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Spicy penne and panko veggie bowls

6 servings

Spice up your meal plan with this zesty dish.


  • 12 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter, split
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ pound broccoli crowns, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup chives
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 lemons, zested (about 2 teaspoons), then cut into quarters
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta cooking water.

Make the topping: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large pan over medium-high heat. Add panko and almonds. Cook, stirring, until golden brown, around 3–4 minutes. Turn off heat. Add the paprika and cayenne pepper.

Cook the vegetables. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add broccoli and cook, stirring often, until tender, 2–4 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring until slightly softened, 1–2 minutes.

Combine. Toss the cooked pasta with the vegetables. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, half the Parmesan, and ½ cup reserved hot water and stir until combined. Add ½ of the chives, and 1 teaspoon chili flakes (to taste). Turn off heat, stir in lemon juice (to taste) and season with salt and pepper.


Divide pasta between bowls. Sprinkle with panko mix, lemon zest and remaining Parmesan. Garnish with remaining chives and lemon wedges.


  • 434 calories
  • 16g fat (5g saturated fat)
  • 23mg cholesterol
  • 772mg sodium
  • 60g carbohydrate
  • 3g sugar
  • 8g fiber
  • 16g protein