Double Broccoli Quinoa

For the broccoli lovers out there (or anyone who strives to be), this is your recipe. Cook up lots of broccoli, and puree half of it into a pesto. The other half is cut into little florets. Toss the broccoli with some quinoa, sliced avocado and a drizzle of feisty chile pepper oil.

Double Broccoli Quinoa

This double broccoli quinoa bowl is a favorite of mine. And it's quite simple. I cook up lots of broccoli, then puree half of it into a pesto. The other half is cut into little florets. Tossed with some quinoa, sliced avocado, and a drizzle of feisty chile pepper oil, it makes a nice, nutrient-packed meal to kick off the new year.
Double Broccoli Quinoa Recipe


Here's the thing, if you don't have quinoa, don't get deterred. You can certainly swap in a pasta or any number of other foundation ingredients. Farro would be nice, millet might work. Or, you could go with barley, pearled barley, orzo, or your favorite brown rice. If you're in the mood for something a bit more substantial, you can serve this over an omelette or frittata. Other times I might have it with a poached egg on top. Or I toss in some baked tofu, or pan-fried tempeh. Legit - it's hard to screw up. Any leftover broccoli pesto is A+ on your snappiest, crunchiest crackers.
Double Broccoli Quinoa Recipe
I should mention that I do like this served with a bit of feta crumbled on top. I wrote that into the recipe as (optional), but if you've got some feta on hand (or goat cheese), and you're not vegan, go for it.
Double Broccoli Quinoa Recipe
You can use a food processor, blender, or hand blender to make the pesto.
Double Broccoli Quinoa Recipe


For easy left-overs I make extra quantities of each of the main components, and use them throughout the week - the broccoli pesto, chile oil, quinoa (you can freeze it if you don't use it). This broccoli pesto is also great as a slather on your favorite veggie burger or these quinoa patties. Enjoy!

More Quinoa Recipes

More Broccoli Recipes

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Double Broccoli Quinoa

4.60 from 25 votes

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa*
  • 5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 big pinches salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk, heavy cream, or cashew cream
  • Optional toppings: slivered basil, fire oil (optional)**, sliced avocado
  • crumbled feta or goat cheese
  1. Heat the quinoa and set aside.
  2. Now barely cook the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup water into a large pot and bringing it to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for a minute, just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking. Set aside.
  3. To make the broccoli pesto, puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, 1/2 cup of the almonds, Parmesan, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and cream and pulse until smooth.

  4. Just before serving, toss the quinoa and remaining broccoli florets with about 1/2 of the broccoli pesto. Taste and adjust if needed, you might want to add more of the pesto a bit at a time, or you might want a bit more salt or an added squeeze of lemon juice. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with the remaining almonds, a drizzle of the chile oil, and some sliced avocado or any of the other optional toppings.


Serves 4 - 6.

*To cook perfect quinoa.

**To make the red chile oil: You'll need 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes. If you can, make the chile oil a day or so ahead of time by heating the olive oil in a small saucepan for a couple minutes - until it is about as hot as you would need it to saute some onions, but not so hot that it smokes or smells acrid or burned. Turn off the heat and stir in the crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside and let cool, then store in refrigerator. Bring to room temp again before using.

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
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4.60 from 25 votes (25 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


try adding sun dried tomatoes to the pesto and sautéing the broccoli before adding it to the dish. I also used a mixture of feta and parmesan cheese at the end melted into it.


WOW, I had some broc I had to use right away and remembered seeing this recipe. I don’t even really like broccoli all that much–it’s usually just so blah to me. But my husband and I just ate this for lunch and it was flavorful and excellent. I used just 2 garlic cloves and even that was a bit too garlicky for his taste, and my mild allergy, so will scale that back to 1 clove next time. And I subbed 2% plain yogurt for the cream, and it worked great. Pretty quick, few ingredients, hearty, filling and nutritious! As always, another winner from Heidi!!


I am living in Bulgaria and we are really seasonal eaters, so no broccoli yet. I usually only see it once a year if I see it fresh at all. I decided to make the pesto with basil and use fresh cauliflower florets. My husband suggested Brussels sprouts, but maybe next time. The flavors were great and the dish was very filling. I would make it again, but hopefully next time with Broccoli.

Casey Angelova

This was delicious. We had it last night with grilled chickenn


Wow, I’m so behind checking on recipes, I know! THIS looks wonderful! I’ve gotten my family to like quinoa, and they all love broccoli, so this is printed to make this week! Yay!

Trish in MO

Like literally every recipe of Heidi’s (and I’ve made many!) this is excellent and easy.
I made this for dinner with krispy treats for dessert and both are tasty. The broccoli pesto alone offers a half dozen ideas. It is beyond good.
Thank Heidi for being my go to person for tasty, nutritious and fast recipes. A trifecta!!


Hi Heidi,
I just made this for lunches this week, and it smells great! I made an asian-inspired variation (soba noodles, canola oil with a touch of dark sesame oil, no lemon or cream or cheese, a bit of red pepper flakes). I think it’s going to be great, and looking over it now, I guess it’s vegan too!
Love your blog!


I love quinoa, I love broccoli, and I love garlic, basil, almonds and avocado. It seems I really should try this!


This dish looks fantastic, and ticks all my boxes – healthy, balanced, delicious and simple to cook. Once I have tried it, I will no doubt be back to ask if I can put it on my blog!


This was completely delicious. Just wanted to share that I added some ricotta salata to the top and it was great. Highly recommend that.


Broccoli is one of my all time fave veggies and I love the idea of making it into pesto!


I love broccoli. I got so hungry just by looking at the photo. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

cosmetic surgery

this is delicius, thank you for show how to use quinoa…

kosenrufu mama

Thanks for sharing this. The photos looked so enticing, I had to try it.
It’s fantastic and great for mid-week as well. I used the “Seeds of Change” quinoa I had on hand. I only had salted almond slivers, so the next time, I will go a little lighter on the sea salt.
I added fresh, local sweet corn to the top (in addition to avocado chunks and feta- both of which are fabulous) and the sweetness contrasted nicely. I also used a splash of chili oil I had on hand (like I said, I was in mid-week mode).
Thanks for sharing this! It’s being added into the rotation!


Awesome. New favorite recipe. I made it with barley and had avocado and feta on top. Yum


This was soooo good. My 5 year old son loved it.

stomach fat

I made this last night and it was delicious! I stopped at my local market for Quinoa, but they were out so I used a Quinoa and brown rice mix that I had found. I used Asiago cheese (so I didn’t have to grate Parmesan) and it was delicious. I found some chili oil so I bought that because I couldn’t wait to make the oil myself. 🙂 I did add the avocado and goat cheese and it was the icing on the cake! I’m making myself hungry and cannot wait to eat my leftovers for lunch!!


This was fabulous. Loved every bite! I absentmindedly added all of the almonds into the pesto, so I thinned it out a bit w/ some chicken broth. Also, I added a handful of poached chicken, since I had it on hand and my husband and I both eat most of our protein @ dinner. It was YUMMMY!! We licked our plates 😉


I made this recipe last night and it was completely delicious! My other and I pan-cooked some chicken on the side (we’re not vegetarian, you see), and it went along great! It was a perfect way to get my boyfriend to try Quinoa! I’ll be checking back for more great recipes soon 🙂


I’ve been looking for recipes to try quinoa…this one sounds interesting. I love broccoli and have never tried quinoa…so I’m looking forward to trying it. I just kinda stumbled upon your blog…I’ll be a regular. Thanks…


I’ve been reading for ages, but with a 40+hr/week job and 2 small kids (2 and 4), I have almost no time to try new recipes. I had everything in the house for this one (except the cream) and some extra time in the Labor Day holiday, so I gave it a try last night. Since I didn’t have cream, I added a bit more olive oil and added hot pasta water to thin it out a bit. YUM! I put it on pasta for the kids and my husband and I ate the quinoa with added chopped tomatoes. My 4-yr-old was eating the extra pesto from a spoon! I combined the leftover quinoa, pasta, and tons of spinach carrots and green beans for my lunch today and it is delicious – inspired me to write this comment. I’ll be trying more of your recipes – thanks!
HS: So glad it worked out for you Joanne!


Made this yesterday, and it was amazing. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch.


That broccoli pesto is just genius! Out of curiosity: Why did you choose almonds over pine nuts? The pesto could also go well as a dip wih nacho’s or cruditees. Or served with pasta. So many ideas, I love it! Thank you!


You’ve outdone yourself. Just made this for dinner and it’s outstanding!


I made this for dinner last night! I felt pretty healthy for once:) Although I made the chili oil and put it in the fridge and it just gelled up so now I can’t use it for other things:( Did I miss something?


This is so great I love it

Janitorial Services Seattle

New favorite recipe of the week.
I used raw cashews instead of the almonds (cheeper and in the cupboard), and they whipped up so lovely and creamy that I was able to leave out the heavy cream and even most of the olive oil. Easier on the waistline and oh so very, very yummy!


I am not a big fan of broccoli but this dish looks Awesome! I’ll have to try it.


I’m in love. Quinoa is so darn cute when it’s cooked. I’d never had it before. I made this recipe using the goat cheese and my husband actually liked it–he had two servings.
Last week the blueberry cake, this week quinoa–can’t wait for your next recipe posting. Thanks for sharing.

Linda Grzeika

What a great idea! I love that all the components are endlessly versatile for meals later in the week.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I just made a batch of quinoa salad for lunch this week for my flatmates and I. I will have to do another lot next week with broccoli pesto puree! Yum.


You describe this as a main dish; however, I am wondering if it would be just too much for a side dish. I am making a batch of French onion soup for guests on Tuesday…and this looks like a lovely accompaniment.
Or…does anyone have a recommendation for a good side dish (other than green salad, which I am already making) to go with our lovely French onion soup?
HS: Hi Erin, I think it would work nicely as a side. You can also browse through a list of other side dish recipes here.

Erin in AK

Your site is amazing as usual. Your dishes are always inspired, the photos make me always want to try everything you do!
Oh, I also love how you have archived dishes organized by ingredient, its so good when I have 3 random things in the fridge and no idea what to do with them… Thank you!

Alex P

Have you found a good place to buy quinoa? I currently buy from Ancient Harvest (online), but am curious if you know of any other places.


I never thought of pureeing broccoli for a pesto. What a great idea for kids with pasta or quinoa or rice. I”ve been studying kids eating lately and feeding two year old twins. They adore pesto, and they would eat this. My next blog is going to be all about kids foods (not kiddie junk). This is the kind of food I’m thinking of.


My boyfriend just started a detox diet, and I’m doing it with him, this sounds like a great meal for this week with wild rice. I’ll omit the cream though, not a big fan of cream.
(next week we’ll add on the feta and egg)
I love your pesto versions, our favorite is the asparagus!
Your recipes NEVER fail for us!


Sounds like a great recipe. I went to Costco yesterday and was surprised to find a bag of quinoa. I bought it and I am going to try your recipe this weekend. Thanks!


Love quinoa and broccoli…the recipe is so healthy, but also a bit rich- I am sure it is super yummy!


This recipe seem so nice. I generally make broccoli salad with ony lemon juice. Next time i will try this recipe. Thanks.


i always have quinoa in my cupboard, the incas couldn’t be wrong, i love the way it cracks in your mouth, and this recipe is full of colours and flavours, its a wonderful way of being healthy, thanks for the recipe, love your blog!
cheers from london,


Heidi – as someone that has been vegetarian for nearly 35 years, I find your recipe journal quite interesting. Some of your recipes remind me of my teenage years growing up in London, where I would go to Cranks on Carnaby Street – a vegetarian wholefoods chain restaurant in England. Since I became vegetarian while living in London, Cranks was a godsend. I began experimenting with vegetarian recipes at quite a young age, so some of your posts are very reminiscent of creations I was forced to think of because vegetarian options at restaurants were not that prevalent back then.
I’m also African American, so getting my mom to start making some of my favourite soul foods (back in the day) – vegetarian style – was quite a challenge! I was the butt family jokes for years, so I’m also glad to learn about Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Food cookbook.
Lastly, my husband is Chilean (I read the post on your trip there). I’m sure you realize the entire country is basically a meat and potato lovers haven. I’m quite pleased to say my husband is mostly vegetarian now as a result of his years with me! He pats his tummy happy and pleased most nights….now that’s an accomplishment!
Hope to bump into you at some point.
Peace and love,


Made this tonight, and it was delicious! My 2 year old scarfed it up, and my husband who normally isn’t a fan of quinoa loved it as well! Brilliant recipe!


I have recently discovered quinoa doing some through a fabulous cookbook called One Bite at a Time by Rebecca Katz. A book geared towards making extremely nutrious and delicious meals for people who are going through chemotherapy, which my husband currently is. We love this grain. I have made several different variations of a salad in that book, and thankfully my husband has loved it all. I am particularly pleased because of the protein factor! Anyway when I saw this reciped posted I absolutely had to try it. It is delicious, even my youngest child who isn’t the best veggie eater around liked it! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe!


This looks delicious! I just moved into a student co-op and we have TONS of quinoa. I’ve never really used it much in cooking myself, but with a recipe like this I’ll have to give it a try.


This was delicious. I made a dairy-free version of this by just omitting the cream and adding a tad more olive oil. A great fresh and healthy meal. Also a good one to have on hand in the fridge for a quick meal for those tired days! I love this recipe.

lisa (dandysugar)

Yummy ! I made this last night. To the pesto I added 1 medium raw zucchini and no dairy used. I also used walnuts instead of almonds. To the rest of the quinoa I sauteed up thinly sliced sweet peppers, beet greens and sliced almonds.


Mmm this sounds a lot like my favorite pesto recipe from the Moosewood cookbooks – Tofu pesto. If you toss a block or so of blanched tofu into your pesto, it stretches the expensive basil and nuts and creates a delightful creamy texture.


YES PLEASE. This is beautiful, and chock-full of some of my favorite things. I can’t wait to make it!


Delicious! It was fun and quick to make. All four of us devoured it lickety-split


it was wonderful! I’m newly in love with broccoli again! Brilliant to create a pesto with it, and it makes me wonder what else you can create “pestos” with. I hope there’s a series to come!!

Mary Hining

Lovely! We made this tonight, but realized too late that we had forgotten to get heavy cream. I improvised using – ahem – ranch dressing?! and a bit more oil, and it was a big hit.


I’m generally a high-raw gal, but yesterday I found myself craving steamed broccoli with a vengence. The broc is going crazy in my veggie patch and there’s only so much raw broccoli a girl can eat! How opportune to see your recipe on the very same day.
I made the recipe with a few minor changes (black quinoa instead of white, since that’s what I had in the cupboard) and I veganified it by leaving out the cream and replacing the parmesan with some nutritional yeast (though not quite as much). Totally yummy. Thanks Heidi!


We had quinoa tonight…I’m always looking for new ways to put flavor into it. I have never thought about making a broccoli pesto but, now that I saw your recipe, I am going to. My husband would love this, too, which is always a bonus.

Amy Green - Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free

We had quinoa tonight…I’m always looking for new ways to put flavor into it. I have never thought about making a broccoli pesto but, now that I saw your recipe, I am going to. My husband would love this, too, which is always a bonus.

Amy Green - Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free

I just bought the ingredients and I’m making this for dinner tonight–I know it’s going to be fabulous.

Mary Hining

So that the post wouldn’t get lost in the mix, I made this for dinner tonight. while it was still fresh in my mind –Really enjoyed the broccoli pesto; I will work that into future dishes.
I added some lemon zest, basil , and chopped fresh tomatoes from my garden.
My daughter liked it so much she requested it for her first day of school lunch next week.
HS: Really great to hear Debi – so glad she liked it. Hope she has a great day back at school 🙂


We had this for dinner last night – so good. I cut back the garlic a smidge so my kids would try it and they love it. Their birthday party is in a couple of weeks – it was agreed all around that this would be on the menu.
thanks for all of your great recipes!


Made it last night, fantastic. First time with Quinoa and caused someone to choke with laughter when she heard me pronounce it today, I’ve been set straight.

Joseph Stefani

This looks delish!! I’m a huge fan of your farro dishes and love that it is a substitute here. But I love quinoa too and have some just asking to be eaten! Thx!

Season to Taste

Thanks Heidi! I can’t wait to try this dish. I’m Celiac so the quinoa is perfect for me. I’ve made broccoli pesto in the past and used it as a pasta (brown rice) sauce. Works great for that too. For all who asked about what to do with the leftover, it freezes perfectly. Just put it in a ziplock, squeeze out the air and feeze flat. Takes hardly any space and is a head start for a quick meal.


This looks fabulous! Quinoa is one of my go-to ingredients for a quick, healthy lunch. I usually add tons of veggies, some sort of protein (canned salmon is quick and easy), and feta cheese. Next time I’m going to follow your lead and add some slivered almonds.


my mom used to make something like this but with pasta and sans avacado, which i loved. will try your take!


The pesto came out perfectly. It was flavorful and delicious. I used it as a toping for chicken and vegetables rather than quinoa (low carb), and it was absolutely amazing. This will be a new “go to” for me.


I made this last night – absolutely delicious!
To all inquiring how to make the pesto without the cream, I just skipped it and it turned out great. Also added a little pan-fried tofu.
Thanks, Heidi!


I came across your blog several weeks ago and have tried many of your recipes. Just wonderful!! Will try this one for lunch.


Heidi, you are such a proliflic, creative, inspirational person. I thank you for posting and sharing all your wonderful recipes so we can all feast on healthy scrumptious food. I’m making this one for dinner tommorrow night! Let me know if you are ever in Melbourne, Australia. Miss Jo

Miss Jo

Yes, what Chika said ingenious, you opened my eyes, it was an AHA moment, I love pesto, I think I will love broccoli pesto just as much. I can’t wait to try it!!! It is on the menu for brunch tomorrow.


I saw this recipe yesterday morning and just had to try is for dinner last night..and I did! it was so awesome 🙂 the broccoli and the almonds were so delicious and creamy. I actually omitted the heavy cream and avacado since I didn’t have any, but still it was yummy!
Except it was a bit soggy. Maybe coz I cooked the broccoli a bit too much…not sure…
My husband has requested for a repeat tonight!:)


I’m not usually a fan of broccoli but I’m going to make this sometime this week because it looks absolutely wonderful.

Food Health

Hi Heidi! you mention above as a response to Katie’s post (dated 9/2) that it’s possible to do a dairy-free version of this pesto. Would love to know what you mean with that, as I’m lactose- intolerant and thought this recipe would be a sad no-go. I assume I would add a soy/nut/rice milk substitute for the heavy cream, but am curious how to replace the parmesan. Thanks so much for your tasty recipes! I just made Lori’s cous cous recipe this week and despite it’s utter simplicity it was completely scrumptious — so flavorful! thank you for all you do!

mai truong

I bet this would be great with some Farro also- thanks for the recipe- I have made Broccoli pesto before but just used it on pasta with grilled sausage on top


I tried your salad tonight and it was delicious! We also added dried cranberries to the mix for a hit of sweetness which worked well. Someone in our family doesn’t like Parmesan so we tried it with the pesto off until serving time and let everybody get their own and extra avocado was dressing enough for the picky eater. Thanks for the inspiration!


What a delicious meal! I was inspired by this recipe and just happened to have everything on hand. Just love it when that happens. We enjoyed the taste and found it very satisifying. Thanks so much for your recipes they really help keep my cooking healthy.


Never tried quinoa, what does it taste like , is it anything like couscous ?
So happy I found your blog !


beautiful, i love the idea of avocados-almonds and feta. I’m making this for dinner tonight.


ps — your serving plate is very pretty.

denise (chez danisse)

Looks perfect! I like all of the green : )

denise (chez danisse)

What and ingenious use of broccoli- can’t wait to give this a try!

Deborah Dowd

Oh wow, I love the idea of broccoli used in pesto. Such a tasty idea for quinoa. Love it!

Jenn (

Thanks for the inspiration! Just made it for dinner, although I had to substitute a bit since daughter is dairy free for the month — just used olive oil and a bit of rice milk for creaminess. tastes fine -probably not as rich.
Also — using it as a side dish for halibut, as we have fish eaters here too. three people, three different diets.

Carol Thompson

I was so excited to find some Quinoa recipies. I discovered this grain here in Spain and just didn’t know what to do with it. Many thanks – my taste buds are starting to quiver!


To make this dish vegan, what would you recommend in place of the dairy? Or would you just omit it?


This recipe looks absolutely incredible! I can’t wait to make it!
Thanks for posting a recipe involving quinoa, avocado and chili oil. This is pure genius.


This is perfect! I accidentally bought two bags of quinoa and now need to work through about 6 cups worth! Looks delicious.


This would be lovely for lunch. I love broccoli, and it’s even one of the few green veggies my hubby will eat!


Looks like a terrific recipe! If I wanted to make it a little healthier and skip out on the heavy cream, can you suggest another alternative?


Wow, the broccoli pesto is mind-blowingly delicious. Thanks for a fab recipe, I’ll be making it often.


This sounds fantastic! I’ve been looking for new ways to enjoy broccoli (salads get boring) and quinoa. I can’t wait to try this!


It looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing


This looks great! I really like the idea of topping it with a poached egg for dinner. Looking forward to trying it!

Sarah L

I don’t do dairy, but this recipe sounds so freakishly good!!! I will probably try to make the pesto more like the Basil “Cream” from the Tassajara Cookbook….with a little thinned out miso.


Love the recipe.
I would like to offer a simple no fail quinoa recipe:
1 cup Quinoa
1.5 cup boiling water
0.5 tsp salt
To a medium saucepan add the quinoa, boiling water and salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to minimum, cover the saucepan and set a timer for 12 minutes.
When the timer rings, remove from heat, don’t open to peek, set the timer for another 12 minutes. When the timer rings again, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork.


omg, i was just wondering what i should do with the two huge heads of broccoli in my fridge – this looks delicious and i will be eating it for dinner tonight.
heidi, have you heard of the eat-in/potlucks that are taking place on labor day across the country? they are national potlucks put on by the “time for lunch” campaign to bring attention to the need for REAL FOOD in schools. there will be a big one at the m.l.k. jr. civic center park in berkeley. anyway, this looks like a great dish to contribute 🙂


Broccoli pesto is something to try. Thanks for sharing this great dish. It’s so healthy.


I was planning on making quinoa tonight. But didn’t want to make the same old quinoa pilaf I normally make. This is perfect.
Thank you!


I use to make something similar with pepitas instead of almonds. I imagine that subbing those here would work. Perhaps a little tahini?


Now if it weren’t for the heavy cream… what would be a good substitute?
You asked for a URL with this post, so click on my name to see my Facebook cause for traffic safety.
Thanks, Jeff


Hmmm… that sounds delicious. What did you think about the combo of the broccoli pesto and quinoa with roasted broccoli?


wow, this looks great! I was also wondering, the same as wendy above, what to do with the other half of the pesto, since you say to mix half of it in…and don’t mention the other half, so is that just leftover?


i love quinoa
i love broccoli.
i think it’s a no-brainer that i should make this.


I love quinoa and everyone in my family loves broccoli so this recipe is being added to my have-to-try list!

The Faithful Foodie

Heidi—what a great recipe. I sometimes overcook broccoli so it’s almost pureed, then combine it with pasta and parm. We can also always count on our friend Leora to bring a broccoli dish to our monthly potluck so I get my broccoli fix there if nowhere else.


Yummy! That sounds so delicious. My almost three year old daughter loves broccoli, and my husband loves quinoa, so I am going to have to try this. 🙂

Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

I’m a broccoli fan, so double broccoli caught my eye. Sounds fantastic! The avocado slices sound intriguing. I’ve never mixed avocado with broccoli.


What do you do with the remaining pesto, since the recipe says only use 1/2 of it?


I picked up a pound of quinoa quite some time ago since I see it used so frequently here and other places, but I just haven’t tried using it.
Thank you for including how-to instructions about cooking quinoa since that will help me go to the next step and actually cook it.


I love broccoli and am always looking for ways to make it more exciting. I’ll save this for when the weather isn’t offering such fab produce!


this lokks quite delicious and I am anxious to try it. Any other substitutions you can think of for the heavy cream? something non-dairy possibly?


Yum!! Now I know what I am bringing to work for lunch next week!


Are you kidding me? I have been reading and drooling over your recipes for a few months now and I just can’t take it anymore – I finally had to write to tell you how happy you make me. I feel like I found my food soul mate. Everything is to die for. I love food and I LOVE your recipes – so far everything I have made has been a winner and a keeper. Thank you!!


I love this recipe, or I should say I love all these recipes – together and apart. I’m especially thrilled to have a recipe for fire oil, which I plan to make with sesame oil, since the last bottle I bought cost a small fortune!
I’m always on the lookout for quinoa recipes and this one, with the broccoli pesto just looks so fabulous. It hits all my favorite flavor notes!
Thank you for such an inspired site!

Susan S

Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables because it’s so easy to make a filling, healthy meal with it. Is there anything you can use in place of heavy cream? How about if you just leave it out all together?

allison @locallemons

Heidi – Sounds great! I haven’t made pesto because my daughter is allergic to nuts. Do you know a substitute for pine nuts? Love your site, I’ve made so many of your recipes. Thanks, Ann


directly going at top of my must-try-soon file!! thx for sharing!!


Quinoa is one of my favorite grains. I’m always looking for new ways to jazz it up–pesto is such a great idea! I’ve made double asparagus salads before, pureeing half and chopping the rest, but this is an even better use for the large broccoli stem!


Looks great! I have a question about the chili oil: how long do you think it will keep in the fridge? Do you recommend an air-tight container, or would something like a cruet suffice? Thanks!
HS: Hi Beth, I use a mason jar. the current batch I’m working my way though has been in my refrigerator for a week or so.


I believe this is going to be the first recipe from your site that I make. Broccoli plus quinoa? Two favorites all in one delectable dish. Sounds divine – I think even Mr. Husband will like it.
Also, I joined the 101 Cookbooks Kiva team a while back and just funded two more loans. What a great way to make a difference, and with so little effort on our part. Thanks so much for setting up the team!
HS: Thanks Zipporah – I’m so happy to hear about your microloans. I was just noticing (this morning) that I set up the team exactly one year ago. And we’ve loaned almost exactly $50,000. Love it. You all are amazing.


I’m so making this for dinner tonight…would edamame subbed in for broccoli be overdoing the protein? i have TONS of edamame at home and no broccoli – just trying to plan…
HS: Hmmm. I’m sure you could make it work, but I don’t think it’s as simple as doing a 1:1 swap….


as always, looks delish… I think I’ll try the dairy-free option with the pesto to try and cut down on some of the chubs. 🙂


One of my favorite things about your recipes and blog… you indicate flexibility in the “formula” and allow for substitutions. I do like quinoa, but not everyone does, nor is it something everyone has on hand… so it’s great you mention other ‘foundations’ for this recipe. And as always I love the timely produce, (garlic harvest time, basil in abundance and broccoli, also coming to fall harvest). Great inspiration! I featured French Onion soup this week on my garden blog, (timed to the New England harvest), and I am going to give your caramelized onion dip a try on the weekend. Thank you as always… 101 Cookbooks is a great site for gardeners. -Michaela
HS: Thanks Michaela. I’d really really love to have a proper garden someday.

The Gardener's Eden

HOORAY! I was just thinking that I needed a new Quinoa recipe. One that was above and beyond pilaf…I can’t wait to try this!


I love pestos from non-typical items. This looks good. I made a beet leaf pesto a few months ago. It’s so pretty, tho’ not as pretty as yours…
HS: Love this ideas Maggie.


damn, this looks good! You have completely inspired me to go out and find broccoli right this minute.
Penny, I loved seeing your sneak peek on design*sponge the other day!

penny de los santos

I absolutely love pesto, but am definitely looking for a twist on the old favorite–I’ve eaten it almost every day this summer! I can’t wait to try this.


I had never even considered brocolli pesto…what a genius idea! Especially since I have a hunch that my CSA box will become full of the stuff quite soon. I love that I can always come to your site for recipes that I want to make and feel virtuous about eating as well.


pesto with broccoli is such an interesting idea! and the dish looks very appetising. I am going to definitely give it a try.


We adore broccoli in our house…I wish it grew more plentifully in our area so we could buy it locally. But I usually cave and get it at least once a week just because it’s so good.
Question: would you recommend anything to sub out the heavy cream since I don’t usually keep it on hand? Would 1/2 and 1/2 work, or would it turn out too thin? Lovely recipe, thanks for the inspiration!
HS: Hi Katie, I think this would be fine with that substitution (I think milk would be too thin though, and just odd) – alternately, you could do an entirely dairy-free version of the pesto if you like.


Broccoli pesto! Brilliant! My boyfriend doesn’t mind the flavor of broccoli, but hates the texture of the florettes. Broccoli pesto sounds like a great way to sneak some into a meal (though of course I’d save this specific dish for myself).


I love this idea, even though broccoli is rarely on the menu these days – it doesn’t grow well enough in my garden. (We grow Tuscan kale instead.) I always found that whenever I made a broccoli dish, there was never enough broccoli for my taste. Didn’t matter if it was broccoli rabe with orrecchiete, or broccoli risotto. There was always too much of the “other” ingredient compared to the broccoli, for my taste. So double broccoli sounds wonderful to me.


This would be a great one to make and keep in the fridge for a few days as a quick and easy fulfilling meal or side dish. I make a variation of this (no parma) all the time and I like to sub in green beans with my quinoa too for a little change.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen

Usually I don’t eat quinoa, but this looks so good I got to try.

fast cooker

I love the idea of 1/2 as sauce 1/2 as whole! I’m walking over to the Farmers Market in a half hour…lets see if they have some broccoli!

Sarah-Two Blue Lemons

okay this looks so good !!!! I will be making this later on in the wk. Thanks,yum!

amy and ann

This looks so good! I love most all of your recipes. Thank you for sharing.

Jess (Fit Chick in the City)

Holy crap, that sounds awesome. That’s literally what I said when I saw this….I am a HUGE broccoli lover. Me + Broccoli =


Right – that’s supper tonight! I have some broccoli that wants used, and this will make a lovely change from my usual broccoli pasta bake! Pine nuts instead of almonds, though, as that’s what I have….

Mrs Redboots

Gorgeous! I love a high-protein vegetarian meal, and the sliced avocados in the photo are making me drool.


green bean and *hazelnut*, even. oops


Hello Heidi,
Broccoli pesto sounds ingenious – and the whole thing looks god so delicious! Another must-try, definitely.
On another note, the other day I made your green bean and green bean salad and red (sun-dried tomato) pesto for a picnic with my non-meat-eating sister. We enjoyed the both, but the pesto was an absolute stunner. Sun-dried tomatoes never tasted so good! Thanks as always for great recipes.


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