Broccoli-Walnut Pesto

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Christina Ross
Christina Ross
I'm a human being on planet earth. I've lived hundreds of lifetimes. In this incarnation I'm here to advance medicine.

I typically associate pesto with warm weather given the fact that the main ingredient in the traditional version – basil – is in season during the summer, but a simple swap with broccoli turns the classic pasta accompaniment into a winter-friendly recipe.

broccoli pesto

I also swapped the traditional pine nuts for walnuts because a) they’re healthier and b) they’re less expensive; but the rest of the usual ingredients can be found in this pesto.

broccoli pesto

If you have broccoli-haters in your house, fear not; the final product does not taste much like broccoli at all, but it is a great way to sneak some of the cruciferous green veggie into a pick eater’s pasta dinner.

broccoli pesto

I prefer pesto on the thicker side so it’s not overly oily, but you can certainly add more olive oil to the recipe if you like a thinner consistency. Thicker pesto is also better for dipping crudite into or spreading onto bread for sandwiches, which I highly recommend!

broccoli pesto

Of course, the most popular way to eat pesto is to stir it into pasta, which is how we enjoyed it.

broccoli pesto

Green in winter!

broccoli pesto

Broccoli-Walnut Pesto

by Lauren Zembron

NameBroccoli-Walnut Pesto
Prep Time10 minutes
Cooking Time3 minutes (blanching)
Total Time13 minutes
ServingsAbout 8 servings
YieldApproximately 1.5 cups


  • 1 head broccoli, preferably organic, crowns chopped into 1-inch florets (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled & chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or more depending on desired consistency
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a simmer. Carefully add the broccoli florets and cook until tender and bright green, about 3 minutes.

Drain cooked broccoli and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels; place in the bowl of a food process along with the toasted walnuts, garlic, and parmesan. Process until finely chopped.

With the motor running, stream in the olive oil and lemon juice through the feed tube; process until fully combined. If you prefer a thinner, more runny consistency, stream in additional olive oil (one tablespoon at a time), until desired consistency is reached.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Best if eaten immediately.

Estimated Nutrition Per Serving

  • Calories: 125 calories
  • Total Fat: 11g
    • Saturated Fat: 2g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 4mg
  • Sodium: 114mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 3g
    • Dietary Fiber: 1g
    • Sugars: 0.5g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Vitamin D: 0%
  • Calcium: 60mg
  • Iron: 1mg
  • Potassium: 130mg

Please note that these nutritional values are approximate and can vary based on the specific brands of ingredients used and the serving size.

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