Sauteed Radicchio

Sautéd browned radicchio on a platter

The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
62 Calories
7g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 62
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 135mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 30mg 1%
*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.)

Radicchio is appealing for its gorgeous color, but this beautiful vegetable also comes with a famously bitter edge; people tend to either love or hate that distinctive flavor. For those who find it compelling but a bit much, know that sautéeing radicchio tempers the bitterness beautifully (as does grilling).

Sautéed radicchio may be simple, but it's full of flavor, has a pleasing toothsome texture, even when fully cooked, and makes an excellent side dish for rich dishes, like beef roasts or stews. It also pairs nicely with a well seasoned roast chicken.


  • 1 head radicchio

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Sea salt flakes, to taste, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sautéed radicchio recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  2. Trim off and discard any brown part of the stem end of the radicchio. If the outside leaves look a bit beat up, feel free to remove and discard those as well.

    Stem end of radicchio head cut off with a paring knife on a wooden cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  3. Cut the radicchio head into quarters.

    Radicchio cut into quarters

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  4. Cut out and discard the core from each quarter.

    Core removed from each quarter

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  5. Cut the quarters into bite-size pieces. To keep things as pretty as possible, consider leaving the pieces fairly large.

    Radicchio evenly cut into bite-size pieces

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  6. Heat a large frying pan or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom.

    Oil in a cast-iron frying pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  7. Add the radicchio, sprinkle with salt, and stir to coat the leaves with the oil.

    Radicchio filling the frying pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  8. Cook, stirring frequently until the radicchio is tender to the bite and starting to brown just a bit, about 8 minutes.

    Wilted and browning radicchio in the frying pan

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

  9. Transfer the radicchio to a serving platter or individual plates. Sprinkle with more salt or a finishing salt, such as Maldon, if you like. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Enjoy.

    Sautéed browned radicchio on a platter next to a small bowl with coarse salt

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Estrada

Recipe Variations

  • Before adding the radicchio, toss a thinly sliced or roughly chopped clove of garlic in the pan. Stir and add the radicchio immediately or, for a more distinctive flavor, let the garlic turn golden before adding the radicchio.
  • Counter the bitterness by slowly caramelizing a sliced shallot or two over medium-low heat before sautéeing the radicchio.
  • Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs before serving—a chiffonade of basil or some chopped rosemary or simply a few parsley leaves will provide a burst of light, vibrant flavor against the strong taste of the radicchio.
  • Brown about 1 ounce of finely chopped pancetta or bacon in the oil before adding radicchio to the pan for a meaty undertone to the dish (and an easy way to get people to try a vegetable).
  • Tame the bitterness of radicchio even more by mixing it with some kale, essentially diluting the flavor and adding the more familiar green color of leafy "greens."
  • Drizzle the radicchio with some basil pesto or other herb sauce—the green makes it pretty and tasty.
  • Create a bit of texture and top the radicchio with a sprinkle of toasted walnuts for a bitter contrast, or pine nuts for a sweeter element.
  • The strong flavor of radicchio can stand up to pungent cheeses; if you plan to serve the vegetable warm or at room temperature, try topping it with a few crumbles of blue cheese for a whole different flavor experience.