Summer Pasta Bake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Pasta
  • Vegetable pasta
  • Vegetable pasta bakes

This delicious pasta dish is a great use of healthy summer veg, such as courgette and aubergine. It's packed with flavour and nutrients, too. You can choose to omit the cheese if you're looking for a satisfying vegan dish. A great Meat-free Monday recipe!

Greater London, England, UK

9 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 large aubergine, cubed
  • 3 medium courgettes, cubed
  • 3 red onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 1 red pepper, cubed
  • 6 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 100g penne pasta
  • 100g soft goat cheese, crumbled (optional)

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:50min ›Extra time:30min resting › Ready in:1hr35min

  1. Sprinkle the aubergine cubes with a little salt, and leave in a sieve or colander for 30 minutes to extract the dark, bitter juices.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
  3. Combine all of the prepared veg and place in a large baking dish. If the baking dish is overcrowded with veg, split the veg between two dishes. Drizzle veg with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to thoroughly coat the veg. Bake in the oven till the vegetables are very soft, about 45-55 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, during the last 10 minutes of cooking the veg, boil the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, according to the timing on the packet. Drain.
  5. Remove the veg from the oven. In the baking dish, toss the veg with the hot pasta. If desired, add cheese and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve straightaway.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

Very easy to make and very filling-26 Mar 2016

Herbed summer squash pasta bake

One of the things I’ve first-world struggled with since the beginning of this incubation period is a lack of appetite. Of course, there’s the glib side of me — great for managing weight gain! why “eat for two” if you can eat for half?! — but mostly, it’s a bummer. I thought that after the first trimester nausea passed, I’d be good to go and yes, I’m back to eating regular meals, but my enthusiasm has only returned in short bursts. Sure, I’ve shamelessly consumed all matter of crispy eggs with soy sauce, sesame oil and chile flakes (flipped only long enough to keep the food police at bay, or so I tell you). I will eat almost any green vegetable roasted to a blistering crisp with olive oil and salt and finished with lemon juice. Speaking of lemons, we go through homemade, barely sweet lemonade by the half-carafe. And some cravings are even fun for example, “the baby wants ribs” was a text I sent out to friends a few weeks ago while led to a great deck party. But do you know when I sat down with my plate after an afternoon of carefully preparing three glorious racks of ribs, I could only eat one? It’s rather grim for a so-called food writer to go through life unmotivated by hunger and cravings, to have become a person who shrugs and says “Meh, whatever you want to eat is fine.” I don’t even know me.

And so, with just a couple weeks to go and with the additional invader of final-stretch fatigue, rather than continuing to try to push myself to cook things I lose interest in halfway — a saffron-brothed couscous salad from last week is the latest victim — I’m instead shifting my focus to future meals. Because if there’s anything I remember from the baby-feeding side of things from last time, it’s that I was hungry enough that I honestly would have eaten the sofa if I was more convinced it would have gone down well with a couple shakes of hot sauce. I kind of can’t wait.

So, let’s talk about freezer meals. I didn’t prepare these last time we’re New Yorkers, baby! We can order anything at any time! Plus, our families brought food over and we made do. But this time, we have a 5 year-old who needs proper meals and snacks and I imagine the transition to being a family of four will be exhausting enough that we will not need the additional stress of a hangry kid, nor will he need the additional stress of not knowing if dinner will be ready any time soon. I bemoaned in a comment conversation recently that I wasn’t sure how to plan future meals when I barely had motivation to plan tonight’s dinner, but the solution has turned out to be very simple: cook once, freeze half.

But I was still stuck. When I think of things that freeze well, I think of casseroles, macaroni and cheese, heavy lasagnas, enchiladas, essentially bricks of deep, wintery foods and I don’t know about you, but the thought of eating this way in the summer — especially with the added stress of trying to eradicate that baby belly (mine, of course all attached to actual tiny humans can and should be worn with pride) — depresses me. It’s hot and sticky enough in New York. I wondered how many dishes could be reoriented to the spring and summer months, maybe with local produce and herbs snipped from our deck garden.

I began dreaming about a summer version of this past winter’s mushroom marsala pasta bake. My favorite things about it were how heavy it was on vegetables relative to a small amount of pasta, that it wasn’t terribly rich but it had a ton of flavor, and, if you played your cards right, it could be made and then baked entirely in one pot. And yet, it was anything but workaday or predictable. It tasted special. It tasted like the kind of thing I would want to defrost first, given the chance.

And so as soon as the goofy-looking summer squash appeared at markets last week, I got to work. They’re sliced thin and seared at a blistering high heat in olive oil with salt and pepper flakes until browned and semi-collapsed, then doused with a little lemon juice. The pasta sauce is a bechamel, but loaded with early summer scallions, a bit of garlic, a handful of fresh herbs and lemon zest, this “white sauce” is instead green-flecked and summery. There’s just enough cheese that you know it’s going to be delicious but not so much that you’re going to need a nap, because heaven knows that’s not going to be in the cards for us for the next 18 years. [Woe.] It reheats wonderfully, and simultaneously solved a weekend dinner crisis and one for some as-yet-decided future date. Basically, I think we should make it president.

More Freezer Meal Inspiration: For those of us who plan ahead, and those of us (cough!) who are learning to, here’s a collection from the SK archives of dishes that freeze well, including a beloved Spinach and Cheese Strata, Thick Chewy Granola Bars (psst, a new nut-, dairy- and gluten-free version coming soon), Three Bean Chili, Baked Chicken Meatballs and 35 more, here with pretty pictures on Pinterest or listed from the Recipe Index.

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Deep Dark Gingerbread Waffles
1.5 Years Ago: Breakfast Slab Pie
2.5 Years Ago: Parsnip Latkes with Horseradish and Dill
3.5 Years Ago: Cashew Butter Balls

Herbed Summer Squash Pasta Bake

I doubled this, and froze half.

Serves 4, heartily, as written

8 ounces pasta, any shape you like
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced thin
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (you won’t need this yet, but better to zest before juicing, to avoid grumpiness)
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large or 5 skinny scallions, sliced thin and white/pale green parts and dark green tops in separate piles
Pinches of red pepper flakes, to taste
3 tablespoons (25 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk, ideally whole but low-fat will also work
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped mixed herbs of your choice (I used a mix of thyme, oregano and mint, but if you only have, say, thyme or oregano, a full tablespoon will likely overwhelm, so use less)
Salt and more pepper to taste
3/4 cup finely grated parmesan or aged pecorino romano cheese, divided
4 ounces (115 grams) mozzarella, cut into small cubes

Cook the pasta: If you’ve got an oven-save 3-quart deep skillet or braising pan, use it here and you’ll only need one pot for the whole recipe. Otherwise, bring an medium/large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes before perfect doneness. Drain and set aside.

Prepare the squash: Heat a large skillet or the pot you just used to cook your pasta to high heat. Once hot, add olive oil, and let it heat until almost smoking. Add sliced squash, season it with salt and pepper flakes and let it sear underneath, unmoved, until golden brown. Continue to saute until browned and somewhat wilted, about 10 minutes, trying to get some color on each layer before moving squash around. Transfer to a bowl and squeeze lemon juice over bowl. Add more salt or pepper if needed.

Make the sauce: Reheat your the same pot over medium heat. Melt butter in bottom of pan. Add scallion white and pale green parts and garlic and let sizzle for 1 to 2 minutes. Add flour and stir until all has been dampened and absorbed. Add milk, a very small splash at a time, stirring the whole time with a spoon. Make sure each splash has been fully mixed into the butter/flour/onion/garlic mixture, scraping from the bottom of the pan and all around, before adding the next splash. Repeat until all milk has been added, then add lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture simmer together for 2 minutes, stirring frequently the sauce will thicken. Remove pan from heat and stir in half of chopped parsley, all of mixed herbs and reserved scallion greens. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Assemble dish: Off the heat, add drained pasta, summer squash, 1/2 cup grated parmesan and all of the mozzarella to the pot, stirring to combine. If pan is ovenproof, you can bake your final dish in it. If not, transfer mixture to a 2 to 3 quart ovenproof casserole or baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan.

Bake: For 25 to 30 minutes, until edges of pasta are golden brown and irresistible. Sprinkle with reserved parsley and serve hot. Reheat as needed.

To freeze: Let dish fully cool to room temperature, then transfer, wrapped well, to the freezer. Let defrost in fridge for a day before rewarming in oven. If I have time, I like to rewarm at a lowish head (300 to 325 degrees) with the foil on, then finish it for the last 10 minutes or so at a higher heat without the foil to restore some crisp.

Creamy Cherry Tomato & Summer Squash Pasta

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1 x
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Italian

Simple summer pasta recipe featuring roasted cherry tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash with rotini and a light goat cheese sauce. Recipe yields 4 servings.


  • ½ pound whole grain rotini or fusilli or penne pasta
  • 1 pint ( 2 cups ) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 medium yellow squash, quartered vertically and then sliced into ¼ -inch wide wedges
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered vertically and then sliced into ¼ -inch wide wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 small clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. On the baking sheet, toss the whole cherry tomatoes and sliced zucchini and squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer (or as close to a single layer as possible). Roast for about 25 minutes, tossing halfway, until the cherry tomatoes have burst and the squash is tender.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  3. While the pasta is hot, add the lemon juice, butter, goat cheese, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot. Add about ¼ cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and gently toss the pasta until the ingredients are evenly mixed together and the pasta is coated in a light sauce (add more reserved cooking water if the pasta seems dry).
  4. Once the tomatoes and squash are out of the oven, add them to the pot along with all of the tomato juices. Gently toss once again to combine. Season to taste with salt (I added more than ½ teaspoon) and freshly ground pepper, then sprinkle chopped basil over the pasta and divide into individual serving bowls. Serve immediately.


Make it gluten free: Substitute gluten-free pasta for the whole grain pasta.
Make it dairy free/vegan: Substitute olive oil for the butter and skip the goat cheese. The starchy pasta water is pretty creamy in itself, so I think it’ll still be nice and saucy without the goat cheese. You might want to add some nutritional yeast, to taste, for cheesy flavor.
Storage suggestions: This recipe keeps well, refrigerated and covered, for about three days. Serve leftovers as a chilled pasta salad or gently reheat.

"I served these to my friends as dessert when they came over for lunch and everyone loved them! I even got a text from one of them saying they couldn’t stop thinking about these bars. Definitely winners in my books! The lemon flavor is present but the acidity isn’t too strong thanks to the addition of the tea."

Light Summer Vegetable Bake

This is a light version of the popular baked ziti, incorporating summer vegetables!


  • ½ pounds Ground Beef Or Pork
  • 2 cups Zucchini, Chopped
  • ½ cups Onion, Chopped
  • Olive Oil, For Cooking Vegetables
  • 1 cup Tomato, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic, Chopped
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups Cooked Pasta (Ziti, Macoroni, Etc)
  • 1 cup Mozzarella, Divided
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ cups Ricotta


Brown meat in a skillet, drain grease, and set aside. In a skillet over medium heat, brown zucchini and onions in olive oil until lightly transparent. Add tomatoes and garlic. Add ground meat and cook for additional 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add cooked pasta. Mix in half of the mozzarella into the mixture. Lightly beat the egg and mix with ricotta cheese in a separate bowl. Add the egg-cheese mixture to the vegetable-meat mixture.

Place mixture in a greased glass baking or casserole dish and top with the remaining mozzarella. Cook in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

30 Minute Chicken Enchilada Pasta Bake

Now that summer vacation is basically over, I think we can all agree that the easier the weeknight recipe the better. Pasta is usually the way to go. It’s simple and usually pretty delicious. I know. I know. Enchilada pasta has been done a million times. If you head over to Google or Pinterest and type in “enchilada pasta” you will get pages and pages of recipes. Of course, I think mine is the best. :) I may just be a LITTLE biased. It uses chicken instead of beef, and is ready in under 30 minutes. I also think the toppings totally make the dish, and this chicken enchilada pasta bake is LOADED with the perfect toppings.

I highly recommend trying this recipe at some point this fall. Your family will love you for it! Pair it with an IPA. The hoppiness from an IPA will really tone down the spice! Enjoy!



Step 1

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until very lightly browned around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add squash and increase heat to medium high season with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until squash begins to break down. Turn down heat once it begins sticking, and continue to cook until the squash is jammy and soft, 12–15 minutes. Toss in 1 tsp. Aleppo-style pepper.

Step 2

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente.

Step 3

Transfer pasta to skillet with squash using a slotted spoon or spider and add ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook pasta, adding 2 oz. Parmesan in stages along with more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. Toss in lemon juice and most of the basil.

Step 4

Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan and Aleppo-style pepper and remaining basil.

How would you rate Summer Squash and Basil Pasta?

This has made the regular dinner rotation in my house, and I NEVER get sick of it! Like other people have said, it’s endlessly riffable, but more importantly it comes together super fast!

Call me crazy but I added a splash of red wine vinegar to the pan halfway through cooking the zucchini and I have to say it was a success. Very tasty, very hearty.

Easy, excellent recipe. Our toddlers love it, too - it tastes kind of like fancy Mac & Cheese. This recipe is also a great foundation for substitutions - I added a bunch of sliced mushrooms I had laying around recently and that was delicious as well.

Good and easy! I had a 9oz package of cheese tortellini that I used for the pasta and used the juice of an entire lemon.

This dish really lets the squash shine and I used Italian heirloom ɼostata Romanesco' for the first time. (Wow). I agree with other reviewers that you should use less pasta and and more lemon. I used Costo whole wheat spaghetti and it still turned out really well. Had some pecorino I needed to use so threw some in in addition to the 2oz of parm and instead of Aleppo I used a combo Silk Chili, Black Urfa Chili, and Smoked Paprika.

So tasty and such a great way to use up some of the summer squash and zucchini we’re drowning in come late July. Like others said, 8oz of pasta is likely all that’s required. I make sure that a bit of brown crust appears in the pan when cooking the veg, deglazing with pasta water to mix all that goodness into the sauce that develops. Love the subtle, earthy heat of Aleppo pepper, but suspect smoked paprika/some red pepper flakes would do as well. A summer recipe keeper for sure. Salt with care as the pasta water and cheese add quite a bit on their own. I just added a pinch more.

This was delicious- loved the “jammy” squash. As was mentioned by some of the reviewers, I used 8oz pasta and added an extra 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice and some zest. I didn’t have Aleppo pepper so substituted sweet paprika and cayenne in the ratio of 3:1. I would definitely make it again.

Really delicious. Used 8 oz pasta and double the lemon and it was perfect. Do be careful salting the pasta water - I had to use quite a bit for the sauce and probably ended up a touch too salty with the final dish.

This was delicious. Aleppo pepper and summer squash are a perfect pair. Used rotini pasta. Lovely.

I've made this many times now and have found that cutting the squash much thinner than it looks in the picture helps speed up the cooking process. I found that at a higher heat the squash can cook in

30 minutes but it requires constant attention so it cooks evenly. I prefer to put it on a low heat- takes substantially longer but requires much less attention. I cook it until it's essentially unrecognizably squash. I often eat the sauce not with pasta, but instead on salads, on toast with ricotta, on top of hummus, mixed w yogurt as a dip, etc. I get a lot of summer squash from my CSA and this is basically the only way I like to eat it

This was delicious! Only small changes based on reviews - added 2 tbsps lemon, and zest of one lemon to main pot. And then added a squeeze of lemon over pasta along with cheese, pepper etc at the end. It needs that extra kick. I used 8oz tagliatelle which worked well. Will definitely be making this again!!

This is great.I made this exactly as the recipe indicated but I did also add one yellow squash because I had it. Then I tried it with baby new potatoes instead of pasta, this time with all zucchini. It was equally delish. This is definitely the way to eat zucchini and yellow squash!

I found like the other reviewers noted that the pasta to sauce proportions are off, the basil and lemon don't pop. So here is what I loved about this recipe, I accidentally put too much olive oil in the pan so while my squash was getting jammy (which did take closer to 45min) my garlic actually became garlic confit which was fantastic. Plus with the extra olive oil the pasta was well coated with flavour. Next time I make this I would definitely add the basil in as a garnish and when the pasta is slightly cooled so the basil doesn't wilt with the heat. I think the only purpose of the lemon is to make the dish feel less heavy and oily which I think it does perfectly and wouldn't want any more lemony flavour against the sweetness of the squash and garlic. The best part of the dish was that it is so satisfying - you don't need to eat a lot to feel full.

Pretty good use of a bumper crop of zucchini! I thought the basil and lemon were lost and would amp them up. I did use the zest of one lemon, in addition to juice.

Very good! I love finding new recipes to use up summer garden gifts. I was given two beautiful crookneck squash and always have fresh basil on hand. I chose ziti for my tuber pasta. I probably could have used more squash because by the time I peeled, cored and sliced the squash I was down to about 1.5c. I used cayenne pepper and also added a generous splash of white wine just before combining the pasta. It was Deeeee-lish!

Recipe Summary

  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 lasagna noodles, broken in half crosswise
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved if large and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

In a small bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons oil season with salt and pepper. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles according to package instructions drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add garlic and tomatoes season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly broken down, about 3 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil and zucchini to skillet season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another bowl and stir in basil.

Place some tomatoes on four plates top with a noodle and small spoonfuls ricotta, zucchini, and more tomatoes. Repeat layering twice, then top with remaining noodles and tomatoes. Garnish with basil.

Sweet Potato “Pasta” Bake

Skip traditional pasta and use spiralized sweet potatoes for a healthier twist on cheesy baked pasta! This gluten free, Sweet Potato “Pasta” Bake is a great way to add more vegetables to a comfort food favorite!

Happy November! I can’t believe I’m saying that when it’s been feeling like late summer around here. Today we’re finally having a cool day, but it’s one of only about a handful that we’ve had this fall. Even with the weather being warm, I can’t help but crave baked casseroles and comfort food which is exactly what this Sweet Potato “Pasta” Bake is.

Last weekend my husband took me out for our anniversary dinner. Our anniversary was actually a couple weeks ago, but we decided to wait a week since we were already celebrating his birthday that weekend. We went to a new restaurant called The Palate Food + Wine Bar and oh my goodness was it good! We ordered several plates to share. Charcuterie of course, because we’re obsessed, warm olives with feta, bacon wrapped dates and the star of the meal, pan seared quail with asparagus risotto and a red wine sauce. Our waiter recommended it and we are so glad he did. We couldn’t stop talking about how amazing it was all night.

A unique and genius feature about this place was that they had wine on tap. It was a wine lover’s dream come true! The walls were lined with dispensers similar to how you get soda from a machine, (except classy) but instead of soda it was an enormous selection of different bottles of wine. You load up a card with however much money you want to spend, then it will dispense either a sip, pour or glass size. It’s a great way to try out different wines!

A glass of wine is definitely something that goes well with this Sweet Potato “Pasta” Bake. The flavors in this baked “pasta” dish are all the ones you would find in either a lasagna or baked ziti. Of course instead of ziti or lasagna noodles I spiralized a couple sweet potatoes instead. I thought you might be skeptical about replacing pasta with sweet potatoes, so I had my die hard pasta loving husband give me his opinion. He said it tastes just like lasagna, but without the heavy feeling you get after eating it. He also said spiralizing the sweet potatoes tricks you into thinking it really is pasta. So there you have it, straight from the pasta lover’s mouth, a baked “pasta” recipe that will please everyone!

Dump-and-Bake Summer Pasta

"I think that I managed to pack all of the season&rsquos best fresh veggies and herbs into one cheesy casserole! This Dump-and-Bake Summer Pasta with Corn, Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Chicken is a quick, light, and easy dinner that your family will love. It&rsquos so simple and so fast because you don&rsquot even have to boil the pasta! Just stir the ingredients together in one dish and pop it in the oven! Just because it&rsquos summer doesn&rsquot mean that I&rsquove totally given up on cozy comfort food! I&rsquove only shifted gears a little bit and turned our cool weather favorites into more seasonally appropriate dishes like this Summer Pasta! Because you can only eat so many salads&hellip"

Notes Cooking Just for Two? You can prepare a much smaller casserole by dividing the ingredients in half and baking the dish in an 8-inch square pan. The cooking process remains the same.

Want to Prep Ahead? You can dice the chicken and vegetables in advance. When you're ready to prepare dinner, just stir the ingredients together and bake!