Creamy, unique Broccoli Pesto Pasta that makes a great weeknight meal everyone will love.
Life has been a little beyond crazy lately. I have been packing up our entire house this week. I’ll tell ya, five years is a long time to accumulate a lot of stuff. I can’t even believe how much stuff we have crammed into our little sardine can we call a house. This weekend, my parent’s and I are doing a house swap! Luckily, we don’t have to go very far, considering we share a driveway.
I am super excited. Especially after our house building this past fall didn’t work out. Talk about extreme disappointment! This house swap solves so many issues at one time! My parent’s house is too big for them to maintain alone anymore, they get to retire to a smaller house, we can get out of this little house since our family is growing, and we get a “new” house with plenty of room! Win-win! Three of the things I am most excited for, are, a large kitchen with lots of counter space, a dishwasher (I have been hand washing dishes for 7 years!), and a bath tub! I have gone through nearly all my pregnancies and five years with a stand up shower. So, so excited!
Enough about my life, now on to this fabulous dish. This pasta is uh-mazing. In fact, my daughter keeps asking me, “hey mom, do you remember that pesto pasta? It was so yummy! Do you think you could make it again soon?” Super cute. It’s creamy and delicious. A great, sneaky way to get a sometimes tough vegetable into a kid! It doesn’t even taste like broccoli. You can definitely take this recipe a step up and use whole wheat pasta if you prefer. Definitely an easy weeknight dinner that will please everyone.
What you’ll need to make this Broccoli Pesto Pasta
- Broccoli- grab a couple of heads to chop into florets
- pasta- I use whatever I have on hand. I like to use whole wheat if possible, but any small pasta shape will do
- unsalted butter- to add a satisfying creamy flavor
- oil- to sauté the onions in
- onions- for a little kick and flavor addition
- garlic- always necessary
- crushed red pepper flakes- for a little heat
- Parmesan- for the finishing touches
First, chop the broccoli into florets so they cook evenly. Throw them into a pot of boiling water to blanch them for a few minutes. Remove the broccoli and place in a separate bowl. In the same pot, stir in the pasta and cook until tender. Scoop out some pasta water to put into the sauce later. Drain the pasta and leave in the colander.
To make less dishes to wash later, place the now empty pasta pot back over the heat and melt the butter with the oil. Stir in the diced onions and sauté for a couple of minutes. Mix in the garlic and some seasonings, then stir in the broccoli to warm it back up.
Once the broccoli is warmed through, throw the whole mixture into a food processor with the reserved pasta water and blend until wonderfully creamy.
Toss with the pasta and that’s it! Serve with a lots of grated Parmesan and devour.
Super simple. This is a fabulous and easy weeknight meal that all ages will love.
Other recipes you’ll love
⟶ Kale and Sunflower Seed Pesto
Recipe from Annie’s Eats, originally adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Broccoli Pesto Pasta
This pesto pasta dish is different than traditional pesto, but equally as satisfying. It's creamy and delicious, and a fast meal to get on the table.
- 1 lb. broccoli
- 24 ounces pasta
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- grated Parmesan, for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Meanwhile, chop the broccoli into florets. When the water is boiling, add the broccoli to the water to boil briefly just until fork-tender, about 3-4 minutes. (Alternatively, add a steamer basket above the water and steam the broccoli until fork-tender.) Transfer to a bowl, leaving the water in the pot.
- Maintain the water at a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package directions until tender. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta completely. Set aside.
- Return the now empty pot to the heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pot over medium-high heat, heating until the butter is melted. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and cook for another 30 seconds. Return the cooked broccoli to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes more to heat through. Season with the pepper.
- Transfer the broccoli mixture to a food processor or blender. Pulse in short bursts, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is finely chopped. Mix in the reserved pasta water until the sauce is smooth. Season with freshly ground pepper to taste. In a large bowl (or in the pot), toss the pasta with the sauce. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.