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30 min or less, Easy, Gluten Free, Side dishes, Summer Recipes, Under 400 calories, Vegan Recipes

Charred Broccolini with Garlic and Quinoa

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Get ready for an explosion of flavor with this Charred Broccolini with Garlic and Quinoa. This simple side dish is so easy to throw together in just 20 minutes, and packed with healthy plant-based protein and incredible flavor.

A casserole dish filled with Charred Broccolini layered on top of quinoa.

If you’re looking for a healthy, easy side dish, look no further. This Charred Broccolini with Garlic and Quinoa tastes like something you’d find at a fancy restaurant, yet it’s (easily!) made in the comfort of your own home. 

And on top of tasting incredible, this dish is also super healthy with charred broccolini as the star of the show.

Sure, you could substitute regular broccoli for this recipe, but why would you, when broccolini has such amazingly delicious characteristics?

A white dish filled with quinoa topped with charred broccolini.

What is Broccolini?

Broccolini is a hybrid vegetable, combining traditional broccoli and Chinese kale. It’s sometimes referred to as “baby broccoli” and has long stalks, small florets, and a few small leaves- all which are edible and delicious.

Unlike regular broccoli with tough stems, broccolini has more slender stems and a slightly sweeter, more delicate flavor throughout.

A cutting board covered with pieces of broccolini with stems.
Pictured above: Raw broccolini with stems.

Tips for buying and preparing broccolini:

  • Most stores will sell broccolini year round, and they are usually packaged in containers for 2-4 servings. You will most likely find them in the produce section of your supermarket, Trader Joe’s, Fresh Thyme, Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc.
  • Look for dark green florets with fresh stems (not dried out of discolored).
  • Before cooking, it’s best to trim the broccolini a bit, generally by cutting off the bottom 1/3 of the stem. Remove extra leaves if you want, but note that the entire vegetable is edible (and tasty!).
  • It’s also recommended, for larger stems, to cut them in half lengthwise before cooking. This helps to ensure even cooking throughout.
A cutting board of broccolini.

How to make this Charred Broccolini with Quinoa:

To prepare the charred broccolini, cut the bottom 1/3 from each broccolini stem. If the stems are still too thick for your liking, cut in half lengthwise. Trim off excess leaves, if desired.

Broccolini on a cutting board, with the bottom 1/3 of the stems cut off.

In a medium pot, add quinoa and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until the moisture is absorbed. Remove cover and set the pot aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a large dry skillet over medium heat, add the pine nuts. Heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until starting to brown and smell nutty. Remove from heat immediately and transfer to the pot of cooked quinoa. 

A skillet with toasted pine nuts.

Return the empty skillet to the stove and add the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the broccolini and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Swirl to coat with the oil and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

A skillet filled with sautéed broccolini

Then add the minced garlic and cook 2-3 more minutes, stirring frequently until the broccolini is just starting to char (turn brown) and the garlic is also starting to brown in the pan.

A closeup of a pan of charred broccolini with garlic.

Remove from heat. Drizzle the charred broccolini with remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and stir. 

To the cooked quinoa, add the nutritional yeast, black pepper, toasted pine nuts, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir to combine.

2 photos showing quinoa with pine nuts and nutritional yeast, and mixed in together.

To serve, add 1 cup quinoa to a plate and layer with a few pieces of the broccolini. This dish is best served immediately. Store in the fridge in an airtight container (can store quinoa and broccolini together for 1-2 days).

 A plate filled with quinoa and pine nuts, covered with charred broccolinii.

This recipe makes about 4 cups quinoa + broccolini. Serve with a main dish, such as this simple Baked Potato with Queso. Delicious!

Helpful Tools:

  • Zester– this tool is great for not only zesting lemons and limes, but also mincing garlic!
  • Lemon Squeezer– you’ll need one of these to squeeze the lemon.
  • Santoku Knife– this knife is a great all-purpose knife, and especially for cutting vegetables or trimming the broccolini.

If you make this Charred Broccolini with Garlic and Quinoa recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram.

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Charred Broccolini with Garlic & Quinoa

Charred Broccolini with Garlic and Quinoa

Get ready for an explosion of flavor with this Charred Broccolini with Garlic and Quinoa. This simple side dish is so easy to throw together in just 20 minutes, and packed with healthy plant-based protein.

  • Author: Christin McKamey
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: Vegetable
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

To serve:

  • additional lemon juice, sea salt, black pepper, nutritional yeast
  • cayenne pepper
  • crushed red pepper

Instructions

  1. To prepare the broccolini, cut the bottom 1/3 from each broccolini stem. If the stems are still too thick for your liking, cut in half lengthwise. Trim off excess leaves if desired.
  2. In a medium pot, add quinoa and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until the moisture is absorbed. Remove cover and set the pot aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large dry skillet over medium heat, add the pine nuts. Heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until starting to brown and smell nutty (be careful not to burn). Remove from heat immediately and transfer to the pot of cooked quinoa.
  4. Return the empty skillet to the stove and add the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the broccolini and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Swirl to coat with the oil and cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Then add the minced garlic and cook 2-3 more minutes, stirring frequently until the broccolini is just starting to char (turn brown) and the garlic is also starting to brown in the pan. Remove from heat. Drizzle broccolini with remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and stir.
  6. To the cooked quinoa, add the nutritional yeast, black pepper, toasted pine nuts, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Stir to combine.
  7. To serve, add 1 cup quinoa to a plate and layer with a few pieces of the broccolini. This dish is best served immediately. Store in the fridge in an airtight container (can store quinoa and broccolini together for 1-2 days).
  8. This recipe makes about 4 cups quinoa + broccolini.

Notes

Tips for buying and preparing broccolini:

  • Most stores will sell broccolini year round, and they are usually packaged in containers for 2-4 servings. You will most likely find them in the produce section of your supermarket, Trader Joe’s, Fresh Thyme, Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc.
  • Look for dark green florets with fresh stems (not dried out of discolored).
  • Before cooking, it’s best to trim the broccolini a bit, generally by cutting off the bottom 1/3 of the stem. Remove extra leaves if you want, but note that the entire vegetable is edible (and tasty!).
  • It’s also recommended, for larger stems, to cut them in half lengthwise before cooking. This helps to ensure even cooking throughout.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 1/3 cup
  • Calories: 375
  • Sugar: 5.4
  • Sodium: 405
  • Fat: 14.2
  • Carbohydrates: 51
  • Protein: 17.1
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: charred broccolini, broccolini recipe

Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...

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