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Vegetarian Recipes

Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad

Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad Recipe

The only zucchini recipes that have my attention right now call for pounds of it. One half cup here, or a medium zucchini there just isn’t going to cut into the supply coming out of the garden. Apparently many of you feel similarly, because a lot of you made the Pasta with Smashed Zucchini Cream I posted last week (so good! Also uses 2 pounds). Today’s recipe is a panzanella of sorts, a simple bread salad made with torn pieces of toasted multi-grain bread, grilled zucchini, chickpeas, and a simple, garlic-forward ponzu dressing. Like the pasta, it will also put a 2 pound dent in your zucchini haul.

The recipe

You can toast the bread, and pull the dressing together ahead of time if you like. Beyond that, when you see an opening on the grill, get in there. Grilling the zucchini takes ten minutes or so. This is a great side for whatever else you might have coming off the grill, but I also like it as a light main for summer nights.


  • Choosing zucchini: Although, generally speaking, smaller zucchini have nicer texture and taste better, this is a great way to use up larger zucchini. Sliced zucchini with a larger diameter is easier to grill, if you’re not using a grilling basket.
  • Thickness: You want to get the thickness of your zucchini slices right here. In the recipe, you’ll notice that I I have you slice the zucchini 1/4-inch thick. The main thing is this – I’d rather you err on the thicker versus thinner side when slicing here. This way your squash will maintain some structure. It’s on the grill for a bit, and if you slice too thinly, the slices are more likely to tear or disintegrate. If your slices are right on the money at 1/4-inch-ish, you should be all good.
  • Bread: I like a good-quality multigrain bread here. Tear bread pieces large enough that the edges get crispy, but the interior stays a bit chewy when toasting.


  • With Crispy Fried Shallots:  I wanted to keep this recipe as simple, summery, and straight-forward as possible, so I didn’t call for any intensive toppings. That said, crispy fried shallots, to finish things off, would be bonus here. If I’d had some on hand, I wouldn’t have skimped using them. I use them in this cilantro salad, and the recipe is included there.
  • Spicier! To let everyone dial up the heat to their liking, serve with a little jar of sesame chile oil on  the table. Drizzle to taste.
  • With cheese: Not for the vegans in the crowd, but a bit of crumbled feta or cotija cheese is a nice touch here.

And if you still need to use more, here’s where I’ve collected all my favorite zucchini recipes. Have fun!

Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad

I like a multigrain bread here. Tear the bread pieces large enough that the edges get crispy, but the interior stays a bit chewy. Also, if the bottom of your loaf of bread is extra hard, I tend to trim that off before tearing into chunks. Look for ponzu near the soy sauce at the grocery store.

  • 1/2 pound loaf of multi-grain bread, torn into bits
  • 2 pounds (4 medium or 2 XL) zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup ponzu
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 medium serrano pepper, seeded & minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 14- ounce can of chickpeas, drained
  • To serve: zest of one lemon // basil / cherry tomatoes
1. Toss the chunks of bread in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a couple pinches of salt. Massage the oil into the bread a bit with your hands, turn out onto a baking sheet and toast until deeply golden in a 375F oven. It should take 8-12 minutes or so – tossing once or twice along the way. Set aside.
2. Whisk the ponzu, toasted sesame oil, Serrano, and garlic together in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Prep your grill, medium-high heat. Toss the zucchini in the same bowl you used for the bread, along with 2 more tablespoons of olive oil and a couple pinches of salt. Either use a wide grilling basket, or, if your grill has narrow slats, arrange the zucchini across the grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes, turning often with a metal spatula, until the zucchini is tender and golden, with grill marks. It seems like a lot of zucchini, but it really cooks down. Remove zucchini from the grill as it finishes.
4. Just before serving pour the ponzu dressing over the grilled zucchini and chickpeas in a large serving bowl, gently toss. Add the toasted bread and give another good toss. Serve topped with cherry tomatoes, lemon zest and basil.

Serves 4.

The post Grilled Zucchini & Bread Salad appeared first on 101 Cookbooks

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Vegetarian Recipes

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Here’s a quickie recipe for those nights when you just need something fast and delicious. This Lemon Ricotta Pasta is super fast, light, and fresh, which makes it perfect for an easy weeknight dinner during the summer. The bright lemon flavor perfectly compliments the light and creamy ricotta, and the little pops of sweetness from the peas make every bite a little more interesting. Simple, fresh, and easy.

Originally posted 3-4-2011, updated 6-8-2022.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon ricotta pasta with a fork and lemon wedges.

Do I Have to Use Fresh Lemon?

This is one of those recipes where you really do want to use a fresh lemon instead of bottled juice. The zest from the lemon adds a ton of bright, summery lemon flavor to the pasta without making the sauce too sour. We add just a little of the juice to balance the creaminess of the ricotta, but the zest is where you’re getting all that gorgeous sunny lemon flavor!

Not All Ricotta is Created Equal

I find there is quite a bit of variation in the quality of ricotta from brand to brand. Some are smooth, mild, and sweet like fresh milk, while others are bland and grainy. My preferred brand is Galbani, but they didn’t have any at the store when I went, so I got the generic Kroger brand. It was definitely a bit grainy, but the pasta was still quite delicious despite that!

Also, make sure to get whole milk ricotta. Low-fat ricotta just doesn’t hit the same in this recipe.

What Else Can I Add?

This simple pasta is a great jumping-off point for making a more elaborate pasta, if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Try adding some sliced chicken breast, fresh basil, or fresh spinach. Garlic butter shrimp would also go great with this pasta!

What to Serve with Lemon Ricotta Pasta

This pasta is so light and fresh that I suggest keeping any side dishes really simple, light, and fresh as well. I would go with a super simple side salad, or maybe some roasted asparagus and tomatoes.

Overhead view of lemon ricotta pasta in a skillet.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon ricotta pasta.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta is light, fresh, and quick to prepare, making it the perfect pasta for weeknight dinners in the summer.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.27 recipe / $1.07 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 400kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes


  • 1 lemon $0.89
  • 8 oz. pasta* $0.67
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta $1.60
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.36
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper (or to taste) $0.02


  • Zest and juice the lemon. You’ll need about ½ tsp zest and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the starchy water from the pot.
  • Place the frozen peas in the colander before draining the pasta so the pasta will thaw the peas as it drains.
  • Add the butter and minced garlic to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the drained pasta and peas, and about ½ cup of the starchy pasta cooking water to the skillet with the butter and garlic. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat.
  • Add the ricotta, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon lemon zest to the skillet. Stir until everything is well combined, the residual heat from the skillet and pasta have warmed the ricotta, and the ricotta has formed a creamy sauce. Add more of the warm reserved pasta water if needed.
  • Season the pasta with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Serve warm.


*Use any short shape pasta.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 335mg | Fiber: 4g

close up side view of lemon ricotta pasta in a bowl.

How to Make Lemon Ricotta Pasta – Step By Step Photos

A zested and juiced lemon on a cutting board.

Zest and juice one lemon. You’ll need about ½ tsp of zest and 1 Tbsp juice.

Boiled pasta in a pot, water being scooped out with a measuring cup.

Cook 8oz. pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Reserve about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining.

Peas and cooked pasta in a colander.

Add 1 cup of frozen peas to a colander, then pour the boiled pasta over top to thaw the peas as you drain the pasta.

Sautéed garlic in butter in a skillet.

Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 clove garlic to a large skillet. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.

Pasta, peas, and pasta water added to the skillet.

Add the still-hot pasta and peas to the skillet along with about ½ cup of the hot reserved pasta water. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat.

Cheese and lemon added to pasta.

Add 1 cup whole milk ricotta, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and ½ tsp lemon zest to the pasta. Stir until the ingredients are combined, the residual heat from the pasta and skillet have warmed the ricotta, and the ricotta has turned into a creamy sauce.

Salt, pepper, and red pepper added to the pasta.

Add more of the reserved pasta water if the mixture is too thick or too dry. Season the pasta with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.

Finished lemon ricotta pasta in the skillet.

Enjoy the lemon ricotta pasta while still warm!

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon ricotta pasta.

The post Lemon Ricotta Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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