Nothing says summer than a loaded pasta salad. This Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Pasta is the perfect meal too cook outdoors, take to the beach or serve when entertaining.
A healthy pasta dish is just what’s needed after a day at the beach, lounging by the pool or pretty much after any summer activity. This grilled chicken and vegetable pasta is not only a well-balanced meal, but now you can eat your vegetables IN your pasta.
This pasta recipe is a perfect fake-out meal. Even if your picky children and even pickier husbands leave out the grilled vegetables, they won’t even know that you’re feeding them something that’s good for them with this colorful Italian pasta.
The recipe starts with making a marinade/dressing, a double duty item that has delicious light, bright summer flavors. Whole garlic cloves are slowly browned in oil (my quick way of getting that sweet roasted garlic flavor). This not only flavors the oil, but browning the garlic helps bring out it’s natural sweetness.
This method not only cooks the garlic, but because it’s going into an uncooked dressing and I prefer not to have the raw garlic flavor (plus it’s more palatable for children). Fresh lemon zest, juice, fresh basil, the browned garlic and the oil are all blended until smooth.
Chicken breasts are marinated in half the dressing (the rest is reserved for the vegetables and to pour over the finished dish). They are then grilled along with vegetables, mixed with the pasta and everything is tossed with the dressing.
The finished pasta is adorned with chopped fresh basil and lots freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese is one of the lowest calorie cheeses, so this makes this dish even more of a fake out because who would think that a pasta dish doused in cheese is healthy
If you’ve tried this Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Pasta or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice, about 7 lemons
- 6 fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Small pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 medium zucchini, sliced
- 4 yellow bell peppers
- 4 green onions, cleaned
- 4 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 2 lemons, cut in half
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- To a small saucepan add the olive oil and garlic cloves.
- Heat over medium low heat until the garlic cloves sizzle and start to turn brown, turn off immediately. Add to a heat-proof bowl and allow to cool.
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, basil leaves, cooled garlic, honey or agave, salt and pepper to a food processor or blender and pulse 3 to 4 times.
- With the processor or blender running, drizzle in the cooled oil until smooth and thickened. Set aside.
- Add half of the marinade to a large ziptop bag or container with a lid., add the chicken breasts and make sure the chicken is covered well. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Lay out the vegetables onto a large cutting board.
- Skewer the tomatoes to make them easy to grill and brush all the vegetables with the marinade, set the rest aside to dress the dish at the end.
- Preheat grill.
- Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and toss with half of marinade. Set aside.
- When the chicken has marinated discard the marinade.
- Grill the chicken and vegetables until charred and tender.
- Only grill the tomatoes for a few minutes on 1 side, or they will be mushy.
- Allow the chicken breasts to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Put the whole bell peppers into a bowl with a lid or cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, the charred skin should peel easily, discard the skin and seeds.
- Slice the chicken, toss the vegetables and tomatoes with the pasta.
- Squeeze the grilled lemon halves over the dish.
- Top with grated parmesan cheese and basil and the rest of the unused marinade.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246 Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 48mg Sodium: 201mg Carbohydrates: 19g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 8g Protein: 19g