Pesto Broccoli


Total Time:



My life revolves around food. I live for it, I dream about it, I cook it on the regular, it’s basically my entire existence.

So when I’m out of inspiration or ideas it’s a major problem. Lucky for me, I just had the most insanely inspirational trip to Brazil which left me with about 32490 ideas for recipes and not enough time in the day to create all of them.

While I was in Rio I had the most amazing side of of Pesto Broccoli at Mira! Wait, what? Pesto Broccoli. It’s the most simple thing I’ve ever heard of and yet, HOW HAD I NEVER HAD THIS BEFORE? Clearly I hadn’t lived. I’ve since turned it around and have been eating Pesto Broccoli on the reg. (let’s all agree that reg is just short for regular and it’s way more fun to say)


I ate my way through Brazil, I mean it’s my job right? That means that it’s my civic duty to try as much as I can humanely fit into my body. That means loose fitting dresses are a must. It also means I’m very rarely hungry. Whatever, who has time to worry about that. So one day in Rio, we stopped into the cutest little restaurant for lunch and I was all like, oh I’m just going to have salad. Nothing major right? Wrong. 10 seconds later I saw everything that there was to eat and proceeded to pile my plate up with lots of food. And then ate it all. Pesto Broccoli included.

Here’s the deal… it’s sautéed broccoli doused in a homemade pesto sauce and then served with a squeeze of lemon. I kid you not, it’s freaking epic. I love it even more than I love my lemon roasted broccoli and that is saying a lot. Especially because I eat that on a weekly basis. Serve this to any picky eater, age doesn’t matter, and I’m almost certain they will lick their plate clean, because it’s just that good.


Pesto Broccolini



  • 2 pounds broccoli or broccolini ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes depending on your spice tolerance
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 recipe Basil Vinaigrette
  • lemon wedges for garnish


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the broccolini and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Continue to sauté for another 3-5 minutes more until the broccolini is just tender. Season with salt and pepper and toss with the basil vinaigrette before serving.

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Recipe Rating


  1. DessertForTwo

    This sounds great! And healthy!
    Do you take a notebook when you travel for writing down recipe ideas? I hope so 🙂

  2. Meagan @ A zesty Bite

    Oh man Gaby I am loving this pesto broccoli. It looks amazing and I know we would gobble it all up.

  3. Monika

    Pesto Broccoli? So clever! It is my favorite vegetable – so another way to prepare it is always exciting for me! This sounds like keeper.

  4. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    Such an easy, elegant side, Gaby! I like broccoli, but with this pesto vinaigrette and a squeeze of lemon, I could definitely love it!

  5. Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody)

    Your comment about loose-fitting dresses was timed perfectly. I’ve just put on my old reliable elastic-waisted flowing skirt, due to my brownie binge this morning. Broccoli/broccolini is my all time favourite vegetable (apart from potatoes). I can totally get behind covering it in pesto. Delicious!

  6. Heather Christo

    ok. That was totally convincing Gaby. I am having people to dinner this weekend and I am going to serve this up!

  7. Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño

    Anything covered in pesto is life changing in my opinion! Making this tonight!

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  10. Josette

    I don’t like pesto; don’t like the taste of basil! Is there something else
    I can use?

  11. Cheryl’s

    Can’t wait to try ” pesto broccoli, sounds deliicious. Thank you!!!

  12. Susan

    Is the lemon pictured for garnish? I don’t see it in the recipe. Do you squeeze it over at the end?

    Looks really yummy. I hope I can get my kids to eat this.

    • Gaby

      it’s just garnish!! but you can add it at the end if you want a little extra zip 🙂

  13. Stef

    Wow! Just tried this and it was awesome! Instead of the stovetop I did it on the BBQ in a disposable roasting tray, since that’s where my other food was being cooked. They were tender crisp, full of flavour and delicious. My husband claims it is the best broccoli he’s ever had. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Gaby

      I’d start with about 1/3 cup!! and add more if needed 🙂

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  18. Cheri

    Hi just left comment for the pasta mafaldine pasta with walnuts scrummy, then saw the sides. I have been cooking brocolli in water for 4-6 mins & no matter how many times I do it my mother insists it is not cooked! Should I have been sauting it as you have in your recipe. The addition of pesto is genius!

    • Gaby

      I LOVE to saute broccoli!! Gives it more flavor than boiling!!

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  20. Pat

    How much of the pesto do you use for the 2lbs of broccoli……the recipe says “1 recipe pesto.” Looks great. Will make when I receive the answer. Thanks Gabby!

    • Gaby

      as much or as little as you like! I make the recipe of basil vinaigrette and serve it alongside the broccolini so people who LOVE pesto can dump as much on, or if you just like a little, you can dip as needed! And I use the leftover basil vinaigrette for pasta sauce

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