Made with simple, wholesome ingredients, this beet pesto pasta sauce comes together in minutes and makes for the perfect pasta sauce for babies, kids, and adults!
If you've been following me for a while, you know that I LOVE cooking with beets. It's such a versatile ingredient that you can use in both sweet and savory applications, like muffins, oatmeal, meatballs, and dips.
And if you're new here, first of all, WELCOME! Whether you are a fan of beets or not, my mission is to help you incorporate more of this super nutritious ingredient into your family’s meals.
This beetroot pesto is great for anyone who shies away from beets (ahem! I'm looking at you, hubby). All the add-ins truly elevate the flavor of the beets.
Not to mention, it's visually so stunning that it will make you feel like like you’re sitting down to a fancy meal ;).
What Makes this Pesto Perfect for Babies?
Beets contain so many nutrients that babies need to thrive
Ricotta is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and zinc. It's also lower in sodium compared to most types of cheese.
This beetroot pesto is bursting with FLAVOR, which is so important to expose your baby to from the very beginning. If you thought baby food had to be bland, think again!
It is also super versatile! You can:
- serve as is (for beginner eaters, preload onto a spoon and place on the table or hand it to your baby. LOVE these spoons.
- toss with pasta
- spread it on bread or tortilla
- serve as a dip
May also be interested in: zucchini pesto with almonds
Beets - you'll need 1 cup of roughly chopped cooked beets. My favorite way to cook them is in the Instant Pot.
How to Cook Beetroot for Babies
Ricotta - it goes SO well with beets! It will help add a nice creamy texture to the pesto. Be sure to look for one that’s pasteurized and made with whole milk. If you prefer a more sharp punch of flavor, you can add in some parmesan cheese.
If looking for a non-dairy option, try adding any plant-based no sugar added yogurt or this homemade cashew cheese.
Walnuts - Feel free to swap with other nut of choice, although I highly recommend trying it with walnuts first. If there's a nut-allergy, you can substitute with pine nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Basil - such a wonderful accompaniment to beets! You don't really need to be exact with the measurements here. I like to add a handful. Feel free to add more or less.
Garlic and lemon - may be in small amounts but boy do they pack flavor!
Extra virgin olive oil - can add more to your desired consistency.
Leaving the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until all ingredients are well combined. If pesto is too thick, add extra oil or water.
Tips for making the perfect baby pasta sauce
This is a very forgiving recipe and easily adaptable to suit your tastebuds!
For instance, if you think garlic may be too spicy for you or your baby, start by adding just one clove. You can always taste and add more. Same goes for lemon and basil.
You can also easily adjust the consistency by adding more oil (or water) to make it thinner.
Serving Suggestions for babies
Pictured: with shredded chicken. I especially love using fusili as the pesto really clings to the twists.
Toss the pesto with whatever pasta you wish. There are SO many varieties out there from whole wheat to chickpea, lentils, quinoa, and so much more!
For a boost of priority nutrients for babies, add diced or shredded (depending on your child’s age and chewing abilities) chicken, beef or vegetarian protein source like tofu, edamame, or beans.
Do continue serving beets (or any food) in its whole form so that your baby can learn to appreciate them as is.
More Baby Pasta Recipes
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
Beetroot Pesto Pasta Sauce
- 170g of roughly chopped steamed or roasted and peeled beets, about 1 ½ medium beets
- ¼ cup (30g) walnuts
- basil, a handful (doesn't have to be exact)
- ⅓ cup (3 oz or 80g) whole milk ricotta
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- In a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients minus the oil and pulse several times.
- Leaving the food processor running, slowly add the olive oil until all ingredients are well combined. If pesto is too thick, add extra oil or water.
- Store in a jar for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months (recommend freezing in single-serve portions)
- Walnuts - Feel free to swap with other nuts of choice, although I highly recommend trying it with walnuts first. If there's a nut-allergy, you can substitute with pine nuts, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Basil - such a wonderful accompaniment to beets! You don't really need to be exact with the measurements here. I like to add a handful. Feel free to add more or less.
- If you think garlic may be too spicy for you or your baby, start by adding just one clove. You can always add more at the end. Same goes for lemon and basil.
- You can also easily adjust the consistency by adding more oil (or water) to make it thinner.
My favorite pasta recipe ever! Found when we were doing BLW with our oldest and have made it many many times. Truly delicious! We call it Purple Pesto and like the leftovers as a quesadilla with a little shredded mozzarella.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share! Will have to try your quesadilla idea!
Could cottage cheese work instead of ricotta? Thank you!
I haven't tried but I imagine it would work. Will taste different obviously as ricotta is more mild tasting
Mariam Aziz says
Could i use boiled beetroot instead?
Can I do a big batch an freeze it ?
How long does this keep in the refrigerator?
up to 5 days!
Wonderful and super nutritious recipe, really tasty!
Thank you for the recipe! Is this freezer friendly?
I wouldn't freeze these. It doesn't make a lot so if it's too much for your child perhaps you guys can enjoy together?
Hi, any reason why this particular recipe is not freezer friendly? Thank you.
Hi! You can. I just didn't include it in the recipe. Sorry about that! Just updated 😉
Omg, this is the best healthy recipe. I made this today and my toddler love it so much!! Thank you 🙏
yay!! Doing the happy dance with you mama!
Can you use any other cheese? Soft Cream cheese maybe?
Haven't tried but I'm sure it will work!
Is it serve in cold?
It can be but I recommend room temperature or warm. Don't reheat it if you make ahead. My toddler has no issues eating it cold but if your child won't, some suggestions are tossing it with warm pasta, spread on bread/pizza and toast, etc.