Broccoli Rabe & Italian Sausage

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Here’s an Italian classic that needs no adaptation to make it paleo.There are plenty of everyday meals that are paleo and many people don’t realize it.  Broccoli rabe and sausage is one of them. Luckily for me it’s also an Italian dish. This is a meal you will most likely find on an Italian restaurant menu. It should be made with olive oil, not butter, and you can ask to omit the shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano. Although, damn, that stuff is good.

A lot of UC and Crohn’s sufferers say that broccoli brothers them. Yes, this leafy cousin of broccoli is packed with fiber, but for some reason it doesn’t bother me as much. Broccoli rabe (AKA rapini) is in the Brassicas family – with Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc – and may trip up digestion a bit. And by “trip up” I mean make you fart a lot. So for those of you UC/Crohn’s people who don’t want your stomach to blow up the size of a Macy’s day parade balloon…tread lightly.

It also has all the similar vitamins to other leafy greens like Vitamin K, Calcium, and there’s always those antioxidants.



  • 4 sweet or hot Italian sausage (sliced or crumbled)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe
  • 3-5 tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice from half lemon
  • sea salt, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest to taste


Chop garlic. Smell how delicious it is. Ponder the genesis of garlic cologne.

Okay, but seriously…

1. Cut the thick bottom of the stem off the broccoli rabe. Discard stems and set aside.

2. Coat a skillet with a thin layer of olive oil and set on medium heat. Add crumbled sausage and cook to brown the sausage.

3. Lower to medium heat then add garlic. Sauté for another minute and then add the broccoli rabe.

4. Season with salt, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest. Toss the broccoli rabe in more olive oil and continue stirring occasionally. Cook on medium for about 15 minutes or until broccoli rabe is completely wilted.


9 thoughts on “Broccoli Rabe & Italian Sausage

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  3. Suzan Robertson

    I grew up eating this. Yum. Parmigiano-Reggiano is the only cheese I eat – and I eat it sparingly and only occasionally. I find it hard to resist!

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