Lemon Zucchini Penne Recipe

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Light, fresh lemon-zucchini pasta recipe!

This is a great pasta dish, especially during the summer when zucchini is in season. The lemon and fresh basil add a light and bright flavor. Grilled zucchini and chicken round it out nicely.

light lemon zucchini penne pasta

Once you boil the pasta and grill the zucchini and chicken, it is just a matter of throwing it all together in a big bowl. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Two lemons, to be exact.

lemon zucchini penne garlic infused oil

The sauce for this pasta dish tastes simple and light, almost more of a dressing. Slowly infuse some olive oil with fresh minced garlic. Then throw on some fresh basil, oregano, lemony goodness, and top it all off with some freshly grated Parmesan. I used fresh basil, but just the dried oregano.

lemon zucchini penne chicken and zucchini

The marinade for the chicken is really simple, only a few ingredients. I flattened the chicken breasts to about 1-inch thickness in order to cook it quickly and evenly. It only needs to marinate for about 15-30 minutes. And to prep the zucchini for the grill, just slice and then drizzle on some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

lemon zucchini penne pasta meal

Have I ever told you that my husband doesn’t like any type of long, stringy noodle? Yeah, so no spaghetti is ever served at our house! Some may consider him to be a picky eater. No fettuccine, angel hair, yakisoba, etc. (And there are lots of other silly things that he doesn’t like too, including zucchini bread!)

Anyway, penne is usually our go-to pasta, but you could make this recipe with pretty much any pasta. Look for coupons here. This meal feels like a gourmet dish that you would find at a restaurant! Serve it up with some garlic bread or breadsticks!

A perfect summer dinner to use up some of those fresh zucchini from the garden!

To make this TERRAfit-friendly, use whole grain pasta and watch your serving size!

This recipe is slightly adapted from Our Best Bites.

lemon squeezer

Lemon Zucchini Penne Recipe

This is a great pasta dish, especially during the summer when zucchini is in season. The lemon and fresh basil add a light and bright flavor. Grilled zucchini and chicken round it out nicely.
5 / 5 ( 1 Review )
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6
Adjust Servings: 6



  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 juice from lemon save the zest for the sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Pasta and Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 5-6 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8-10 ounces penne pasta
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 juice of lemon
  • fresh basil about 1/2 cup, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons dried oregano or 1/4 cup fresh
  • 1 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese


  • Place the chicken in a resealable bag with the juice of one lemon, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. (You will want two lemons total for this recipe, both zested and juiced, but divided) If the chicken is especially thick, pound it down to about 1-inch thickness in order to help it cook evenly and quickly. Seal the bag and gently squish it to mix up the marinade. Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
  • In a large pot, bring water with kosher salt to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until firm or tender. (You may want to reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water after pasta is cooked.)
  • Meanwhile, preheat the grill to a medium heat. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan or skillet on medium-low heat, add 1/4 cup olive oil and minced garlic. The oil should just slowly warm, infusing the oil with the garlic and toning down the fresh garlic zing. It shouldn't be popping or browning the garlic.
  • Remove chicken from bag and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place the chicken and zucchini on the grill to cook for about 8-10 minutes, turning the chicken once; until chicken is no longer pink and zucchini is tender. Allow the chicken to stand for about 5 minutes, then slice the zucchini and chicken into bite-size pieces.
  • Once pasta is done cooking, drain off the water, but reserve about 1/2 cup. Place the pasta in a large bowl. Add the chopped zucchini and chicken on top, then add the lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, herbs, and the garlic olive oil mixture. Use tongs to toss until pasta is coated and sauce is evenly distributed. If you feel it needs a little more moisture, add a little of the reserved pasta water or a little olive oil.
  • Garnish with a little more Parmesan on top and a little more lemon juice, if desired. Serve.


Calories: 1338kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 176g | Fat: 51g | Sodium: 1798mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g

Ingredients: Cheese, Chicken, Lemon, Pasta, Zucchini
Meal Type: Main Dish, Spring, Summer
Categories: Meat and Poultry, Pasta, Vegetables, Grill, Stove Top

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