. And you don't have to discard the broth—topped with microplaned Parmesan (or bonito flakes) it makes a gentle basis for a soothing soup.

10 of 16

One Pot Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Bacon


Adding pieces of broccoli rabe to the pasta water shortens the prep time for this satisfying, one-pot dinner. It's finished with bacon, garlic, and walnuts toasted in the rendered bacon fat in the same pot (no extra dish washing!). Don't forget the Parmesan.

11 of 16

Broccoli Rabe with Anchovies and Breadcrumbs

Con Poulos

For a weekday lunch (or pick-me-up) no more is required: Melted anchovies with garlic are swirled into just-cooked broccoli rabe, and then topped with nutty, pan-fried breadcrumbs.

12 of 16

Sausage and Mushroom Burgers with Broccoli Rabe

Bryan Gardner

The Italian hero goes burger: good ciabatta, the best fennel-scented sausage, stalks of tender broccoli rabe—all gussied up with caramelized mushrooms and draped in a coat of melty provolone. Plus, mayo! Sometimes more is more.

13 of 16

Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Almonds


If you find that broccoli rabe's earthy, mineral bitterness is a bit much (especially for the kids), blanching the greens takes out a significant measure of that bite. To finish, and to seal the eat-your-greens deal, stir in toasted almonds and caramelized garlic.

14 of 16

White Bean and Tomato Casserole with Broccoli Rabe

Raymond Hom

The comfort of crunchy toast combines with the sweetness of roasted tomatoes, soothing cannellini beans, fragrant oregano, and the mineral bite of broccoli rabe in a cozy casserole you'll want to make on the regular.

15 of 16

Grilled Ham and Broccoli Rabe Sandwiches

Anna Williams

With fig jam, fontina, blanched broccoli rabe, and mustard, this is not your everyday ham and cheese. It may well become one.

16 of 16

Broccoli Rabe Dumplings


Dumpling wrappers are the best: Stuff them with vivid green broccoli rabe, garlic, and pine nuts (they balance the broccoli's appealing bitterness) and serve them—old-school style—on spoons as a party opener. (Or, just on a platter with our dipping sauce while you binge-watch something wonderful.)

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