Looking to up your greens in a fun and flavourful way? This vegan broccoli pesto pasta combines broccoli, basil, pumpkin seeds and garlic for a great tasting healthy comfort food dinner. I think you could even persuade kids to get their greens in with this recipe!
Pasta is such a go-to in my home for those busy weeknights when you want a comforting dinner and quick! Perhaps you may like to try out my broccoli asparagus pasta which is perfect for spring, or my cauliflower alfredo which is so cosy and tasty!
And my green spaghetti sauce is full of healthy ingredients for another option!
This broccoli pasta is a fun twist on regular pesto pasta, and gets a few more greens in! Full of flavour, and so easy to make, I think kids and adults alike will love this tasty dish.
Have a peek at my air fried broccoli and cauliflower if you're a broccoli lover for an easy side!
⭐ Why you'll love this pesto pasta
- Gets in those greens! Let's face it, getting your greens in can sometimes feel a little boring or rather a hassle. Plain cabbage or lettuce can feel lacking in flavour and, in all honesty, when I'm feeling extra tired I really can't be bothered to stand massaging kale!
- Full of flavour. The nut free broccoli pesto really packs a punch in the flavour stakes and makes this so tasty.
- Easy to make. A very quick recipe that is perfect for a busy weeknight meal.
All the ingredients and their quantities are set out in the recipe card below. For this pesto pasta you will need:
- Pasta: the type of your choosing, such as fusilli or penne. See below for some gluten free options.
- Broccoli: the main vegetable ingredient, bursting with healthy vitamins. Cleverly disguised (for kids) by the pesto . . . Pick unbruised fresh produce.
- Oil and vinegar: the base of the pesto. I suggest using extra virgin olive oil for a better flavour (and health benefits).
- Basil, pumpkin seeds and garlic: for the pesto sauce. Make sure to use unsalted pumpkin seeds.
📖 Swaps and variations
Choose pasta of you choice. I tend to use fusilli or bow-tie pasta, but penne is also good.
Swap up the herbs. Pesto doesn't have to be solely basil, so add parsley or coriander for different flavours!
Use a different pesto. If you prefer to use a nut pesto, then you may like to see my macadamia nut pesto recipe, which you can then add broccoli to.
🔪 Step by step instructions
Making this vegan broccoli pesto pasta is very simple. Quick and easy to rustle up for a weeknight dinner!
Dice the broccoli into fairly small florets (image 1).
Boil or steam your broccoli until fork tender (image 2).
Dry toast the pumpkin seeds in a small skillet (image 3). Toss occasionally to avoid burning. You should hear them begin to pop and go very slightly brown. Take off the heat at that point.
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, adding a good pinch of salt to the water (image 4).
Recipe tip: don't forget to reserve half a cup of the pasta water!
Add the broccoli, basil, olive oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup of pasta water, salt and black pepper to your blender. Blend and adjust with more pasta water to taste and texture preference (image 5).
Pour the sauce over your drained pasta and stir to combine (image 6). Serve immediately and enjoy!
💭 Recipe tips and notes
- Salt the pasta water. Add a good pinch of salt to give more flavour to your pasta.
- Don't forget to reserve some of the pasta water as you need it to loosen the pesto sauce. Add more gradually, and blend to the consistency you prefer.
- Adjust the amount of garlic to taste preference.
🍽 Gluten-free pasta options
I think a lot of us find a low histamine diet a little frustrating at times as some foods don't seem to be definitively defined as either 'allowed' or best restricted. Wheat is one of those foods. It scores a low 1 on the SIGHI list, and has a ? as a liberator. Some of us are totally fine with wheat, others not so much.
Thankfully, wheat-free pasta is no longer that hard cardboard ingredient that it used to be! There are so many good options, with brown rice pasta, quinoa and corn blends.
Some great options:
Tinkyada gluten-free brown rice pasta variety bundle
Barilla gluten free pasta sampler pack
🥣 More tasty pesto recipes
Looking for more pasta recipes? Find so many tasty ideas, from my vegan cauliflower alfredo to my creamy tahini broccoli pasta. Some recent recipes to try out:
I'm active on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest if you would like to know when new recipes are posted! Please do leave a star rating if you tried the recipe!
Vegan Broccoli Pesto Pasta
- Two pots
- 4 oz pasta more to preference
For the broccoli pesto
- 2 cups broccoli diced
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves tightly packed
- 1 garlic clove
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper optional
To garnish (optional)
- pinch sesame seeds optional, for garnish
- basil leaves
- Dice the broccoli into small florets.
- Steam or boil your broccoli so that it is fork tender.
- In a small pan, dry toast your pumpkin seeds for 3-4 minutes until they have very light browning, and they may begin to pop.
- While the broccoli is cooking, prepare your pasta according to packet instructions, adding a good pinch of salt to the water. Usually 10-12 minutes to al dente texture. Reserve half a cup of the pasta water for the pesto.
- Add the broccoli, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, basil, pumpkin seeds, garlic, salt and pepper (if using) to a blender. Pulse blend to make a pesto, adding a spoonful of the pasta water bit by bit to get the texture you like.
- Once the pasta is cooked, pour the pesto into your saucepan and stir well so the pasta is fully coated. You may have extra pesto to use for another dish if you prefer a less 'saucy' pasta.
- Plate up your broccoli pesto pasta and sprinkle with sesame seeds, and more fresh herbs. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Be sure to reserve some of the pasta water as this is used to loosen the sauce.
- Adjust the amount of garlic to preference.
- You can always play around with herbs for the pesto - if you're not a fan of parsley, how about coriander / cilantro?
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- pasta - wheat score 1 on the SIGHI list and has a ? as a liberator. You may like to try quinoa, corn or brown rice pasta as an alternative.
- garlic, which scores 1.
- apple cider vinegar, which scores 1.
- black pepper, which scores 2.
Tried this yesterday and loved it! Even my hubby approved.
So glad you both liked it!
Hi, I don't like basil. Is there another substitute or just leave it out?
Hi Kay, you can either leave out or perhaps swap for a herb you like such as coriander or thyme.
Julia Carpenter says
Just made the Broccoli Pesto it is delightful
So glad you like it Julie!