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5 from 11 votes

Sauteed Broccolini with Pesto, Pine Nuts and Chilli

Tender sauteed broccolini tossed with homemade pesto, crunchy pine nuts, and fiery chilli. This is a side dish that goes with anything from roast meats to fish or simply eaten as it is as a light lunch. It's so simple yet full of flavour!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 90kcal
Author: Emily Kemp


  • 12.5 oz broccolini (tenderstem broccoli) (360g)
  • 2 heaped tbsp homemade pesto
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts
  • ½ fresh chilli finely sliced
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt


  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and parboil the broccolini for 5 minutes, drain.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan (big enough to add the broccolini without it being over crowded) and add chopped garlic and fresh chilli. Saute for 30 seconds then add the broccolini with a sprinkling of salt to season.
  • Saute the broccolini, stirring every now and then until cooked through and slightly golden (up to 10 minutes). Once cooked add the pesto and toss, serve on a platter topped with pine nuts.



How to Test the Broccolini is Done

The cooking time depends on how much you have in the pan and how crowded it is. If the pan is overcrowded the broccolini won't cook evenly so make sure you have a pan large enough.
This recipe takes around 10 minutes to saute but to check that the broccolini is done try inserting a sharp knife into the thickest part of the stock, If it goes in easily it's done. Alternatively simply cut a piece and taste it to make sure it's to your liking, it should still have a bite to it.

Top Tips for Making Sauteed Broccolini with Pesto, Pine Nuts & Chilli

  • Parboil the broccolini first to speed up the cooking time.
  • Season the broccolini after parboiling with a little salt but remember the pesto will also add seasoning so you'll just need a little.
  • Use homemade pesto instead of store-bought, it takes 2 minutes and makes a huge difference to the flavour.
  • No pine nuts? You could also use walnuts, hazelnuts or cashews.
  • Feel free to omit the chilli if serving to children or reduce it to your liking.
  • If you don't have fresh chilli then add a small amount of red pepper flakes either to the pesto or sprinkle on top.
  • Watch the video or see the step by step photos for extra help on making this recipe.
  • This recipe serves 4 as a side or 2 as a light lunch


Calories: 90kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1617IU | Vitamin C: 90mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 1mg