Broccoli Pasta Salad

Broccoli pasta saladAs I’ve mentioned in previous posts I am trying to eat more salads this season. I had a big salad phase last summer, and it was awesome. It was mainly due to my obsession with the Dillon’s salad bar (that’s a grocery store where we live). Grocery store salad bars are awesome. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Anyway, there’s this salad on the bar that’s made with broccoli, pasta and… uh… bacon. My main issues with this salad are:

1. Too much pasta, not enough broccoli. It’s a pretty carb-heavy salad choice.
2. LOTS of dressing. And it’s creamy. I have no idea how many calories are in one serving but it’s got to be bad.
3. Bacon. Although yummy, I don’t eat bacon. That’s just me.
4. This salad is too delicious!!!!!!

You can see my conundrum. So I decided to try and create my own, slightly healthier, version.Best pasta saladBroccoli Pasta Salad, serves 2-3 as a main course (more if serving as a side dish).

2 large heads of broccoli
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 ounces uncooked pasta (I like to use spirals)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayo
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon seseame seeds
salt + pepperBroccoli salad ingredientsChop up the broccoli into bite size pieces. In a bowl combine the broccoli, onion and garlic.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and immediately add the hot pasta to the broccoli bowl. The hot pasta will slightly soften the broccoli.

Combine the yogurt, mayo, vinegar, oil and seeds. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Stir the dressing and cheese into the broccoli and pasta bowl.Creamy broccoli pasta saladServe cold. This is a great salad to make ahead and take to a picnic or serve alongside side burgers or hot dogs at a cook out. If you have leftovers you can store in a sealed container in the refrigerator overnight. Enjoy and happy salad days! xo. Emma

P.S. For more pasta salad ideas, check out these 3 easy pasta salad dressings!

  • I didn’t have sesame seeds, so I threw in some chia seeds and also added some shrimp- DIVINE. The perfect lunch to take to work since there’s no heating necessary 🙂 Yummy, thanks!

  • It’s always thrilling for me when I actually own all the ingredients to one of your recipes – this is a great upgrade to the macaroni ‘n cheese/broccoli mix I usually make!!


  • I made this! Very good. Though, I might have cut my florets too big. And definitely too much pasta. The dressing didn’t cover everything 🙁 But still good lol.

  • On Thursday we got 2 heads of broccoli in our CSA veggies and then this recipe was posted on Friday. I took it as a sign and made it this weekend since my husband and I have the same complaints about broccoli salad (except he loves bacon).

    This recipe was excellent!! The two of us ate it within the day. The light, slightly sour dressing was so much better than salads drowned in mayo (and I love mayo so that is saying something)

    The only change we made was to omit the onion (it had gone bad) so we added raisins for some sweetness. If you do add raisins my tip would be to add them when you serve the salad as they sucked up a lot of moisture.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • I definitely have to try this recipe! It looks delicious.

    Brittanny //

  • Bacon and broccoli pasta is one of my all time favourites, will have to try out this version! X

  • This is one of my favorite meals to do (sometimes I do it warm as well and with whole wheat pasta); it’s so simple, healthy and yummy <3

  • This looks SO tasty!! Perfect summer salad 🙂

    Alex from

  • Is that whole wheat pasta? Looks like it. I’m trying to eat more of it. This looks tasty!

  • this recipe sound so good!
    xx Stephanie (

  • Oh my goodness, YUM! I love broccoli salad but hate the calories in it…thank you for making a healthier version, I can’t wait to try it!!!

  • That looks delicious! I may have to make it for one because my fiance HATES broccoli but I love it!! He also hates cauliflower. Any idea what to substitute instead of those two veggies?

  • Well, I love broccoli salad and I love pasta salad. They look great together!

  • so simple and delicious!
    broccoli is such an underrated vegetable 🙂

  • Since i have always been a stubborn child, I never really gave a chance to broccoli, but this recipe looks delicious, so I just might give it a try this weekend…have to, I mean, I grew up now…I’m an adult I’m sure I’ll love broccoli like all the other adults I know! Haha 😉

  • I don’t eat bacon either- you’re version is right up my alley!

    Dana Ivy – Check out my blog!!

  • I like being able to see the different ideas people use to create meals with veggies.

  • oo, i have all these ingredients just sitting around. I love when things like this fall together. 🙂 Broccoli is amazing.

  • I never used broccoli in a pasta salad before but it looks delicious! This is a must try!

  • Yum! I love cold pasta.

  • Broccoli may be one of my most favourite vegetables and I am super excited to make this salad! The health benefits of greens far outweigh the yumminess of bacon so… I will resist the urge to put it in!

    Nic x

  • This looks absolutely delicious! I love broccoli both on its own and in dishes like pasta! 🙂
    Celina | The Celution

  • This looks yummy and oh so healthy! Gotta give it a try. Perfect for a summers day and it’s always so sunny here in Malaysia : )

  • This looks super good! If I made it, I’d add raisins and bacon bits too. 🙂

  • YUM. I will have to try this. I’ve been getting excited about pasta salads lately – just today my eyes were opened to a tortellini pesto pasta salad that blew my mind.

  • Yum! This looks so delicious! Don’t you love greek yogurt?? I use it in place of so many different (unhealthier) options!

  • I just came back from a garden party, where I talked with a friend, about how much we like to eat salads. This one looks so good too.

  • i must make this. looks amazing.

    – Janine

  • This looks delicious! Definitely something to take to the next bbq I attend or host! Thanks so much for sharing dear.

    Best, x

  • That looks seriously delicious…although I’m now gluten-free so I’ll have to use brown rice pasta. Thanks for the recipe!

  • This looks so delicious! I do similar ones like this but will try this one too 🙂

    Lulu xx

  • MMM this looks delicious! Looks like the perfect bbq side dish!


  • Looks delish! I’ll have to give this a go for sure!


  • In Italy we make broccoli pasta in a very quick and really tasteful way, i.e.: peel two potatoes and chop them into little cubes; when the water boils, put salt and throw the potatoes cubes in it, then after two minutes add the broccoli divided into little “flowers”. After other two minutes put the pasta to cook in the same water with potatoes and broccoli. In the meanwhile, put in an frying pan three or four spoons of extra virgin olive oil and add: 1 piece of garlic + a spoon of cappers + a little piece of red chilli pepper + 1 o 2 anchoves. Let them fry and melt together and when the pasta is ready, just strain the pasta and throw it, potatoes and broccoli in the pan, mix well and add a little pasta cooking water if it seems to be a little dry. Now you can add some parmisan cheese if you like. That’s all, delicious and longer to tell than to make. Buon appetito!!!

  • Easy peasy, Im going to make this for lunch tomorrow 🙂
    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

  • This looks great and I’ve got a plan to make it vegan friendly. 🙂 Definately gonna be needed if the weather stays this hot in the UK! ^^; Thanks for sharing. x

  • This looks absolutely delicious, I love Broccoli is one of my favorite veggies and I’ve never thouht to add it to pasta salad. I usually am just lazy when it comes to pasta salad and buy Suddenly Salad.


  • I have never tried a broccoli pasta before. This recipe is worth a try! It looks yummy!

  • I have to try this! looks amazing and sure it tastes too! 🙂
    Happy friday!

  • Yum! The yogurt is an interesting choice. I think I may just need to veganise this. It looks too good to pass up. And easy to box up and take to work 🙂

  • fgn;lkdfsnsn! This looks amazing! I had a broccoli pasta tonight but it wasn’t anywhere near as delicious looking as this. I must try!

  • That looks so good! I love broccoli, especially cold in the summer!

  • Yum. I like bacon but not the way it gets kind of soggy in salads like this.

  • Looks amazing!! Honestly? The creaminess drew me in. 🙂

  • Broccoli is my favourite vegetable, and I have some just waiting to be eaten. I’m going through a salad phase at the moment too, partly as part of a diet, and partly because it’s too hot to eat anything else. So maybe I was just waiting for this recipe to come along 🙂 It looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it

  • I have been on a pancetta kick to replace bacon in all the recipes that seem to call for it these days! I can’t wait to make this and add it in 🙂 Thanks for the healthier version!

  • The best veggie bacon is homemade with tempeh. Simmer it in soy sauce for twenty minutes, slice it, brown it in toasted sesame oil. Crumble it for salads, or add it to sammies. Yum yum yummy! This salad looks delicious!

  • Yum! I would exclude the mayo (i just cant eat it) but this recipe looks great!

    Juliette Laura

  • Looks good, gonna try switching things up with more Greek yogurt and less mayo. I just really, really like mayo.

  • I’m also obsessed with Dillon’s salad bar! 🙂

    This looks fantastic! I love broccoli salads, but I also run into the too-much-dressing + bacon issues. Thanks for posting!

  • I LOVE broccoli and I was searching for a recipe like that but with less calories. Thanks for sharing your version. I may give it a try real soon. 🙂

  • that looks yum, yummy!!

    xo : jade

  • we served a very similar version of this at my nephew’s “bow tie” birthday party with…wait for it… bowtie pasta.

  • This looks delicious! Do you use full fat greek yogurt in this recipe?

  • i’m going to make this sans cheese to take on a day trip tomorrow. thanks for the recipe!

  • This salad looks delicious! I love the abundance of broccoli. It’s one of my favorite vegetables. I hate when salad are drenched in those unhealthy, calorie filled dressings. This one looks like a great recipe.


  • I am a huge fan of the Dillon’s salad bar, too! It was on the dinner short list when I was in college at KU. My roommate and I would get a salad at Dillon’s and a diet A&W root beer. That was the life:) I’ll have to try this recipe. It looks delicious. Hope you’re having a great day!

  • Oh I have to try this! It looks really good. Perhaps some sort of pea would be good in it too, I think. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Sounds good! I love pasta salads. I use whole wheat pasta because in a salad like this you really can’t tell a difference.
    Happy Friday girls!

  • Can’t wait to try this! I’m a vegetarian so love that you omitted the bacon!

  • love broccoli pasta salads! i have the same problem though… the calories. definitely going to give this one a try, although i may throw that bacon right back in 😉

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