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

 

 

 

Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites

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Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites on plate with Sriracha Mayo dipping sauce.  They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

These Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites are little bites of happiness.  They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch on the outside from the shredded coconut and seasoned panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  By themselves, they are fantastic.  Dipped in the Sriracha Mayo?  Utter Happiness!  They are also good for you since they’re baked, not fried!  Easy to make, easy to eat, they are a must-try! 

Serve as an appetizer, a side or as a main dish with Cilantro Lime Quinoa or a Mesclun Salad with Honey Shallot Vinaigrette.

Cauliflower Has Lots of Fiber & Vitamins  

Cauliflower is not only versatile, it’s a great Low-Carb diet food full of health benefits!  While it’s low in carbs, it’s high in Fiber and contains so many vitamins and minerals.  Cauliflower is a Cruciferous Veggie, just like Broccoli and Kale, which we all know are extremely good for us.  So, it also contains important Antioxidants which can help to reduce the risk for heart disease and may have anti-cancer effects.  

Try these other delicious and healthy Cauliflower recipes:

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. 

PREP-AHEAD TO MAKE YOUR BAKED COCONUT CAULIFLOWER BITES

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 prep the cauliflower and the coconut coating.  

I like to cut the cauliflower head into bite-size florets that are on the larger size, so maybe 2 bites.  Then store the florets in a storage bag or container in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.

Knife cutting cauliflower for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites.  They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Knife cutting cauliflower for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites.  They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Cut cauliflower florets in a bag for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites.  They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Make the Coconut mixture: In a medium bowl or gallon plastic bag, mix the shredded coconut, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper. Store covered in the fridge until ready to cook.

Coconut Breadcrumb mixture in a bag for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites.  They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Make the Sriracha Mayonnaise in a small bowl by adding the mayonnaise, Sriracha, and Ketchup. (Try my homemade Ketchup)  Whisk together until blended. Store covered in the fridge.

Sriracha, ketchup, and mayo in bowl for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites. They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

 

COOK YOUR COCONUT CAULIFLOWER BITES 

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees
Beat the 3 eggs together in a bowl.  Add the eggs to the cauliflower florets and mix to completely coat each.  You can do this in a large bowl or in a large baggie.

Cauliflower florets mixed with beaten eggs for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites. They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Add the coconut breadcrumb mixture in a second bowl.  Then transfer only a few florets at a time to dredge in coconut mix.  Or even quicker: Scoop all of the egg-coated florets to the coconut breadcrumbs all at once.  Lightly toss to coat completely and transfer to an oiled pan.  Spray the florets with olive oil.

Cauliflower florets mixed with coconut breadcrumbs for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites. They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Bake 8-10 minutes one side, then flip the bites over and bake another 8-10 minutes on the other side.  They are done with they are fork tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Coconut Cauliflower Bites baking in the oven. They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites on pan.  They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Serve with the Sriracha Mayo and enjoy! ENJOY! 😍 Carrie

Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites on plate with Sriracha Mayo dipping sauce.  They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Baked Crispy Coconut Cauliflower Bites

These Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites are little bites of happiness.  They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch on the outside from the shredded coconut and seasoned panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  By themselves, they are fantastic.  Dipped in the Sriracha Mayo?  Utter Happiness!  They are also good for you since they're baked, not fried!  Easy to make, easy to eat, they are a must-try! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword cauliflower, coconut
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Calories 207 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Ketchup

Instructions

Prep Ahead for your Cauliflower Bites

  1. Cut the cauliflower head into bite-size florets.

    Knife cutting cauliflower for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites. They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks
  2. Make the Coconut mixture: In a medium bowl or gallon plastic bag, mix the shredded coconut, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Store covered in the fridge until ready to cook.

    Coconut Breadcrumb mixture in a bag for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites. They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks
  3. Make the Sriracha Mayonnaise in a small bowl by adding the mayonnaise, Sriracha, and Ketchup.  Whisk together until blended.  Store covered in the fridge.

    Sriracha, ketchup, and mayo in bowl for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites. They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Cook your Cauliflower Bites

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees
  2. Beat the 3 eggs together in a bowl.  Add the eggs to the cauliflower florets and mix to completely coat each.  You can do this in a large bowl or in a large baggie.

    Cauliflower florets mixed with beaten eggs for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites. They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks
  3. Add the coconut breadcrumb mixture in a second bowl.  Then transfer only a few florets at a time to dredge in coconut mix.  Or even quicker: Scoop all of the egg-coated florets to the coconut breadcrumbs all at once.  Lightly toss to coat completely and transfer to an oiled pan.  Spray the florets with olive oil.

    Cauliflower florets mixed with coconut breadcrumbs for Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites. They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes one side, then flip the bites over and bake another 8-10 minutes on the other side.  They are done with they are fork tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.

    Coconut Cauliflower Bites baking in the oven. They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks
  5. Serve with the Sriracha Mayo and enjoy!

    Baked Coconut Cauliflower Bites on plate with Sriracha Mayo dipping sauce.  They have a slightly sweet and salty crunch outside from the shredded coconut and panko mixture.  The inside is soft and creamy.  Dip in the Sriracha Mayo.  Baked, not fried, so healthy!  Easy to make, easy to eat! #cauliflowerrecipes #healthyrecipes #sidedishes #appetizers #healthysnacks

Note: If you do not have the Sriracha Mayo, then there are only 90 calories per serving and 5 g of fat.