Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad

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A fabulous pasta salad loaded with vibrant, fresh lemon flavours, parmesan cheese and the goodness of broccolini. One of my favorite spring salads!

overhead of Lemon Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad in a pot with serving utensils

This pasta salad screams of spring! I love the bright green broccolini and the  Lemon Dressing is fabulous!

Did you know….when it comes to lemon anything, if you really want lemon flavour, you can’t just use lemon juice. You have to use the zest. The zest is where all the lemon flavour is! Lemon juice is a bit lemony, but it is mainly just sour. So that’s a little tip for you!

prepping Lemon Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad in a white dish

Pasta salads are my “go to” for pot lucks, standby make ahead meals and grab ‘n go lunches during warmer months. I love that they last for days and are usually even better the next day once the flavours have had a chance to meld together.

I have a theory that you can use almost any vegetable to make a truly great pasta salad. And I think this is a good example of it. When you think of broccolini, you probably don’t immediately think of pasta salad! But it is a fabulous pairing. ESPECIALLY with that Lemon Dressing.

And parmesan.

Parmesan cheese really is a magic ingredient. It adds umami, a savouriness to anything that you add it to. And it’s what really takes this to the next level and brings the whole thing together.

Plus, parmesan and lemon are a beautiful pairing, don’t you think?

This recipe makes a BIG batch. Because it keeps so well!

PS I like making this with broccolini rather than broccoli because the shape of it makes it easier to cut into a size suitable for using in a pasta salad. However, you could use broccoli as well, just cut into small florets and proceed with recipe! close up of Lemon Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad in a serving pot

Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad is the perfect make ahead potluck dish filled with delicious lemon parmesan flavor!  Add some grilled chicken to make it a complete meal!

overhead of Lemon Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad in a pot with serving utensils
5 from 2 votes
Review Recipe

Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 8
Author Nagi
One of my favorite spring pasta salads! The bright, fresh lemon flavour in this is just wonderful!


  • 1 pound mini penne (or other pasta of choice)
  • 3 bunches broccolini
  • ¾ - 1 cup parmesan cheese grated
  • ¼ cup parsley or basil, finely chopped

Lemon Dressing

  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove , minced
  • 2 teaspoon white sugar
  • Salt and pepper

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  • Trim ends then cut broccolini into 2.5” lengths.
  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
  • Add broccolini and cook for 1 ½ minutes. Take them out of the hot water using tongs, and transfer to colander. Run under cold tap water to stop them cooking further.
  • Add pasta into the same pot of boiling water. Cook per packet directions. Drain then rinse with water. Cool.
  • Place Dressing ingredients in a jar. Shake well.
  • Place pasta in a very large bowl. Add broccolini, parsley and parmesan cheese (start with 3/4 cup, add more if you want). Drizzle with Dressing and toss well. Adjust salt and and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature!

Recipe Notes

1. Adjust salt and pepper at the end because the parmesan adds plenty of flavour and salt.
2. Storage: This pasta keeps for 2 days in the fridge, just toss well and serve at room temperature. It may benefit from a fresh grating of lemon zest and squeeze of lemon juice.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 449, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 388mg, Potassium: 165mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1454IU, Vitamin C: 64mg, Calcium: 318mg, Iron: 2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Pasta, Salad
Cuisine American

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closeup of Lemon Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad
overhead of Lemon Broccolini Parmesan Pasta Salad, closeup of pasta salad
About the author


Nagi is the voice, cook and photographer behind RecipeTin Eats, [Australia’s top food blog]. She believes that anyone can make amazing food with everyday ingredients, even if you’re short on time and cost conscious.

Nagi walked away from a corporate career to follow her passion for food. She truly believes that great food brings family and friends together, and more smiles into your life. She also firmly believes that whoever invented cheese deserves a Nobel Prize.

More Posts by Nagi

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