Broccoli Pesto Pasta

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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

 

 

 

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