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+ servings
Bowl of Broccoli rabe with a small bunch or rabe arranged to the side
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5 from 4 votes

Broccoli Rabe Pesto

Course: dip, dressing
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 8 1/4 cup servings
Calories: 81kcal


  • large pot with lid
  • food processor (or full size blender if necessary)


  • 1 lb broccoli rabe, washed and cut in half (discard large stalks)
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or other nuts of your choice, pan toasting optional
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup cannellini beans, mostly drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt


  • Add the broccoli rabe and garlic to a large pot of rapidly boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes.
  • Place the rabe, garlic, and the rest of the ingredients into a food processor (or blender if necessary). Blend until it's at the desired consistency.
    Alternatively, stir the olive oil into the finished pesto instead of blending it.


  • If making pasta, reserve the water the broccoli rabe and garlic were blanched in, so you can cook the pasta in the same water.
  • In addition to making a great pasta pesto – this recipe is also delicious served as a dip for veggies or crackers, as a pizza topping, over crusty Italian bread, mixed with quinoa or rice, in wraps, and more. 
  • Leftover pesto? My experience is that all pestos freeze well. I freeze several pint and half-pint jars each year of various pesto recipes. I place a small piece of parchment paper on the top of the pesto to keep the top layer from getting freezer burn. Be sure to leave space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion.


Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 164mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1525IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg