Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Walnuts

Overhead close up of bowl of pasta tossed with broccoli pesto.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta is a healthy-ish way to indulge in a big bowl of pasta. This homemade broccoli pesto with fresh basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil and lemon is rich, creamy and delicious. Swirl it together with your favorite pasta and top it with some extra parmesan and walnuts for a delicious nutty flavor & crunch.

If you all know me by now, you know that I love to dive into a big bowl of pasta. Bonus points if it’s rich & creamy, and almost absurdly delicious.

Like this Broccoli Walnut Pesto Pasta.

And if you’re anything like me, and you’re obsessed with pesto, you will love this broccoli pesto recipe. I swirled it with some cooked pasta, but you can use it in any fashion that you’d use a traditional pesto. I’ve got loads of suggestions for that below.

Another huge key that makes that a recipe that you’ll want to tackle immediately is that it’s super quick & easy to prepare.

Just like with any pesto, this recipe is easy. All you basically need to do is add your ingredients to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. There is one extra step in that you need to cook the broccoli first, but the great part is that we’re using that already boiling broccoli cooking liquid to then boil our pasta. Meaning less cleanup, and less time to bring two huge pots of water to a boil.

I think you’re going to love this dish. Especially if you love pesto, but you’re ready to try something a little different flavor wise.

I’m topping it all off with some delicious, crunchy Diamond Walnuts to make this dish extra delicious and add a heart healthy boost.  Did you know that Diamond Walnuts have been certified as a heart-healthy food by the American Heart Association?

You can also swap in some whole wheat pasta to up the nutrition even further.

Broccoli pesto in bowl with spoon next to basil leaves and wedge of parmesan.

How To Make Broccoli Pesto Pasta:

  1. Boil broccoli until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon, save the boiling water in the pot.
  2. Add pasta to boiling broccoli water and cook to al dente. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water before draining.
  3. Combine cooked broccoli with parmesan, basil, garlic, olive oil & lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
  4. Toss pasta with broccoli pesto, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid as needed to coat evenly.

How to Use Broccoli Pesto:

  • Use it to dress up a turkey sandwich.
  • Stir it into hummus or ranch for a delicious dip.
  • Drizzle it over some grilled chicken skewers or salmon.
  • Toss is with a bowl of freshly cooked pasta or zucchini noodles.
  • Combine it with some olive oil and red wine vinegar (or lemon juice) for an amazing salad dressing.
  • Use it as a dip for grilled or roasted vegetables.
  • Spread it on a pizza or flatbread.

Overhead shot of broccoli pesto pasta in grey bowl with spoon.

Can you make Broccoli Pesto ahead of time? 

  • You can make broccoli pesto up to three days ahead of time. Pour it into a container and cover it with a thin layer of olive oil. This will prevent browning and help to preserve its green color.

Can You Freeze Broccoli Pesto?

  • You can freeze broccoli pesto. Just pack it into a mason jar and cover it with a thin layer of olive oil. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Broccoli Recipes:

Pesto Recipes:

Overhead shot of broccoli pesto pasta in grey bowl with spoon.

Pasta Recipes:

Wine Pairings for Pesto:

  • Viognier has a great lush texture with mild acidity – It pairs nicely with the broccoli and the richness of the cheese.
  • A ripe, full-bodied Chardonnay will also fit the bill here. It’s creaminess is a great match for the bright flavors in this pesto.

Bowl of cavatappi pasta tossed with broccoli pesto next to wedge of parmesan and package of walnuts.

If you loved this Broccoli Pesto recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Broccoli Pesto Recipe

Overhead close up of bowl of pasta tossed with broccoli pesto.

Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Broccoli Pesto Pasta is a healthy-ish way to indulge in a big bowl of pasta. This homemade broccoli pesto with fresh basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, olive oil and lemon is rich, creamy and delicious. Swirl it together with your favorite pasta and top it with some extra parmesan and walnuts for a delicious nutty flavor & crunch.
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½ pound broccoli florets (about 3 cups)
  • cup freshly grated Parmesan (plus extra for serving)
  • 2 garlic cloves (smashed)
  • 1 cup basil leaves (tightly packed)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more for serving)
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced (divided))
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • ½ cup Diamond Walnuts (chopped)
  • 1 pound pasta

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 3 Tablespoons salt and broccoli. Cook until bright green and barely tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer broccoli to a food processor or blender, using a slotted spoon; leaving the boiling water in the pot.
  • Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, and drain pasta.
  • While pasta cooks, add parmesan, basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice to the broccoli in the food processor or blender. Season with salt and pepper, then process until smooth.
  • Toss pasta with broccoli pesto, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid as necessary to coat evenly. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Divide among serving dishes and top with lemon zest, parmesan, walnuts, and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Nutrition

Calories: 546kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 3595mg | Potassium: 368mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 490IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 2mg

I teamed up with Diamond Walnuts to bring you this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

6 comments

  1. Catherine @ To & Fro Fam

    I’m always looking for ways to get more healthy food into our meals, especially such nutritious veggies like broccoli. It’s such a smart idea to use broccoli in pesto here! Great recipe, Erin!

    Reply

  2. Marlynn | Urban Bliss Life

    This looks amazing, Erin!! I love different kinds of pesto and your idea to use broccoli is brilliant! I’ve actually been making a concerted effort to eat more broccoli. Can’t wait to try this.

    Reply

  3. Lauren W

    Hi! I’m sure fresh is ideal but do you think frozen broccoli would work? Times are tough.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Lauren – Yes, I do think that frozen broccoli will work! Unfortunately I haven’t tried it myself, but I’d love to hear back on how it worked for you.

      Reply

  4. Belkis

    This sounds amazing. Wondering if you have ever added chicken to this recipe or know of of anybody who has and how it’s turned out.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I think chicken would be delicious in this dish! I would saute it on the side, then slice it and top the pasta with it.

      Reply

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