Recipes > Lemon Garlic Rapini | Broccoli Rabe

Lemon Garlic Rapini | Broccoli Rabe


This healthy and flavorful vegetable is paired with garlic and a touch of fresh lemon.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Views: 65,683
  • Success Rating: 79% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Steaming the Rapini

Steaming the Rapini
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter* (or oil)
  • 2 bunches rapini (broccoli rabe)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice


Wash the rapini. Peel the stems and discard any bad leaves.

Emince the garlic. Heat a large frying pan that has a lid over medium-high heat and add the water, salt, pepper, sugar, butter and garlic together.

*Note: For plant-based, use a non-dairy butter such as Earth Balance.

Once the water just begins to boil and the butter has melted, add rapini and cover. Let steam for about 2 minutes. Toss the rapini to fully coat it with the butter and garlic. Replace the lid and let steam for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Once the rapini has just cooked through, squeeze the lemon into the pan and toss one final time. Serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

Rapini adds beautiful color and texture to many dishes, whether you steam, braise or sauté it.


  • Lisa N
    Lisa N
    i used this method for Kale and it ROCKED! i also did it for bok choy and plain old brocoli...
  • Annamaria S
    Annamaria S
    Fantastic! Rapini is sometimes more bitter than other times. My family cooks it all the time. But, we add olive oil and not the butter. Adding lemon and sugar was new too. Toss with any small macaroni or twists. Add a little mor olive oil and some parmesan cheese.
  • Jade B
    Jade B
    I've never cooking with Rapini and the people in the store couldn't even find the code for it - it hadn't been run up for that long but I'm glad I did use it. Although the peeling of it was rather hard, I ended up cutting of the ends mostly. It was such a good tasting dish and you felt healthy eating it too.
  • Denise P
    Denise P
    this is something to get use to, different, but i always love to try healthy varieties so because of the vitimans in this dish i ate it, thanks a bunch
  • Ted S
    Ted S
    Says it all. Great photog and descr. We can see as it cooks.
  • Ted S
    Ted S
    Says it all. Great photog and descr. We can see as it cooks. Olive oil even better. Add red chile flakes.
  • Lucas H
    Lucas H
    Is it possible to use spinach instead of rapini?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    The results and the cooking method would not quite be the same, but you could do it. Just don't use any water and don't cover with a lid, also lower the heat a bit, so the garlic doesn't burn. The spinach may also need to be drained after to remove the excess water. Also the spinach will cook down to very little so you will need to use quite a bit. Likely 1 pound would only be enough for 2 servings. Hope this helps!
  • K A
    K A
    I did this dish yesterday and I couldn't eat more that one bite of it , this stuff is really bitter . NO way I'm making this again ... tasted good raw though . ;D
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    This is the nature of rapini, you either like it's unique bitterness or you don't. Thanks goodness we don't all like the same things, otherwise life would be a bit boring hey! :-)
  • Jeanne M
    Jeanne M
    I tried this according to the recipe the first time and had to choke the stuff down it was so bitter. Then I did some research. The second time I made this recipe, I blanched the rapini for two minutes, then shocked it in ice water before proceeding with the Rouxbe recipe. I added lemon juice at the end per the recipe, but I also finished it with some lemon zest. I actually enjoyed the rapini this way. It was still bitter. I think bitterness is its nature, but the bitterness was lessened, and the amount of bitterness was actually nice in contrast to herbed baked tomatoes, pan fried pork chops and pan sauce.
  • Nancy R
    Nancy R
    This recipe is fantastic! I used broccolini instead of rappini and it tasted amazing. I did not add the sugar since broccolini is not bitter like rappini is. Fabulous! Thanks for the recipe! -Nancy
  • Janine M
    Janine M
    Got some rapini in my first ever farm share. :) Thank goodness I belong to rouxbe so I could learn what it is and what to do with it. Super easy recipe too, tho i should have watched the emince vid before chopping up my garlic. Lol. I suppose that's why I'm here, to learn to cook. I'm surprised by how much I like the rabe even tho it's bitter. I didn't bother with the stems (is that awful and wasteful?) and prefer it sans lemon.
  • Maycol P
    Maycol P
    I enjoy it!
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    So glad to hear Maycol! All the best, Chef Kirk
  • Vicki M
    Vicki M
    Thanks for this tip! I will try this next time with rapini.

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