Penne Pasta with Pesto Brussels Sprouts

Danielle Allen

Penne Pasta with Pesto Brussels Sprouts

Some people have mixed emotions when it comes to Brussels sprouts. They may think back to their childhood when they were forced to eat them at dinner or remember the mushy version that was served in their school cafeteria. But if you stroll by Brussels sprouts at the grocery store without a second glance, you may want to slow down and start adding them to your shopping cart. This cruciferous vegetable is small, but it has a long list of nutritional benefits. Brussels sprouts are low in fat, high in fiber and a great source of vitamins C, E and K. If that’s not enough to get you on board, they could also help lower your risk of colon cancer. Research is still being done on the topic, but a study called the Netherlands Cohort Study on Diet and Cancer found that women whose diets were high in cruciferous vegetables had a reduced risk of colon cancer. Other studies have not shown a correlation between the two, but it’s obvious that Brussels sprouts still have a lot to offer.

There are a variety of ways to enjoy this veggie. They can be roasted, sautéed or added to a pasta dish. The Brussels sprouts in this recipe are boiled just until they are tender and then tossed with pesto and parmesan cheese along with penne pasta. This dish is sure to please everyone at the dinner table-- and do away with any mixed emotions you may have had about Brussels sprouts.

Penne Pasta with Pesto Brussels Sprouts


  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 lb. whole grain penne pasta
  • 6 oz. jar  pesto
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • Grated parmesan cheese


  1. Boil noodles according to package directions. Add Brussels sprouts in the last 5 minutes of pasta cooking time. Drain.
  2. Stir in pesto followed by salt, mixing well.
  3. Top pasta with grated cheese and enjoy.

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