Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Jump to Recipe

Broccoli Pesto Pasta on a plate with fork and pine nuts and basil on counter. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

Broccoli saved my sanity – don’t worry, I’ll explain.  So, today, I give thanks to the broccoli gods with this Broccoli Pesto Pasta!  It’s creamy, hearty, delicious AND good for you!  Woo hoo!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But rather a huge punch in the face of flavor, it’s a bit more mellow and healthier for you by adding broccoli!  The broccoli is simply blended with the other ingredients and helps to really sell this dish to my kids.  

Broccoli Pesto Pasta on a plate with fork in pasta. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

Broccoli Saved My Sanity

When my oldest daughter was a toddler, she started to become picky with foods and not so eager to try new things, especially veggies.  I would get frustrated, worried, panicked, scared, and yes, even crazy.  However, broccoli was the one veggie that she would eat.  And let me tell ya, I latched on to that broccoli for dear life.  Broccoli gave me new hope.  It gave me freedom, it gave me my sanity back. 🙂

Here are some more great broccoli recipes to try!

Broccoli Pesto Pasta on a plate with parmesan on top. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

For this recipe, you need a food processor for the pesto. I used my go-to mini food processor which was the perfect size for sauces, dressings, and small amounts of pureed ingredients.

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR BROCCOLI PESTO PASTA

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details) 

For this recipe, you can do 3 levels of easy prep…

  • You can prep just the broccoli and garlic
  • You can make the pesto ahead
  • You can make the pasta and pesto ahead and just reheat when you want to eat

Let’s start with prepping the ingredients and waiting to make the pesto and pasta.  Rough Chop 3 cups of Broccoli into pieces about 1/2 inch in size. They will go into the food processor later, so it doesn’t matter what they look like, just that they are about the same size.  You can also buy broccoli rice that’s already prepped from the store to save time.

Steam the broccoli in 1/2 cup of water either on the stove or in the microwave. Steaming should only take about 5 minutes or so.

While the broccoli is steaming, rough chop the garlic.

MAKE YOUR BROCCOLI PESTO & COOK YOUR PASTA

Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Once boiling, add a tsp of salt and the pasta. Mix the pasta in the water and bring back to a boil. Cook pasta for 5-8 minutes until al dente.

To a mini food processor, add the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, water, and olive oil. Pulse to blend. Then add the broccoli, salt, and pepper and pulse to blend again.

Basil, Pine nuts, garlic in mini food processor for Broccoli Pesto Pasta. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

Basil, Pine nuts, garlic blended in mini food processor for Broccoli Pesto Pasta. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

Broccoli added to Basil, Pine nuts, garlic blended in mini food processor for Broccoli Pesto Pasta. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

Once everything is fully blended, scoop out into a large bowl (large enough for pasta) and mix in the grated parmesan cheese.Parmesan Cheese added to pesto in a bowl for Broccoli Pesto Pasta. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

Broccoli Pesto in a bowl with spoon. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

When the pasta is finished cooking, scoop out with a strainer, saving the pasta water, and transfer to the pesto bowl. Add a 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then mix to combine the pasta and the pesto. You can add more pasta water if needed. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and/or parmesan cheese as needed/desired.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta in pot with spoon with pine nuts and basil on counter. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

ENJOY!

😍 Carrie

Broccoli Pesto Pasta on a plate with fork in pasta. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Broccoli Pesto Pasta is delicious AND good for you! It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. But rather than a huge punch in the face of flavor, it's a bit more mellow - and healthier - for you with the addition of broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner #healthydinner #vegetarian #meatlessmeals #busymom

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword broccoli, pasta, pesto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 457 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Broccoli Florets and stems, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Pine Nuts
  • 1 cup Basil Leaves, loosely packed
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, Grated
  • 16 oz Fusilli Pasta, dried

Instructions

Prep Ahead Instruction

  1. Rough Chop 3 cups of Broccoli into pieces about 1/2 inch in size. They will go into the food processor later, so it doesn't matter what they look like, just that they are about the same size.

  2. Steam the broccoli in 1/2 cup of water either on the stove or in the microwave. Steaming should only take about 5 minutes or so.

  3. While the broccoli is steaming, rough chop the garlic.

Make Your Pesto and Cook Pasta

  1. Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. Once boiling, add a tsp of salt and the pasta. Mix the pasta in the water and bring back to a boil. Cook pasta for 5-8 minutes until al dente.

  2. To a mini food processor, add the basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, water, and olive oil. Pulse to blend. Then add the broccoli, salt, and pepper and pulse to blend again.

    Broccoli added to Basil, Pine nuts, garlic blended in mini food processor for Broccoli Pesto Pasta. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner
  3. Once everything is fully blended, scoop out into a large bowl (large enough for pasta) and mix in the grated parmesan cheese.

    Parmesan Cheese added to pesto in a bowl for Broccoli Pesto Pasta. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner
  4. When the pasta is finished cooking, scoop out with a strainer, saving the pasta water, and transfer to the pesto bowl. Add a 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then mix to combine the pasta and the pesto. You can add more pasta water if needed. Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and/or parmesan cheese as needed/desired.

    Broccoli Pesto Pasta in pot with spoon with pine nuts and basil on counter. It's delicious AND good for you!  It has all of the classic pesto flavors from garlic, basil, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts.  But the flavor is a bit more mellow by adding broccoli! #broccolirecipes #pesto #pasta #easydinner #dinnerideas #familydinner

 

 

 

Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket in the Slow Cooker

Jump to Recipe

 

Pulled Beef Brisket in a bowl and in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket in the Slow Cooker is crazy-delicious!  Can I just tell you that there are good recipes and then there are OMG fantastic recipes.  This Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket is OMG fantastic.  It is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor.  There are so many ways to enjoy this amazing beef, but one of my favorites is loaded onto a bun to soak up all the fabulous juices.  Then top with a melty cheese and some pickled onions for the perfect bite.   

Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Pulled Beef Brisket to Expand Kids Protein Palettes 

It’s important to me to expose my girls to a variety of foods because that’s the best way to get all of the vitamins and nutrients their little bodies need.  We definitely gravitate more toward lean meat proteins such as chicken, primarily because it has less calories and fat for Dave and I.  However, beef is a better source of iron and that’s very important. 

So, after doing some research, I found out that brisket flat-half (the leaner half of the whole brisket) is actually considered a Lean meat!  To be considered lean, a 3-oz serving of cooked beef must have less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 mg of cholesterol.  And if you do get a layer of fat on the brisket, you will see below how incredibly easy it is to remove and discard. 

This Pulled Beef Brisket is a great way to get the girls to try beef and get more iron into their diet. 

Here are some delicious sides to serve with this Pulled Beef Brisket:

Quick note!  This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you purchase from them.  This commission is what helps me keep this blog afloat :).  But, I also share these links because I have used the products, genuinely love them, and want you to know exactly what I used. 

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

I made this recipe in a slow cooker. However, you could also make it in the oven in a dutch oven or small roasting pan with a lid.

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR SMOKY PULLED BEEF BRISKET

We are all extremely busy and making dinner during the week can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you prepare in the day(s) in advance and store in the fridge as your meal Kit… (See the recipe below for more details)

Since this is a slow cooker recipe, you can make the entire brisket in advance and simply reheat it when you are ready to serve.  Or you can do these couple simple steps ahead and cook it in the slow cooker on a weekday morning to enjoy that night!

Prepping ahead simply involves dicing the onion, mincing the garlic, and making the spice rub.  For this spice rub, I used 2 different Paprikas.  I used a Hungarian Hot Paprika which gives you all of the wonderful peppery flavor without as much smoke.  I also used Smoked Paprika for subtle smoky flavor.  If you want more smoke, you can just use double the Smoked Paprika in place of the Hungarian Hot Paprika.  However, you may want to consider adding a touch of Cayenne then for background heat.

Aside from the Paprika, I have garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and black pepper.  

Spices separated in bowl for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's made in the Slow Cooker and is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Spices mixed in bowl for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's made in the Slow Cooker and is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Finally, you can cut the Brisket into 2-3 pieces so that it fits into the slow cooker and then rub the spices all over and store in the fridge until ready to cook.

COOK YOUR SMOKY PULLED BEEF BRISKET 

When you’re ready to cook this baby, add half of the diced onion to the bottom of the slow cooker insert first.  Place the brisket pieces on top of the onion. Add the remaining diced onion and minced garlic. Pour Worcestershire sauce and beef broth over the roast.

Cook roast in slow cooker for 4-6 hours on High setting or 8-10 hours on Low.

Diced onion in Slow Cooker insert for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Spiced rubbed raw brisket in Slow Cooker insert for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Adding Worcestershire sauce to onions and raw brisket in Slow Cooker insert for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Adding water to onions and raw brisket in Slow Cooker insert for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Once the brisket is done cooking, remove it from slow cooker to a plate or cutting board for pulling or shredding it apart.

Using a knife or a fork, scrape away any layer of fat. It should come off very easily. Discard the fat.

Fork taking cooked brisket out of the Slow Cooker insert for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Fork scraping off fat layer from cooked brisket for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Fork scraping off fat layer from cooked brisket for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Then using 2 forks, start to shred the meat. If the piece of meat is really large, you can cut it in half so the beef strands are not too long.

Once the meat is shredded, add it back to the cooking liquid in the slow cooker.

Fork shredding cooked brisket for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Forks shredding cooked brisket for Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket.  It's smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Now, comes the fun part…eating!  I love to eat this deliciousness on a roll that soaks up all the beef juices.  I place the beef on the bottom of the roll and top with a melty cheese like monterey jack or mozzarella.  Then put it under the broiler to melt!  Finally, I top it with pickled onions to add sweetness, tang, and crunch!

Pulled Beef Brisket Sandwich made in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

However, you can also eat this plated with a starch such as polenta, risotto, rice, pasta, or potatoes. 

ENJOY!

😍 Carrie

Pulled Beef Brisket in a bowl and in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Smoky Slow Cooker Beef Brisket

Smoky Pulled Beef Brisket made in the Slow Cooker is smokey, savory, tender, moist, and full of flavor. In a delicious sauce, it goes great on a sandwich, over polenta, on rice, or potatoes. #slowcooker #crockpot #brisket #beefbrisket #pulledbeef #pulledpork

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Beef, Brisket
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Servings 14 servings
Calories 613 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 3.5 lb Beef brisket, Flat Half
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 2 small onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth

Instructions

Prep Ahead Instructions for your Beef Brisket

  1. Dice the Onion. Mince the garlic.

  2. Cut the Brisket into 2-3 pieces so that it fits into the slow cooker.

  3. Mix the 6 Spice Rub ingredients and rub all over the brisket pieces.

Cook your Beef Brisket

  1. Add half of the diced onion to the bottom of the slow cooker insert.

  2. Place the brisket pieces on top of the onion. Add the remaining diced onion and minced garlic. Pour Worcestershire sauce and beef broth over the roast.

  3. Cook roast in slow cooker for 4-6 hours on High setting or 8-10 hours on Low.

  4. Once the brisket is done cooking, remove it from slow cooker to a plate or cutting board for pulling or shredding it apart.

  5. Using a knife or a fork, scrape away any layer of fat. It should come off very easily. Discard the fat.

  6. Then using 2 forks, start to shred the meat. If the piece of meat is really large, you can cut it in half so the beef strands are not too long.

  7. Once the meat is shredded, add it back to the cooking liquid in the slow cooker.

Recipe Notes

NOTE: If you do not have a slow cooker, no fear!  Simply follow all of the same steps, but cook it in a dutch oven or small roasting pan with a lid in the oven at 375 F degrees.for 4 hours or until it is fall apart tender.

W