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.

Enjoy! And I hope you like this as much as I do. xx, -h

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Double Broccoli Quinoa

4.59 from 24 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
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Post Your Comment


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.


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


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

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