Healthy Veggie Pesto

I love the flavors of traditional basil pesto but the heavy oils don’t always feel very healthy. Inspired by a post I saw on The Kitchn blog awhile ago, I whipped up this veggie based alternative. The flavor is much more like pesto than broccoli but you use a lot less oil and get loads of nutrients that you don’t get with regular pesto – plus, it’s a great way to sneak in the greens if you have any veggie-phobe eaters in your house!

Whole wheat broccoli pesto

Veggie Pesto
1 head broccoli (or spinach or kale)
approx 1/3 C low fat ricotta cheese
1/3-1/2 C sliced almonds*
1 small shallot or 1/4 onion
1 large garlic clove
1/4 C water
approx. 1/4 olive oil
kosher salt, pepper
*omit almonds if you have a nut allergy

Trim broccoli into florets and place in a microwaveable bowl. Add 1/4 C water and cover with paper towel. Steam for 2 minutes. Drain water and place broccoli in a large food processor or blender. Add shallot, garlic, almonds, ricotta, 1/4C water and puree. Drizzle in olive oil and pulse until combined. Add enough olive oil to achieve a desired consistency, approx 1/4C (it should be creamy and semi-thick not oily and runny). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Note: I don’t often use exact measurements with sauces, so these are approximate.¬† Experiment with quantities to get the consistency and flavor that you like.

Healthy pesto pasta

Serve with whole wheat pasta, grilled chicken and feta cheese for a hearty and healthy meal!



Filed under Cook, Quick & Easy

3 responses to “Healthy Veggie Pesto

  1. Stephanie

    This looks great! If I used spinach would you steam it first??

    • Katie

      I haven’t tried it with spinach yet. I would probably not steam it and just throw the leaves in like you would with a basil pesto. Let me know if you try it!

  2. What a nice twist to use broccoli in pesto!
    Will try next time.
    We made a more traditional pesto a while back, but with walnuts instead of almonds or pine kernels. It ended up really good!

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