A delicious and easy to make summertime creamy zucchini and corn pasta with grilled chicken and a tangy goat cheese sauce. The summer produce is highlighted in this pasta dish, and it is really good eaten hot or cold. Omit the chicken for a tasty vegetarian dish.
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I love summertime the most when it comes to produce. Corn for salads, pastas, eaten grilled. You name it. I love pairing it with other summer vegetables such as zucchini. We have off and on success with growing both in our garden and when we have an abundance of both I love to make this pasta dish with them.
Ingredients for zucchini and corn pasta:
- Chicken thighs - I love using chicken thighs since they are juicier and hold flavor better. Feel free to use chicken breasts or omit for a vegetarian meal
- Seasoning for chicken - I like to use Kinder's garlic herb seasoning. It adds a nice flavor to the pasta coming from the grilled chicken. Feel free to use a similar seasoning or salt, pepper, garlic and onion.
- Aromatics - Shallots and garlic.
- Wine and lemon - to deglaze the pan and add more flavor. I always add lemon to brighten up a pasta dish such as this one.
- Spices - Since the seasoning for the chicken adds flavor to the dish I keep it simple with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Zucchini - you can cut this in to pieces, thin rounds or half rounds, whatever you like.
- Corn - fresh sweet corn
- Pasta - I love using a fun shape like Cavatappi as seen here. Rigatoni or penne would work well.
- Goat Cheese - the sauce for this dish is goat cheese mixed with reserved pasta water.
- Parmesan - Freshly grated - goes in the pasta sauce after the heat is turned off as well as a garnish.
- Basil - thinly sliced and sprinkled over the top.
See recipe card for exact amounts.
- Season and grill the chicken while the pasta is cooking. The chicken takes just a little bit longer but this works great timing wise so it can all be assembled easily. Dice up the chicken into bite size pieces before adding to the pan.
- Cut, slice or dice the zucchini however you like - the larger the pieces they take longer to cook and will need to be in the pan before the corn is added.
- Make the sauce with just the veggies in the pan then add the chicken and pasta.
- Finish the dish with freshly grated parmesan and sliced fresh basil.
- The key to this sauce is the starchy, salted pasta water mixed with goat cheese. It makes for a super delicious creamy and tangy sauce.
- Don't overcook the corn and zucchini, you still want them crunchy. If you cut up the zucchini into bigger pieces like I did, cook them a few minutes before adding the corn.
- Cut the kernels off the corn cobs with the cob in a bowl and carefully cut down the cob. This way the kernels stay in the bowl and don't go flying all over your kitchen.
- Reserve more pasta water than you think you will need. This way you can thin the sauce to your liking using that lovely starchy, salty water instead of having to use anything else.
Make it a complete meal:
Creamy Zucchini and Corn Pasta Recipe:
Zucchini and Corn Pasta with Grilled Chicken
- 1 grill gas or grill pan
- 1 large pot for pasta
- 1 pasta strainer
- 1 Large pan
- For the Chicken:
- 908-1362 g chicken thighs 2-3 lbs, boneless skinless (could also use breasts, I prefer thighs for flavor)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon each kosher salt, ground black pepper, garlic, onion to season or a 2-3 teaspoons of a garlic herb seasoning blend. ( I love Kinder's Garlic Herb)
- For the Pasta:
- 100 g shallot diced (two large)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 60 g wine ¼ cup
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes more if you want more spice
- 200 g Zucchini 2-3 depending on size
- 4 ears of fresh sweet corn 500 g kernels cut off the cobs
- 454 g Cavatapi pasta (1 pound - or other similarly shaped pasta)
- 500 ml reserved pasta water
- 300 g goat cheese
- 60 g freshly grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- 1 bunch Fresh basil finely chopped
- Preheat your grill. Mix the chicken thighs with the olive oil and a teaspoon of each kosher salt, pepper, garlic and onion or a garlic herb seasoning blend. Grill the chicken at 400-425 degrees for about 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until just done. Let the chicken rest before dicing up to add into the pasta. When ready, cut into one inch (2.5cm) or bite sized pieces.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta. You want the pasta to have a little bite to it, not too soft. Reserve 500 ml ( a little over 2 cups of the pasta water) and drain the pasta, set aside.
- In a large pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil and butter. Once the butter is melted add the shallot and garlic clothes and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until softened.
- Add in the wine and the lemon juice, the salt, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes and stir until the wine has absorbed.
- Next, add in the zucchini and cook for a few minutes until starting to soften, then add in the corn kernels.
- Stir until the corn is starting to soften, and the zucchini is more cooked. Make a well in the center of the vegetables and crumble in all of the goat cheese. Add in half of the reserve pasta, water and stir until the goat cheese is completely melted into a sauce.
- Add in the cooked diced chicken stir well then add in the cooked pasta, stirring well again if the sauce is still somewhat thick, add an a little more of the reserve pasta water until the sauce is a consistency you like. Once it is where you like, turn off the heat then add in the Parmesan cheese and stir well.
- Serve with additional Parmesan grated over the top and some finely chopped fresh basil.