Roasted stuffed zucchini. A healthy vegetarian recipe of tomato, feta, and orzo stuffed inside a grilled pesto zucchini. This quick and easy dish is perfect for spring and summer days and doubles as a healthy dinner or simple side dish.
Or as I like to call it, summer’s last stand.
We love a summer time recipe over here and, luckily for you and for me, it’s gonna feel like summer for the next month over here in Philly. So I made doubly sure that I get all da summertime flava in my body before winter comes and ruins it.
Seriously, don’t come at me, but winter ruins everything.
My love of the holy summer trifecta of zucchini/tomatoes/corn knows no bounds. Seriously, if it were up to me, I would only have to live on these three things alone. Honestly, my mama always tells that simple is best. The more I develop recipes for the blog, the more I realize how right she is.
But of course, mama is always right.
This time of year makes this especially true. I am all about taking that beautiful summer produce and letting loose it’s natural powers. Especially when I have my dad’s produce from his garden, that is when I know I have reached transcendence. There is seriously nothing better than that.
Originally this recipe started out simpler. However, I decided to make it a meal by adding orzo. This brand even has protein to make it even more filling and delicious! Need I say more?
To start, you make the orzo which is just a mix up of pesto, tomatoes, and the optional feta cheese. While that’s happening, you roast up some halved zucchini or summer squash. Then spoon the orzo over the grilled zucchini and finish with some fresh herbs.
And that’s it. You are DONE.
This is kind of like a caprese salad, but elevated with orzo, zucchini, and um, ok a few other things too. It’s also just DELICIOUS. Really fresh, really colorful, and all things perfect. It is definitely my kind of dinner.
Please feel free to add your fav protein of choice. Personally, I love to toss in some crispy chickpeas and BOOM. Dinner is served.
Yields 4 servings
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups walnuts, finely ground
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup extra extra-virgin oil
- 4 zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- salt + pepper
- 1 cup orzo (or grain free equivalent), cooked according to package directions
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- fresh basil, for serving
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Toss zucchini halves with avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once, until the zucchini are soft and slightly golden.
While the zucchini are roasting, make the pesto. Place the fresh spinach, fresh basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, fresh lemon juice, sea salt and finely ground walnuts in a food processor or blender, and blend for just 30 seconds or so, or until forming a chunky mixture. With the processor or blender still running, stream in the extra virgin olive oil until all has been added and add more as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
Cook the orzo according to the package directions, reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.
In a medium bowl, add 1/3 cup pesto. Add around 2 tablespoons cooking water and whisk to think out the sauce. Add cooked orzo and tomatoes, tossing to combine. If the sauce seems to thick, add 1 tablespoon of cooking liquid at a time to thin out the sauce.
To serve, place zucchini on a serving tray. Top with pesto orzo and sprinkle with fresh basil. EAT