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Grilled Zucchini Fettuccine with Walnut Pesto {vegan}

Zucchini ribbons, cooked till they get a nice char around the edges, mixed into tender-firm pasta noodles, all bathed in a savory walnut and lemon sauce—this grilled zucchini fettuccine with walnut pesto goes on the menu when zucchini runneth the garden!

Grilled Zucchini Fettuccine with Walnut Pesto | Letty's Kitchen

Light up the grill!  Make this easy vegan pasta. You are going to love how the walnut pesto adds pleasure to every amazing bite!

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Last week I made walnut pesto and served it with grilled zucchini strips as a last minute appetizer. I’m talking extremely casual–we stood there next to the sink, gobbling down grilled zucchini with huge dollops of pesto, eating it right out of our hands. No plate, but we did need napkins! The combo was so yummy no one cared, and besides, what’s a little savage eating among close friends?

Adding pasta, I turned the pesto and grilled zucchini into an easy dinner. Grilled zucchini and lemony walnut pesto pair well, pasta or no pasta, gluten free pasta or spiralized zucchini zoodles coated with lemony walnut pesto sauce.

ingredients for Grilled Zucchini Fettuccine with Walnut Pesto | Letty's Kitchen

Do it:

While the grill heats up, get out the food processor and make the sauce. Finely chop walnuts with shallots, lemon zest and thyme, stir in fresh-squeezed lemon juice and walnut and/or olive oil. Easy. Set that aside.

Next, slice the “zukes” lengthwise into wide thin ribbons. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Pop them on the grill.

Just before you’re ready to eat, cook the fettuccine in plenty of boiling salted water, until the pasta is al dente, tender to the tooth. Stir a bit of pasta water into the pesto to loosen it up, and then toss everything together. This super simple supper is just fancy enough to serve to company.

Grilled Zucchini Fettuccine with Walnut Pesto | Letty's Kitchen

Grilled Zucchini Fettuccine with Walnut Pesto recipe notes:

  • Walnut pesto marries well with other lightly grilled veggies, all kinds, you name them—eggplant, corn, shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, and red onion, as well as the omnipresent zucchini.
  • I used an inexpensive hand-held mandoline slicer to cut 1/8-inch thick zucchini ribbons. If you want to make “zoodles”, use a spiralizer, like this one. See how to cut veggies into noodles in this roasted asparagus and sweet potato noodle recipe.
  • Delallo fettuccine, which doesn’t contain eggs, keeps this recipe vegan.
  • You might want to try this easy basil walnut pesto with pasta and grilled veggies too.
  • Loosely adapted from a recipe torn from Food & Wine Magazine in 2010.

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5 from 1 vote
Grilled Zucchini Fettuccine with Walnut Pesto | Letty's Kitchen
Grilled Zucchini Fettuccine with Walnut Pesto
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Grilled zucchini ribbons with fettuccine noodles and lemony walnut pesto is easy summer comfort food. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Vegan
Keyword: zucchini, fettuccine, walnut pesto
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Letty Flatt
Ingredients
Walnut pesto:
  • 1 shallot , cut in 4 pieces
  • 1 cup lightly toasted walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil , or a mix of the two
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Zucchini and pasta:
  • 2 pounds zucchini , 3 or 4, depending on size
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , as needed
  • 8 ounces fettuccine pasta
  • Thyme leaves and torn basil , for garnish
Instructions
Make the walnut pesto:
  1. With the motor of the food processor running, mince the shallot by dropping it through the feed tube. Add the walnuts, thyme, lemon zest, the salt, paprika, and lemon juice. Pulse until the walnuts are chopped, but not ground, scraping the sides of the work bowl, as needed. With the motor running, pour in the walnut and/or olive oil, all at once. Scrape into a bowl and season with a generous grind of black pepper. Set aside.

Grill the zucchini and cook the pasta:
  1. Preheat the grill. Trim the ends from the zucchini. Slice lengthwise, thinly, about 1/8-inch thick. Toss with olive oil, the salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

  2. On a vegetable grilling accessory tray, grill over high heat, turning until lightly charred on the edges and limp tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
  3. Cook the pasta in well-salted water, following to package directions. When the pasta is almost done, mix about 3 tablespoons of the pasta water into the walnut pesto.
  4. Drain the pasta and immediately toss with the walnut pesto and grilled zucchini.
  5. Serve hot, with a sprinkle of thyme and basil leaves.
Recipe Notes

If you wish, serve with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese at the table.

***This recipe is an update of one I posted in July 2009, and migrated over from my old muffintalk.wordpress.com blog.

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