Happy New Year! I hope 2015 is treating everyone well so far. As for me, I have a couple of new things to tell you about! First of all, Put On Your Cake Pants is now on Instagram, so be sure to come visit me over there! I anticipate there will be lots of food and Phoebe pictures.
Second, I’ve created a new and improved recipe index. The recipes are now indexed not only by category (breakfast, entrées, dessert, etc.) as they were before, but also by type and/or cuisine: pancakes, muffins, pastas, salads, cookies, cakes, Mexican, Asian…you get the idea. My hope is that this index will be much more user-friendly and will help you find the sorts of things you may be browsing for – but of course, you can always use the search bar for that as well.
Now, on to this broccoli pistachio pesto! I made this for my family over the holidays, after seeing a similar recipe on BuzzFeed a number of months ago. Broccoli pistachio pesto is a great alternative to traditional pesto (made with basil and pine nuts), especially for people who find the flavor of basil to be too overpowering. Since there are two cups of broccoli in the pesto itself and an additional two cups on top, you’ve got a balanced meal with carbs, veggies, and protein all in one bowl – no need for side dishes or anything! Just zing up some broccoli, pistachios, parmesan, lemon, and olive oil in a blender, and you’ve got a batch of delightfully fresh, vibrant, and crowd-pleasing pesto!
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 pound rotini pasta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup shelled pistachios, divided
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest (from about 1 medium lemon)
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1 medium lemon)
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 12 ounces chicken tenders
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- Remove and discard the tough outer skin from the broccoli florets.
- Bring about 3 inches of water in a medium saucepan to a boil. Once the water boils, place the broccoli florets in the water and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Drain the broccoli and rinse with cold water.
- Bring a large saucepan of water (+ 1 teaspoon salt) to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, and return the pasta to the saucepan.
- While the pasta is cooking, combine the pesto ingredients in the blender: 1/2 of the cooked broccoli (you may want to run this through a salad spinner first to remove some of the excess water), 1/2 cup pistachios, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Once the pasta is finished, add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the blender. Blend until smooth, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Also while the pasta is cooking, place 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet and heat on medium for 1-2 minutes. Place the chicken tenders in the skillet and cook until slightly browned and no pink remains, about 12 minutes (if the tenders are frozen. The cook time will be shorter if you are using refrigerated chicken). Once cooked, chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Roughly chop the remaining half of the cooked broccoli. Place the broccoli, chicken, and pesto in the large saucepan along with the pasta and toss to combine. If the pesto seems too pasty/thick on the pasta, gradually stir in more pasta water. Top with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the remaining 1/4 cup pistachios, and red pepper flakes.
Love this recipe! 🙂
Thanks! And thanks for stopping by 🙂
Looks so good
Heather @ Sweet Precision says
Happy New Year! I love the new recipe index 🙂 They can be such a pain to make, but it’s so nice to everything in one place! The salad looks scrumptious and delicious!!
I’d been meaning to re-do the index since last summer, but never found the time. I’m glad to hear you like it!
Lu @ Super Nummy Yo! says
Love this super healthy twist on pistachio pesto 😛
Thanks! I like that it doesn’t take a ton of oil…feels healthier that way!
Sugar and Cinnamon says
This sounds so delicious! I love broccoli but have never thought to put it in pesto before!
That’s what caught my eye about the BuzzFeed recipe too – broccoli actually makes for a lovely pesto…who knew?!
Baking With Gab says
Stunning! Love it 🙂
Love pesto!! This looks amazing!!
Me too, and it’s fun to experiment with different types! Thanks!
Christine @ Cooking with Cakes says
I LOVE the idea of broccoli pesto,so creative!!! happy new year doll 🙂
I wish I could take credit for the pesto idea, but that’s all BuzzFeed (what would I do without BuzzFeed?!)! I hope you get a chance to try it! Happy new year to you too 🙂
What a perfect winter pesto! Love how it’s full of so many healthy things!
Yes, I love how it feels a lot healthier than traditional pesto! Not that basil isn’t good for us, but broccoli has so much more fiber 🙂
These photos look amazing. Can’t wait to try it 🙂
Thanks! I hope you like it!
I absolutely love broccoli and I’ve never tried it in pesto! Pistachios are a fave of mine too… great recipe 🙂
Sounds like a perfect recipe for you then! Pistachios are a favorite of mine too, but I rarely do anything with them besides just snack on them, so this was a nice change of pace 🙂
Kathleen @ Yummy Crumble says
The color is gorgeous! and I’m practically addicted to pistachios…
Thank you! I’d forgotten how much I love pistachios until I made this…now I can’t stop noshing on them!
HomeSweetJones (@HomeSweetJones) says
This looks soo good! I never would have thought of broccoli for making pesto but my mouth is watering just thinking of it. And pistachios! So creative! I love one pot meals like this is we’ll be trying it soon.
I’m so excited you’re on Instagram. Looking forward to more pics of delicious food and your adorable pooch.
I hope you love it as much as I do! I’ve already made it twice in just over a week. Thanks for following me on Instagram – I’m still learning the ropes but I’m excited to join the party 🙂
This looks so fresh and nourishing! I love broccoli, and pistachios, so this has my name written all over it!
I hope you get a chance to try it! Thanks for stopping by 🙂
Aimee @ ShugarySweets says
Adding this to our menu, what a great meal idea 🙂
Thanks – I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine has 🙂
Chris @ Shared Appetite says
What a creative idea! I would have never thought of adding broccoli into the pesto mix!
I wish I could take credit for the original idea, but I just adapted the recipe. I’m looking forward to experimenting with more pesto flavors soon, though! 🙂
nicole (thespicetrain.com) says
Love this recipe, what a great idea!
Thanks! It’s a new favorite of mine 🙂
Dana | killingthyme.net says
This looks scrumptious! I need to try this soon!
Thanks! You definitely should – last night I made it for the third time…it’s so good!
Cake Lover says
I have made this recipe twice and it is already a family favorite! We love broccoli, so I used more than the recipe called for. (I added 3/4 cup pasta water to the blender because of the added broccoli). I like to use all the stems/stalks and some of the florets in the pesto part and save the rest of the florets for mixing in with the pasta and chicken to look absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe!
I’m so glad to hear that you’re enjoying this recipe – and you’re very welcome! That’s a great idea to use the stalks in the pesto, reserving the prettier florets for mixing into the pasta.