Grilled Vegetable Pasta Toss
"A taste of summer, this grilled vegetable pasta is a refreshing and satisfying main course or side dish."
Grilled vegetables taste amazing. They taste even more amazing when they've been marinated in a mixture of fresh garlic, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. This grilled vegetable pasta is light but packed with flavor. It's loaded with fresh, good-for-you veggies, earthy basil, tangy parmesan cheese and Italian-seasoned chickpeas. It's a winning vegetarian dish that will make everyone (even your meat-eaters) happy.
The key to this recipe's success is the marinade. It's a simple, four ingredient marinade, but it makes all the difference. As an added bonus, any leftover marinade is turned into a delicious "sauce" used to season the cooked pasta. Toss it all together with fresh basil and parmesan cheese and you've got a simple, healthy, flavorful meal.
Food Safety Tip: Wash, wash, wash! All of the vegetables in this dish need a good scrub and rinse under cold water before cooking to remove any unwanted bugs or dirt. Don't forget about that onion either. Peel off the outer papery layer and then give it a good wash in cold running water.
Grilled Vegetable Pasta Toss
- 2-3 (about 6 ounces) portabella mushroom caps, cleaned, gills removed
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded, stem removed and cut into planks
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded, stem removed and cut into planks
- 1 small yellow squash, cut into planks
- 1 small red onion, peeled and cut into thick slices
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound whole-wheat pasta (such as penne)
- 1, 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
- To a large resealable plastic bag, add the mushrooms, bell peppers, squash and onion.
- In a bowl, whisk together the mustard, balsamic vinegar, garlic, olive oil and black pepper. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the marinade. Pour the remaining marinade over the vegetables in the resealable bag. Close the bag and toss until vegetables are well-coated in the marinade. Place bag in the refrigerator and marinate the vegetables for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
- Remove the vegetables from the refrigerator and preheat the grill to medium-high heat. While the grill is preheating, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
- Toss the chickpeas in the Italian seasoning, salt and 1 tablespoon of marinade and place on a large piece of foil. Fold up sides to create a foil packet.
- Remove the vegetables from the bag, reserving the extra marinade. Place the vegetables on the grill. Place the chickpea foil packet towards the less hot side of the grill. Grill vegetables on both sides until grill marks form, about 5-10 minutes per side. Stir the chickpeas and move the packet around the grill if the chickpeas aren't getting cooked or are cooking too quickly. Once vegetables and chickpeas are cooked (chickpeas will be lightly browned in color) remove from the grill.
- Roughly chop the vegetables and add them, along with the cooked pasta to a serving bowl. Toss with the reserved marinade (leftover from the bag), parmesan cheese and basil.
Sara Haas, RDN, LDN, is a Chicago-based dietitian and chef. She currently works with Roche Dietitians as well as Centered Chef, is a Food & Nutrition contributing editor, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, and is also the voice of The Eating Right Minute, a public service announcement of the Academy that airs daily on WBBM Newsradio, 780 and 105.9 FM. Find her helpful lifestyle tips on Twitter.