Grilled Vegetable Pesto Pasta is loaded with fresh summer vegetables! Tossed in basil pesto and topped with parmesan cheese. It’s perfect for a quick and easy dinner.
During the fall and winter I’m all about roasting vegetables, but in the summer, grilling is my cooking method of choice. Not only does it keep the heat out of the house, but I just love that smoky, charred flavor it adds to the vegetables.
One of the most popular recipes on my blog is grilled chicken and asparagus pesto pasta. I absolutely love making this one and so do a lot of you. I decided I needed a vegetarian version and packed with veggies. This Grilled Vegetable Pesto Pasta is a great way to use fresh summer produce or any vegetables you might have growing in your garden at home.
Ingredients Needed to Make Grilled Vegetable Pesto Pasta
- Zucchini and/or summer squash
- Red bell pepper
- Penne pasta
- Parmesan cheese and pine nuts (optional)
Tips for Grilling Vegetables
If grilling vegetables is something new for you, you’re in for a treat. The grill gives the vegetables great flavor and it’s just as easy to prepare them this way than any other cooking method.
- Prep all of your vegetables before putting them on the grill. Have everything cut, skewered and seasoned before you start. All of the vegetables with the exception of the corn should be tossed or sprayed with olive oil (avocado oil works too.). The vegetables can all go on the grill at the same time for this recipe, but you will need to pull some off before others. Likewise, you can also stagger when you put them on.
- Zucchini and Summer Squash – Cut the zucchini and summer squash into approximately 1/2 inch thick planks. They’re easier to flip when they’re cut into planks versus rounds. Both take approximately 5 minutes to cook (flipping halfway through the cooking time).
- Corn – I like to shuck my corn before grilling it. Once shucked place it on the grill and let it cook for about 10 minutes. You’ll want to turn it often so the kernels get lightly charred all over.
- Tomatoes – If using cherry or grape tomatoes like I did, it’s best to thread them on a skewer so they don’t roll all over the grill. If using wooden skewers be sure to soak them before grilling. The tomatoes will take about 5-6 minutes total to cook and should be flipped halfway through the cooking time.
- Shallot – Peel the shallot and keep it whole. Grill for about 10 minutes flipping halfway through the cooking time.
- Pepper – Core the pepper and halve or quarter it before putting it on the grill. The pepper will need to cook for about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. The skin should be charred in spots.
Once the vegetables are done grilling, cut the corn kernels off the cob and chop the remaining vegetables. Add them into a serving bowl along with the cooked pasta. Toss everything together in pesto, fresh lemon juice, basil, Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts. The pasta can be served warm or at room temperature, and even works great as a cold pasta salad. Pasta tends to absorb sauce the longer it sits, so you may need to add an extra tablespoon of pesto to any leftovers.
- 12 ounces penne pasta
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut in half or quartered
- 1 shallot, peeled
- 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch planks
- 1 summer squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch planks
- 1 ear of corn, shucked
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, threaded onto skewers
- 3 tablespoons pesto
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (optional)
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat (approximately 400-425° F.) and prep the vegetables. Toss or spray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables until tender. See the section in the above title Tips for Grilling Vegetables for cooking times.
- While the vegetables are grilling cook the pasta. Drain and pour it into a large serving bowl. Add the grilled vegetables in with the pasta.
- Add the pesto, lemon juice, basil, Parmesan cheese and pine nuts to the pasta. Stir together until everything is coated. Taste for seasoning and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 12g