Broccoli Pesto Pasta Salad

This Broccoli Pesto Pasta Salad makes the perfect summer side dish. An easy way to add some extra vegetables to the dinner table.

Hi Friends!

Happy Monday. Today I’m thrilled to introduce you to Christina from The Blissful Balance! I was introduced to Christina several months ago when she and Georgie founded the Bloggers Gonna Blog Community. If you’re a blogger and haven’t checked it out yet, go do so immediately. I’m all about forming connections with other bloggers and I absolutely love the community these ladies have put together.


Hey, everyone! I’m so excited to be guest posting today on The Lean Green Bean! This is actually so crazy for me because Lindsay’s blog was one of the first blogs I fell in love with a few years ago when I first began following food blogs, before I had even thought about making my own. I met Lindsay through the BGB Community (a community of food and healthy lifestyle bloggers), and I just feel so honored to be working with her now to bring you guys a yummy recipe of my own!

Broccoli Pesto Pasta Salad

So I have a confession to make: I do not, whatsoever, in any way, get enough vegetables into my diet. I love vegetables, don’t get me wrong, but vegetables are sort of like yoga for me.

It takes so much to get myself to go to yoga. I’m much more into workout classes that are high intensity, music blaring, random yells of encouragement from classmates…the whole nine. So for me, yoga can be pretty boring (don’t hate me). However, once I do get my butt into yoga, I feel so refreshed, happy that I went, and I almost always say “I need to do this more often”. It’s just the getting myself to go part that’s difficult.

It’s the same thing with vegetables: it takes a bit of effort to get myself to eat them, but once I do, all I can think about is how yummy they are, and how “I need to do this more often”. I love vegetables, but for some reason, I simply don’t crave them!

But I have found a little way around this issue: sneaking vegetables into food that isn’t… a vegetable… if that makes sense…

For instance, I love, love, love to make cauliflower rice. Rice ain’t no vegetable, but here I am taking the liberty of saying “today, rice is a vegetable”. Then, when I make cauliflower fried rice, almost my entire meal is made up of vegetables, yet my brain thinks I’m eating fried rice, which my brain likes better. Are you following me?

So, what I’ve done here today is I’ve added broccoli into a food that is not only not a vegetable, but doesn’t normally contain any vegetables (unless you consider Parmesan cheese a vegetable, because… why not?). I love experimenting with pesto. My thought process when doing so is: what is green that I can stuff into this food processor and enhance this pesto? *light bulb* BROCCOLI. And it worked so, so well.


Broccoli Pesto Pasta Salad

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  • 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed and cooled
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 box orecchiette pasta, boiled
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts


  1. In a food processor, add in cooled, steamed broccoli. Process until mixed well.
  2. Add in basil, garlic, Parmesan, and olive oil. Process until paste-like pesto texture is formed. Add more extra virgin olive oil as needed, depending on how liquidy you prefer your pesto.
  3. In a large bowl, pour in pesto. Add in boiled orecchiette pasta and toss together until well-combined.
  4. Add in crumbled feta cheese and pine nuts. Mix well.
  5. Serve alongside grilled chicken for the perfect cookout side dish!

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This Broccoli Pesto Pasta Salad contains such a burst of flavors – it makes for the perfect side dish to a weekend, summertime barbecue. The combination of pesto with tangy feta cheese and crunchy, nutty pine nuts is perfection nestled between orecchiette pasta that serves almost as little bowls for the mixture.


Huge thanks to Christina for stopping by today!

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