Broccoli Pesto Couscous Risotto

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


An easy and fast riff on risotto using whole wheat pearl couscous and a simple broccoli pesto.




  • 1 cup broccoli florets and peeled stems
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons crushed almonds
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Water, as needed


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup whole wheat pearl couscous
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese


  • Toasted almond slivers, for topping
  • Chili flakes, for topping
  • Parsley, for topping


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and have an ice bath ready. Add the broccoli to the pot and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Broccoli should be bright green and mostly tender. Transfer broccoli to the ice bath to stop the cooking.
  • Combine ingredients for the broccoli in a blender or food processor. Puree until the broccoli is in small pieces/the sauce is mostly smooth. Add the broccoli blanching water as needed to thin the puree enough to combine everything. I like the puree to be on the slightly thick side.
  • Heat a pan with tall sides over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil followed by the minced garlic. Stir in the couscous and toast for a minute or so. Measure in wine. Cook until most of the wine is gone, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 15 minutes or so. The couscous should be tender and most of the liquid absorbed. When there’s a small amount of liquid left, reduce the heat to low and add the mascarpone cheese along with the broccoli mixture. Cook until hot and serve with a sprinkle of toasted almond slivers.


Tips & Tricks: Make the broccoli pesto ahead of time to make the prep work quick for this risotto.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: broccoli, pearl couscous, almonds

Nutrition:  see the information.


  • Calories: 551
  • Sugar: 1.5
  • Sodium: 146
  • Fat: 21.2
  • Saturated Fat: 7
  • Carbohydrates: 72.7
  • Fiber: 4.9
  • Protein: 14.7
  • Cholesterol: 31.4