Grilled Vegetable Summer Pasta Salad with a Basil & Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

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Some people love their cars so much that they name them.  I happen to love my grill so much that I named it.  From now on, I will only refer to my grill as “Grilli Vanilli”!

Man, things have been so busy lately.  I just started a new job, which I’m loving, but learning a new job can be exhausting.  Whenever I get a new job, I look forward to the day where I know exactly what I’m doing and don’t have to ask so many questions.  Unfortunately, my husband and I only  have one day off together now, which is too bad because we love to go camping and hiking together on the weekends, but it is kinda nice because now I get one full day to work on the blog without disruption.  My Mondays now consist of grocery shopping, cooking, photographing, writing posts, and doing lots of dishes.  I love all of it, except for the dishes washing part…

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 I feel so fortunate to live in a place where I can grill year round.  I think I have already professed my love of grilling, so I won’t bore you with it again, but if you have a grill, I hope you are embracing it this summer!  And, if you don’t have a grill, I suggest you go out and buy one right now!

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Vegetables are one of my favorite things to grill because they are so easy and they grill up so quickly.  I usually just season them with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil and throw them right on.  I’m not sure what I enjoy more, the grilled flavor or how pretty the grill marks look.

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When making a summer pasta salad, you just gotta add cherry tomatoes, am I right?!

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If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I’m dressing obsessed.  I know I say this about every dressing I make, but this one really is my favorite!  (at least for now)  I’m also pretty obsessed with garlic and roasting it just makes it that much better.  If you have never made roasted garlic before, check out my recipe here.

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Grilled Vegetable Summer Pasta Salad with a Basil & Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

  • Category: Entree, Gluten Free, Vegan


  • 12 oz penne pasta, gluten free or regular. I used corn pasta
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus
  • 12 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Basil & Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 – 5 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1 head of roasted garlic
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper


  1. Make the vinaigrette: add all of the vinaigrette ingredients into a blender and blend until combined. Set aside.
  2. Heat the grill to medium heat. Cut the zucchini and squash in half. Drizzle the zucchini, squash, and asparagus with a little bit of olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the vegetables on the grill and grill for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Let vegetables cool.
  3. Cook the pasta according the package directions. Drain the pasta and place it into a large bowl. Cut the grilled vegetables into bite sized pieces and add to the pasta. Add sliced tomatoes. Pour vinaigrette over pasta and vegetables and stir until everything is evenly coated. Salt to taste.
  4. Enjoy!


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Cheeto gets so excited when the birds walk right up to the door.  They can’t see in so he thinks he is being really slick!

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    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you Kathy! That is funny you say that, I didn’t even tell my husband that I made this pasta so that I could take it for lunch everyday!

  1. says

    Grilli Vanilli…I love it, Izzy! I hope your new job is going well so far! Sounds like you have your hands full, but hopefully things will slow down a bit. I love everything about this pasta salad! It just screams summer to me, from the veggies to the vinaigrette (which sounds absolutely amazing). Pinning for the future!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Gayle :) The new job is great, the only downfall is that at my old job I had a lot of down time and that is when I did a lot of my blogging, so now I am spending much more of my personal time on it, but it is worth it! I’m pretty obsessed with summer food right now and am gonna be kind of sad when summer comes to and end, although I’m really looking forward to the cooler fall weather! Thanks for pinning!

  2. says

    Hi Izzy! I just found your blog and I love it already! This pasta recipe sounds so nice and it is also GF! That’s great! I have never used a grill, but looking at the pics of these veggies I start thinking that I have definitely buy one :)!
    The flavor you gets when you grill anything is so unique and delicious!
    I checked out the recipe for the grilled garlic and I think I’ll try to make it and this dressing too! Thank you so much Izzy!
    Have a lovely day!

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Ema! I’m so glad you found me! I just checked out your blog and I really love your pictures! They are so fun and creative! You must get a grill! I didn’t really know how to use one until about a year ago, but now I don’t think I could love without it! Once you get used to one, they are so easy to use and there is just something so fun about cooking outside! You will love the garlic, it is so tasty! Thanks so much for stopping by, Ema :)

      • says

        Thanks a lot Izzy!!! I’m glad you liked my little blog :)!
        I’ll put the grill in my endless list along with the slow cookes and a Le Creuset pot ahahah!!!
        I’ll try to make the garlic soon then :)!
        Have a lovely day :*

  3. says

    Congratulations on your new job. So glad you are loving it! And these grilled veggies look soooo good. Talk about a perfect pasta salad!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks, Monet! It is so much better than my old job, that it is worth the busyness! I’ve become pretty obsessed with the grill this summer, I’m so glad you like this pasta salad!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Bri! I 100% agree!! No dishes is pretty much the best thing ever! They are my very least favorite thing about cooking! That is awesome that you are taking advantage of the grill while you can! Grilling in the summertime in AZ is a trade off, you don’t heat the house up by using the oven, but it is so hot outside you don’t want to stay out for too long :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Lilli! I’m so in love with roasted garlic too!! And it goes so well with this pasta! Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. says

    I know what you mean about starting a new job. That was me last year and I couldn’t wait to just come in to work and know my stuff without asking what felt like a bajillion questions. Hang in there, you’ll be a pro in no time! Your grilled vegetables are making my mouth water. I love them! The dressing sounds fantastic, too!

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Leah! Learning new things can be so exhausting! Thankfully it is rewarding too, or I don’t know what I would do! I always feel so bad about asking so many questions, but I guess that is how you actually learn things. Haha, thank you, I hope so! There is just something about grilled vegetables that makes them so much more appetizing! And this dressing really is one of my favorites :)

  5. says

    We love to grill tons of vegetables, too! Your pasta salad, with all those beautifully grilled veggies, looks amazing. I’ve got to make a good dressing like you have and do the same.

    • She Likes Food says

      Aren’t grilled vegetables the best?! Thank you so much! Tasty dressings make everything better :)

  6. says

    Grilli Vanilli, haha, that’s great! I’m the same way when starting a new job, I feel so clueless and overwhelmed by how much I need to familiarize myself with. Hope you’re liking your new job!

    This grilled vegetable pasta salad sounds delicious! I’ve gotta try that basil and roasted garlic vinaigrette. Sounds amazing!

    • She Likes Food says

      I totally know what you mean, Natalie. I hate feeling clueless , so hopefully I stay at this job for a while and don’t need to learn another new job anytime soon! It is a great job though, so it is totally worth it!

      Thank you so much! You will love this vinaigrette :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Jess! Basil is one of my favorite herbs and thankfully my basil is one of the only things that is growing well in my garden this summer! Thank you! The new job gets easier by the day :)

  7. says

    When I started my new job I was probably the most annoying employee ever. I am a major list maker so I would make lists, like major long lists with all of my questions and sit down and ask them one by one and take notes! ha! I was straight out of college and I think I was still in the “classroom mentality” I am sure you will get the hang of it in no time!! And I am loving this pasta salad!! I have been making the same greek pasta salad for years, I need to branch out a bit!! :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha! I’ve been feeling annoying lately too! I’m also such a list maker! I was lucky enough to train for a week with my predecessor and I made her sit down with me and pretty much tell me every single task she did each day! It was probably annoying, but it has helped me so much! Each day is easier than the last, so that is a good sign!

      Greek pasta salad sound really delicious! I think you will love this one too :)

  8. says

    YUM!! This looks delicious!!! And I hear ya on the cherry tomato thing! I love them!! I always refer to cherry tomatoes as ‘natures candy’!! They are the best and I eat them all the time! Lovely recipe :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Cailee! I love that analogy! Cherry tomatoes definitely remind me of candy, they are the best :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha, thanks Erin! You definitely won’t regret getting a grill, it will be your new best friend! Good luck with the house hunting :) It can be so stressful, but we have been in our new house for almost a year now and all the stress was totally worth it!

  9. says

    I am ALL about grilled veggies at the moment. Can’t get enough of ’em! This pasta salad is SO up my alley, Izzy! I am dying over how perfect that basil vinaigrette looks and all those lovely grilled veggie with those gorgeous char marks. Ahh! I NEED this salad in my life pronto! Pinned. :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Hi Sarah! Grilled veggies are the best!! I can’t get enough of them either! Not only do they taste good, but I’m pretty obsessed with their pretty grill marks :) I have no doubt that you would love this vinaigrette! I think we just need to get together and have a huge potluck!

  10. says

    I love the nickname or your grill, too funny!

    I love fresh grilled veggies too, so perfect! And the dressing looks amazing.

    • She Likes Food says

      Haha, thanks Danielle! I think I would eat any vegetable as long as it was grilled! And also slathered with this dressing :)

  11. says

    Well, firstly, Isadora, congrats on the new job! New jobs are hard work, but it’s so great that you’re enjoying it. Sounds like you get to have some ‘you’ time on those quiet Mondays, too. Bonus!
    As for the pasta, I reckon I could eat something like this every single summer day. The dressing sounds divine!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Helen!! It has been a month and a half and I’m slowly getting used to things! As much as I love my husband, it is so nice to have a full day to myself! I made this huge batch of pasta and I didn’t even tell my husband that I had made it just so I could eat the whole thing myself! I think you would love this dressing, Helen!

  12. says

    Nothing says summer like a lot of grilled summer vegetables, does it? This pasta looks like the perfect summer dinner. I really enjoy quinoa and brown rice pastas. Do you use those? I feel they add a more complex carb boost to a vegetarian pasta dish.

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Katie! My husband used to only eat my gluten free pasta if I used the corn pasta, but I recently discovered a brown rice pasta that he loves. He even had to ask me if it was really gluten free! I haven’t tried quinoa pasta before, but I’ve been wanting to. I love quinoa, so I know I would love it! I’ll keep my eye out for it :)

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Joanne! There is a chance I took down a few spoonfuls of it just to make sure it was seasoned just right :)

  13. says

    Haha love that you named your grill :) Grilling season is our favorite especially for all the grilled veggies! Yours look fantastic! Love the gorgeous color and they sound amazing in this pasta salad. Congrats on your new job too :)

    • She Likes Food says

      I figured that I am around the grill so much, I should have a name to call it, haha! Grilling season is my favorite too, there is something so fun about cooking and eating outdoors in the summer! Thank you! I’m slowly getting a hang of the new job and things seem easier everyday :)

  14. says

    Izzy! GRILLI VANILLI! hahaaaa. You are my girl. You’re clearly very dedicated to your grill baby, which I can totally see why. Is there anything better than grilled food? NO. Especially grilled zucchini. I could eat that stuff by the truckload. This recipe looks so delicious. I LOVE that dressing and roasted garlic is one of my favourite things right now because the garlic is super-fresh. Yum! Must make.

    New jobs are always exciting but also mentally exhausting, so I totally hear you lady. And only having one day to spend with your hubby is a bummer :( But I love how you’re making it work. One day you will have 7 days a week where you can blog/spend time with hubby whenever you like due to your amazingness and talent :) Or own a successful dressing empire muwahahaha.

    An entire day dedicated to blogging sounds amazing! I am also not a fan of the dishes part of blogging -and for some reason, food photography is SO messy. It’s awful. I spend way too much time cleaning up after shooting food.

    And I missed little Cheeto! Awwwww.


    • She Likes Food says

      Al! I’m so glad you approve of the grill’s name!! No, definitely not anything better than grilled food! No way!! Can we figure out a way to grill ice cream?! I could eat grilled zucchini by the truckload as well, it is sooo good! You will most def love this dressing, especially if you love roasted garlic (which of course happens to be one of my favorite things right now too!)

      New jobs are so mentally exhausting. I’ve been going home everyday and the only thing I want to do is have a glass of wine and sit in a hot bubble bath! That seems to help things! Eric says he thinks he will be able to change his schedule around a little bit this Fall so we can have two days off together which will be nice, unless I’m already so used to having my Mondays as a me day, haha! Awww, you are the sweetest! Every night I pray that one day I can blog 7 days a week! That would be so amazing! I have faith that it will happen for both of us! And OMG a dressing empire?!! Maybe we can go in on one together!

      Baby Cheeto missed you too! xoxo!

  15. says

    Congrats on your new job! Sounds great to have a day to just focus on blogging.

    Funny you named your grill. You are lucky to be able to grill year round, it gets so cold here (like 0 degrees) that we have months and months where grilling is just not possible because the food can’t cook even if you try and lite the grill. So we have to be patient.

    But this looks delicious, I’d better try it before grilling season is over because it goes so quick on us!! As always, love all the veggies.

    • She Likes Food says

      Thank you, Laura! It is great to have one day, but I still would love to have 7 days a week to focus on the blog! As much as I love to grill year round, it has been a full year since I’ve seen snow and I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon. That is crazy that it gets so cold that the food wouldn’t even cook on a heated grill! I lived in Montana for two years and it got really cold there, but I’m not sure I could stand those temps again!

      Yes, you should grill as much as you can before grilling season is over!!

  16. says

    haha I love that you named your grill! And I definitely love the sound of this pasta salad! So fresh and perfect this time of the year! PS I could also do without any dirty dishes :) Man do I hate them!

    • She Likes Food says

      Thanks Ashley! As much as I love the fall and am looking forward to cooler temps, I’m loving all the summer produce and don’t want it to go away! Ughh, dishes are the worst! I think that I need to instate the rule of I cook, husband does the dishes. Although that would probably end with stacks and stacks of dirty dishes all throughout the house :)

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