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Nothing’s better (or easier) than this One Pan Corn and Zucchini Pesto Orzo Casserole with crispy, crunchy cheddar on top. Made using healthy vegetables and herbs, this bake is so darn easy, and so darn delicious. It’s made entirely in one pan and in under an hour. Grab some orzo pasta, plenty of herbs, and all the summer zucchini and corn that you can find. Toss everything together in a baking dish, then add creamy Havarti and sharp cheddar cheese. Bake until the top is crispy and crunchy. Simple, but SO GOOD.

One Pan Corn and Zucchini Pesto Orzo Casserole |

With the abundance of summertime zucchini, corn, and herbs, I’m doing all I can to use everything up before the season ends. I’m overwhelmed with ideas, but that’s a good thing, and very exciting! I love this time of year so much.

Before leaving for Mexico, I was trying to use up some of the herbs we had in the greenhouse. You’re going to hear me say this again and again over the next few weeks, but the amount of basil we have is unreal. So much basil, so lots of basil recipes coming soon!

I thought I would highlight the fresh zucchini and corn with this recipe. It’s the perfect all-in-one dinner and it takes no time to prepare.

One Pan Corn and Zucchini Pesto Orzo Casserole |

The background

Do you guys remember the caprese bake I made a while back? While that dish inspired this one. I LOVED that method of cooking orzo in the same pan as everything else. Not only is it super easy, but the orzo ends up tasting even more delicious because it becomes infused with the flavors of the dish.

I wanted to take that cooking method and apply it to this recipe, just switch up the flavors and summery ingredients.

One Pan Corn and Zucchini Pesto Orzo Casserole |

The details

The recipe starts and ends in the same baking dish.

I like to use a mix of zucchini and yellow summer squash, but you can use either/or for this dish. Give them a nice thin slice, then toss with olive oil, garlic, shallots, fresh thyme, and some Italian seasoning.

Roast the zucchini to help remove the water and get the cooking process moving along.

When the zucchini is ready, add the corn, the orzo, the basil pesto, and some chili flakes for a little heat.

Toss everything together, then pour over the water, so simple. The water cooks the pasta just as if we’d boiled it on the stove. Once the water is in, bake another 10 minutes or so. Allow the water to cook into the pasta, then stir, and sprinkle over the cheese. Now finish baking!

One Pan Corn and Zucchini Pesto Orzo Casserole |

Finish it up and eat

When the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted, pull the pan out. If there’s a lot of oil on top from the jar of pesto, just drain that off and save it for dipping with bread (YUMMM).

Top with plenty of fresh basil and that’s literally it. SO SIMPLE, SO DELICIOUS! And I love that there’s basically no prep or extra dishes.

Simple but delicious really is the key! Especially during these fun summer days.

One Pan Corn and Zucchini Pesto Orzo Casserole |

Looking for other easy summer bakes? Here are my favorites: 

One Pot Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Whipped Ricotta

Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta

4 Cheese Sun-Dried Tomato and Spinach Pasta Bake

Lastly, if you make this One Pan Corn and Zucchini Pesto Orzo Casserole, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Easiest One Pan Corn and Zucchini Pesto Orzo Casserole

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 737 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.
    2. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, combine the zucchini, olive oil, garlic, shallots, thyme, Italian seasoning, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Roast 15 minutes. Pull the zucchini out of the oven. To the same pan, add the corn, orzo, and pesto. Pour over 2 1/2 cups of water and stir to combine. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until most of the water has cooked into the pasta, but not all of it.
    3. Stir the pasta around, then sprinkle over the cheeses. Bake another 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling. If there's a lot of oil from the pesto on top, drain off the excess. Top with fresh basil!
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One Pan Corn and Zucchini Pesto Orzo Casserole |

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  1. 4 stars
    This was so tasty! I rated 4 stars because the first time I made this according to the recipe, there wasn’t enough water for the orzo so the casserole just didn’t turn out well. Just made this a second time (following the comments, used 3C water and baked for 25 mins) and it came out perfectly! Added 1.5 cans of chickpeas right before baking the cheese and didn’t have any problems.

    1. Hey Stephanie,
      Happy Sunday! I’m so glad to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks for trying it out! Thanks for sharing what worked well for you! xT

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Tieghan – we made this recipe for dinner last night, delicious! We reintroduced the zucchini just after we stirred the pasta (step 3).

    1. Hi Florence,
      Happy Friday!! So glad to hear that this dish turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it and your comment! xT

  3. This sounds amazing and I would love to try it but I am trying to cut back on simple carbs. Do you think this could be made with whole grains, such as quinoa, barley, or wheat berries? How would you modify the grain to water ratio to avoid too much/too little liquid? Thank you, love your blog!

    1. Hi Farah! I haven’t ever tried this recipe with those items before, but I would imagine that quinoa should work just fine! xT

  4. I have made this a number of times. It is absolutely delicious. I sometimes just grate all the little leftover pieces of cheese I have. So so good.

  5. 5 stars
    Wonderful flavors with leftover basil and my frozen off-the-cob Illinois sweet corn from July! Had to cook for about 10 min longer for the orzo (as a few of the comments also explain) and ended with a 2 min broil to give the cheese a little color. Topped with Italian herb chicken (for my husband the carnivore). Can’t wait to try more recipes (this was my first one!) 🫶🏼