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

 

 

 

5-Ingredient Mini Meatloaf Muffins

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Mini Meatloaf Muffins on a plate. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free. Parmesan gives salty and nutty flavor.  Ketchup on top cooks down into a thick, deep-flavored tangy, salty, and sweet glaze.

Mini Meatloaf Muffins are small bites with BIG flavor!  There are only 5 simple ingredients, but each serves a special purpose for texture and flavor.  Onions give moisture, flavor, and a little crunch.  Parmesan gives big salty and nutty flavor.  Ketchup brings a richness and slight sweetness.  And egg binds it all together to create a beautifully set little muffin.  Finally, ketchup on top cooks down into a thick, rich, tangy, salty, and sweet glaze on top of each muffin.  They are perfect for making ahead and eating throughout the week…dinner for the kids, packing in lunches, or snack.  They’re also great to make for a weekend party appetizer too!

BTW, put practically anything in a mini muffin tin and my little one will eat it up!   

Meatloaf Muffins: Small Variation with BIG Benefits

These little meaty bites of love are an adaptation of one of my most popular recipes on the Talking Meals Blog, 5-Ingredient Easy Meatloaf.  It really surprised me actually.  Of all of the interesting, exotic, international cuisine options available, at the end of the day, people love comforting familiar foods.  And Meatloaf is definitely that, a comforting and familiar food.  Mini Meatloaf Muffins are even BETTER in a lot of ways!

Less Cooking Time.  The biggest difference is the cooking time.  The original recipe takes 60 minutes to cook, because it’s all in one loaf.  These little Mini Meatloaf Muffins only take 30 Minutes! 

Goodness in Every Bite.  The mini muffins are about 1-2 bites each.  That means you get the crunchy meatloaf outside with a bit of the delicious ketchup glaze in every bite!  No more fighting for the ends of the meatloaf.  

Kids LOVE these!   The fun mini muffin size and the delicious ketchup in each bite make these irresistible for kids.   

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

Aside from a large mixing bowl, mini muffin tins are the only special cooking equipment you need for this one!

PREP-AHEAD FOR YOUR MINI MEATLOAF MUFFINS

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)

This recipe is so easy that there’s not much to prep ahead.  In fact, you can make these entirely ahead and reheat them later.  Therefore, I highly recommend you spend a few extra minutes on the weekend to make your own ketchup!  My super easy recipe uses honey and it’s delicious!  Check it how here homemade ketchup recipe, but feel free to use the store bought stuff!

Aside from making ketchup, it’s really just finely dicing the Onion.

HACK: Worried about crunchy onions in your meatloaf muffins?  Or, don’t have a fresh onion on hand?  Dice several onions in advance and freeze them in in a storage bag!  The onions will already be soft from being frozen and they cook beautifully.  You also always have freshly frozen onion on hand!  For more Freezer Hacks to make meal prep easier, download this FREE FREEZER HACK SHEET!

Mix all ingredients (except the 1/3 cup Ketchup reserved for the tops) together in a large bowl with a fork or with hands: beef, parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, pepper.

Ingredients in bowl for Mini Meatloaf Muffins. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

Mixed meat ingredients in bowl for Mini Meatloaf Muffins. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

At this point, you can store the mixture in the fridge or continue on to cook.

COOK YOUR MEATLOAF MUFFINS 

Tear a small piece of bread off the size of the muffin tin bottoms and place it at the bottom. This will help to soak up the fat from the meat.  Using a small ice cream scoop, a tbsp measuring spoon or just a spoon, add about 2 tablespoons of the meatloaf mixture to each mini muffin slot.

Bread in bottom of muffin tin slots for Mini Meatloaf Muffins. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

Adding raw meat mixture to bread in bottom of muffin tin slots for Mini Meatloaf Muffins. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

Adding raw meat mixture to bread in bottom of muffin tin slots for Mini Meatloaf Muffins. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

Adding raw meat mixture to bread in bottom of muffin tin slots for Mini Meatloaf Muffins. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

Spread the remaining Ketchup over the top of each of the meatloaf muffins.

Spoon spreading ketchuo on Raw Mini Meatloaf Muffins in muffin tin. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

Spoon spreading ketchuo on Raw Mini Meatloaf Muffins in muffin tin. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes.  Admittedly, coming right out of the oven, these are not the prettiest foods ever.  The juices and fat from the meat will start to cook out and over the top of the muffin.  But, they sure taste darn good! 

Pop each meatloaf muffin out using a fork.  Then pull off the bread from the bottom of each muffin.  You actually, don’t need to pull off the bread, but it’ll be soaked with meat fat and bit soggy.  

Cooked Mini Meatloaf Muffins in muffin tin. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

Fork removing cooked Mini Meatloaf Muffins in muffin tin. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

Hand holding cooked Mini Meatloaf Muffins They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.

Serve and Enjoy!

😍 Carrie

Mini Meatloaf Muffins on a plate. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free. Parmesan gives salty and nutty flavor.  Ketchup on top cooks down into a thick, deep-flavored tangy, salty, and sweet glaze.

5-Ingredient Mini Meatloaf Muffins

Mini Meatloaf Muffins are small bites with BIG flavor!  There are only 5 simple ingredients, the recipe cooks in 30 minutes, and they are gluten free. Parmesan gives big salty and nutty flavor.  Ketchup on top cooks down into a thick, deep-flavored tangy, salty, and sweet glaze on top of each muffin.  They are perfect for dinner for the kids, packing in lunches, as a snack or party appetizer! #meatloaf #familydinner #kidsdinner #dinner #easydinner

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Beef, dinner, meatloaf
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 18 muffins
Calories 317 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 16 oz 90% Lean Grass-Fed Ground Beef
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1/3 cup Onion finely diced
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup for mixing with beef see my recipe for homemade Ketchup!
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup for spreading on top of muffins - see my recipe for homemade Ketchup!
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Pepper
  • 5 slices Bread

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Finely dice the Onion.

  3. Mix all ingredients (except the 1/3 cup Ketchup reserved for the top together in a large bowl with a fork or with hands: beef, parmesan cheese, onion, egg, ketchup, salt, pepper.

    Ingredients in bowl for Mini Meatloaf Muffins. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.
  4. Tear a small piece of bread off the size of the muffin tin bottoms and place it at the bottom. This will help to soak up the fat from the meat.

    Bread in bottom of muffin tin slots for Mini Meatloaf Muffins. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.
  5. Using a small ice cream scoop, a tbsp measuring spoon or just a spoon, add about 2 tablespoons of the meatloaf mixture to each mini muffin slot.

    Adding raw meat mixture to bread in bottom of muffin tin slots for Mini Meatloaf Muffins. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.
  6. Spread the remaining Ketchup over the top of each of the meatloaf muffins.

    Spoon spreading ketchuo on Raw Mini Meatloaf Muffins in muffin tin. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.
  7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
    Spoon spreading ketchuo on Raw Mini Meatloaf Muffins in muffin tin. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.
  8. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Pop each meatloaf muffin out using a fork.  Then pull off the bread from the bottom of each muffin.

    Hand holding cooked Mini Meatloaf Muffins They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

    Mini Meatloaf Muffins on a plate. They have only 5 simple ingredients, cook in 30 minutes, and are gluten free. Parmesan gives salty and nutty flavor.  Ketchup on top cooks down into a thick, deep-flavored tangy, salty, and sweet glaze.