Grilled Zucchini Pasta Salad with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

updated Oct 14, 2022
4th of july
Grilled Zucchini Pasta Salad
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Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

The best thing about summer is impromptu cookouts with friends as the sun sets. With no time to overthink the food, make an easy pasta salad with summer’s freshest veggies. Use the grill (it’s already fired up for the main event!) and char skewers of sweet cherry tomatoes and slabs of zucchini. With the tomatoes ready to burst and the zucchini grill-marked and tender, toss with a store-bought Parmesan and garlic vinaigrette and al dente pasta.

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: CC Buckley/Kitchn

The Easiest Pasta Salad Takes Just 5 Ingredients

The farmers market is bursting with just-picked zucchini and tomatoes, making them the perfect addition to this vibrant veggie pasta salad. Skewer and grill cherry tomatoes until their sweet juices are ready to burst, or skip the skewering all together and use a grill basket. Cut zucchini into long slabs for easy maneuvering on the grill. Once tender, cut the zucchini into bite-sized pieces. Toss with a box of cooked pasta — any short shape will do — and a flavorful vinaigrette. Finish with fresh chives and spicy cracked black pepper for a potluck-winning pasta salad.

Grilled Zucchini Pasta Salad

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 12 minutes

Serves 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 pound

    dry, short pasta, such as orecchiette, fusilli, or farfalle

  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 2

    medium zucchini (about 12 ounces), trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slabs

  • 1 pint

    cherry or grape tomatoes (about 2 cups)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 5

    skewers, soaked in water at least 30 minutes if wooden

  • 6 tablespoons

    store-bought Parmesan and roasted garlic dressing, such as Newman’s Own, divided

  • 1/4 cup

    chopped fresh chives

  • 1/4 cup

    finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well. Meanwhile, heat an outdoor grill to medium-high, direct heat (400 to 450°F).

  2. Drizzle the zucchini and tomatoes and zucchini with the oil and season with the salt and pepper. Thread the tomatoes onto skewers (8 to 10 per skewer).

  3. Place the tomato skewers and zucchini slabs on the grill. Cover and grill until the zucchini is charred and tender, about 5 minutes per side. Grill the tomatoes until the skins begin to split, flipping once, 4 to 5 minutes total.

  4. Slide the tomatoes off of the skewers into the bowl of pasta. Cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  5. When ready to serve, toss with 2 more tablespoons dressing. Sprinkle with the chives and cheese if desired. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.