summer skillet pasta

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 8 ounces penne pasta about ½ box
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini sliced
  • 1 small yellow squash sliced
  • 8 ounces sweet italian sausage
  • ½ red onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • cup heavy cream optional
  • cup fresh basil roughly chopped
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • balsamic vinegar optional drizzle for serving


  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente; drain well.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large (at least 12”) oven-proof skillet over medium high heat. Add zucchini and squash. Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes; remove from skillet and set aside.
  • Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Stir in sausage, and cook, crumbling with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the bell pepper and onion until golden, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir in pesto, marinara sauce, and heavy cream. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 7-10 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Stir in pasta, zucchini, squash and basil until well combined; sprinkle with cheese.
  • Transfer to the oven and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Serve immediately topped with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, if desired.


  • Serve with crusty garlic bread and my favorite side salad or a bagged Caesar Salad Mix.


  • Vegetarian: This recipe is vegetarian as is. To make it vegan, simply remove the cheese.
  • Protein: Add 6 oz. sausage that’s been sliced to the sauteed veggies.
  • Gluten Free: Use a gluten-free penne pasta. I recommend the Barilla Gluten Free Pasta.


  • Prep the veggies ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 981mg | Potassium: 767mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1623IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 158mg | Iron: 3mg