Pesto Grilled Veggies with Penne Pasta

During the summer meal planning tends to slip through the cracks.  With all the traveling, late afternoons at the pool and hot summer days I find myself not wanting to spend much time in the kitchen cooking.  But, with school right around the corner it’s time to start planning meals and getting back into the dinner routine.  This Pesto Grilled Veggies with Penne Pasta dish is definitely going to become a meal-time favorite at our house.

This dish is the perfect back to school weeknight meal because it’s quick, easy, and a family-friendly meal you can feel good about. Loaded with fresh veggies and topped with a hearty tomato basil sauce this dish is full of flavor and nutritious.  Which is exactly what my family needs after a summer of eating out on the road, and lots and lots of ice cream.  I went to Walmart to grab our favorite Barilla Blue Box pasta and everything else I’d need to make this dish.  Did you know that for every box of Barilla Blue Box pasta purchase you make at Walmart between 8/10/2017-10/31/2017, Barilla will donate $1 to No Kid Hungry, up to $50,000.  That’s enough to provide 500,000 meals to kids in need, you can learn more at

I chopped up a bunch of my kids favorite veggies and even snuck in a few that they don’t love like asparagus.  Then I added a 2 tablespoons of fresh pesto and mixed them all together and grilled the veggies.  The pesto gives the vegetables a deep, rich flavor that is enhanced when you grill them. As for the pesto, you can use any pre-made kind or make your own delicious homemade version.

Meanwhile cook the penne pasta.  The ridges of penne make it ideal for retaining all the delicious flavor from the pesto grilled vegetables and the aromatic Tomato & Basil sauce.  

I like to place my cooked pasta and veggies side-by-side on a large platter and spoon the sauce over the pasta.  Some of my kids prefer little or no sauce so rather than mixing everything together I can make sure everyone is happy, plus I think it makes a much prettier presentation too.

Dish up a serving of pasta and a heaping helping of veggies for the perfect, quick and easy dinner.

My whole family loved this dish and I love that everyone got a healthy dose of veggies and a nutritious meal.  This meal is definitely going to become a regular in my weekly menu planning rotation.


Do you have a quick and easy dish that’s perfect for those busy school nights?

Mariah Leeson is the creative mind behind With a passion for celebrating, Mariah created Giggles Galore to inspire families to celebrate life’s little moments with creative, budget friendly ideas. She loves cooking, reading, crafting, hosting parties and most of all spending time giggling with her family.

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