Try these easy, kid-friendly broccoli recipes to help the kids learn to love the veggie—in all sorts of easy recipes. From Broccoli Pesto, Roasted Broccoli, and Broccoli Cheddar Soup, to the best Veggie Muffins, these recipes have you covered!
Healthy Broccoli Recipes
Broccoli seems to be one of those foods that we all want to feed to our kids, but they don’t always want to eat. These healthy broccoli recipes will give you some options of ways to serve broccoli up to your toddlers and older kids that have a strong chance of actually being eaten.
I of course can’t make any guarantees and I think we often feel so much pressure to have kids who like every food, but it is also possible that the kids will surprise us one day.
TIP: These ideas have options to include fresh and frozen broccoli according to what you have on hand.
Quick & Easy Broccoli Recipes
There’s nothing too complicated about these broccoli recipes since I know that you are probably just like me—busy and unwilling to spend too much time on a recipe for the kids that they might not eat.
I love the sound of all of these recipes for the entire family, so even if your kiddo is still adjusting to the idea of a certain type of broccoli, everyone else at the table can enjoy them in the meantime!
These broccoli recipes are flavorful, yummy, and yet not too crunchy or spicy. I chose them with little kids in mind and aimed to include a range of flavors and texture options so you can pick the ones that seem like they’d be the most appealing to your child.
TIP: Here’s my go-to Broccoli Puree and BLW-style Broccoli for babies.
How can I get my kids to actually eat the broccoli?
Here are some tips to help kids love broccoli. (And check this out for tips for babies and broccoli.)
- Serve small portions.
This is my advice for feeding kids in general but the smaller the portion, the less likelihood that they’ll be overwhelmed by the food. And it means less food waste if they decide not to eat it.
- Make sure it tastes good to YOU.
One of the reasons that kids don’t always love the veggies we serve them is that they’re too bland. So I suggest taking a bite yourself and seeing if you like it. If not? Add more sauce/seasoning/etc to amp up the yummy factor!
- Let the kids share their opinions.
Not every new recipe you feed your child is going to fly, so try not to push too hard and give the kids (as they are able) the chance to voice their opinions about the food. They may be able to tell you what we can do to make it yummier—maybe they need a sauce or to have the pieces cut smaller!
- Be patient.
I don’t like to quote the stats on how many exposures it takes kids to accept new foods since they sound sooooo daunting, but know this: It takes time for kids to see foods as familiar, so if there’s anything (like broccoli!) that you really want them to eat, you need to include it in family meals regularly. Not everyday, but often enough that they know what it is and start to develop a flavor memory so they can anticipate what it will taste like. This is the best way to help new foods not be scary!
TIP: The Division of Responsibility can be a useful approach too.
1. Cheese Sauce with Steamed Broccoli
Cheese sauce makes everything better—and this one happens to have cauliflower right in the mix! This is an easy recipe to serve with steamed broccoli. (See the recipe at the bottom for the Steamed Broccoli recipe!)
This makes enough for 2-3 servings, so you can store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat it for 15-30 seconds in the microwave to serve. You can also toss any leftovers with pasta for a quick and healthy mac and cheese.
2. Pizza Rolls with Broccoli
Trade in finely chopped, thawed frozen broccoli for the spinach in this recipe and you’ll have a kid-friendly meal ready to go.
Be sure to grease your pan well and roll the dough up fairly tightly around the fillings for best results. (But it’s okay if they don’t look perfect when they go into the pan!)
3: Quick Roasted Broccoli
Roasted broccoli was one of the veggies at our first daycare that all of the kids loved. It’s slightly sweet and is super easy to make—definitely try this out if you haven’t yet!
Serve this as a simple side to go with dinner. Or make them ahead and warm them throughout the week to go with lunches.
4. Broccoli Puree
Learn how to make nutritious Broccoli Puree and a super easy method for baby led weaning style broccoli. Both start with the same technique, so you can do either (or both!).
5. Pizza Pockets with Broccoli and Cheese
Tuck a serving of broccoli into a homemade pizza pocket for a complete meal that you can make ahead and warm on busy nights. No need to make a separate veggie (unless you want to!).
If you’re using Homemade Pizza Dough, make it at least an hour before you plan to assemble the pockets. If using store-bought, let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes so it’s not super cold when you try to form the pockets.
6. Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Oh, now this is a healthy comfort food idea. I love the idea of making a batch of roasted sweet potatoes and filling them with the good stuff, including broccoli and cheese. You could even set out the fillings and let the kids top their potatoes themselves.
With an almost fool proof method, these Crock Pot Sweet Potatoes mash up into silky smooth baby food or a side. You can also skip the mashing and serve them as you would baked potatoes if preferred.
7. Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
This is hands-down one of our favorite cold weather soups. It’s got all of the flavor of broccoli cheese soup with a hit of split peas for protein. So good, and good for you.
With plant-based protein, veggies, and cheese, this soup is a wonderful way to serve up healthy comfort food to the whole family. (Adapted from FamilyFun magazine.)
8. Homemade Broccoli Tots
Make a batch of broccoli tots that are healthier than the freezer aisle with this delicious homemade broccoli tots recipe.
You can cook the rice up to 5 days ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake the tots.
9. Veggie Muffins
With broccoli and carrots in the mix, these savory muffins are a great lunch option for kids. (And also yourself paired with something like soup!)
I like to grate the carrot on a box grater and cut the top of each broccoli floret off and finely dice with a knife. Avoid the stems since they won’t blend into the batter as well.
10. Quick Sausage Pasta with Broccoli
Toss broccoli with flavorful Italian sausage, pasta, and Parmesan cheese for a skillet dinner that’s (almost) sure to please.
Just a heads up that you’ll need to reserve a little of the pasta cooking water, so keep that in mind BEFORE you drain the pasta. Chicken sausage is usually leaner than pork, so when making this with chicken sausage, I like to add butter or olive oil before serving.
11. Butternut Squash Pasta with Veggies and Sausage
This is a super simple pasta dish that’s great to share with the whole family.
You can use frozen peas or broccoli in this recipe according to what you have or prefer. See the Notes for vegetarian options.
12. Broccoli Pesto Pasta
This will likely make enough for two meals. You can freeze the leftovers for a future meal. (This recipe was updated to improve the taste and method in April 2019.)
13: Easy Mashed Potatoes with Broccoli
This recipe is one that I fed to my girls a lot when they were little since everything goes into one pot and it’s super easy for little kids to eat. You can top your adult serving with some crushed red pepper flakes or a strong cheese for added flavor.
If you want to make these creamier, live it up and add more sour cream and butter!
14. Mini Egg Muffins with Veggies
These are great to make-ahead and super soft for the kiddos to chew.
These soft breakfast egg cups are packed with protein and vitamins—and can be made ahead of time! Add any veggie you like, whether carrots, butternut squash, broccoli, or spinach.
15. One-Pot Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Everything cooks in the same pot in this super comforting mac and cheese recipe. The broccoli is a nice bonus!
The method on this recipe is streamlined to cut down on dish washing. Add the optional spices for more flavor if you like! Double it to make more.
16. Pizza Bites (with Veggies
Fill pizza dough with broccoli and cheese to make this fun kids meal (that you might want to eat too!).
Fluffy pizza bites are a delicious lunch or dinner option—and you can customize the filling to please your kids! We like these with a little side of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.
17. Easy Boiled Broccoli
Go back to basics with this tried and true method for cooking perfectly tender broccoli every time.
You can start with broccoli crowns or precut broccoli florets. And then serve it plain or with a favorite dip.
18. Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Pair broccoli with pasta, lemon, and ricotta cheese for a comforting family meal.
Feel free to cut this recipe in half to make a smaller portion for your family. (Or make the full batch and enjoy the leftovers!)
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What’s your favorite way to serve broccoli? I’d love to hear in the comments, so please chime in below!
This post was first published December 2018.
20 Healthy Broccoli Recipes for Kids
This is my go-to recipe for easy Steamed Broccoli. You can find links to the rest of the recipes in the Notes for easy referencing.
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
- Salt (optional)
- Healthy Cheese Sauce (optional)
Fill a medium pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Add a steamer basket filled with broccoli and cover. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green and tender when poked with a paring knife.
Use a spoon to transfer the broccoli to a bowl and toss with butter or olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Serve with Cheese Sauce if desired.
- Omit the salt if serving to a baby and be sure to cook until very tender.
- Increase the amount of butter or olive oil as you like.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat to serve (or stir into an omelet or pasta!).
And here are the rest of the recipes for easy reference.
Calories: 33kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 34mgPotassium: 293mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 573IUVitamin C: 81mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg