Shrimp and Broccoli Penne Pasta

4.15 stars average

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A fast and easy weeknight dinner recipe, the whole family will love this lemony, garlicky, shrimp and broccoli penne pasta recipe.

Shrimp and broccoli penne.

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: To make things easier, they can often be bought peeled and deveined from the store. Shrimp are small, plump bites of buttery, tender protein.
  • 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 in place of butter.

How to Make Shrimp and Broccoli Penne

Cutting broccoli

Start your shrimp and broccoli penne by washing and cutting your broccoli. You can use just the broccoli florets, but I love using the stalk as long as its cut into bite sized pieces.

Boiling pasta

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente.

Adding broccoli to pasta

Add the broccoli to the pot of pasta about 4 minutes before finished and cook to a bright green color. Then drain and set both broccoli and pasta aside.

Seasoning raw shrimp

While the pasta and broccoli are cooking, you can pat dry and season your shrimp with salt and pepper.

Pan frying shrimp

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.

Adding pasta and broccoli to shrimp

Once shrimp is cooked, add the reserved pasta and broccoli to the pan.

Drizzling pasta with olive oil

Drizzle with remaining olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Freshly grating garlic

Add the fresh lemon zest, and I also like to add more freshly grated garlic.

Freshly grating parmesan cheese

Finish with the freshly grated parmesan cheese before tossing everything together, making sure it’s all evenly coated with the sauce and warmed through.

Forkful of shrimp and broccoli penne.

Serve with additional parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley. Enjoy your Shrimp and Broccoli Penne!

Easy Substitutions

  • 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.
  • Swap the veggie. Instead of broccoli, use zucchini, carrots, or leafy greens.

Frequently asked questions

Is it better to peel shrimp before cooking?

It definitely saves you time, and will make the dish easier to eat. However leaving the shell on while you cook actually adds to the flavor, and helps protect the meat from getting overcooked.

Should I soak shrimp before cooking?

Soaking your shrimp in a brine before cooking can help to keep them moist and prevent them from overcooking. Submerge your shrimp in water with a few tsp of salt and chill for about 30 minutes before cooking if you’d like, but it’s not required to get good shrimp at home.

How long does cooked shrimp last?

For this dish in particular, keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days.

Shrimp and broccoli penne.

More Seafood

Eat It, Like It, Share It!

Did you try this shrimp recipe? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your meal.

Liz eating shrimp and broccoli penne.

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

Shrimp and Broccoli Penne

4.15 stars average
A fast and easy weeknight dinner recipe, the whole family will love this lemony, garlicky, shrimp and broccoli penne pasta.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 20 minutes
TOTAL: 30 minutes


  • 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.

Last Step:

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Calories: 445kcalCarbohydrates: 47.7gProtein: 32.2gFat: 17.7gSaturated Fat: 1.8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 754mgFiber: 6.1gSugar: 0.4g
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34 responses to “Shrimp and Broccoli Penne Pasta”

  1. Alisa Ewert Avatar
    Alisa Ewert

    We are making food day on upcoming Sunday And I need to represent such Amazing Dish, I found best recipe.

    Thank You

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad! Enjoy!

  2. Tara Avatar

    This looks delicious! Could it be a cold salad as well?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I don’t see why not!

  3. Katherine Avatar

    Absolutely delicious, so glad I found this but to add more flavor cook the pasta in low sodium. Chicken broth you won’t regret it…

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I’m so glad to hear it!

  4. Courtney Avatar

    Just got done eating it… AMAZING! So simple and filling and flavorful. Thank you for the tasty recipe!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So glad you liked it Courtney!!

      1. Shannon Avatar

        Anything similar but low sodium? Thanks

        1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
          Liz DellaCroce

          In order to reduce the sodium just look for low sodium shrimp and don’t add salt. :)

  5. jennai Avatar

    These are so nice to make. So i have to try once

  6. another lady Avatar
    another lady

    still no mention of lemon in the recipe ingredient list

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      All fixed now – sorry about that!

  7. Liz Avatar

    Nice and easy. Thank you Liz

  8. Ruthie Avatar

    This recipe looks great! I realized the instruction call for lemon but the ingredients don’t list lemons. How much lemon juice/zest does this recipe call for?


    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So sorry about that! The recipe is now revised to include the lemons!

  9. another lady Avatar
    another lady

    you mention that this dish is ‘lemony’ and state to add lemon juice and zest in the recipe, but do not have lemon listed in the ingredients…?

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So sorry about that! The recipe has been revised now to include the lemons. :)

  10. Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It Avatar
    Marina @ A Dancer’s Live-It

    Penne, shrimp, and broccoli is probably my favorite combination EVER for a pasta dish. Thank you so much for sharing Liz! Your photos are stunning.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thank you so much Marina!! My photographer is so talented!