This recipe tastes way too good to be as simple as it is! It takes about 20 minutes to make and pairs well with most main dishes. You could easily make this simple side dish into a main dish if you added some grilled chicken breasts. Not only is this recipe super easy to make, the flavors are refreshing. The hint of lemon combined with buttery sauteed garlic is delightful! This budget-friendly broccoli pasta salad is sure to be a family favorite!
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 | Total time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4
- 1 lb penne pasta noodles
- 2 lbs broccoli, chopped into florets
- 4 TBSP grass-fed butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1.5 tsp minced garlic)
- 4 handfuls of fresh spinach
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (just a few dashes if you're super sensitive to spice!)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. While you're waiting for the water to boil, wash and chop broccoli. 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.
- 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.
- Stir the spinach into the garlic butter over low heat still. 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.
- 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.
- Sprinkle salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes over the broccoli and pasta. Dump cheese on top and stir everything together.
- Lastly, pour the sauteed lemon-garlic spinach over the pasta including all the juices from the saucepan. Give the broccoli pasta salad a good stir until the ingredients are evenly combined.
- Serve warm (room temp) & enjoy!