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 • Points+: 9 pts • SP: 9
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.