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. BUT: 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.
These ideas have options to include fresh and frozen broccoli according to what you have on hand.
Your toddler won’t eat? Help is here!
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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!)
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.
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!
4. Broccoli Puree
This is a yummy baby food option (and there’s a method for making and serving broccoli baby led weaning style too).
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!).
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.
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.
8. Homemade Broccoli Tots
Make a batch of broccoli tots that are healthier than the freezer aisle with this delicious homemade broccoli tots recipe.
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!)
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.
11. Butternut Squash Pasta with Veggies and Sausage
This is a super simple pasta dish that’s great to share with the whole family.
12. Broccoli Pesto Pasta
Blend broccoli right into this easy pesto recipe, toss it with pasta, and a delicious toddler meal is ready! It’s also a great one to make ahead and freeze for future meals.
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.
14. Mini Egg Muffins with Veggies
These are great to make-ahead and super soft for the kiddos to chew.
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!
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!).
17. Easy Boiled Broccoli
Go back to basics with this tried and true method for cooking perfectly tender broccoli every time.
18. Creamy Broccoli Pasta
Pair broccoli with pasta, lemon, and ricotta cheese for a comforting family meal.
What’s your favorite way to serve broccoli? I’d love to hear in the comments, so please chime in below!
20 Healthy Broccoli Recipes for Kids
- 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!).
- Orange Beef and Broccoli
- Sweet No-Chop Broccoli Slaw
- Quick Butternut Squash Pasta
- Broccoli and Cheese Frittata Fingers
- Mini Egg Muffins with Veggies
- Easy Mashed Potatoes with Broccoli
- Broccoli Pesto Pasta
- Quick Sausage Pasta with Broccoli
- Veggie Muffins
- Broccoli Pizza Crust
- Homemade Broccoli Tots
- White Cheddar Broccoli Waffles
- Cheesy Broccoli Bites
- Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Pizza Pockets with Broccoli and Cheese
- Garlic-Butter Broccoli
- Quick Roasted Broccoli
- Pizza Rolls with Broccoli
This post was first published December 2018.