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As summer leaves us, there’s no better way to celebrate the bounty of the season than with a dish that captures its essence. This One Pan Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake is an ode to the vibrant flavors and colors of summer. It features orzo pasta, aromatic basil, zucchini, Jalapeno peppers, sweet corn, and a decadent sprinkle of melted cheese. This recipe is a symphony of tastes and textures that come together in one pan, creating an utterly delicious side dish.
Video: Watch Me Make One Pan Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake
The Ultimate Summer Recipe
When the sun graces us with its golden glow, gardens and Farmers’ Markets overflow with an abundance of fresh, locally grown produce. The air is infused with the fragrance of ripe tomatoes, and the earth offers the freshest zucchini, spicy Jalapeno peppers, and plump ears of corn. It’s during this season that this One Pan Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake truly shines. This delicious casserole makes the most of summer produce when it is at its peak.
At the heart of this recipe lies orzo, a delicate rice-shaped pasta that absorbs the flavors of the ingredients it mingles with. The orzo is gently cooked in a fragrant basil-infused sauce, infusing every bite with the essence of summer’s herbaceous delight. As you take your first bite, the basil’s aromatic notes will transport you to a sun-dappled garden, and you’ll instantly feel the warmth of the season.
But the star of this dish is undoubtedly the medley of vegetables. Zucchini adds a mild, slightly nutty flavor and a delightful crispness, while sweet corn kernels burst with juiciness. And there’s a bit of heat from the Jalapeno pepper and red pepper flakes. Together, they create a harmonious dance of textures and tastes.
And what’s a pasta bake without a generous layer of melted cheese? Use whatever cheese you like. Sprinkled generously on top, it transforms this summer-inspired dish into a gooey masterpiece. The cheese forms a golden, bubbly crust that seals in the flavors and textures beneath, creating a dish that’s as visually appealing as it is palate-pleasing.
What To Serve With Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake
Whether you’re gathering with loved ones for a sunny weekend brunch or simply craving a taste of summer on a weeknight, this Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Gratin is the perfect recipe to accompany any simple protein (steak, fish, chicken, shrimp, or pork.) It’s a delightful reminder that summer’s bounty is best enjoyed when it’s ripe, fresh, and in season.
One Pan Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake is a culinary ode to the vibrant flavors and colors of summer, featuring orzo pasta, aromatic basil, zucchini, Jalapeno peppers, sweet corn, and a decadent layer of melted cheese. This recipe is a symphony of tastes and textures that come together in a single pan, creating a hearty, satisfying, and utterly delicious meal.
2 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium or two small Jalapeno peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot (or small red onion), chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
sprinkle of red chili flakes
salt and pepper
kernels from 2-3 ears of corn (or use canned corn) about 2 cups
1pound orzo pasta (swap for gluten free if desired)
1cup shredded cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, or a mixture)
1/3cup fresh basil, chopped (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a 9 x 13 casserole dish, combine zucchini, Jalapeno pepper, garlic, olive oil, Italian seasoning, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Stir well and roast for 15 minutes.
Pull the vegetable mixture out of the oven. To the same pan add corn, pesto and orzo. Pour 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock on top and mix. Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, until most of the liquid has absorbed.
Remove pan from oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.