Broccoli pesto pasta

Broccoli pesto pasta

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(49 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4
A new delicious version of the Italian favourite, pesto pasta, with broccoli

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal604
  • fat26g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs79g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein19g
  • salt0.47g
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  • 400g penne, farfalle or conchiglie pasta
  • 250g broccoli, cut into florets



    Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 large lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Tip the pasta into a large pan of boiling salted water and cook according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, bring a smaller pan of salted water to the boil, add the broccoli and boil for 4 minutes.

  2. Drain the broccoli and return it to the pan. Lightly mash the broccoli with a potato masher or fork. Finely grate the garlic and zest the lemon, then mix into the broccoli with the chilli flakes and pine nuts. Cut the lemon in half and keep for later.

  3. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Stir in the broccoli pesto and squeeze over the juice of 1⁄2 lemon. Pour in the olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Spoon in the grated Parmesan, toss the pasta well and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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5th Sep, 2018
A simple & tasty veggie dish, quick to prepare mid week & enjoyed by all the family. Like the idea of adding bacon lardons or smoked salmon & creme fraiche too. Will definitely make again.
tractorfactorsteve .'s picture
tractorfactorsteve .
22nd May, 2018
This is a simple a tasty dish. I used all home grown, foraged and preserved ingredients, except for the pasta. The pesto described in the title is really just a set of ingredients and perhaps should be in inverted commas? Mine was made with an almond based pesto, collected from local trees here in Cyprus last October.
16th Oct, 2017
This was really nice but there was way too much lemon in it, it was overpowering so if I made it again I would definitely put less in.
4th May, 2017
21st Apr, 2017
Amazing! I added in a bag full of spinach too!!
20th Jan, 2017
Super tasty and very easy too... I'm really impressed with this recipe!
Karen Beech
17th Nov, 2016
My kitchen is currently being re-done and I have a tiny makeshift kitchen in my lounge at the moment so was searching for recipes that were relatively easy and didn't use a million pans. I love strong flavours and particularly pesto and this recipe gave me an idea. I cooked the broccoli in the microwave and mashed it, added the lemon rind and juice, 1 tsp of chilli flakes (I like spice) and 1 garlic clove and then mixed in two tubs of Tesco finest pesto (in their fridge section) and a little bit more extra virgin oil to lose it up and - voila! The best pesto pasta I've ever had! Love it with the broccoli, it really works. Great if you have fussy children who don't eat much veg - it's totally disguised in the pesto. Would definitely do it again, and when I have my new kitchen I will make fried spinach and parmesan balls to go with it too!
5th Apr, 2016
Love this recipe, so tasty and easy to make. A staple in our house now!
26th Jun, 2015
I was looking for a recipe to use up some of the veg in the fridge and found this recipe (I'm really determined not to waste as much food this year by letting it go bad in the fridge!). It was pretty good, however I agree with some of the other commenters - don't skip the lemon juice and zest - I was concerned it might overpower things, but it really made it, and make sure to season it well - can't emphasize that enough! I think maybe I should have toasted the nuts (I didn't have pine nuts, so I used almonds) and cooked the broccoli for a little bit longer, I didn't quite get the "pesto" consistency - and I totally forgot about the chili flakes, so I'll have to remember that for next time. Someone mentioned adding bacon or pancetta - genius! - I will definitely try this next time. It definitely needed more parmesan cheese, however, I think I might try swapping out the parmesan for chevre. I imagine that the chevre would go really well with the broccoli, garlic and lemon flavours. It wasn't the best thing I've made from Good Food, but I love broccoli and it's such a good way to get some extra veg in, and so quick and easy that it's worth trying again with a few tweeks.
1st Jul, 2015
You did change the recipe quite a bit - is that why you only gave it 3*? Do give the original a go - it really is tasty!! Thanks for all the comments, though!


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