Pesto Turnip and Broccoli Rice with Poached Egg

gluten freevegetarian
Pesto Turnip and Broccoli Rice with Poached Egg

Pesto Turnip and Broccoli Rice with Poached Egg

Before I even get to this recipe, let me warn you: I have another poached egg recipe coming tomorrow.

Let me explain what happened. Yesterday, I prepared a spiralized dinner early in the morning, so that I could focus on a stellar workout instead of stressing about what I was making that evening. I set it aside in the fridge and proceeded to make my blog recipe for the day.

The recipe (coming tomorrow) calls for a poached egg.

So, I started to… poach.

Pesto Turnip and Broccoli Rice with Poached Egg

I failed three times and I got so frustrated, that on the fourth go, I used two eggs at the same time and they came out flawlessly!

I blame it on the fact that I didn’t cook for 10 days and was a little rusty. Speaking of being away, here are a couple pictures of Lu and I from our trip to the Dominican Republic, taken on New Year’s Eve (sorry for the cruddy iPhone quality):

Pesto Turnip and Broccoli Rice with Poached Egg

I could just throw away the poached eggs (I was so proud!), so I grabbed my dinner-for-later out of the fridge, heated it in a skillet for a quick minute, plated it and then topped it with one of the poached eggs.

Pesto Turnip and Broccoli Rice with Poached Egg

Now, here we are – this was supposed to (well, it was) my dinner last night and I wasn’t going to share it, but why not! It’s such a simple recipe, it’s flavorful and listen, if you can’t ever poach eggs well, just top with a fried egg – or some scrambies!

Poached eggs are actually easy to do, they’re just also easy to overcook. In this recipe, I say cook for about 3 minutes, but it totally depends on how intensely your water is simmering (keep it to a steady, but low to medium simmer) and cook for 2.5-3 minutes.

Pesto Turnip and Broccoli Rice with Poached Egg

But man, when you pierce the delicate egg with your fork and the running yolk leaks out and coats the basil pesto turnip rice, you’ll forget about everything around you – the taste is that rewarding. The texture is creamy and warm, the pesto is flavorful and strong and the broccoli gives the dish a nice crunchiness – and added nutrients.

It may be the Italian part of me, but pesto goes well with everything. Plus, it’s green – and we’re all about eating healthy this week, as it’s the first week back from those New Year’s parties and holiday celebrations. What better time than now to eat green?

Pesto Turnip and Broccoli Rice with Poached Egg

Also, someone asked me on Instagram about how I mask the tart, bitter taste of turnip. My best advice? Use strong spices (such as smoked paprika or curry powder) and top with fragrant, robust sauces – such as this pesto! I prefer my turnips cooked in olive oil, which I find takes out some bitterness as well.

NOTE: This recipe doesn’t contain real “rice” (the rice is made of turnips.) To learn how to transform your veggie noodles into rice, watch this video from my YouTube channel:

Have you tried spiralizing turnips yet? What’s your favorite way to eat them?

Nutritional Information & Recipe


Pesto Turnip and Broccoli Rice with Poached Egg

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 3


  • 2.5 cups small broccoli florets
  • 2 large turnips peeled, Blade C
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 large eggs
  • For the pesto:
  • 1.5 cups basil leaves packed
  • 2 tablespoons pinenuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp grinded sea salt
  • ¼ tsp grinded pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 large clove of garlic minced


  • Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Once boiling, add in the broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes or until more easily pierced with a fork. Drain into a colander and pat dry thoroughly. Set aside.
  • While waiting for broccoli to cook, place the turnip noodles into a food processor and pulse until rice-like. Set aside the rice and wipe out the food processor and set aside for later use.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once heated, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant and then add in the turnip rice and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper and cook, covered for about 5 minutes or until softened to a rice-like consistency.
  • While turnip rice is cooking, add all of the ingredients for the pesto into the food processor and pulse until creamy. Taste and adjust to your preference.
  • Once turnip rice is cooked through, transfer to a large mixing bowl and add in the pesto. Toss to combine and set aside.
  • After the pesto rice is made, fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a steady simmer. Crack the eggs individually into a ramekin or small bowl. Then, create a gentle whirpool in the simmering water to help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Slowly tip the egg into the water. Let cook for three minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and gently rest on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  • Divide the pesto turnip rice onto plates and top with a drained poached egg. Serve immediately.

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Anonymous says:
Ali, how much rice did you use? Do you think quinoa could be substituted successfully? Love the blog!
There's no rice in this dish - the rice is made of turnips that are spiralized and then placed in a food processor! Here's a video on how to do it:
Anonymous says:
Very cool, thanks!
Beth Kelly says:
Holy Cow!!! This recipe was ridiculously delicious! I couldn't believe there was no rice in the dish. I'm a person who doesn't particularly like veggies so I'm always trying to trick myself into eating them. Since using your recipes and my spiralizer, I've dropped 2.5 lbs!!! Super exciting for me, since I've only been using your recipes for only 2 weeks. I was stalled in post pregnancy "last 10 lbs" mode and the scale wouldn't budge. I'm excited when I get home to try out another recipe of yours and keep the healthy momentum going!!! But this recipe in particular, my husband said, "I could eat this every day!" Seriously delish!
Jenn says:
I used spaghetti squash and it was amazing!
Anonymous says:
Ali, can I substitute a different nut for the pine nuts?
Jean Rudko says:
Ali, can I substitute a different nut for the pine nuts?
Anonymous says:
Sounds selfish! I already have some home made pesto in the fridge. About how much should I add?
Anonymous says:
Delish, not selfish. Darn spellcheck!
deanna says:
I never used a turnip Is there skin that i need to remove? Or, do I just start spirlizing away?
Yes, as the recipe notes - peel first!!
lisamummymadeit says:
Yum. I might try this tomorrow! I have bad days in the kitchen too. Sometimes even the simplest things are too hard!
Alex says:
This looks amazing. Poached eggs make everything better! I'm sure you have heard this tip before, but just in case you haven't!- if you splash some vinegar (any really - basic white vinegar is what I use because it is the most flavorless) into the water before you put the eggs in there, it helps the whites stay more cohesive and I PROMISE the eggs do not come out tasting like vinegar. You only need to splash it. Maybe that's helpful to people approaching the poached egg for the first time! :)
I got a spiralizer for Christmas, but I haven't used it yet. However, I will be pinning this recipe for when I do! It looks so delicious. I'll have to wait until post-pregnancy to add the runny egg, but I'm sure it will be worth it :)
Lauryn says:
This was DELICIOUS!!!! While everyone else was getting spiralizers for Christmas, I got myself a food processor so I was very excited to finally be able to make inspiralized rice :) I made this as a side dish with some salmon, but I can't wait to enjoy my leftovers with a sunny-side egg on top.
So excited you liked it! Thanks for giving it a try!
Sarah says:
The recipe says that it's broccoli rice, but I don't see any ricing of the broccoli, just turnips
It's turnip rice with broccoli in it, so "broccoli turnip rice" - sorry for the confusion!
Anonymous says:
Did you substitute the cheese with anything or just omit? Thanks in advance!

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