Rapini Recipes: 4 Cheap and Healthy Rapini (Broccoli Raab) Dinners

2012-11-08T21:12:38+00:00 Food, Recipes|

Looking for a tasty rapini recipe? Well, my husband confused me yesterday by bringing home a new vegetable called Broccoli Raab [Rob] or Rapini [rah-PEE-nee]. In my quest to figure out how to cook rapini, I found this rapini veggie is also called: broccoli rabe, rapa, rapine, rappi, rappone, turnip broccoli, broccoli de rabe, Italian turnip, and turnip broccoli. Whew!

Whatever you call this delicious broccoli rapini, it’s not actually related to broccoli at all, but rather to the turnip family. It has small broccoli like florets with leaves like turnip greens. I felt inspired by this delicious and healthy vegetable so I’m sharing these four recipes with you: Easy Rapini with Garlic, Rapini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts, Rapini with Quinoa and Glazed Carrots, Rapini and Rotini with Romano Beans. Enjoy the photographs!

Rapini Recipe: Easy Rapini with Garlic

This is a simply delicious way to serve rapini as a side dish with your family dinner.


Rapini Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rapini, about 1 lb or 500 g
  • 3 tbsp (50 mL) olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

Rapini Recipe Instructions:

  1. Remove about 1/4 inch from base of rapini stalks. In deep skillet of boiling salted water, cover and cook rapini until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and gently dry.
  2. In same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and hot pepper flakes until garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add rapini and saute till warm.

Rapini Recipe: Rapini with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

This rapini recipe is a variation on the first. Easy, non? This makes cooking rapini pretty simple, just switch one rapini recipes for the next.


Rapini Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rapini, about 1 lb or 500 g
  • 3 tbsp (50 mL) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp (50 mL) chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

Rapini Recipe Instructions:

  1. Remove about 1/4 inch from base of rapini stalks. In deep skillet of boiling salted water, cover and cook rapini until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and gently dry.
  2. In same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Toast pine nuts over low heat until light brown, about 4 minutes. Add cooked rapini and sun-dried tomatoes and heat. Makes 4 servings.

Rapini Recipe: Rapini with Quinoa and Glazed Carrots

This is a wonderful dinner. If you’re not into cooking quinoa then switch it for brown rice, or your choice of pasta!


Rapini Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) quinoa
  • 1/2 lb (250 g) rapini, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp (20 mL) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • lemon juice from 1/2 lemon

Rapini Recipe Instructions:

  1. Cook quinoa. (See Cooking Quinoa: How to Cook Quinoa), or choice of pasta or brown rice.
  2. Remove about 1/4 inch from base of rapini stalks. In a skillet, saute the onion, carrot and garlic until the onions are slightly browned. Add the rapini and saute until they start to wilt. Remove from heat. Stir in the quinoa. Add the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Mix all ingredients together. Serve!

Rapini Recipe: Rapini and Rotini with Romano Beans

Rapini with beans is a perfectly balanced vegetarian dish with protein. For a twist, serve with grated cheese.


Rapini Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch rapini, about 1 lb or 500 g
  • 4 cups (1 L) whole wheat rotini
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • Dash of hot pepper flakes
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) Romano beans, drained and rinsed. Or soak and cook dried beans.

Rapini Recipe Instructions:

  1. Remove about 1/4 inch from base of rapini stalks. In large pot of boiling lightly salted water, cover and cook rapini until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer rapini with a slotted spoon into a colander (keeping water in pot). Chop rapini into 1 inch pieces and set aside.
  2. In same pot of boiling lightly salted water, cook pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot.
  3. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute garlic and hot pepper flakes, until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in rapini and beans and heat through, about 3 minutes. Add to pasta and toss to coat. Add reserved cooking liquid (if desired). Serve.

There you have it! Some simple instruction on how to cook rapini! A once strange veggie is now a fond friend. Do you enjoy cooking rapini?


  1. Journeyer September 14, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Talk about good timing! My husband bought what he thought was broccoli seedlings for our vegie garden a few months ago. It turned out it was rapini and we now have a whole bunch of thriving plants, but no idea how to use it 🙂 Some of the recipes I’d found weren’t all that inspiring, but yours look great. Can’t wait to try them out. Thanks so much 🙂

  2. Kerry September 14, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    What is it with husbands and rapini? So happy to have good timing for your garden. 🙂 I find the rapini a little on the bitter side since I was expecting it to taste more like broccoli. Mixing it with sun dried tomatoes really was flavorful. Enjoy!

  3. Ryan S.@uncommon-cents.net September 14, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    You really have a gift for photographing food!

  4. Miss Thrifty September 15, 2008 at 4:51 am

    I haven’t seen rapini here in the UK, but those dishes of yours look delicious! I shall be keeping my eyes peeled…

  5. Optionsforstocks September 15, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Fox: Excellent photography. By just looking at photography, I am feeling hungry.

    I just want to add from Indian prospective. Rapini (an Italian popular food) is considered as “SAAG” in Indian community and cooked with spinach, broccoli and methi (fenugreek leaves). It is the most popular dish for Punjab, India.

  6. Kelly from Almost Frugal September 15, 2008 at 8:45 am

    no, I don’t cook with it yet, but now I’m gonna! And would you please stop taking such gorgeous photos, it frustrates me that this food looks so good and I can’t eat it!

  7. Ruth September 15, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Thanks, Fox! I love broccoli rabe. It was introduced to me by some friends of Italian ancestry who prepare it as you do in recipe number one. You are right about it being a tad on the bitter side. To counteract that bitterness, I sometimes prepare it like recipe number one, adding in some toasted pine nuts and a handful per bunch of broccoli rabe of golden raisins or even regular raisins. This is a Sicilian-style prep for this vegetable, and it all tastes good together….garlic, veggie, nuts, raisins. I wasn’t convinced until I tried it. But that was the full extent of my broccoli rabe repertoire. Love your new ideas for using it and look forward to trying them. Thanks again.

  8. Reyn September 15, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    It’s the first time that I have seen that vegetable. It looks good, I hope to try it soon. 🙂

  9. Kerry September 16, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    My photography secret revealed: Use yummy foods, white plates, and lots of sunlight. 😀

    A sense of humor helps too ’cause one tends to look silly taking hundreds of rapini pictures!

  10. Steve June 11, 2010 at 5:56 am

    i love your blog,really nice

  11. sandra December 30, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Fox; Thanks for the rapini recepes. Now pllease tell me where to buy pepper flakes in the West Island. Can’t seem to find them anywhere.

  12. Kristine June 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I did not have any spinach or kale for my minestrone soup, so I used the Rapini instead. The soup was good with the Rapini. This was my first time ever seeing or using Rapini.

  13. Julie January 16, 2012 at 8:04 am

    My mother in law cooks it when she makes her navy bean soup. However it’s not my favorite. I loved all your recipes and can’t wait to try them.

  14. Shipcarpenter305 March 22, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Rabe has been ‘discovered’ here in Miami and has become expensive. $3 – $4 per bag plus sellers play games with the amount. I cook egg noodles, sweet Italian sausage, rabe, red pepper flakes, garlic, pine nuts or sunflower seeds, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Off the charts. Thanks to Lydia’s Kitchen.

  15. Laura Di Paolo September 22, 2012 at 5:03 am

    I am Italian and grew up with rapini pies, and rapini and beans served over rotini, or just put some between some fresh Italian bread. Rapini pie – cook down with olive oil, garlic, basil, salt, pepper flakes and white beans. Drain most of the juice leaving wet, add a couple cups of prepared bisquick (optional:mozzarella, Italian sausage or bacon)and bake. Voila!! I bought some yesterday and will be cooking it up today.Enjoy!

  16. Tricia March 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Can’t help but add another name to your list of names for this vegetable. In Brazil, they call this (and I translate) ‘common broccoli’. The broccoli most of us are used to is referred to as ‘American broccoli.’ And iceberg lettuce is called ‘American lettuce’, too! Of course, they say it in Portuguese. 🙂 ‘Common broccoli’ is less expensive than ‘American broccoli’, by the way.

  17. Mikes April 5, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Wife and I are addicted to rabe…eat it twice a week. Thanks to Tricia for the world view for this great veg, to Laura Di for a recipe I would never have conceived, and special thanks to Kerry for this great blog and another recipe I’ll be adding to my list! Since rabe is a “boutique” item now w/ boutique prices I sometimes stretch it w/ “american” broccoli; since the rabe has such a strong flavor it takes over the broccoli and you get the texture of the american broc flowers.

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