Pasta with Broccoli Walnut Pesto – delicious meatless dinner recipe. Homemade broccoli pesto is ready in minutes! The broccoli lover in your life is going to love this one!
My kids are obsessed with broccoli.
Have we talked about that?
All 3 of them would happily eat an entire pan of roasted broccoli for dinner every night if I let them.
I literally can’t keep broccoli in the house. I buy bags and bags of the pre-cut kind and it seems to just disappear.
There’s absolutely nothing about broccoli that appeals to me unless it’s covered with mayo and tossed with dried cranberries so I don’t get it.
Anyway, I think I’ve mentioned that my oldest has pretty much stopped eating meat recently so typically when I make the kids dinner, it’s usually something that I can easily make meatless for him. You know, spaghetti but I keep his sauce separate or we do a lot of salads that they customize to their own liking. Things like that.
But I’ve recently discovered that the 2 little ones don’t even notice if there’s no meat.
Okay, so back to the broccoli. I bought the usual 17 bags of broccoli to last 3 days and was trying to come up with new things to do with it.
This Pasta with Broccoli Walnut Pesto is so easy, you guys. It’s just raw broccoli blended up with the usual pesto suspects except you use walnuts instead of the pine nuts.
Or use pine nuts. Or pecans. Use whatever nut you want. The broccoli is the important part here.
It’s so simple, so fast – you can totally make the pesto in the time it takes you to boil the pasta and then just toss it all together. Sprinkle some extra Parmesan and walnuts on top and that’s it. And if you want to add some meat, grilled chicken is delicious with it – that’s what we ended up doing with the leftovers.
Aaaand how fun would this be for St. Patrick’s Day if you don’t want to do the corned beef thing?!
- 1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
- 12 ounces small pasta
- 2 cups fresh broccoli florets remove any hard stems
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- salt to taste
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water. Drain and set aside.
In a dry pan over medium heat, toast walnuts for a few minutes, until golden brown, Remove from heat.
Place 1/3 cup walnuts, broccoli, basil, garlic, vegetable broth, lemon juice, and crushed red pepper flakes to a blender. Start blending and slowly stream in olive oil. Add more olive oil if needed. Taste and season with salt.
Toss the pesto with the hot pasta. Add small amounts of the pasta water if it seems to thick. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts and extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Want more meatless pasta recipes?