This easy and delicious Lemon Pesto Vegetable Pasta with Grilled Halloumi Cheese is a filling 15 minute vegetarian recipe made in a skillet with zucchini, squash and tomatoes that is loaded with fresh flavors!
Pesto Pasta Recipe with Vegetables
If you are looking for a fresh and wholesome dinner idea, this Lemon Pesto Vegetable Pasta topped with grilled Halloumi cheese is a must try! It really doesn’t get much easier than this 15 minute recipe with eight ingredients. You can whip it up quickly for the whole family and it is sure to be a hit.
What to add to pesto pasta?
This simple pesto pasta recipe makes a great vegetarian meal, but you could also appease the meat eaters in your family by serving it as a side with more protein. Grilled steak, chicken, shrimp or pork are all great options that pair wonderfully with the simple flavors.
Pesto is an incredibly versatile ingredient that adds a burst of flavor. You can enjoy cooked pasta tossed with a drizzle of olive oil and some pesto all on its own, or make it heartier with vegetables, cheese and additional protein.
Vegetables that go with pesto pasta
We toss spaghetti with pesto and fresh lemon juice and load it up with vegetables from our garden, including tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash. The possibilities don’t end there though. So many vegetables would pair wonderfully with this pesto pasta. Here are just a few more suggestions,
- Baby Spinach
- Bell Peppers
Halloumi Pasta Recipe
The star of this Lemon Pesto Pasta dish is the grilled Halloumi cheese. Halloumi has a meaty texture that adds real heartiness to any vegetarian dish like these Chimichurri Roasted Vegetable Grilled Cheese Bowls. This cheese is better than any meat you could ever add to pasta!
What is Halloumi Cheese?
If you aren’t familiar with this particular cheese, Halloumi is a semi-hard unripe cheese usually made from goat and sheep’s milk.
Halloumi is a special cheese that can be grilled directly on a hot pan without completely melting. It creates a fantastic caramelized crunchy outside while melting the inside into creamy goodness.
Pasta with Olive Oil & Vegetables
Pasta with olive oil and vegetables is a classic and comforting dish. Wither it’s a side dish like this Fresh Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad or a hearty dinner like this grilled cheese vegetable pasta. You really can’t go wrong.
It’s almost like buttered noodles for grown ups who want to eat a bit healthier. You can put a variety of spins on this easy dish, but fresh lemon juice and pesto is our preference.
Feel free to add more variety by changing up the pesto. Pesto isn’t just limited to basil and pine nuts. There are a wide variety of different pesto flavors with different profiles. Sun-dried tomato pesto would be another fantastic option with the vegetables and grilled cheese.
More easy Vegetarian Pasta Recipes
I you love to add a vegetarian dish or two to your weekly menu rotation, here are some more great vegetarian recipes to check out!
- Roasted Squash & Goat Cheese Pasta – This is one of my all-time favorite pasta dishes!
- Creamy Spinach Tortellini Skillet – Creamy spinach and tomatoes with filled pasta is a hearty dish with great flavors
- One Pot Homemade Alfredo Rigatoni – It doesn’t get much easier or more delicious than this rich and simple alfredo pasta
- Creamy Pumpkin Pasta – This comforting fall dish is lightened up for a wholesome meal
- Pasta Fresca – Fresh tomatoes, spinach, onions and Parmesan are tossed with a balsamic and white wine pasta for incredible flavors.
- 5-6 ounces spaghetti, uncooked (1/3 box)
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- 8 ounces Halloumi cheese
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced
- 1 medium yellow squash, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup pesto
- juice of 1 small lemon
- Prepare the spaghetti according to package directions until al dente.
- Meanwhile, slice the Halloumi cheese into 1/2 inch thick slices. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the slices of cheese and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes until it is browned. Remove the cheese from the pan and set on a paper towel.
- Add the sliced zucchini and squash to the pan with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and for for another 1-2 minutes until the squash is tender and the tomatoes are heated through.
- Drain the cooked pasta, reserving the pasta water. Add the cooked spaghetti to the skillet with the vegetables, olive oil, 1/4 cup pasta water, pesto and lemon juice.
- Remove from the heat and toss until well combined. Add additional pasta water if the pasta is too dry.
- Serve the pasta topped with the grilled cheese. Enjoy!
Most pastas will work well with this dish. Penne, Rigatoni, Angel Hair, and Cavatappi are all great options. Smaller pasta like Orzo or shells aren't as great to balance the size of the bite with the vegetables.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 562Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 523mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 21g
Provided nutrition data is only an estimate. If you are tracking these nutrients for medical purposes, please consult an outside, trusted source.