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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: 498 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. 4 stars
    This was super good and a great use for our summer garden (thanks for the seasonal pairings!). Had to add about 1/2 c extra water during the cheese step (not high-altitude). Wondering if the leftovers would freeze?

  2. 5 stars
    This was fabulous. My husband who is more of a meat-loving guy, loved this as a one dish meal. It was also really easy and fresh. Thanks for another great dinner to add to my repertoire!

  3. 5 stars
    I love when everything is in one pan and it was easy to cook and tasted so good!
    Thank you all the way from Sweden!

  4. 5 stars
    Wow this was so good!! I added some chopped Italian chicken sausage because I had to put it to use, and it mixed perfectly! This recipe is very flavorful and delicious. Definitely will be making again.

    1. Hey Rachel,
      Thanks a lot for trying this recipe out and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it was a winner! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    Made this for the second time tonight and it is such a great summery pasta dish! If you don’t have a shallot, I subbed a red onion and it was also delicious.

    1. Hey Mary Anna,
      Thanks a lot for trying this recipe out and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it was a winner! xTieghan

  6. Accidentally cooked the orzo before adding it to the pan with zucchini. Other than omitting water, any additional adjustments? Do you imagine it will still turn out well?

    1. Hi Michele,
      Thanks for trying the recipe, sorry to hear this! I would skip the water and hope for the best! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    Outstanding! Gonna use a bit of chicken stock instead of water and maybe add a pre-cooked cut up chicken breast next time 😬

    Also, we are at 5,500 foot elevation so needs a bit more liquid and cooking time. Still, first attempt was awesome!

    1. Hey Adam,
      Amazing!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so excited it was enjoyed! Hope you’re having a great weekend! xx

  8. Made this pasta with fresh sweet corn and homemade pesto. Outstanding. Served with your pull apart garlic bread.

    1. Hey Mark,
      Happy Saturday! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! xx

  9. 5 stars
    Made this two weeks in a row 🙈 It’s so easy and SO delicious! I did add a little lemon the second time around (as recommended in another review) and that REALLY made it sing. Any idea how the cook time might be affected without the cheese on top? I want to make it for a dinner with a friend who’s vegan, and I’m not a huge fan of vegan cheese alternatives.

    1. Hey Dylan,
      Amazing!! Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so excited it was enjoyed! I would just reduce by 5 minutes. Hope you’re having a great weekend! xx

  10. Absolutely delicious!!!!!! I added some bread crumbs on the cheese and left over bacon from the morning. Was perfect just how it was, but might add juice from a lemon and pine nuts next time. Love all of your recipes!!

    1. Hey Taylor,
      Thanks so much for making this dish and sharing your feedback! I am so glad it was enjoyed! Hope you’re off to a great Friday! xx

  11. 5 stars
    I made this tonight and found it surprisingly light! Perfect summer meal. I didn’t have orzo and substituted elbow macaroni.

    1. Hey Amanda,
      Happy Friday!!🌟 Thanks for giving this recipe a try and sharing your review, I am so glad it was a hit! xT

    1. Hey Rebecca,
      Wonderful!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe out, I am so glad it was enjoyed! xTieghan

  12. This recipe was great! I had to add another 1/2 cup of water and increase the heat to 450 to get the orzo cooked enough before adding cheese. This is a common issue for my gas oven though! I swapped minced onion for shallot and a bag of frozen edamame. Loved it for myself & partner plus 2 toddlers!

    1. Hey Meg,
      Happy Wednesday!! Thanks a bunch for making this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it was tasty!🌼