A fast and easy weeknight dinner recipe, the whole family will love this lemony, garlicky, shrimp and broccoli penne pasta.
This dish is the perfect culmination of my family: it has pasta for my husband, shrimp for my boys, and broccoli for me. Add in the fact that it’s quick, tasty, and doesn’t dirty a lot of dishes? Sign me up! If you don’t often cook seafood at home, I still urge you to try this Shrimp and Broccoli Penne. It might just convert you to cooking shrimp or fish more often!
- Penne pasta: I like penne for being bite-sized, but you can use whatever pasta you have on hand.
- Shrimp: They can often be bought peeled and deveined, they are small, plump bites of buttery, tender flavor.
- Garlic: Nutty, earthy, and cooks to be sweet and aromatic.
- Broccoli: Low in calories, high in fiber, iron, potassium, and vitamins, broccoli is a great vegetable to include in your daily meals.
- Lemon: This recipe uses both the juice and zest of a lemon, adding a bright, acidic, fresh flavor to the meal.
- Parmesan cheese: Nutty and somewhat fruity in flavor, its a hard cheese that pairs wonderfully with pasta dishes.
- Olive oil: A light, heart healthy oil to help dress and sauce the dish.
How to Make Shrimp and Broccoli Penne
Start by washing and cutting your broccoli.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.
Add the broccoli to the pot of pasta about 4 minutes before finished to cook to a bright green color. Then drain and set both broccoli and pasta aside.
While the pasta and broccoli is cooking, you can pat dry and season your shrimp with salt and pepper.
Then heat some olive oil in a pan and add the garlic, sautéing until aromatic, no more than 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and sauté until pink, about 3-4 minutes.
Once shrimp is cooked, add the reserved pasta and broccoli to the pan.
Drizzle with remaining olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
Add the fresh lemon zest, and I also like to add more freshly grated garlic.
Finish with the freshly grated parmesan cheese before tossing everything together, making sure it’s all evenly coated with the sauce and warmed through.
Serve with additional parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley. Enjoy your Shrimp and Broccoli Penne!
- Don’t like seafood? Don’t worry, you can swap the shrimp out for chicken, or even sausage.
- Make it gluten-free. Use a gluten-free pasta and this dish is celiac friendly.
Frequently asked questions:
Can you cook already cooked shrimp?
Yes you can, but you don’t have to worry about getting them to a specific temperature. Just cook them until the sides start turning golden brown.
How do you season frozen shrimp?
I recommend thawing them before cooking, then follow the same instructions of patting them dry, then seasoning with salt and pepper.
How long does cooked shrimp last?
In this dish in particular, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days.
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A hit for the whole family, my Shrimp and Broccoli Penne will make dinner easy and delicious.
Your fork is waiting.
Shrimp and Broccoli Penne
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne (cooked according to package instructions)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 1 pound raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cloves garlic (grated)
- 2 large heads broccoli – cut into florets (about 4 cups)
- 1 juice and zest of lemon
- parmesan cheese (minced parsley or basil and red chili flakes – to serve)
- chili flakes and parmesan cheese (optional garnish)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, adding the broccoli to cook during the last 3 to 4 minutes. Strain and set aside.
- Pat shrimp dry with paper towel then sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and heat for 30 seconds to release aroma then add the shrimp.
- Sauté shrimp in the pan until they turn pink, just 3-4 minutes total, being careful not to overcook.
- Add reserved pasta and broccoli to the pan with the shrimp. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Toss well and add more salt or pepper to taste.
- Serve with parmesan cheese, minced herbs, and red chili flakes.