Join the photo a day group

This Broccoli Pesto Pasta Recipe Costs Just $6.07 To Make

$5 Dinner Ideas /

I recently created a cheap and cheerful recipe for you guys, and it went viral. It was this Vegemite pasta. It was super inexpensive, fast and easy.

As with anything viral online, I knew I shouldn’t have read the comments, but I read them. I did. And people mostly loved the easy recipe, but there were a small, vocal few who were aghast at the lack of vegetables in the dish. “WHERE IS THE NUTRITION?” they screamed through their screens.

Guys, I am bringing you the vegetables in this cheap and cheerful recipe. There’s green stuff. GREEN STUFF! Delicious green stuff, and the recipe costs just $6.07 to throw together {priced with products from my local Woolworths}.

Most pastas at Woolies are around $1, so using that as a starting point for a cheap meal is a good idea. Unlike the Vegemite Pasta this dish, this is packed with freshness and zest – from the basil and lemon. One of the smartest things you can do at home is make a little herb garden, so that you don’t have to buy herbs from the supermarket. Me, well… my neighbour is the master herb gardener and I just borrow from her. Smart, right?

Broccoli Pesto Pasta Recipe


300g dried penne pasta

1 handful fresh basil

1 tablespoon olive oil

40g Parmesan cheese, grated

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tablespoon dried chilli flakes

50g pine nuts

1 head of broccoli, cut into florets


  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water as per the packet instructions. Pop the broccoli florets into the boiling pasta water for the last 3 minutes of cooking, to cook the broccoli. Drain.
  2. In a dry frying pan, toast the pine nuts until golden brown. Keep a few aside to top your cooked pasta dish with.
  3. While the pasta and broccoli is cooking, place the basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, garlic, and chilli flakes into a food processor and blitz. Stir, and then blitz again. Add 1 tablespoon of the boiling water if you need to bring it together a little more.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, broccoli and pesto. Serve! If you like things cheesy, top with extra Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts.