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Roasted Baby Broccoli

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Roasted Baby Broccoli is a dish that combines the flavors of broccoli rabe with lemon, garlic, and cheese. Roasted to perfection and topped with toasted pine nuts, this recipe is one of my favorite ways to get more veggies on the dinner table.

Main image for Roasted Baby Broccoli

If you need more vegetable recipes that everyone loves to eat and come together in just 15 minutes, this recipe is for you.

With only 6 ingredients and a 10 minute roasting time, this recipe is perfect for busy days. Using a high temperature will reduce the cooking time so you can eat sooner.

While broccoli rabe has smaller florets, they tend to be bitter, but the combination of lemon zest and garlic gives a perfect flavor combination that removes the bitterness by using simple ingredients in your kitchen.

Not to mention the perfect parmesan crisp crust on all the thin stems makes it seem like a fancy side dish.

And with the neutral flavors and tender stalks, this dish is perfect with almost any meal that needs more vegetables.

all ingredients laid out on counter, ready to assemble

What Ingredients Are in Roasted Baby Broccoli?

  • Fresh Broccoli Rabe: The star of the dish, which has a unique, slightly bitter flavor.
  • Olive Oil: gives a perfect base for coating the broccoli rabe and helps it roast.
  • Lemons: Zested to add citrusy brightness.
  • Fresh Garlic: Minced for a pungent kick that enhances the overall flavor.
  • Parmigiano Reggiano: Grated to give a rich and crispy cheesy taste.
  • Toasted Pine Nuts: Sprinkled on top for a nutty crunch.

Pro Tip: Broccoli Rabe is not the same thing as regular broccoli or the hybrid of broccoli called broccolini. While I love using broccoli rabe, it is one of the bitter cruciferous vegetables similar to kale or brussels sprouts. 

If you prefer a less intense dish or just cannot find it in the grocery store, try using broccolini which is a younger version of broccoli mixed with Chinese broccoli to give you a more neutral flavor with small florets.

Baby Broccoli laid out on a lined baking sheet

How to Make Roasted Baby Broccoli:

  1. Arrange broccoli on a parchment paper lined sheet pan in a single layer.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil, and massage in zest and garlic.
  3. Grate parmigiano reggiano generously over the veggies.
  4. Roast baby broccoli in high heat.
  5. Remove from the hot oven, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, and serve!

Pro Tip: The best way to get perfectly roasted veggies is to give them plenty of space on the baking sheets. For the best result, try to place broccolini so the long stems and leaves are not touching on the pan.

Baked Broccoli has been massaged and is ready for the oven

Is Roasted Baby Broccoli Healthy?

Yes, pine nut baby broccoli is healthy! This simple side dish is packed with vitamins and antioxidants from the broccoli rabe to the garlic, lemon, and pine nuts. This dish is a powerful bowl of health benefits just waiting to be eaten.

broccoli drizzled with olive oil, lemon zest and garlic before baking

Can I Use Other Nuts with Roasted Baby Broccoli?

Yes you can use other nuts with roasted broccoli! Experiment with your favorite nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pecans. You could even try roasted sesame seeds.

Pro Tip: Roasting nuts will bring out the nutty flavor. Instead of using raw nuts, give yours a quick toast in the oven to give an extra nutty punch.

Can I Make Roasted Baby Broccoli Ahead of Time?

Roasted baby broccoli with pine nuts is best enjoyed fresh, but you can prep the ingredients ahead of time. Wash and chop the ends, then massage the oil and seasonings into the broccoli florets. That way when you are ready to roast you can throw them in the oven and have a perfect side dish in just 10 minutes.

fresh grated parmesan on broccoli

How to Store Leftover Roasted Baby Broccoli:

Store leftover pine nut baby broccoli in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days to maintain its freshness. To reheat, roast or broil in the oven until heated through.

Can I Freeze Roasted Baby Broccoli?

You can freeze roast baby broccoli and pine nuts, but do not expect it to thaw the same as cooking this dish fresh. You can use the frozen leftovers in smoothies or breakfast casserole or omelettes, but this broccolini recipe does not turn out the same when frozen and thawed to serve again.

parmesan shredded on top of broccoli and baked.

How Long Does Roasted Baby Broccoli Last?

Parmesan Baby Broccoli is best enjoyed immediately, but if stored properly, it can last in the fridge for up to 2 days. Thankfully it comes together so quickly that the next time you want some, it does not take much effort or time to get a delicious veggie side dish.

Can Dogs Eat Roasted Baby Broccoli?

While dogs can eat cooked broccoli rabe, do not feed your dogs this baby broccoli with parmesan. Garlic and lemon zest are toxic to dogs, so you do not want to risk injuring them by sharing this human food with them. 

plate full of broccoli with cheese and pine nuts

What to Serve with Roasted Baby Broccoli:

I have served this roasted baby broccoli dish with parmesan with almost everything. Here are a few of my favorite dishes that go well with broccoli recipes:

  • Chicken Satay: grilled chicken with a delicious peanut sauce
  • Pasta with Heavy Cream: your favorite pasta tossed in a buttery garlic parmesan sauce is so good with parmesan baby broccoli
  • Mayonnaise Salmon Grilled: I love this recipe grilled on cedar planks with Lemon Ginger Sauce.
  • Steak Frites Chimichurri: the only thing that can make this steak dish better is a side of this roasted baby broccoli
  • Buttered Rice: a heaping portion of roasted baby broccoli over buttered rice is perfection
  • Simple Butternut Salad: sometimes I like vegetables with my vegetables, and this roasted butternut squash salad goes perfectly with this pine nut baby broccoli!

Pro Tip: For spicy roasted broccolini add a bit of red pepper flakes before or after roasting to give the dish a little extra kick.

fork full of broccoli with cheese

Whether you need a fast veggie side dish or are just looking for an impressive side dish that will impress your guests, this roasted baby broccoli dish is one of those easy sides you can make with little effort that everyone will love.

Additional Side Dishes You’ll Love…

Yield: 4 Servings

Roasted Baby Broccoli

zoomed in image for broccoli and pine nuts

Roasted Baby Broccoli is a quick, vibrant, and healthy side dish packed with flavor and a cheesy, nutty crunch. Perfect for any occasion!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Arrange baby broccoli in a single layer on a baking sheets.
  3. Drizzle each sheet with half the olive oil and sprinkle with half the zest and garlic each.
  4. Massage that into the broccoli really well, making sure it's coated fairly evenly. Spread the stems back out evenly over the sheet, giving as much room as possible.
  5. Grate Parmigiano Reggiano over the vegetables. Be generous. We're not using salt.
  6. Roast for 10 minutes. Top with toasted pine nuts and serve.

Notes

You can use Broccoli Rabe instead of baby broccoli if its available.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 77Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 57mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

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Kathleen

Tuesday 9th of January 2024

Divine, perfectly roasted, great flavor and I loved the shaved parm on them! This will go on our regular rotation!

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