This Pesto Broccoli Pasta Bake recipe is everything we all love about a warm, comforting casserole, but with healthy herbs, veggies and smart substitutions we can feel good about. Plus, there’s no sacrificing on taste!
One of the things I love about this recipe is the quick & easy homemade pesto that adds amazing flavor. If you’ve never made pesto, it’s a simple whirl in the food processor or blender of fresh basil (packed with minerals and nutrients, by the way), pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, Parmesan, lemon juice and salt. While you can definitely substitute store-bought pesto to save a little time, I think you’ll love the healthy freshness of making it yourself. Tip: it’s a cinch to make a double batch and freeze the rest for another meal!
To add fiber and nutrients, this recipe uses whole wheat penne pasta instead of regular, and to cut down on fat and calories, I’ve used chicken sausage instead of pork or beef. Throw in chopped broccoli, and you’re adding even more vitamins, minerals and green veggie goodness 😉 Mix all together, put in a 2 quart temp-tations® baker, sprinkle with parmesan and bake. (Note: you can easily substitute gluten-free pasta for the whole wheat penne.)