This dairy free broccoli pesto recipe is full of flavor! It’s a delicious spin on classic pesto that’s made without basil. So when the summer ends and fresh basil is no longer abundantly available, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of pesto season. We actually find this dairy free broccoli pesto to be more warming and comforting than pesto made with fresh herbs, because it’s not a raw recipe. The cooked broccoli is easy on the tummy and is an amazing way to hide an extra serving of vegetables!
We are so excited to read through the new Oh She Glows for Dinner cookbook, by Angela Liddon, and can’t wait to try out more of the recipes. This recipe is based on the Boom! Broccoli Pesto recipe in Angela’s cookbook (although we’ve made a few small changes!). Her recipe calls for more garlic and lemon than we use below, so if you prefer the original recipe, use 5 medium cloves of garlic, 5 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, and include 1/2 cup parsley.
Although we focus on broccoli in this pesto recipe, we still love basil based pesto recipes. Here’s one of our older ones for Walnut Pesto.
Now, back to the recipe at hand:
Warming Broccoli Pesto
- 2 heaping cups broccoli cut in florets
- 1.5 Tbsp chopped oil packed sundried tomatoes, with 1.5 Tbsp of oil from jar can sub regular sundried tomatoes if don't have oil packed
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 5 Tbsp pumpkin seeds roasted
- 2.5 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- pinch sea salt to taste
- 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Protein of Choice
- 1 lb chicken thighs or breasts boneless, skinless
- 3 cups legume based pasta such as lentil rotini other pasta of choice
- Spread the pumpkin seeds out on a small baking dish or tray and roast in the toaster oven (or regular oven) for 5 minutes at 350. Peek at them and give the pan a little shake to move them around. If they look slightly golden, you're good to go! You can leave them in for another minute or two if needed.
- Place the broccoli florets in a small pot with around 1/2 cup of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, continue to cook for around 2-3 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green, tender and cooked. Then immediately remove from the heat and pour into a colander, run cold water over top to stop the cooking.
- Place all of the ingredients into a food processor- the sundried tomatoes, garlic, toasted pumpkin seeds, nutritional yeast and lemon juice, as well as the cooked broccoli. Add a pinch of salt and the extra virgin olive oil.
- Pulse the mixture a few times and then scrap down any mixture from the sides of the bowl of the food processor.
- Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, until you have a creamy, smooth pesto. If you prefer a chunkier pesto, you don't have to blend for as long.
- Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If you like more lemon, add more lemon juice. You can also add more garlic if you like or more sea salt. If you prefer the mixture is a little thinner, you can add more olive oil or a few spoonfuls of water.
Protein of choice
- If you're making a legume based pasta, prepare according to package instructions. Once it's ready, toss together with the pesto and serve!
- If you're making the chicken, we recommend searing it in a skillet before spreading the broccoli pesto over top. Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a skillet and season the chicken with sea salt and pepper. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and sear on one side for around 4 minutes, until lightly browned. Then flip and sear on the second side until chicken is cooked through completely. Spread broccoli pesto over top before serving.
- Pumpkin seeds: You can use sunflower seeds or nuts such as almonds or cashews.
- The pesto can be made in advance and then combined with the legume pasta or chicken when ready to serve. It'll keep in the fridge for several days.