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Healthy Pasta with Pesto Tomato and Broccoli is 30 minute pasta skillet recipe with pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Use gluten free if necessary. | ifoodreal.com

Organic pasta mixed with blistered grape tomatoes, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes, all natural pesto and topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Total time = 30 minutes, including the prep and clean up. This was delicious and healthy pasta!

A few years ago, my kids couldn’t stand pesto. So, I stopped buying it and never made one. Actually, I went through a stage thinking it’s too fattening but these days I just know that moderation is key.

Healthy Pasta with Pesto Tomato and Broccoli is 30 minute pasta skillet recipe with pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Use gluten free if necessary. | ifoodreal.com

Who could have said no to this juicy and saucy pasta?! I was right, kids loved it so I’m back on a friends page with pesto.

Big confession: I love cooking pasta more than eating it. Before someone says anything, yes I know it’s white pasta. I have very hard time finding not brown rice and whole wheat penne or fussili pasta on the West Coast. I wish we had Delallo! I would pay a lot for it.

Healthy Pasta with Pesto Tomato and Broccoli is 30 minute pasta skillet recipe with pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Use gluten free if necessary. | ifoodreal.com

Anyways, this organic Garofalo pasta just lurks me in with their fun shapes and the fact that it’s organic every Costco shopping trip. Kids ask for it as a treat. My kids would eat pasta every single meal if I let them. Any of yours are the same? To be fair, I let them have it. They eat every other grain whole and they don’t even touch cakes and cupcakes. They don’t like icing. Fair enough. I personally do not like it either.

So, knowing I won’t be eating this pasta dish this time, I used regular pasta. It was Monday, I needed to balance out my weekend treats, so I was cleaning out the fridge and made myself some quinoa and kale salad.

Healthy Pasta with Pesto Tomato and Broccoli is 30 minute pasta skillet recipe with pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Use gluten free if necessary. | ifoodreal.com

I finally was able to find a pesto sauce without preservatives. That has been quite a challenge. Grated some fresh Parmesan cheese. Cooked my pasta. I just love cooking pasta dishes. They are so comforting, cozy and inviting!

Gave the tomatoes a few quick fire burns with pesto. Same with broccoli. A decent dollop of pesto. Then combine everything and that’s it.

Healthy Pasta with Pesto Tomato and Broccoli is 30 minute pasta skillet recipe with pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Use gluten free if necessary. | ifoodreal.com

Seriously, this healthy pasta was awesome and simple! Use whole wheat or gluten free pasta. Use less cheese if you wish. I used pesto sparingly – only 1 tbsp per whole serving.

Kids picked out sun dried tomatoes but ate everything else. That works. Enjoy!

Healthy Pasta with Pesto Tomato and Broccoli is 30 minute pasta skillet recipe with pesto sauce, sun dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. Use gluten free if necessary. | ifoodreal.com

Healthy Pasta with Pesto, Tomato and Broccoli

Healthy Pasta with Pesto, Tomato and Broccoli


  • 2 cups whole wheat or gluten free any shape pasta, uncooked
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp pesto, divided (organic or all natural)
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 4 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp or more red pepper flakes


  1. Cook pasta as per package instructions, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, drain and set aside.
  2. While pasta is cooking, get all ingredients ready. Preheat large deep skillet on medium heat and add olive oil and garlic. Saute for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add 1 tbsp pesto, tomatoes and stir. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes and stir again. Cook another 1 - 2 minutes. Move to one side of the skillet and make sure the empty side of is positioned directly over heat. Add 1 tbsp pesto and broccoli, stir and cook for 4 minutes, stirring once.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and add remaining 1/4 cup pesto, sun dried tomatoes, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, pasta and pasta water. Stir gently and let flavours marinate for a few minutes. Do not cover because broccoli will become a mushy mess. I also like to add half Parmesan cheese in this step and the other half right before serving. Serve hot.
  4. Storage Instructions: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 - 5 days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving = 1 + 1/3 cups:
Calories: 239.1
Total Fat: 11.6 g
Cholesterol: 6.7 mg
Sodium: 423.5 mg
Total Carbs: 26.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 9.3 g
WW Points+: 6

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  1. Katie

    I’m confused about the 1/4 cup of pesto. I see where the 2 tbsp are added but do not see in the directions where the additional 1/4 cup is added. Thank you!

      • Jessica

        I am wondering where you found the preservative free pesto? Would love to buy that!!

        • Olena

          At my local farm market/small grocery store. I just went through many labels at each store until I found one. I live in Vancouver, BC and it’s our local company so unless you live where I live my store location won’t be helpful to you. Also check out health and organic stores and local farm markets. There are often Italian brands without preservatives. Italian deli and markets are a good place too.

  2. David

    nade this recipe just this evening and both my wife and I absolutely loved it. My one suggestion would be to sauté the broccoli first and add all the remaining ingredients prior to adding the tomatoes. Adding tomatoes to cooked food is all it takes to blister them and it keeps them from overcooking and becoming mushy. Otherwise I think the recipe is brilliant.

  3. Ann Marie

    Eating it right now. Very tasty, and easy. My husband hates sun-dried tomatos, but sometimes I just gotta.

  4. Lia

    This recipe is so quick, easy, and delicious! I made it twice in the past week. I leave out the sundried tomatoes because I don’t like them. Next time I may take the commenter’s suggestion of putting broccoli in first, but the cooked tomatoes and pasta water mix nicely together to make a sauce. Thanks for a great recipe!

  5. Jessica S

    I’m wondering if I could serve this cold. I have been pre-cooking dinners in the a.m since it has been very warm.

    • Olena

      Totally! 99% of my dinners are made early in the day, especially in summer. If food tastes good for you cold – go for it, no rules.

  6. Jessica S

    Thank you! It turned out great. I added some spinach in while the broccoli was cooking and added more pesto. This is a great recipe. Thank you!

  7. John

    First off – this looks awesome! Can’t wait to make it.

    Only thing that seems strange is your idea of healthy. Seems oils and fats are bad (which is not true), and if it were whole wheat pasta it would be good. The reality is that any flour or grain is a heavy carb that spikes insulin. So don’t hold back on the pesto, hold back on the pasta if you want it be healthy! 🙂

    • Olena

      Hi John. I do not think fats are bad. I don’t say it anywhere other the contrary. Especially plant based fats. Secondly, I cook 95% with whole wheat pasta. I explained in the post I used plain white organic pasta for this recipe because my kids like this shape and I can’t find it whole wheat. I do allow them it as a treat. So I think my idea of healthy is similar to yours. Glad to hear some people understand what healthy is! Because as I learnt many have their own understanding of healthy. Enjoy the recipe.

    • Olena

      Awesome. Any veggie “pasta” would work. I split pasta dishes in half a lot, to make with pasta for boys and lighter for me.

  8. Cristina

    This is a fantastic recipe. I will be adding this to my regular meal planning. Thanks.

  9. Patti

    When I entered this recipe fir calculation of smart points, it came out to 10 smart points per serving. Not as low fat as I wanted. I’m going to to eliminate the olive oil as unnecessary and reduce the amount of sundried tomatoes to 3 tbsp and the parmesan cheese to a fat free variety to see if that makes a difference.

    • Olena

      You know, you could do that but fats are not our enemy. Healthy plant-based fats like olive oil and even grass fed organic butter in moderation. Fat doesn’t make us fat. But it is up to you. Look it up.

  10. Mealia

    What a Great Recipe – I Made it for lunch today with wholemeal spaghetti, was Fantastic!! Thanks Olena!

  11. Barbara

    We love this!! I want to make and freeze it for a family with a new baby – how do you suggest it be re-heated? (Baked, thawed and microwaved???). Thanks for the yumminess!!

    • Olena

      Hi Barbara. Yes, fully cooked, thawed and microwaved. They would really appreciate it. I remember being so hungry while breastfeeding and having no time to cook. First time I had time and energy though to stock my freezer with cooked meals. It was a blessing.

  12. Julie

    Hi there, first timer here, saw this on Pinterest thought looked so tasty so making it tonight for dinner, thank you for sharing. Also have you thought of making your own pesto, look at anoregoncottage.com I freeze mine and it’s not too fiddly to make. It tastes unbelievably good and Jami uses sunflower seeds which makes it cheaper to make. Only has in it what you put in. I top mine with olive oil as she suggests and it stays a beautiful bright green. After you’ve made it once, there’s no going back!

    • Olena

      Thank you! I started to think about that because my basil plant is going crazy which is a good thing. I will definitely do that this summer! I miss quality pesto in winter.

  13. Margie Young

    Hi Olena,
    I enjoy your blog and your recipes so much, and I share them on (the dreaded) Facebook on my Fitness page often. I have always loved pasta and it is the one thing I have refused to convert completely to whole grain as I have improved my nutrition. It just isn’t the same! It was fate that brought this recipe to my email inbox as I sat down at my desk to eat my own dish of radiatore pasta with cherub tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil, and mushrooms. It’s so nice to see a healthfood blogger who doesn’t condemn white pasta. I eat mostly whole grains, and I keep my carb servings small – usually 1/2 cup (unlike when I was younger and inhaled piles and piles of it). But I don’t see anything wrong with having white pasta as a treat. Oh – and I also have had a similar journey to yours with pesto. I recently bought it to serve over pasta with shrimp that I found on sale (typically very expensive in Pittsburgh) as a treat for my husband. I stopped buying it years ago, even though I LOVE it, because it is so heavy on calories. I’ve decided to allow it back into my life once more. As a fitness coach and mom, I am also working up to blogging regularly, and yours serves as inspiration and guidance. I set up my blog page months ago, and it has collected dust ever since. Would love to change that! Thanks for your free thinking, your authenticity, and your love of flavor!
    Margie Young,
    Pittsburgh, PA

    • Olena

      Hi Margie. You have brightened my Canada Day even more! As I mature and become a more seasoned parent, wife and human being in general, I find inner piece and balance quite important. I find myself less and less involved in drama and black and white stuff. So, yes white pasta is OK as a treat. Organic preferable when I buy it. At a restaurant I won’t forbid my kids to order white pasta once a month. I am honestly over with extremes because that life is not real.
      I will try to stay true to myself as much as possible because that is what makes blogging fun. If blogging inspires you then do it. If reading other blogs inspires you then do it. If you don’t feel like working out for a week don’t do it. Whatever makes you happy. Have a great weekend! xoxo

  14. Peter

    Hi…i cooked this dish today and followed the recipe to a tee. Im eating it now…very delicious…i was concerned about the broccoli but it was cooked perfect. Thank you!

    • Olena

      Hi Peter. Yay! You shouldn’t be concerned about broccoli because you can eat it raw. I would only be concerned to overcook it which isn’t possible with the little cooking time I recommend.

  15. Amanda

    I made this for dinner last night and, oh my goodness, so yummy!! I used bow tie pasta, frozen broccoli, and a few pieces of chicken for added protein. This was seriously one of the best meals I’ve had in a while. And the best part is it is healthy and loaded with veggies! Thank you Olena. Your recipes are awesome. 🙂



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