Posted: Oct 03, 2012 11:00 AM
Don’t reach for that take out menu just yet! Speedy weeknight broccoli pesto pasta loaded with flavor and fresh broccoli trees is the perfect alternative. Not only is this dish loaded with fresh flavors, it’s also easy enough for the kids to help chop, blend, grate and drain these yummy ingredients!

Turn regular pesto into a broccoli pesto to add even more flavor and hearty vegetables to your pasta. It's fast, delicious and beautifully coats linguine pasta. It's sure to be a family favorite and everyone will be asking for more!

Speedy weeknight broccoli pesto pasta collage

Broccoli pesto pasta

Serves 4


  • 3/4 pound linguine pasta
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for the top to sprinkle over the final dish!) 
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, packed
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped walnuts or pine nuts (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the linguine according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and add to a large mixing bowl, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli until it is soft, yet still bright green. Transfer 4 cups of the steamed broccoli florets to a food processor.
  3. Add the Parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, basil, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the food processor. Pulse to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  4. Add the broccoli pesto over the linguine along with the reserved pasta water. Mix well to combine.
  5. Divide the linguine among four pasta bowls. Top with the remaining broccoli florets and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped walnuts or pine nuts, if desired.

Ways Kids can help^

  • Chop the broccoli
  • Grate the Parmesan cheese
  • Add the ingredients to the food processor
  • Mix the linguine and broccoli pesto

Rachel's suggested wine pairing

The best wines to pair with this dish are wines with nice acidity and good fruit. The bitter (garlic), sweet (basil), sour (lemon), herbaceous (broccoli) flavors of the dish will all pair nicely with a Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, or Grüner Veltliner.

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Chicken enchilada salad bowls
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