What’s the Difference between Broccoli, Broccolini, and Broccoli Rabe?

Origin of Broccoli

Let’s start with good ol’ broccoli. Did you know that broccoli and cabbage come from the same plant? The word broccoli is from Italian, meaning “flowering crest of cabbage.” Think of broccoli buds as a flower growing out of cabbage leaves.

How Broccoli Grows and What It Looks Like

A head of broccoli

What Broccoli Tastes Like

Broccoli has a grassy, earthy, mildly bitter flavor. You could even call it herbaceous.

Broccoli’s Nutritional Value

Broccoli is rich in vitamins, including vitamins A, C, K, and folate. It’s also high in good-for-you dietary fiber

How to Cook Broccoli

You can eat broccoli raw. But you can also steam it, roast it, stir fry it, or blend it up into a dang good soup. Check out these easy-to-make broccoli recipes.

Origin of Broccolini

While broccoli was first cultivated by Ancient Romans, broccolini is a wee baby in the history of vegetables. It’s even sometimes called “baby broccoli,” although that’s more because of its size.

How Broccolini Grows and What It Looks Like

A woman grinding pepper over a bowl of broccolini

What Broccolini Tastes Like

Broccolini has a crunchy texture if it’s cooked the right way. It tastes milder and sweeter than broccoli and some say it has a peppery flavor. Although it can be eaten raw, it tastes better if it’s cooked.

Broccolini’s Nutritional Value

It is full of vitamins C, E, and K and is a great dose of dietary fiber. It also contains the cancer-fighters carotenoids and glucosinolates. Go nutrients!

How to Cook Broccolini

Broccolini can be steamed, boiled, sauteed, or roasted. These recipes will make you a member of the Broccolini Appreciation Club:

Origin of Broccoli Rabe

While broccoli rabe may have “broccoli” in its name, it’s not actually a type of broccoli. And it’s not another name for broccolini. Okay, then what is it? It’s actually more closely related to turnips.

How Broccoli Rabe Grows and What It Looks Like

A bunch of broccoli rabe on a cutting board with a chef’s knife
Broccoli rabe

What Broccoli Rabe Tastes Like

Broccoli rabe has a fairly bitter taste. You may be thinking, Why the heck would I eat it then? But hear us out. There are ways to truly love it. Just like any bitter green, if you cook it the right way, it’s delicious. The buds that “look like broccoli but aren’t broccoli” have a nutty taste.

Broccoli Rabe’s Nutritional Value

This green goddess has as much protein as spinach and is full of vitamins A, C, K, and folate. It even has 10% of your daily value of calcium. If you follow a plant-based diet, you can get your calcium from this vegetable. Pretty cool, huh?

How to Cook Broccoli Rabe

Check out these recipes that tamp down the bitter and make broccoli rabe delish.



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Nicole Bixler

Nicole Bixler

Nicole is a copywriter, content writer, and editor. She is focused on helping plant-based, vegan, and vegetarian brands. Visit www.nicolebixlercreative.com.