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Zucchini pasta salad in bowl with fresh corn and shredded parmesan.
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4.80 from 5 votes

Simple Grilled Zucchini Pasta Salad

Summer in a bowl in this Simple Pasta Salad with Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini right here! The lemon gives a fresh burst of flavor along with the corn, parmesan, and zucchini.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 203kcal
Author: Lorie Yarro


  • 1 16 oz. package rotini pasta
  • 3 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 c corn (cooked and chilled)
  • ¼ c red onion, small diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ c plus 2 T olive oil
  • 3 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoon lemon zest, separated
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1 c shredded parmesan


  • Preheat grill to medium low heat. Toss sliced zucchini in 2 T olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste. Allow to sit for several minutes.
  • Place zucchini on heated grill and allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking. Remove from grill, cool for several minutes and then cut into quarters or bite sized pieces.
  • Cook pasta according to package. Drain water and run under cold water.
  • In a large bowl, combine pasta, zucchini, corn, and onion. Add garlic, lemon juice, remaining lemon zest, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and toss. If it seems dry, add in more olive oil. Stir in parmesan and chill until ready to serve. If you prep this recipe in advance, toss a bit more olive oil in before serving to add back any moisture that has been absorbed.


  • I know the name says "grilled zucchini" but if push comes to shove and you need to roast the zucchini, feel free to do so. No need to skip this recipe just because you don't have access to a grill or something goes wrong with the grill. It will still be worth it.
  • Don't over grill the zucchini. I always find that there is a point of no return when it comes to zucchini. It loses its slight crunch and can become water logged when overcooked. No one wants soggy veggies in their pasta salad, right? Make sure to cut the zucchini thick enough and then pull it off the grill just before you think it may be ready.
  • Prepare your pasta Al dente. This is another way to make sure the pasta salad isn't soggy and the pasta doesn't become mushy.
  • I have also used balsamic to make this instead of the red or white wine vinegar. It tasted fantastic as well.
  • Out of fresh garlic? No worries! Add about ¼ - ½ teaspoon to the zucchini when grilling and about the same amount to the pasta salad. Adjust as needed to taste.


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 247mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 254IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 1mg