Almond Broccoli Pesto Pasta Recipe with Chicken, an easy, healthy 30 minute dinner recipe!

30-minThis almond broccoli pesto recipe sneaks some extra broccoli into your diet and makes for a healthier pesto option!  Perfect on pasta with some cherry tomatoes and chicken.

Summer weather is here and I’m not mad.  Not one bit!

My garden is finally planted, my backyard oasis is 95% complete, and we’ve been eating dinner outside nearly every night.  You guys know I’m all about the easy dinner recipes all year round, but when summer rolls around, it’s even more true!

So today I have another simple, easy and healthy dinner recipe for us that will keep you in the kitchen as little as possible.  Since it has been awhile since I made some pesto, I thought it was time to make some more!

And you’re going to love this one because there are stealthy veggies in this almond broccoli pesto, making it even easier to fill half your plate with veggies!

Almond Broccoli Pesto Pasta Recipe with Chicken, an easy, healthy 30 minute dinner recipe!

Almond Broccoli Pesto Pasta Recipe with Chicken, an easy, healthy 30 minute dinner recipe!

This post is in partnership with Half Your Plate Canada, whose mission is to get us to fill half our plates with fruit and vegetables.  Eating more fruits and veggies is better for our health, better for our wallets, and honestly, it’s really not hard to do!

With that in mind, today I’m filling half my plate with veggies and tricking myself into eating more broccoli.

Can I be honest?  Broccoli is not at the top of my favorite vegetable list.  But broccoli is so good for you!  It is packed with vitamin C, is fat free, and has even been shown to have detoxification properties.

Basically, I’m always on the look-out for more delicious ways to enjoy broccoli.  And today I’m sharing one with you: almond broccoli pesto pasta!!

Almond Broccoli Pesto Pasta Recipe with Chicken, an easy, healthy 30 minute dinner recipe!

Almond Broccoli Pesto Pasta Recipe with Chicken, an easy, healthy 30 minute dinner recipe!

Do you know what’s hiding in this pesto?  4 whole cups of broccoli.  I’m serious!  And don’t throw away your broccoli stems, because they can go in too!

Broccoli is blended together with garlic, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, almonds and basil.  And olive oil, of course.  All in under 10 minutes.

I have provided instructions in how to use this pesto with pasta, and it couldn’t be simpler: combine the pesto with some reserved cooking liquids and toss with your pasta, some extra veggies and chicken!  You will never believe that you are eating broccoli pesto, trust me!

We have also eaten the pesto on grilled potatoes, as a pizza base, and as a dip.  The possibilities are endless!

I’d love to hear: what is your favourite way to enjoy broccoli?

Follow Half Your Plate on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for some great ideas to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies!

Disclaimer: this post was sponsored by Half Your Plate Canada.  Thank-you for supporting the brands that support Sweet Peas & Saffron!  As always, all opinions are my own.

Almond Broccoli Pesto Pasta Recipe with Chicken
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4
Broccoli Pesto:
  • 4 cups broccoli florets and stems (8 oz /250g)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Zest from 2 lemons (2 tablespoons)
  • Juice from 1 lemon (2.5 tablespoons)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup basil leaves
Broccoli Pesto Pasta:
  • 8 oz uncooked pasta of your choice
  • 1.5 cups broccoli florets, cut into very small pieces
  • 1 cup broccoli pesto (recipe above)
  • 1.5 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (see this post for baking instructions)
Broccoli Pesto
  1. In the base of a 7-cup food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine all of the pesto ingredients.
  2. Blend until smooth, you will need to scrape down the sides and lid several times with a spatula.
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. When one minute of cook time remains, add the broccoli florets to the pasta water.
  3. Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
  4. Combine 1 cup of broccoli pesto with the cooking liquid and cherry tomatoes, and stir for 2-3 minutes, until smooth.
  5. Return the pasta and broccoli to the pot along with the chicken breast, and stir until coated.
Nutritional Information: (1 serving of pesto pasta)
Calories 499 // Fat 22 g // Saturated Fat 4 g // Cholesterol 40 mg // Sodium 174 mg // Carbohydrate 50 g // Fiber 6 g // Sugars 4 g // Protein 27 g

The pesto recipe makes 2-2.5 cups of pesto, however only 1 cup is needed for the pesto pasta recipe. Use your leftovers on pizza, potatoes, or as a dip!

Pesto keeps in an air tight container in the fridge for up to a week. The top may discolour slightly however it is still delicious!
Nutrition Information
Calories: 499 Fat: 22 g Saturated fat: 4 g Carbohydrates: 50 g Sugar: 4 g Sodium: 174 mg Fiber: 6 g Protein: 27 g Cholesterol: 40 mg

More pesto recipes!

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