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.
You can also swap in some whole wheat pasta to up the nutrition even further.
How To Make Broccoli Pesto Pasta:
- Boil broccoli until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon, save the boiling water in the pot.
- Add pasta to boiling broccoli water and cook to al dente. Reserve some of the pasta cooking water before draining.
- Combine cooked broccoli with parmesan, basil, garlic, olive oil & lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth.
- 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 homemade ranch dressing for a delicious dip.
- Drizzle it over some grilled chicken skewers or sheet pan 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.
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.
More broccoli 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.
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.
More pesto recipes:
- Pecan Pesto Farro Salad
- Kale Pesto
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- Instant Pot Bean Soup with Pesto
- 5-Minute Arugula Pesto
- Grilled Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Basil Pesto
More pasta recipes:
- Roasted Fennel Pasta with Ricotta
- Squid Ink Pasta with Shrimp & Cherry Tomatoes
- Shrimp Fra Diavolo
- Kung Pao Noodles
- Penne Alla Vodka
- Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Breadcrumbs
Broccoli Pesto Recipe
Broccoli Pesto Pasta
- 3 Tablespoons kosher salt
- ½ pound broccoli florets (about 3 cups)
- ⅓ 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
- 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.