Broccoli Basil Pesto

My toddler has weird taste. He won’t eat rice, or beans, ground meat, or basically any vegetable. But he WILL eat garlic and basil. Constantly. I guess I have a good little Italian on my hands.

I’ve had to be creative when making his meals, attempting everything I can think of to get nutrients into him. I developed this delicious pesto recipe as a way to hide more veggies in his food. Of course, it’s delicious for adults too. Enjoy!

**Note that this recipe, unlike many pesto recipes, does not include Pine nuts. I mostly make this for my son, and pine nuts can get pricey (and they are not eco-friendly). The lack of Pine nuts is also helpful if your little one has a tree nut allergy.


  • 1 small head of broccoli, florets separated
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 1 small handful of basil
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • The juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt to taste


  • Boil about 3 cups of lightly salted water in a small saucepan. Add the broccoli and cook until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water
  • In a small frying pan, heat the oil and add in the garlic clove. You don’t want it to burn, but you do want it to cook a bit. This will help avoid that bite of raw garlic in the pesto.
  • In a small food processor, combine the broccoli, garlic, oil (that the garlic was cooked in), basil, Parmesan and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Add a pinch of salt if necessary.
  • Mix the pesto with your favorite pasta or use it to top chicken.
  • This recipe makes enough for two healthy-sized kids pasta meals, or enough to top chicken for 4.

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