Broccoli Pesto Penne

You won’t believe how good this broccoli pesto pasta is until you try it. I’m usually not a fan of broccoli, but this week, we’re going to make healthy taste gooood. Creamy avocado, savory toasted almonds, tangy lemon, and wholesome brown rice pasta.

This recipe brought to you by a one-legged Brittany.

My, what an interesting weekend. What started off to be a completely normal Saturday morning with a phenomenally beautiful hike and breakfast date at Pomegranate Cafe, turned into a painful rolled ankle and lots of canceled plans.

If I’m being completely honest, I’m more upset that the homemade custom-designed meal I had planned for my mom on Mother’s Day was spoiled by my inability to walk around a grocery store. Or, well, stand for that matter. But I have oh so many things to be thankful for in spite of it:

  1. My mom cares more about my bones than she does about what day Mother’s Day falls.
  2. She took care of me the entire rest of the weekend and Monday with a smile on her face. We’re talking ice packs, making ME meals, letting me choose what to watch on Netflix, and just generally waiting on me hand and foot….literal foot. World’s Best Mom Award.
  3. X-rays and a podiatrist appointment on Monday showed no sign of a break. It looks to be a severe sprain with possible ligament involvement. What does¬†that mean to me? No crutches (praise Jesus) and instead, a walking boot, which means I won’t be out of work or the kitchen. Hooray!!!

Needless to say, I’m thanking my guardian angles big time for keeping me from falling all the way down South Mountain and injuring myself worse than I did because I’m not sure how I could cope without my kitchen time… how could I possibly make recipes for the blog and take pictures of them? And besides that, a girl needs to pay rent, and my executive assistant + personal chef + catering jobs all require two feet. Anyway…

This broccoli pesto recipe is actually super recent in comparison to the 2014 cookbook recipes I’ve been pulling out.

I’ve been craving pasta like crazy lately, and (like most recipe creations), I started poking around for what I had in the fridge. I tell ya, people. It’s not about having fancy ingredients, it’s about being resourceful and willing to experiment with new combinations.

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Broccoli Pesto Penne

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18-20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Difficulty: Medium  //
Servings: 8 servings  //
Serving Size: 1.5 cups cooked  //
Calories: 379*


  • 16 oz package of GF brown rice pasta
  • 3-4 large bunches broccoli with stems removed (approximately 5-6 cups chopped)
  • 3 medium avocados
  • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 c. slivered almonds
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 c. olive oil + 1 Tbs.
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice (and the zest of 2 lemons)
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare pasta according to instructions.
  2. Toast almonds with 2 Tbs. olive oil on the stove or in the oven/toaster oven.
  3. While it is cooking, combine all ingredients except almonds and 2 cups broccoli in a blender or food processor based on preference. (For creamier texture, use blender; you will achieve a coarse texture similar to quinoa with a food processor.)
  4. Steam the 2 cups of broccoli.
  5. Set aside a few tablespoons of almonds for garnish and lightly pulse the rest into the broccoli pesto.
  6. Finally, toss the pesto with the pasta noodles and steamed broccoli and serve.

Broccoli Bowl Nutrition

*I don't count calories. My recommendations on calorie counting and nutrition can be found here


If you’re like me, broccoli isn’t on the top of your list for favorite things to eat. Seriously, it may be my least favorite vegetable besides peas. Take it from me, though, you’re going to throw that idea out the window once you taste this.