Cooking with Coco: Broccoli Pepita Pesto Pasta

Cooking Connection: Broccoli Pepita Pesto Pasta

DULUTH, Minn. – This is a great dish that can be served warm or cold!

A 10-ounce box of frozen broccoli pieces works great in this recipe as a substitute for fresh.

Grapeseed or vegetable oil can also be substituted for olive oil.

If you prefer a more subtle garlic flavor, use 1/2 teaspoon of granulated garlic for fresh.

3 ounces of Smoked Salmon or a can of rinsed beans can be added for protein.


1/2 package whole wheat penne pasta cooked and chilled

3 tablespoons olive oil divided

1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup Hot water

2 cups Fresh broccoli chopped and steamed

1/4 cup grated Romano or parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

2 large cloves garlic, peeled

3 ounces smoked salmon diced, optional


Cook whole wheat penne pasta as directed, rinse and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Chill until ready to use.

Place broccoli, hot water, cheese, basil, shelled pumpkin seeds, oil, and garlic in a food processor or blender, cover. Process until smooth. Set Aside.

Toss broccoli pesto with pasta. Stir in Salmon and season with coarsely ground black pepper.

Chef’s notes

Leftover pesto freezes beautifully in ice cube trays.
Cooked fresh salmon can be used instead of smoked if you want to make this a hot dish.
Any type of pasta works well, cook according to box directions.

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