Broccolini is a fantastic hybrid vegetable that usually stores better than other vegetables, but you need to use the right storage techniques to get the most out of its freshness.
How to store broccolini? Broccolini is sold chilled in superstores. Storing it in the fridge or freezer prolongs its freshness and keeps it from going bad. You can store broccolini in the fridge in a plastic bag — don’t close the bag all the way; let the broccolini breathe! This will increase its shelf life to about a week.
Read below to learn more about the right methods to store broccolini and how to get the most out of its freshness!
What Is Broccolini?
Broccolini is a man-made vegetable — more precisely, it’s a deliberately bred vegetable that is a hybrid between regular broccoli and gai lan (also known as Chinese Kale).
Unlike regular broccoli, broccolini has small florets and longer stalks. This gives the vegetable a very interesting texture and adds a crunchy bite to it!
How was broccolini made in the first place?
Broccolini, kale, broccoli, and any other similar-looking vegetable come from the same species: Brassica oleracea.
Instead of being genetically modified, broccolini was developed over eight years using selective breeding.
Selective breeding works by promoting favorable characteristics from two species to create an entirely new vegetable that has similar characteristics to its parents.
In the case of broccolini, this new vegetable gets its florets from broccoli and its crunchy, long, and thin stems from gai lan.
After the vegetable was successfully cultivated, it was sold commercially in the 1990s under the name “broccolini.”
Even today, broccolini continues to evolve with more and more variants being developed — some of them come in purple, too!
How To Store Uncooked Broccolini
As soon as broccolini is farmed, it is quickly flash-frozen using large industrial chillers that instantly freeze the vegetable to prevent it from going bad and from losing its freshness.
The frozen vegetables are then transported in temperature-controlled vehicles that deliver the broccolini to various supermarkets around the country.
Once the broccolini arrives at the supermarket, they are quickly transferred into freezers where they remain until the “sell before” date.
The reason why so much emphasis is put on keeping the vegetable at the right temperature is that, just like other vegetables, broccolini can go bad within 1-2 days if it isn’t kept properly.
Once the vegetable thaws, it is then required to be stored in a slightly different way.
Storing Broccolini In The Fridge At Home
As soon as you bring the broccolini home, you want to work quickly to preserve its quality.
Here are a few steps to get the most out of its shelf life:
- Remove any bands or tags that are attached to the broccolini. This step is crucial as you need to loosely pack the broccolini.
- Do not wash the vegetable. Instead, keep it in a clean and fridge-safe plastic bag. Again, make sure that you loosely pack the broccolini. Add a few of the stems and then space them out.
- Seal the bag, but only ¾ of the way. This step is important because the broccolini needs to “breathe” in the fridge.
- If you seal the bag shut, then excess moisture may accumulate, which will eventually ruin the texture of the vegetable.
- Place the bag at the back of the fridge at 40°F. The broccolini should remain fresh for up to a week using this method!
You could also alternatively use a plastic container — just remember to leave the container ajar to encourage airflow.
One of the best ways to store broccolini is in a specialized container with air vents. Not only will the container protect the broccolini from strong-smelling foods in the fridge, but it will also keep it fresh!
Storing Broccolini In The Freezer At Home
Broccolini can also be refrozen once it is brought home. To successfully freeze it, you might want to follow a few best practices!
Here is how you should freeze broccolini at home:
- Remove the bands and tag from the broccolini and then move it into a freezer-safe, airtight plastic bag. Do not overcrowd the bag; leave a bit of room for the vegetable to move around.
- Make sure that you don’t clean the vegetable or add any moisture to it. If the vegetables have partially thawed, then we highly recommend that you pat them dry with a clean and dry paper towel. This will prevent freezer burn!
- Completely seal the bag. For this method, you can seal the bag shut without worrying about airflow since the broccolini will be completely frozen. In fact, keeping it away from surrounding air is the best way to prevent freezer burn and oxidative stress!
- Store the bags at the back of the freezer at 0°F. The broccolini should remain fresh for about 3-4 weeks using this method.
How To Store Cooked Broccolini
Cooked broccolini can be stored just like any other prepared food to maintain its freshness.
We recommend that you follow the steps below to store cooked broccolini:
- Move the cooked leftovers directly into an airtight container. If you have boiled the broccolini, then simply pat them dry before storing them in the container.
- Store the airtight container at the back of the fridge at 40°F. Consume the broccolini within 48 hours for the best freshness and flavor.
- Once reheated, avoid storing the broccolini again to avoid bacterial growth.
How To Thaw Broccolini
Whether frozen or refrigerated, you mustn’t restore the broccolini once it has been thawed.
For frozen broccolini, just move the bag into the fridge and thaw it overnight. When the broccolini has successfully thawed, pat it dry with a paper towel and use it as required.
You can use fridge-stored broccolini directly from the fridge — no need to bring the vegetable up to room temperature as this may encourage rot and bacterial growth.
In some cases, you can even directly use frozen broccolini, as long as you adjust the cooking temperature and cooking time in your recipe to account for the frozen vegetable.
Broccolini Storage Chart
Here is a quick chart for the storage duration of broccolini in different scenarios:
|Storage Method||Temperature||Storage Duration|
|Room Temperature||68-72°F||2 hours|
|Fridge Method||40°F||5-7 days|
|Freezer Method||0°F||3-4 weeks|
|Fridge Method||40°F||2-3 days|
Signs Of Spoilage
Fortunately, broccolini can show obvious signs of spoilage, making it easier for you to determine its quality and safety.
Here are a few common signs that your broccolini has gone off!
Slime And Soft Texture
Broccolini has a firm texture, especially when it comes to its stalks. If you notice that the vegetable has taken on an overly tender, soft, or squishy texture, then this could indicate that it has gone bad.
These symptoms are usually also present with a bit of slime, which can definitively indicate that the broccolini is unfit to cook!
Sometimes the vegetable may even wither, which will give it a soft and very chewy texture.
While withered broccolini is usually safe to eat (if it doesn’t show other signs of spoilage), it definitely won’t give the right texture or flavor — toss it!
Green To Brown Color
Broccolini has dark green florets and light green stalks. If you notice any color changes on either the stalk or the florets, then it may be time to throw it away!
Color changes occur due to natural reasons via oxidization, but they can also happen if there is an obvious fungal growth on the vegetable.
Not only does this compromise the quality of the vegetable, but it can also make you ill. Always discard suspicious vegetables while whole — don’t bother cutting around the affected area to save them!
Odor From The Bag
Got a whiff of foul odors from the storage bag? This means that the broccolini has gone bad. Foul odors can develop due to trapped moisture or varying temperatures.
Before taking the broccolini out of the bag, smell it for changes! If you notice any foul odor then just discard all of it since it may have already developed harmful bacteria.
Broccolini can be stored in simple ways to maintain its freshness and flavor! Now that you know how to store it, here are some related questions.
Can you store broccolini with other vegetables?
You should store the broccolini separately from other vegetables to keep it from going bad.
Some fruits and vegetables produce gases that can affect the quality and freshness of the broccolini. This is why we recommend that you keep the stored broccolini in a separate compartment or in the vegetable drawer in your fridge.
Can you freeze broccolini for 2-3 months?
If the broccolini is kept using the right storage techniques for the entirety of the storage period, then you can still use frozen broccolini that is 2-3 months old.
However, it may not provide the same great texture, freshness, or flavor due to natural oxidative stress. Always check for signs of spoilage by thawing the vegetable before use!