Pesto Plate

Mint Week: Zucchini Penne Pesto Plate

Zucchini pasta. Love it or hate it? Right now I’m loving it. I recently shared my Creamy Dreamy Zucchini Pasta, after having it for lunch three days in a row. It seemed only logical to try zucchini pasta with my new minty pesto.

This time, try a new shape with your zucchini noodles. Penne is fun and bite-sized. This is very helpful if you’re a messy pasta eater like me.

Fact: I can’t eat pasta or chocolate without spilling on myself.

Fact: Three years ago, I had one entree in my cooking repertoire. I called it Pesto Pasta. When I was traveling, I made it for all my new friends and it was a major hit, every time. You’ve gotta trust me on this one. I can do pesto pasta.


Feel free to steam the zucchini or keep it raw. I boiled my zucchini in the last recipe, but this time I gave steaming a try. Worked like a charm. Just put the pre-chopped zucchini in a microwave-safe bowl with a little bit of water. Cover. Nuke for 2 minutes.

The Zucchini Penne Pesto Plate is very adaptable. You can toss in some cheese, or tofu to keep vegan. I love my tofu and keep it pressed and ready to go in the freezer. However, the inspiration for this recipe came from a salad I had in Italy with fresh mozzarella. The choice is yours.


Seriously load this one up with cherry tomatoes.

This pesto plate is so fresh and light. It’s summer in a bowl and very bikini-friendly. It’s also a great dish to make ahead, triple, and have for lunch throughout the week.

Zucchini Penne Pesto Plate

Author: Palette Dining
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 1
A light, fresh, main dish. You can enjoy this raw or lightly steamed.


  • ¼ cup firm tofu, cubed*
  • 2 Italian zucchini or half a large zucchini
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
  • 1 heaping TB mint pesto


  1. Brown your tofu in a skillet for a couple minutes on each side, or leave it raw.
  2. Slice zucchini into ribbons or chunks. Option to steam zucchini in the microwave (about 2 minutes) or leave raw.
  3. Add tofu, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add pesto. Stir to coat evenly. Serve.

*Tofu may be substituted with mozzarella cheese, goat cheese, etc. See link below for mint pesto recipe.

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