Roasted Broccoli Pesto

Roasted Broccoli Pesto

When I was a kid if you told me that I would like broccoli when I grew up, I wouldn’t have believed you. 

My brother and I weren’t great eaters. 

As a parent now, I understand that what gives kids the classification of “good eater” is their willingness to eat vegetables.

I have passed on my love of bagged snacks to my son. Not a great trait. What can I do? It’s in his genes!

The extent of my veggie consumption in my youth was raw carrot sticks.

My attempt to get my son to eat a carrot stick involved negotiations. His scowling face said it all before he even took a teeny tiny nibble. Not a fan of carrots.

Roasted Broccoli Pesto

I’ve grown to become a total vegetable lover.

Perhaps that’s why I’m not overly concerned that my son isn’t so keen on eating his greens. I have to remind myself to be patient and wait.

It always helps to doctor up vegetables with other flavors in order to enhance, but not mask.

With a few heads of broccoli at home, I decided to turn broccoli into a sauce of sorts for pasta.

I have an obsession with pesto that goes far beyond summer’s basil harvest. I love making roasted broccoli pesto.

Yes, anything can be turned into pesto with nuts, oil and the help of a food processor.

Roasted Broccoli Pesto

How To Make Roasted Broccoli Pesto

With the oven preheated, I toss broccoli florets on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Once they are lightly browned at the edges, I puree them with garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan and olive oil.

Roasted Broccoli Pesto

Roasted broccoli pesto comes out a bit chunkier than the standard version. With a little cooking water, I toss it into pasta.

Orecchiette is a great shape because it scoops up the pesto. Make sure to add toasted pine nuts.

Pasta isn’t the only way to use pesto. I like to stir it into grains or even mix it into eggs before scrambling them.


Roasted Broccoli Pesto

Roasted Broccoli Pesto
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


1 pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss the broccoli with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper on a sheet pan. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender and just starting to brown at the edges.

Mince the garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor. Add the broccoli, remaining salt & pepper, pine nuts, Parmesan and lemon juice and puree. With the motor running, pour in the remaining olive oil.

When stirring the pesto into pasta, you may need to thin it out with some cooking water from the pasta.

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