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Lemon Broccoli Pasta in Serving Bowl
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4.88 from 8 votes

25 Minute Lemon Broccoli Pasta

25 Minute Lemon Broccoli Pasta is an easy weeknight meal and fabulous entertaining option all wrapped into one! It is surprisingly fast and easy, yet full of bright, fresh flavors that everyone will enjoy.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 382kcal


  • 8 cups broccoli florets about 1 ½ lbs or 4 heads cut into florets
  • 1 lb penne pasta or substitute bow tie pasta
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese plus more for serving if desired
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add about 1 tbsp kosher salt. Cook the broccoli for 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon or sieve and set aside.
  • Return the water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions (about 10-12 minutes). Before draining, reserve 1-2 tbsp of the pasta water in a small cup. Then drain pasta and set aside with broccoli.
  • In a large skillet, melt butter and oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and lemon zest and cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and add pepper, salt, and lemon juice. Stir well. Add the cooked broccoli, pasta, parmesan cheese, and 1 tbsp of reserved pasta water to the skillet. Stir well, adding additional pasta water if needed to reach desired consistency. Top with extra parmesan or toasted pine nuts if desired.


Tips & Tricks
  • Double check that your broccoli florets are similar in size to ensure they cook evenly. I aim for bite size (or slightly larger) pieces. 
  • Use FRESH lemons. Please, please promise to only use real lemons for this recipe (none of that pre-juiced stuff).
  • Use REAL parmesan cheese. The powdery cheese from the green can is. not. the. same. This recipe turns out with the quality of the ingredients you use.
Serving to a Crowd
If you are doubling the recipe, boil the broccoli in two rounds (so as to not overcrowd the pot). Additionally, use two large skillets instead of one (make one recipe of sauce in each skillet).
Keeping Pasta Warm Before Serving
Fill slow cooker with 1 inch of water 30-60 minutes before it is needed. Turn on high. When pasta is ready, dump the water out and turn the heat to “keep warm.” Add the pasta and cover with the lid until serving time.


Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 427mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 791IU | Vitamin C: 84mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 2mg