Sneaking extra veggies into weeknight dinner is MOM GOALS, right? This Broccoli Pesto recipe does just that! Hidden behind huge flavor is a whole head of broccoli!
Toss with your favorite pasta and it's really bound to be a crowd pleaser. So let's make some easy pesto.
Broccoli in Pesto
Pesto is essentially herbs and oil. It's usually basil, some sort of nut, and lots of garlic and olive oil!
Today we're adding in a whole head of broccoli for a different spin on it. it contributes to the bright green pesto in a nice, earthy way.
Broccoli has a bit of a strong flavor when cooked so I chose to leave it raw. When we toss it with the pasta it will cook down a bit but it still won't overpower the other flavors here.
Should I cook Broccoli For Broccoli Pesto?
Mentioned above, you CAN definitely cook the broccoli prior to blending the pesto. But I firmly believe it can over power the rest of the flavors.
So for this one I'm keeping it raw.
You can definitely roast the broccoli or even steam it! It will create totally different flavors so test them out and see what you like best.
Make Ahead Pesto!
Can I make this ahead of time? Yes! Pesto is such a good condiment to just keep stored in the fridge.
It's mostly oil and herbs so it'll keep for a LONG time. Just keep it tightly sealed in a jar.
Making pesto ahead of time is perfect for tossing with this pasta or even topping salmon with it! You could totally add pesto to my Salmon Spinach Pasta for something fun and different.
What To Put It On?
Pesto is really a good addition to nearly any meal. Putting it on top of protein adds flavor and a boost of greens to your meal.
Grilled chicken, baked salmon, or even Pan Seared Flank Steak are delicious topped with pesto!
You could also smear it all over some crusty bread or toss it with a big bowl of pasta.
Storing Broccoli Pesto
I like to keep empty mason jars around for times like this! Using a mason jar with a tight lid is perfect for storing this Broccoli Pesto Recipe!
Adding Protein To Broccoli Pesto Pasta
Pesto pasta can have all kinds of protein options added to it.
We did a ground pork sausage mixture in ours and it was fantastic! Try out some grilled chicken or salmon on top for something lighter.
Or serve with a steak!
Broccoli Pesto Recipe with Pasta
- 1 head of broccoli florets
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup walnuts
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ¼ white onion
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
- 16 oz orecchiette pasta or any short pasta!
- pine nuts for topping
- In a food processor combine the broccoli, basil, walnuts, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and nutritional yeast (or parmesan).
- Pulse until everything starts to become like the size of bread crumbs.
- Slowly stream in the olive oil until everything becomes fully combined.
- Store in a jar or move on to making the pasta!
- Boil pasta according to the package, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Strain the pasta.
- Add it back to the pot with 1 cup of pasta water and the broccoli pesto.
- Stir to combine.
- Add in the juice of 1 lemon and up to an additional ½ tablespoon of salt to taste.
- Serve with pine nuts over the top!