This broccoli pesto penne is an easy 25-minute one-pot dinner, sponsored by Barilla! Thanks for supporting the brands that keep Healthy Liv up and running.
As I started writing this post, I started having major cravings for this pasta all over again! I’m actually typing this up in D.C., where I had a conference for one of my campus organizations this weekend. Traveling is so fun, but I do always miss cooking and having homemade meals.
I love the feeling of coming home from a trip, going to the grocery store to fill up my empty fridge, and enjoying meals at home again after lots of eating out. And one of my newest easy homemade meals is this broccoli pesto penne with chicken sausage.The three main ingredients, which all happen to be pantry/fridge staples for me, make it incredibly fast (we’re talking 25 minutes):
Quick sauce: a great jarred pesto
Quick protein: fully-cooked chicken sausage
Quick grain: pasta
For this recipe, I used Barilla ProteinPLUS pasta. It has 17 grams of protein in just 3.5 ounce serving, and the protein comes from chickpeas, lentils, and egg whites. I was a little apprehensive the first time I tried it because I thought the extra protein might change the taste or texture, but it really does taste just like any other pasta I’ve had! And the extra protein is great fuel for an active lifestyle!For this pasta recipe, I save steps and dishes by using only one pan. You can actually cook the broccoli right along with the pasta! I just add the broccoli during the final three minutes or so of the pasta’s cooking time. It’s a little bit of a balancing act to cook both the pasta and broccoli perfectly, but the most important thing is to not let the pasta get overcooked.
I can handle cooking in the dorm kitchen, but I really try to avoid having to wash many dishes. Because if anything needs to soak, I have to fill it with water and leave it in the shared kitchen for an hour or two (oops) or lug it back to my room. So, I made this broccoli pesto penne a one-pot meal to minimize dish-washing as much as possible.
And if you try this broccoli pesto penne, feel free to take a picture and tag me @livbane on Instagram or let me know in a comment!
Pesto Penne with Broccoli and Chicken Sausage
- 8 oz. penne pasta (I used Barilla ProteinPLUS)
- 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 12 oz. package fully-cooked Italian chicken sausage
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons pesto
- 1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- Chop the broccoli into small florets while bringing a pot of water to boil. Add the pasta to the boiling water and first cook the pasta 3 minutes less than the lowest cooking time listed on the package. For example, if the package says to cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes, set a timer for five minutes.
- At the five minute mark, add the chopped broccoli florets to the boiling water and cook for three more minutes, until both pasta and broccoli are cooked. Be careful not to overcook pasta. Reserve half a cup of the pasta water, then drain pasta and broccoli into a colander and set aside.
- Return the pan to the stove on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, and then add sliced chicken sausage, chopped onions, and minced garlic. Cook until the chicken sausage is slightly browned and onions are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Return pasta and broccoli to the pan, add pesto and parmesan cheese, and stir to combine. Add reserved pasta cooking water if needed and then serve immediately.
So tell me…what are your favorite pasta dishes lately? Feel free to drop links and share recipes!