Broccolini needs barely any help to become a totally delicious side dish in this simple 20-minute recipe!
A little bit of warm cumin and paprika with a tangy lemon yogurt dipping sauce transform tender broccolini greens into a vegetable to go with so many of your favorite meals.
If you're looking for one of the best sauces for broccolini, you can't go wrong with a simple combination of lemon and Greek yogurt.
The cool, creamy yogurt balances the warmth from the earthy cumin and paprika, while the tangy lemon brightens the whole dish up.
Measurements hardly matter in this roasted broccolini recipe, consider them a starting point. Scale up or down depending on how much broccolini you have and how intense you want the flavors to be.
About This Recipe
The simplest way to prepare broccolini is to toss it with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast it in the oven. That's the bare minimum.
As much as I love simplicity, I also love putting my spice drawer to use when I can. So I've added a little cumin, which is one of those spices that taste complex all on its own. It's the perfect companion to roasted broccolini, which has tender, sweet stems and slightly bitter blossoms.
To emphasize the warm, toasty flavors of the cumin, we're also going to add some smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes for just a touch of heat.
While roasted broccolini is great on its own, you can't go wrong when you pair salty, slightly bitter roasted vegetables with cool yogurt dipping sauces.
In this case, I'm using my favorite simple lemon yogurt sauce, which you can drizzle over the broccolini or serve on the side for dipping.
Here are all the ingredients you need to make this easy cumin roasted broccolini with lemon yogurt sauce! You should be able to find all of these easily at your local grocery store. See recipe card for quantities!
- Broccolini - Broccolini comes in bunches, and how many pieces of broccolini are in "a bunch" will vary by grocery store. Sometimes there are a lot of stalks, but they're connected at the base. You can use a knife to separate these into individual stalks; You'll want one or two bunches for this recipe.
- Olive Oil - You could also use vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil, melted ghee, peanut oil, etc.
- Ground Cumin - Sometimes called "cumin powder." If you can't find it in the regular spice section of your grocery store, check the International aisle. If you only have whole cumin seeds, you can pulverize them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
- Smoked Paprika - Adds a warm, smoky flavor without making it spicy. You can use any of your favorite paprika varieties here, but I like smoked paprika best for pairing with the cumin.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - For spice! If you don't want any spiciness, leave this out.
- Salt & Pepper - I use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt which half as salty as other brands. If you're using a different brand of salt, even a different brand of kosher salt, cut the amount of salt in half. You can always add more salt later! Black pepper can be freshly cracked or pre-ground.
- Greek Yogurt - Whole milk Greek Yogurt is the perfect cool and creamy base for a tangy broccolini dipping sauce. Look for the single-serve cups, you can mix the sauce right in them without making any more dishes!
- Lemon Juice & Zest - For making the lemon yogurt sauce.
Why Use Broccolini
Broccolini is slender and slightly droopy, and needs barely any help to become a totally delicious side dish. It has a mellow-sweet broccoli flavor, and the stems and buds are crunchy and satisfying in their own unique ways.
Unlike full-sized broccoli crowns, tender broccolini requires absolutely no complicated trimming and chopping and breaking down and scraping tiny little buds off your cutting board.
And while you can save thick broccoli stems to make broccoli stalk soup, broccolini stalks don't need any special or separate treatment to render them edible beyond a quick snip at the base of the stem.
Don't confuse broccolini with broccoli rabe, either — broccoli rabe is bitter and more closely related to turnips than it is to broccoli.
Start by preparing the broccolini to be roasted. Wash and dry it, and trim about half an inch off the ends.
If there are any stalks connected at the base or thicker stalks that need to be separated, use a sharp knife to cut them apart.
Arrange the broccolini on a foil or parchment lined sheet pan. Try to get it in a single layer so you can season it evenly.
Drizzle the broccolini with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes.
Now it's time to get your hands a little dirty. (You can use tongs if you'd rather not get messy).
Roll the broccolini around on the sheet pan to get it evenly covered in the oil and spices.
I like to pick it up in my hands and really scrub the blossoms into the oil — this helps the flavors from the spices get deep into the broccolini.
Roast the broccolini for 15-20 minutes at 425°F, until the edges of the buds just start to blacken slightly and the stalks turn deep green in color.
Serve with the lemon yogurt sauce on the side for dipping, or drizzled over top.
Serve Roasted Broccolini With...
The warm, mild spice and roasted flavors of this cumin broccolini side dish go really well with hearty and well seasoned tomato, vegetable, or pasta dishes.
Store cumin roasted broccolini in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes to retain crispness, or microwave in 30 second bursts.
Lemon yogurt sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 7 days. Some separation will naturally occur, stir before serving.
Practical Tips & Recipe Notes
- Though I've included measurements in the recipe below, consider them a ballpark estimate — I don't usually measure, I just shake and sprinkle and toss until I'm satisfied. Feel free to adjust and experiment as needed to suit your tastes.
- Always zest the lemon before juicing it. You'll thank me later.
- If you don't want to make the lemon yogurt sauce, serve the broccolini with lemon wedges on the side. The tangy acidity is so welcome with the salty, warm cumin and paprika flavors.
Yes! You'll want one or two crowns of regular sized broccoli. Trim them down so you have lots of florets with narrow stalks.
Serve with fresh lemon wedges on the side!
Cumin Roasted Broccolini with Lemon Yogurt Sauce
- 1-2 bunches broccolini
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt (use half as much of any other type of salt)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (freshly cracked or ground)
Lemon Yogurt Sauce
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1½ tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon diamond crystal kosher salt (to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (freshly cracked or ground)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, parchment, or a silicone mat.
- Wash and dry the broccolini. Remove any wilted leaves. Trim the bottom ¼" off the stems and separate any thick stems into single stalks.
- Arrange the broccolini in a single layer on the sheet pan.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, cumin, and crushed red pepper flakes. Roll the broccolini around on the sheet pan and rub the broccolini blossoms in the seasoning and oil on the pan to coat evenly with oil and seasoning.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the edges of the broccolini are crispy and slightly blackened and the stems darker green in color.
- While the broccolini cooks, make the yogurt sauce by combining greek yogurt lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper.
- Remove the broccolini from the oven and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle the lemon yogurt sauce over the broccolini to serve or serve on the side for dipping.
- I first learned about asafoetida (aka "hing") from Priya Krishnah's Indian-ish cookbook (which I've recommended here). It's a pale yellow, funky-smelling powder that, as far as I understand it, basically enhances the other spices in your cooking. If you're curious you can read more about it or buy it online in very small quantities to give it a try.