Quick Broccoli Pesto Pasta

A simple, healthy and creamy pesto to add to your favorite comforting pasta.


Try something new with your boring broccoli. This recipe will be ready in under 30 minutes and will satiate all of your comfort food needs. And the best part is that it all comes together in one pot and a food processor. Feel free to add some shrimp or chicken for extra protein but we were good with this on its own.

A key element to this and any pasta recipe is adding some pasta water to your sauce while you’re tossing everything together. It definitely helps the sauce bind to the macaroni and make the sauce super creamy and silky. Toast your walnuts in a pan on medium low heat, (watching them so that they don’t burn) until they turn crispy golden brown. These add some texture and a great nutty flavor to the dish.

broccoli pesto pasta plated

Quick Broccoli Pesto Pasta

5 from 2 votes
Servings: 14
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 3 tbs salt
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 12 oz pasta of choice
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, packed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + zested (divided)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted (divided)
  • salt + pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then add 3 tablespoons of salt and the broccoli to the pot. Cook until the florets turn bright green – about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spider spoon, transfer the cooked broccoli to a food processor or blender. Leave the water in the pot.
  • Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions – al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water for later.
  • While the pasta is cooking, add your grated parmesan, basil, garlic, oil, lemon juice, 1/4 cup walnuts, salt and pepper to the food processor. Pulse until smooth.
  • In a large serving bowl, toss your pasta with the broccoli pesto and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Add more if needed to make sauce smooth. (Pasta water helps your sauce bind to the pasta better).
  • Serve with remainder toasted walnuts, lemon zest, a drizzle of olive oil and some extra parmesan cheese if desired.


Toast your walnuts in a pan or in your oven until golden brown.


Calories: 205kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 1544mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Author: Stella

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