This pesto pasta with broccoli and tomatoes recipe is super easy and oh so good! The hardest part is cutting up the vegetables.
This is an old post that I’ve decided to re-post since it is so good and a spring/summer menu idea.
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This all started when Mary Jo went to Costco and picked up an industrial-sized box of grape tomatoes.
I’ve already made two batches of honey balsamic Italian chicken meatball kabobs which use some of the small tomatoes and still had a boatload of tomatoes left.
And, she picked up a big jar of pre-made basil pesto. Pesto Presto!
There are just 5 main ingredients to make this healthy pesto pasta dish.
Pasta – I used whole wheat Rotini.
Pesto – Basil pesto that is store-bought. (Or make your own with ingredients in the recipe notes).
Grape tomatoes – Or cherry tomatoes.
Garlic – About 2 tablespoons minced.
Broccoli – 2 medium-sized heads or about 3 cups florets.
Other than these ingredients you’ll need olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and grated parmesan cheese if desired.
Steps to Making Pesto Pasta with Broccoli and Tomatoes
Chop up a couple of handfuls of the grape tomatoes, mince some garlic cloves, and cut up about three cups of fresh broccoli florets.
You can do this while you’re getting the water boiling for the 8 ounces of whole wheat rotini pasta.
Use your OXO kitchen scale (*ad), to measure out the pasta. Just set the bowl on the scale and turn it on.
It will be automatically zeroed out so it’s easy to measure the weight of the pasta.
For this dish, I recommend using whole wheat pasta because it gives the flavor a subtle earthiness and compliments the broccoli so well.
Besides, the whole wheat pasta is full of nutrients and extra protein you don’t get with regular pasta.
By the time your pasta has cooked to al dente, you should be just about ready to add it to the softened vegetables.
Like I said. this is really fast and easy. Add about a cup of pasta water to your pan and mix in the pesto and you’re done.
Serve this pesto pasta with broccoli and tomatoes warm or at room temperature.
Add some shredded parmesan cheese for extra flavor. And Mary Jo says, “It’s surprisingly delicious!”
And be sure to check out these popular recipes:
- Cold Pasta Salad
- Cauliflower Pasta with Pancetta
- Shrimp and Sausage Stew
- Healthy No-crust Vegetable Quiche
- Skinny Fettuccini Alfredo
- Simple Basil Pesto Recipe
- Easy Creamy Chicken Pasta
Tomato Broccoli Pesto Pasta
- 8 oz . whole wheat rotini pasta , cooked according to package instructions
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves , minced
- 2 cups grape tomatoes , halved
- 3 cups fresh broccoli florets , bite size
- 6 tbsp basil pesto
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta and drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium and add garlic, cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the broccoli florets and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta, reserved pasta water, pesto and red pepper flakes and stir together.
- Serve with grated parmesan cheese.
- Use any quality basil pesto in a jar. Refrigerate the unused pesto.
- To make your own pesto you will need: 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts or substitute toasted walnuts, juice of 1 lemon, 2 garlic cloves, 2 cups packed basil leaves, and 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Use a food processor or blender to finely chop the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Leftover pesto pasta can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days.
This recipe post has been updated on December 19, 2021.
I really do love this recipe. We had it last night made with 3 medium size vine-on tomatoes chopped up instead of the grape tomatoes and it was every bit as delicious. You just need to cut back on the pasta water a bit because regular tomatoes are juicier.
I really didn’t expect to like this dish, but I had seconds. It’s so healthy and delicious, also vegan. The Barilla whole grain rotini alone has 6 grams of fiber in a 2 ounce serving, and 8 grams of protein.