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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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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.

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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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 | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this twice now & it’s AMAZING!
    I omit the onion and shallot (sensitivity), make the pesto from scratch (just preference), half the recipe & also add chopped cooked chicken right before I load the cheese on. It’s so good; my picky kiddo never wants to stop eating it.

  2. 5 stars
    This was so easy and so delicious. I used butternut, cauliflower and zucchini for some variety and it was absolutely great. The corn added a sweetness and the orzo was cooked perfectly. Yum!

    1. Hey Jodi,
      Fantastic!! 🍁🍂 I am delighted to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review! xT

  3. Subbed the corn for shredded chicken breast. Cooked orzo for as long as possible ….fam loved it, which is rare! 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼

    1. Hey Pamela,
      Fantastic!! 🍁🍂 I am delighted to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review! xT

  4. 1 star
    I really wanted to love this recipe, but it fell short. I put more garlic and substituted the shallot for a small yellow onion, but there still wasn’t a lot of flavor. I’ll try another recipe of yours, because a lot of your recipes *sound* amazing!

    1. Hi there,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your feedback, so sorry to hear it was not enjoyed! Please let me know if there is anything that I can help with! xT

  5. Hello!! I made this dish and it was AMAZING! I’m visiting my sister in Pa and then do not have orzo. Ahh! What would you use to substitute for it? I still want to make it for her 🙂 Thanks!!

    1. Hey Bethanny,
      Arborio rice would also work well for you in place of the orzo! I hope this recipe turns out amazing, please let me know if you give it a try! xT

    1. Hey there,
      Nope, you could follow the recipe as written with the frozen corn. I hope this recipe turns out amazing for you, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Rachel,
      Sure, that would work well for you! I hope this recipe turns out amazing, please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  6. 5 stars
    Made it. Loved it. It’s now on our list for thanksgiving side options. Reheats beautifully if you want to make in advance.

  7. 5 stars
    This is so delicious!! I’ve made it a few times this summer. Tonight I’m going to add some cooked sausage to it to see if it can be a one pot meal for my guys who insist that meals must have meat.

  8. 4 stars
    I really wanted to like this and had high hopes for it, but the orzo was super weird. It was really gloopy despite following the recipe exactly as written. But I checked it at 12 mins and there was quite a lot of water that still needed to be cooked off so I don’t think cooking the orzo for less time would help the situation. I’m very confused about why this didn’t turn out lol. Will try again, maybe with a few mods to see if I can get the orzo to be a nice texture like your photo.

    1. Hi Shari,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, sorry to hear you had some issues! Was there anything you may have adjusted? Let me know how I can help! xx

  9. 5 stars
    I made this last week and it was so delicious!
    I decided to make it again as a freezer meal bc I am having my first baby this week and wanted to have this prepared for the coming weeks 🙂 Any suggestions for how to re heat this after it’s been frozen?

    1. Hi Liz,
      Perfect! I appreciate you making this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it was a hit! I would reheat on low for 60 minutes. xxT