This quick and awesomely Vegan Broccoli Pesto recipe is highly nutritious, healthy and requires only 6 simple ingredients. It’s guaranteed to satisfy your pasta cravings in as little as 15 minutes!

I’ve been making this vegan broccoli pesto pasta on repeat in the last few months, and my whole family keeps asking for more! So, it was about time I’d share it with you all.

The flavour-packed, creamy broccoli pesto sauce embraces beautifully the paccheri (but you can choose any kind of pasta you like), the lemon zest gives a delightful refreshing twist and the toasted pine nuts add a little always-welcome crunch.

For an Italian-style pesto, you can also add a few tablespoons of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese. If you like things spicy, a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes will totally complete this dish.

Best of all, it takes just 6 simple everyday ingredients to make this SUPER HEALTHY vegan broccoli pesto pasta.Broccoli pesto pasta on grey plate, raw broccoli, lemon, basil leaves, pine nuts and paccheri pasta in the background

As an added bonus, this vegan broccoli pesto freezes beautifully, so you can stock up the freezer for a quick lunch/dinner fix whenever you don’t feel like cooking.


The BEST vegan broccoli pesto you will ever eat takes just 15 minutes to make *start to finish*, and requires only 6 simple ingredients:

*fresh or defrosted broccoli florets

*a handful of fresh basil leaves


*pine nuts

*lemon zest

*high-quality, fruity extra-virgin olive oil

broccoli, basil, lemons, paccheri pasta and toasted pine nuts on grey boardHere are a few reasons to fall in love with this creamy broccoli pesto pasta. It’s:

  • vegan
  • dairy-free
  • ready in 20 minutes
  • just 6 ingredients required

After quickly boiling the broccoli florets, place all the ingredients, besides the pasta, in a food processor and mix until combine.

And your pesto is all ready to go!

For a balanced Italian-style meal, serve it with pasta. I opt, whenever possible, for high-quality short/long Italian-made pasta ( I like paccheri pasta from Gragnano {affiliate}). 

basil leaves, broccoli florets, lemon zest, toasted pine nuts, salt in the bowl of food processor

Make sure you don’t throw the water where you have previously boiled the broccoli.

Instead, when it’s time to cook the pasta, simply add it into the broccoli-water pot, so it gets infused with extra broccoli flavor (and can soak up extra vitamins & nutrients).cream broccoli pesto pasta sauce inside food processor

Don’t forget to reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water, so you can add it to the broccoli pesto right before dressing the pasta, for a creamy, delicious result.

This broccoli pesto pasta is completely foolproof, so it’s absolutely perfect for novice cooks.

And it tastes so good, that will even please the most determined broccoli-haters.


Broccoli is one of those so-good-for-you ingredients packed with health benefits.

This incredible vegetable is the most concentrated source of vitamin C, as well as antioxidants.

It’s also high in fiber, which aids digestion, and maintains low blood sugar. 

These are just a few of the healthy properties of this versatile veggie, so you should definitely try to incorporate more broccoli in your diet, and what better way than this vegan broccoli pesto pasta?

Broccoli pesto pasta on grey plate, raw broccoli, lemon, basil leaves, pine nuts and paccheri pasta in the backgroundIf you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal, look no further.

This broccoli pesto pasta is easy, quick, completely fuss-free and 100% family approved!

Can I Freeze Vegan Broccoli Pesto?

Yes, you can totally freeze broccoli pesto! Once your pesto is ready, divide into portions and store in freeze-safe containers, and place in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Check Out More Pesto Recipes To Try:


Please let me know how you liked it! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thepetitecook! Looking at your pictures always makes me smile *and super hungry*!

broccoli pesto sauce pasta
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Vegan Broccoli Pesto Pasta

This quick and awesomely vegan broccoli pesto recipe is highly nutritious, tasty and requires only 6 simple ingredients!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: broccoli, broccoli pesto, pasta, pesto, vegan
Servings: 4 people
Author: Andrea


  • 350 gr (about 1 head) broccoli florets (10 oz)
  • 350 gr short pasta (I use paccheri) (10 oz)
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • 60 gr toasted pine nuts (1/4 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 60 ml extra-virgin olive oil (1/4 cup)
  • sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper

To serve:

  • toasted pine nuts
  • handful of basil leaves
  • lemon zest
  • freshly cracked black pepper


  • Cook the broccoli florets in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, for about 5 minutes, or just until tender.
  • With the help of a slotted spoon, transfer the florets from the water into a bowl with cold water and ice, then drain and set aside.
  • Fold the pasta into the pot used for cooking the broccoli and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes for paccheri.
  • Add broccoli florets, basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice and zest into a food processor and pulse until crumbly.
  • Set the food processor on slow speed and gently pour in the extra-virgin olive oil. continue to mix until your broccoli pesto reaches a creamy texture.
  • Add 60 ml (1/4 cup) of pasta cooking water into the broccoli pesto and continue to mix until reaching a creamy texture. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Drain the pasta, return to the pot and stir in the broccoli pesto.
  • Divide the broccoli pesto pasta among 4 plates, top with extra pine nuts, lemon zest, basil leaves and freshy cracked black pepper, and serve
Did you try this recipe? Tag @thepetitecook or use the hashtag #thepetitecook - Looking at your pictures makes my day!

This recipe was originally published in September 2018 and updated with more info.

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