Braised Belgian Endives

Braised Belgian endives

The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
79 Calories
6g Fat
7g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 79
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 15mg 5%
Sodium 138mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 5mg 25%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 341mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Slowly cooking Belgian endives in a bit of butter and lemon juice transforms these otherwise crunchy bitter leaves into tender, luscious, almost sweet bundles. It's kitchen alchemy at its finest. The endives begin on the stovetop in some liquid and cook covered until tender; they are then browned either on the stove or finished in a hot oven. What results is a delicious side dish that is fabulous alongside a classic roast chicken, grilled steak, or broiled fish.


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 10 to 12 Belgian endives

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/3 cup water, chicken stock, or white wine

  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for braised Belgian Endives
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Put a large, heavy frying pan, sauté pan, or pot over medium-low heat. Whatever vessel you choose should have a tight-fitting lid. When the pan is hot, add the butter.

    Melted butter in large pot
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. While the butter melts, trim off and discard any browned bits from the ends of the endives, and remove any bruised or browning exterior leaves.

    Trimming ends from endives
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Lay the endives in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle them with the lemon juice and salt.

    Endives in pot
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Add the water, pouring down along the side of the pan (you don't want to wash off the salt you've just sprinkled on).

    Endives in pot
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. If you want to cut the bitterness in the final dish even further than the braising will do alone, sprinkle the endives with the sugar.

    Adding sugar to endives in pot
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Cover the pan. You want a nice, tight fit with the lid. If steam is escaping, lay a piece of foil over the top of the pan and then put on the lid. Or, cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the pan directly over the endives and then cover the pan (feel free to do this even with a tight-fitting lid; it helps the endives brown evenly).

    Cover the pan
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  8. To continue cooking on the stovetop, reduce the heat to low. Let the endives cook, undisturbed, until they are very tender, about 30 minutes.

  9. To finish cooking in the oven, put the pan in a 375 F oven (make sure the pan is oven-safe) and cook for 30 to 40 minutes. (This method is more likely to result in more evenly browned endives.​)

  10. When the endives are very tender, remove the lid (and the foil or parchment paper, if you used it), return the pan to the stove if it's been in the oven, and cook over medium heat until any liquid in the pan evaporates. If the endives haven't started to brown, cook until they begin to color.

    Removing parchment from endives in pot
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  11. Turn the endives over and cook until they are browned all over. (If you added sugar, you'll need to watch them quite carefully at this point, since the sugar will make them brown more quickly.)

    Turning endives over with tongs
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  12. Serve them hot or warm.

    Braised endives in pot
    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska
  13. Enjoy.

Browning Tips

If you are having trouble getting the endive to brown, there are a few tips to follow:

  • Make sure to place a piece of parchment directly on top of the Belgian endive when braising.
  • Finish cooking in the oven instead of the stovetop as the endives tend to brown better.
  • If there is still liquid in the pan at the end of the cooking process, remove the endive to a plate and cook the liquid until it has almost evaporated. Return the endive to the pan and cook, turning often, until browned on all sides.

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