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Recipe: Grilled Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad

Looks yummy right? Pin it to your board on Pinterest!

A cold summer pasta salad for a hot summer day!

A cold summer pasta salad for a hot summer day!

As I mentioned before — my new schedule has me working until 9pm, so I spend a lot of my mornings cooking — making lunch and dinner at the same time. After a while you get kind of bored with the chicken caesar salads, so I decided to switch it up one day.

This recipe also allowed me to use my mandolin — and I take any chance I can get to break that baby out. It’s also theΒ first time in my cooking career where I took the ingredients I had in my fridge, and put them together. Essentially, this is the first time I cooked without a recipe — putting tastes together that I thought would compliment each other, and I’m so proud.

I call it: Grilled Veggie Pesto Pasta Salad. It brings in the beautiful, vibrant colors of summer, and it’s perfect for a BBQ side. Who knows, maybe you’ll make it for the 4th of July?!

Julienne your veggies.

Julienne your veggies.

What you’ll need:Β Penne pasta (can substitute for farfalle), Olive Oil, Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Dressing (can be substituted with Italian or other dressing), Pesto, Parmesan cheese (optional), 1 squash, 1 zucchini, and a tomato (optional).

Optional Tools: Grill pan, mandolin

Directions:Β 

  • Cook your pasta as directed on the box.
  • After washing, julienne your squash and zucchini at 3/8ths – 1/2 inch wide pieces (This is where I used my mandolin). If you’re adding some tomato, go ahead and chop up some now.
  • In a large bowl, add your zucchini and squash and add 1 TBSP Olive Oil, then 1 TBSP of dressing. Mix together so it evenly coats your veggies.
  • On medium heat, grill your veggies on a grill pan (or an actual grill). If using a grill pan, make sure to coat lightly with olive oil.
  • Once your veggies have those nice grill marks on them, take them off the heat and let them cool a little before chopping into smaller pieces.
  • Add squash, zucchini, and tomatoes to drained pasta. Add 3/4ths cup pesto, and mix together.
  • At this point you can add some parmesan cheese if you like.
  • Refrigerate, serve cold, and enjoy!

This recipe is actually a great side to grilled chicken — so whether you’re like me and just need something new to eat, or if you’re looking for a new light and tasty side, this is the dish you need to try! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

What are your 4th of July plans?

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