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pasta salad with broccoli in a bowl with lemon and cheese on the side

Simple Broccoli Pasta Salad


This Simple Broccoli Pasta Salad is a quick and easy side dish that is light and refreshing.


  • 1 lb penne pasta noodles
  • 2 lbs broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 4 TBSP grass-fed butter
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1.5 tsp minced garlic)
  • 4 handfuls of organic spinach
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • dash to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (just a few dashes if you don’t like it spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot.
    1. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, wash and chop broccoli.
    2. Once the water is boiling, add the noodles. After the noodles have been cooking for 4-5 minutes, add the broccoli to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes or until noodles and broccoli are fork-tender. The noodles shouldn’t need to cook for more than 12 minutes total.
  2. While the broccoli and noodles are cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir the spinach into the garlic butter over low heat. Zest 1 lemon over the spinach, then squeeze the juice from the lemon. Stir everything together once or twice. Turn the heat off and finish the noodles/broccoli.
  4. At this point, the noodles and broccoli should be cooked. Dump the noodles and broccoli into a colander to drain excess water then place the drained noodles and broccoli in a large serving bowl.
  5. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes over the broccoli and pasta. Dump cheese on top and stir everything together.
  6. Lastly, pour the sauteed lemon-garlic spinach over the pasta including all the juices from the saucepan. Stir until the ingredients are evenly combined.
  7. Serve warm (room temperature)
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop