Easy Broccoli Pesto Recipe

Pesto is one of the best spreads out there, and you have likely seen it on restaurant menus, or perhaps you have even made your own at home. There are plenty of ways to jazz it up, and you can choose a variety of veggies to sub in or out. This wonderful pesto recipe uses broccoli as its main vegetable and base, and if you love broccoli, then this is right up your alley. Pair the fresh taste of broccoli with some olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and basil, and this spread will knock your socks off.

Recipe developer Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating is a pro when it comes to whipping up tasty spreads. She came up with this amazing broccoli pesto, and there's no doubt that it's a crowd-pleaser. "I love this tasty and nutritious twist on classic pesto! Broccoli adds a subtle nutty flavour and blends down really easily in the food processor," Brookes raves. "I would use this for a quick weeknight dinner. You can make it in advance so all you need to do is stir it through some cooked pasta and you have a super quick and delicious meal." Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on how to make this lovely spread. 

Gather the ingredients to make broccoli pesto

Ready to begin? First, make a grocery list and then cross-check your pantry and fridge for items you may already have. Then, head to the store and grab everything you need that you don't have at home already. Start in the produce section and grab some broccoli florets and basil leaves. You will also need to get olive oil and lemon for juice. You'll also need some garlic and some Parmesan cheese. Last but not least, get a little salt and pepper to taste. Once you have all of the ingredients, head home and get ready to get to work! 

Health benefits of broccoli

Most vegetables have some great health benefits and broccoli is one of them. Brookes is the best when it comes to giving the run-down of why broccoli is so good for you, so we'll just let her take it from here. "Broccoli is high in fibre, vitamin C and potassium. So great for your digestion, immune system and heart health," Brookes shares. Since the majority of this spread consists of broccoli, it's safe to say that you will get a great serving of veggies, even if you only eat a small amount. 

Cook the broccoli

Grab all of your ingredients and place them on the counter in front of you. This recipe requires just five minutes of prep time and four minutes of cooking time, making it a breeze. Start by grabbing the broccoli. If you got the broccoli pre-washed, you don't need to do anything, but if you didn't, you might want to rinse it under the sink to clean it.

Then, grab a large saucepan, fill it up with water, and place it on your stove. Bring the water to a boil and, once you see bubbles reach the surface, toss in the broccoli. Cook it for about four minutes and then drain the liquid with a colander. 

Blend the broccoli and other ingredients

Now, grab a food processor and toss in the broccoli. At this time, you can also throw in the remainder of the ingredients, including the basil leaves, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. This melody of ingredients goes so well together. "A food processor will be much more powerful and blend everything much smoother but you could try in a high quality blender," Brookes shares. Blitz the ingredients until smooth. This shouldn't take more than 60 seconds or so. Be sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the food processor if necessary.

Serve and enjoy

Once you finish blitzing the broccoli, pour it into a bowl or a glass to serve. "I love it with pasta but you can definitely use as a dip," Brookes notes. "Or it's great on pizza, spread on toast or you could even stuff chicken breast with it and bake in the oven." 

Anything left? "It should last up to 5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. You can also freeze it," Brookes says. We hope this pesto spread makes the perfect addition to whatever you use it for! 

Easy Broccoli Pesto Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
If you love broccoli and pesto, then you'll want to give this flavorful broccoli pesto recipe a try.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pesto in a bowl
Total time: 9 minutes
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Add the broccoli to a large saucepan of boiling water. Cook it for 4 minutes, then drain.
  2. Place the cooked broccoli and all remaining ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and blitz until smooth, about 60 seconds. Stop to scrape down the sides if necessary.
  3. Serve and enjoy.
Calories per Serving 330
Total Fat 32.0 g
Saturated Fat 6.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 12.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 0.5 g
Sodium 266.7 mg
Protein 8.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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