“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”
Happy weekend ya’ll! What better way to start the weekend off right than with this Broccoli Pasta Salad! I hope you love broccoli and pasta salads because this one is a real winner!
For as far back as I can remember, I have loved broccoli and cauliflower. I know, that’s so weird because most kids hate those particular veggies but I have always had a love for them.
I can distinctly remember the first “meal” I ever cooked, and yes, it involved broccoli. Looking back, I still can’t believe my Granny let me cook it – or that she actually ate it and told me it was good. I hope Jesus forgave her for lying that day! haha!
My mom didn’t let me in the kitchen much growing up so I never really learned how to cook. One night I was over at Granny’s house and I wanted to cook so bad.
I loved broccoli and cheese and Granny always had both on hand (always sharp cheddar for my Granny, which also happens to be another favorite food of mine!) so I had the bright idea of chopping up some broccoli and tossing it on a baking sheet with some (far too thickly) sliced cheddar cheese.
I baked this concoction until the cheese melted and then served it to Granny with Ranch Dressing. I thought it was delicious and was so proud of my very first meal to ever cook!
Looking back, that’s one of my favorite memories in the kitchen. Granny even left the kitchen and sat in the living room reading a book while I cooked “dinner”, which made me feel so grown!
My recipes have evolved slightly since that day many years ago, but I still put just as much love and pride into what I create and this Broccoli Pasta Salad is no exception.
I chose to use this Protein Plus Penne pasta for my pasta salad.
My philosophy on eating pasta is that if I’m going to eat it, I want it to at least gave some form of nutritional value.
This Protein Plus pasta was what I was able to find at my local grocery store that fit the bill but any pasta made out of chickpeas or that has vegetables in it is always a good option!
Start out by rinsing two crowns of broccoli under cool water.
Once the broccoli is rinsed, cut the crown into broccoli florets by removing the long stem and leaving small, short stems and broccoli pieces.
Place your broccoli florets in a large mixing bowl.
Grab a head of cauliflower and chop 2 cups worth off of the head of cauliflower.
Rinse the cauliflower under cool water, then cut into florets the same way you did the broccoli.
Add the cauliflower into the bowl with the broccoli.
Slice a purple onion in half and remove the papery, outer skin.
Dice the purple onion into very small pieces and add it to the mixing bowl with the cauliflower and broccoli.
Grate 1/2 cup of Colby Jack Cheese and 1/2 cup of white cheddar cheese and add them in the bowl with your broccoli, cauliflower, and purple onion.
Now that your vegetables and cheese are present and accounted for, it’s time to add in the ingredients for the sauce in this Broccoli Pasta Salad.
1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup real, Olive Oil Mayo
2 tablespoons Ranch Dip Seasoning
Stir the Ranch seasoning along with the mayo and Greek yogurt into the Broccoli Pasta Salad.
Cook 5 ounces of pasta until al dente (any kind will do), drain the water from the pasta and rinse in cold water.
Add the cooked pasta into your other ingredients in the mixing bowl.
Once the pasta has been added, stir everything really well until all ingredients are well combined and coated in the sauce.
As you can see, I didn’t start out with a large enough bowl and had to transfer everything to a large bowl for the stirring.
Now that everything is mixed together, you’re almost finished but not quite!
Cook 5 pieces of turkey bacon in a nonstick skillet until crispy on both sides, remove from the skillet, and crumble into small pieces.
Place the crumbled turkey bacon into the bowl with your Broccoli Pasta Salad and yep, you guess it, stir again.
Okay folks, it’s time to dig in!
You can either serve the Broccoli Pasta Salad immediately or cover it and place it in the fridge to chill.
Wondering what to serve this fabulous pasta salad with? If you’re having a BBQ, Potluck, or any type of cookout this summer, this is a great pasta salad to bring along!
Thank you for stopping by my kitchen today and allowing me to share with you a treasured memory and a delicious recipe.
I hope you’ll come back soon and visit with me!
Broccoli Pasta Salad
A creamy, delicious pasta salad with crunchy broccoli, crispy bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, and the wonderful flavor of Ranch seasoning.
- 2 cups broccoli florets fresh, raw
- 2 cups cauliflower fresh, raw
- 1/2 small red onion diced
- 1/2 cup Colby Jack Cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup Real Olive Oil Mayo
- 2 tbsp Ranch Dip Seasoning
- 5 oz uncooked pasta any kind
- 5 slices cooked, crispy, turkey bacon
Boil pasta according to package directions until al dente, then drain, rinse in cold water, and place in a large mixing bowl
Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet until crispy and crumble into small pieces. Add to the bowl with the pasta.
Wash the broccoli and cauliflower under cool water and cut into florets, remove the long stems. Place in a the bowl with the pasta and bacon.
Remove the outer skin from the onion and dice into small pieces, then add with the rest of your ingredients.
Shred the cheese and add in with other ingredients.
Add in the Greek yogurt, mayo, and ranch seasoning, and begin to gently stir all of the ingredients together.
Stir until all ingredients are well combined and serve immediately or allow to chill, covered, in the fridge for 1 hour before serving.
Any pasta can be used, but I recommend using a nutritionally balanced pasta such as a pasta with protein added or pasta made from vegetables or chickpeas.
This pasta salad can easily be made into a tasty, low carb/Keto friendly salad by omitting the pasta. Broccoli Pasta Salad then becomes Creamy Broccoli Salad which is completely delicious and healthier!
Shared at Meal Plan Monday
Shared at Weekend Potluck
Shared at Foodie Friday Link Party
Also shared at Full Plate Thursday