Broccoli Is The Key To Flavorful, Nut-Free Pesto Sauce

Pesto is one of the most delicious and versatile spreads out there — you can use it on sandwiches, in pasta, and in countless other dishes. There's just one problem: If you're allergic to nuts, you can't have it. That's because, traditionally, pesto is made with pine nuts (such as in our recipe for a bright and fresh pesto). However, anyone with a nut allergy shouldn't be deterred, because there are other ways to make pesto — such as with broccoli.

It may sound a bit strange — broccoli in place of pesto? But trust us, it works. Tasting Table has a recipe for easy broccoli pesto, developed by Catherine Brookes, that is just as tasty as its pine nut-infused counterpart. As Brookes explains, the broccoli actually gives the pesto a nutty taste — just like the pine nuts would. Plus, the broccoli brings in plenty of nutritional value. As Brookes puts it, "Broccoli is high in [fiber], vitamin C and potassium. So great for your digestion, immune system and heart health."

Another perk of this recipe besides the delicious taste and nutritional value? It's easy to make. All you need to do is cook the broccoli by boiling it in water for a few minutes, then add the cooked broccoli to a food processor, along with the rest of the ingredients, and blend until smooth. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a normal blender instead.

How to put your broccoli pesto to good use

Once the broccoli pesto is made and ready to go, it's time for the fun part: Adding it to recipes. To start, it makes for a delicious addition to sandwiches. Perhaps you want to switch up a classic sandwich, like a BLT or grilled cheese, and a spread of pesto is the perfect way to do so. You can even add it to a breakfast sandwich, such as our ultimate egg sandwich, for a burst of nutty goodness in the morning.

Traditional pesto is often found on pizza or in pasta — and the broccoli pesto will work just as well on either of those. Perhaps you can use it to replace the regular pesto in a classic basil pesto pasta or on an artichoke tomato pesto flatbread. Or, swap out traditional pizza sauce and use the broccoli pesto as the base of an Italian sausage and sweet potato pizza or even a classic pepperoni pizza for a unique spin.

Finally, the pesto is tasty enough that it also works well as a dip — you can pair it with crackers, bread, veggies, or chips. If you're putting together a charcuterie board and want to display a show-stopping dip, this broccoli pesto is exactly what you need.