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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Broccolini

So, you’re whipping up something in the kitchen and BAM—all out of broccolini.

It happens to the best of us. You might think it’s game over for tonight’s gourmet masterpiece. Nope!

We’ve got the lowdown on the top five swaps that’ll save your dish without skipping a beat.

Broccoli’s fancy cousin might be MIA, but that doesn’t mean your meal has to suffer.

From the familiar comfort of broccoli to the surprising zing of bok choy, we’re here to guide you through an epicurean rescue mission.

Trust us, these alternatives will have everyone at the table asking for seconds. Ready to turn this culinary hiccup into a win? Let’s get into it.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Broccolini

If you’re looking for a nutritious vegetable to add to your meal but don’t have access to broccolini or just want something with a different flavor profile, there are plenty of great substitutes out there.

Here’s a look at five of the best options for replacing broccolini in cooking:

1 – Broccoli

Broccoli is a popular vegetable with a unique flavor and texture.

It has a crunchy texture and a slight bitterness that makes it distinct from other vegetables.

If you are looking for a substitution for broccolini, broccoli can provide the same nutty flavor with its green stalks and its small flower heads that are known for their tenderness.

To prepare broccoli, many people recommend lightly steaming or sautéing it in oil with onions and garlic to bring out the natural flavors.

You can also roast or grill it to give it extra flavor.

Broccoli is an easy and versatile vegetable to incorporate into your meal plans.

2 – Chinese Broccoli

Chinese broccoli, or gai lan, is a delicious vegetable dish with a taste and texture you won’t soon forget.

The succulent leaves have a crisp but tender bite when cooked correctly, and the stalks are sweet and juicy.

It is often traditionally used in Asian dishes but can also be substituted for broccolini as it shares some characteristics with its western counterpart.

To make a substitution, simply blanch the Chinese broccoli for 1 to 2 minutes before cooking it as you would with regular broccoli.

3 – Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe, more commonly known as rapini, is a unique member of the cruciferous vegetable family.

It has a slight bitterness to it, yet it still offers a delicate and savory flavor.

In addition, its thick stalks boast a marvelous crunchy texture when cooked for those looking for a broccoli substitute while shopping; broccoli rabe can easily serve as an alternative.

It cooks at roughly the same rate as broccolini and pairs well with just about anything.

Whether it’s dressed up for salad dishes or served alongside others vegetables in Italian stews – Broccoli Rabe will quickly become an essential kitchen staple within your home.

4 – Asparagus

Asparagus is an aromatic, slightly sweet vegetable that can add a burst of flavor to any dish.

Its texture is firm but tender, and its distinct flavor makes it a favored choice in many kitchens.

When substituting asparagus for broccolini, it can be cooked the same way: try roasting with garlic or caramelizing with balsamic glaze.

The vibrant green stalks can hold their own against other vegetables and will add a unique crunch to any meal.

Asparagus is certainly a worthy ingredient to be featured on your menu.

5 – Kale

Kale has a flavor that is quite unique, boasting traces of both mustard and pepper, as well as a delicate yet crisp texture when eaten raw or cooked.

It’s no wonder why kale has been increasingly used over the years as a healthy substitute for food favorites like broccolini – kale can be cooked in similar ways to broccolini, such as sauteed in oil or butter, boiled or steamed and served with other ingredients to make a delicious dish.

Roasted or baked kale also makes for an excellent snack option; just remember to massage the leaves with oil before baking for maximum crunch.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Broccolini

Looking to substitute broccolini in your recipes? Whether you're out of this unique vegetable or simply looking to explore other options, we've compiled a list of the 5 best substitutes to ensure your dish maintains its flavor and texture.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Broccoli
  • Chinese Broccoli
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Asparagus
  • Kale


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Broccolini
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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