Jul 23, 2014

Steak & Caramelized Onions with Arugula and Quinoa Penne

Grilled steak with sweet balsamic caramelized onions are tossed with baby arugula, gluten-free quinoa, amaranth and brown rice penne pasta (you can use whatever pasta you like) topped with fresh shaved parmesan – I'm a sucker for a good steak salad, and this one is AWESOME!

Packed with protein, it's made with lean sirloin, which I cooked on the grill pan, but you can cook it outside on the grill, or in a large skillet. The gluten-free quinoa pasta was from Tru Roots, it cooks al dente and tastes just like regular pasta, I was very impressed! You can also make this with whole wheat pasta if you don't have a gluten allergy, or even toss this with farro instead.

Steak & Caramelized Onions with Arugula and Penne

Servings: 4 • Size: 1-1/2 cups salad, 3 oz steak • Old Pts: 8 pts • Points+: 9 pts
Calories: 384 • Fat: 15 g • Carb: 29.5 g • Fiber: 3 g • Protein: 30 g • Sugar: 3 g
Sodium: 588 mg • Cholesterol: 54 mg


  • 1 lb top sirloin
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz penne pasta (I used Tru Roots GF penne w/ quinoa, amaranth & brown rice)
  • 3 oz baby arugula
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp golden balsamic
  • 1/2 oz shaved Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

For the Caramelized onions:

  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp kosher coarse salt
  • 1 tbsp golden balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Season steak with salt and pepper to taste.

For the caramelized onions: cut onions in half and thinly slice short end.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a nonstick skillet and add the onions. Add salt, paprika, and balsamic vinegar and cook on medium-low to low heat until onions are tender, transparent, and slightly brown, about 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside in a large work bowl and let cool.

While the pasta is cooling, heat a grill pan over high heat and spray with cooking spray or preheat the broiler to high. Cook the steaks about 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium rare, or longer to your desired likeness (until a thermometer inserted in the center registers 145°F for medium rare, 160°F for medium, or 165°F for well done.) Let stand for 10 minutes, then slice into thin strips.

Add the arugula, 4 teaspoons olive oil, 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic, salt and pepper to the bowl with the pasta and toss. Add the caramelized onions, toss well and divide between four plates, about 1 1/2 cups each. Top each with 3 oz steak and shaved Parmesan. Eat right away.


  1. This looks TOO good Gina! The caramelised onions look like the perfect topping, mmm x

  2. My mouth is melting, great recipe

  3. Where do you get the GF pasta?

  4. This dish certainly looks delicious! A perfect balance of everything. Blessings, Catherine

  5. I love quinoa pasta and my husband and boys love steak! Perfect weekend supper!

  6. What kind of indoor grill do you use, or does anybody have a recommendation? Thanks!

  7. Looks heavenly! I am going to try it this weekend.

  8. IN LOVE since I am basically obsessed with arugula!! This whole thing is an awesome cross between salad and hearty dish!!

  9. I just saw the Tru Roots GF pasta at Costco. I wondered how it tasted - can't wait to try!

  10. This looks amazing! Caramelized onions, shaved Parmesan, steak...does a salad get any better?!

  11. Gina - how much to hire you to cook for me? :)

  12. This looks yummy - going on my "to make" list. I want to thank you for starting to include the sugar grams in your nutritional information. I need to keep my daily sugar count down and this has been really helpful when selecting which recipe to use.

  13. It really looks awesome. I love the fact that it gives this sense of abundance, if you will. Love it.
    Angel - healthyroadadventures.blogspot.com

  14. I too love a good steak salad but never considered including pasta. Brilliant!

  15. This looks delicous, pasta seems like a great addition,

  16. How many points for just the onions? They would be great with lots of bbq meats!

  17. Yes...the nutritional info for just the onions would be great please!

    1. You can check all nutritional information about all your favorite recipes on http://happyforks.com/analyzer. Carmalized onion (240g, whole portion) has 222 kcal.

  18. Gina, you've out done yourself with this one!!! De-Lish!

  19. I can't find golden balsamic. Can I use white balsamic instead?

  20. this looks really good!

  21. My favorite steak and arugula in one dish? Can't wait to have that in my plate! Haha. People should eat more arugula. It's reduces out risk of cancer. Hope that little trivia of mine helps. =) I just wish that one of these Hong Kong steak restaurants do serve that.

  22. Gina, this sounds amazing!!! However, I feel like it needs some kind of sauce for the pasta?? Maybe a balsamic glaze or something? Do you know of something simple and healthy that I could whip up? Thanks in advance!

  23. I am making this for dinner tonight and really excited to try it. I love arugula!

  24. Hey gina
    could the onions be sliced thin on the spiralizer? want to get more uses out of it :) getting ready to spiral my cucs for the greek salad!!!

  25. Hi! I cannot find golden balsamic. Is there an alternative? Thank you!

  26. Made this for a birthday dinner last night. Substituted farro cooked in beef broth for the penne. Huge hit, we all loved it! Thanks for all your great recipes, this is the first place I turn to when looking for inspiration.


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