Lemony Broccoli Pasta Salad

We are heading into the summer season in just a few short weeks, so I’m thinking about side dishes and light salads I can throw together for camping, potlucks and backyard BBQs.

That’s where this lemony broccoli pasta salad comes into play! It’s made with whole grain (or veggie!) rotini, red onion, sunflower seeds and a delightful lemon yogurt dressing. It’s kid-friendly, but I just know the adults will love it, too.

Here’s how to make it:

    • Start by boiling a large pot of water and cooking your favorite rotini until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water.
    • In a large glass bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients: Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, sugar, lemon zest and juice and salt.
    • Add the cooked and cooled pasta, broccoli pieces, minced red onion and almonds or sunflower seeds to the bowl and toss to combine.
    • Put a lid on the bowl and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to let everything come together.
    • That’s it – pasta salad time!

Substitution and Serving Options:

  • You can use any rotini or shaped pasta you have on hand. I like to use the veggie rotini for the kids, or a whole grain rotini. I also like the protein-enhanced pasta if I’m not going to serve it with a protein.
  • Speaking of protein, this is great served with grilled chicken or salmon! Or even kabobs.
  • You can skip the sugar (although even with the tablespoon of sugar the recipe calls for, it still only has 4g of sugar per serving). The dressing will be super tart given there is Greek yogurt, vinegar and lemon in it, but if you’re worried about the added sugar, you can try using honey or a sugar sub like erythritol or stevia, but you will not need much.
  • Any vinegar will work for this recipe – if you have white distilled or champagne or red wine, those will be fine!
  • I suggest using fresh lemon zest and juice rather than using the bottled lemon juice.
  • If you’d like to skip the nuts, you can do so.


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Lemony Broccoli Pasta Salad

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10-15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10-15 mins
  • Total Time: 20-30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove-Top, No-Cook
  • Cuisine: American


Rotini, broccoli, red onion and sunflower seeds tossed in a creamy yogurt lemon dressing.


  • 8 ounces whole grain or veggie rotini
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1 medium head broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ red onion, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup sliced almonds or roasted sunflower seeds, divided


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook rotini according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. In a large glass bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, lemon zest and juice and salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  3. Add the cooked cooled pasta, broccoli, red onion and half of the almonds or sunflower seeds to the bowl and toss to coat. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the remaining almonds or sunflower seeds. Serve.


Cooking Tip: Add a protein to make it a meal! This goes well with grilled chicken or salmon.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 200
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Sodium: 151mg
  • Fat: 9g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 3mg

Keywords: pasta salad, salad, side dish