I think that I managed to pack all of the season’s best fresh veggies and herbs into one cheesy casserole! This Dump-and-Bake Summer Pasta with Corn, Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Chicken is a quick, light, and easy dinner that your family will love. It’s so simple and so fast because you don’t even have to boil the pasta! Just stir the ingredients together in one dish and pop it in the oven!
Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean that I’ve totally given up on cozy comfort food! I’ve only shifted gears a little bit and turned our cool weather favorites into more seasonally appropriate dishes like this Summer Pasta! Because you can only eat so many salads…
But wait! Before you run off and assume that this is a heavy, calorie-laden meal that won’t jive with your bathing suit goals, hear me out! I’ve lightened up the dish with loads of fresh vegetables, lean protein, and a broth-based sauce for a dump-and-run summer pasta that has less than 300 calories per serving!
Over the past 7 or 8 years, I have found that the best way to encourage all of my boys to eat their veggies is to add the nutritious stuff to familiar meals that the kids already know and love. I’m not “disguising” or “hiding” the vegetables, but instead making them more palatable and mild by combining them with the flavors and textures that the boys enjoy.
So when you’re faced with a garden full of zucchini, fresh tomatoes from the farmer’s market, or leftover grilled chicken from your recent cookout, there’s no need to force-feed a grilled chicken salad to your toddler! Instead, you can bake a fresh and light summer pasta for an easy dinner that comes together in a matter of minutes (and it just happens to include zucchini). This is about as easy as cooking gets, since you don’t even have to boil the pasta!
Dump and Bake Summer Pasta with Corn, Zucchini, Tomatoes and Chicken
Yield 8 servings
I think that I managed to pack all of the season's best fresh veggies and herbs into one cheesy casserole! This Dump-and-Bake Summer Pasta with Corn, Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Chicken is a quick, light, and easy dinner that your family will love. It's so simple and so fast because you don't even have to boil the pasta! Just stir the ingredients together in one dish and pop it in the oven!
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 cup halved grape tomatoes (can substitute with a can of undrained diced tomatoes)
1 small zucchini (about 1 cup), diced
½ cup corn kernels (fresh, canned, or frozen is fine)
12 ounces (about 3 cups uncooked) uncooked penne pasta
3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
½ cup chopped or torn fresh basil leaves, divided
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In the prepared dish (or in a separate bowl), stir together cooked chicken, tomatoes, zucchini, corn, uncooked pasta, chicken broth, 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese, about half of the basil leaves, minced garlic, and salt.
- Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Uncover; stir. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.
- Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of mozzarella over the top. Bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender).
- Garnish with remaining basil leaves just before serving.
Cooking Just for Two? You can prepare a much smaller casserole by dividing the ingredients in half and baking the dish in an 8-inch square pan. The cooking process remains the same.
Want to Prep Ahead? You can dice the chicken and vegetables in advance. When you're ready to prepare dinner, just stir the ingredients together and bake!
Serving Size 1/8th of the recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 5.8 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 36 mg
Sodium 498 mg
Total Carbohydrates 36 g
Dietary Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 21 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.