Broccoli Pesto is the twist on pesto you never knew you needed. Roasted Broccoli pulsed with classic pesto ingredients makes for the most delicious pasta imaginable!
Roasted Broccoli Pesto
One of the absolute keys to this version of broccoli pesto being so delicious is roasting of the broccoli.
I tinkered around with this recipe a lot, but started off by using raw broccoli and blitzing it with pesto ingredients. I knew there was potential, but something wasn’t sitting right with me. The broccoli just wasn’t shining through as it should be. Sooooooooo, I roasted the buggers before blitzing and the difference was huge.
Roasting transforms the flavour AND texture of broccoli and quite frankly I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. Just pop it in a tray with a good glug of oil and a hefty pinch of salt & pepper and roast until tender and slightly charred. THAT my friend, will give you the base of a delicious broccoli pesto.
Basil Broccoli Pesto
The second mistake I made whilst testing this recipe was to replace the basil with broccoli. Again, something was lacking.
OKAY I HEAR YOU. Obviously it was the basil… Learn from my mistakes, add your broccoli to the basil pesto, don’t replace the basil.
I’ve got a more comprehensive post on How to make Basil Pesto, so do check that out if you’ve got time, but for now here’s what you’ll need for the broccoli version:
Broccoli Pesto Ingredients
- Roasted Broccoli
- Fresh Basil
- Freshly Grated Parmesan
- Pine Nuts
- Lemon Juice
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Bacon
Because really, I know we’ve heard it all before, but bacon really DOES make everything better 😏 At least in this case anyway. The bacon adds a nice rich salty flavour to the pesto and also bulks it out a little bit.
The process itself is actually really simple. The main thing I recommend is to combine everything in a bowl. Or at least in the pan with the heat OFF. Direct heat causes fresh basil to burn and pesto to go greasy. The leftover heat from the pasta will gently cook the pesto.
How to make Broccoli Pesto with Bacon (quick summary)
- Add diced bacon to a pan.
- Fry until crisp.
- Add cooked pasta to a bowl.
- Combine with bacon, bacon grease and splash of pasta water.
- Stir to combine.
- Add broccoli pesto and chilli flakes (optional)
And there we have it! The funkiest pesto pasta you’ll ever have, for all the right reasons. Quick to make, easy to prepare and absolutely delicious to make. If you like the sound of this then I’m confident you’ll love these too:
Alternative Pesto Recipes
- Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Pasta
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta
- Cheesy Pesto Garlic Bread
- Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese
Fun Broccoli Recipes
- Crunchy Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potatoes
- Broccoli Pasta Bake
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese
Alrighty, let’s tuck into this broccoli pesto pasta recipe!
How to make Broccoli Pesto Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)
Broccoli Pesto Pasta with Bacon
- Roasting Tray
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Food Processor
Ingredients (check list):
- 12.3oz / 350g Short Cut Pasta (here I used a fancy type of Fusilli)
- 1x 12.3oz / 350g head of Broccoli, cut into florets (approx 7oz/200g)
- 1/2lb / 250g Streaky Bacon, diced
- 1/2 cup / 125ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or as needed
- 1.4oz / 40g freshly grated Parmesan
- 10 large Fresh Basil Leaves
- 4 tbsp Pine Nuts (optionally toasted)
- 1 small clove of Garlic
- 1/2 Lemon (juice only)
- 1/4 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste
- Chilli Flakes (optional)
- Pop 7oz/200g broccoli florets on a baking tray and combine with a good glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Use your hands to evenly coat, then pop in the oven at 390f/200c for 15-20mins, or until slightly charred and fork tender (timing will depend on size of your florets). Allow to rest for 5 mins once taken out.
- Meanwhile, add 1/2lb/250g diced bacon to a pan over medium heat and fry until crispy, with as much fat rendered as possible.
- Pop 12.3oz/350g pasta in a pot of well salted boiling water and cook until al dente, retaining a cup of starchy pasta water just before draining.
- Pop your roasted broccoli in a food processor with 10 large basil leaves, 1.4oz/40g freshly grated parmesan, 4 tbsp pine nuts, the juice of half a lemon, 1 small clove of garlic and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste). Turn on the motor and gradually pour in 1/2cup/125ml extra virgin olive oil until well combined.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta and bacon (& about a tbsp worth of leftover fat) with a splash of pasta water. Pour in pesto, add a pinch of chilli flakes if using, then use a spatula to stir and thoroughly combine, using pasta water to thin out if needed.
Quick 1 min demo!
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