Quick & Summery Balsamic Glazed Pasta (with Gluten-Free Option)

Summertime for our family is full of day trips to fun (air-conditioned) locales and lazy afternoons by the pool. After long summer days, the last thing I want to do is crank out a meal over a hot stove.

This summery balsamic glazed pasta is a recipe that involves very little effort but is so light and fresh, not to mention dinner-party worthy! And while I've used chickpeas for a super quick and easy option, you could easily add in white meat chicken breast chunks if that's your persuasion (but trust me, there's plenty of protein without it!) I also love using a fruit flavored balsamic vinegar for the glaze (like pomegranate or fig) but a regular balsamic vinegar works just as well.

Quick and Summery Balsamic Glazed Pasta

Serves 4

  • 3 yellow summer squash, sliced
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped (jarred is perfect!)
  • 2 tbsp capers or finely diced kalamata olives
  • 1 can chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat penne or rotini per serving (use gluten-free if needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray and place summer squash slices flat on sheet. Lightly salt and roast for 10-12 minutes. Set aside.

Spray a large, high- sided skillet with cooking spray and saute red onion slices over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and chopped roasted red pepper to pan, saute for 3 more minutes. Add capers/ olives and chickpeas and saute until warmed through. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

While vegetables are sauteing, prepare balsamic glaze. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately turn heat down to medium low and reduce liquid by half (consistency should become syrupy). Watch carefully so glaze doesn't burn!

To plate, lay squash slices down and scoop cooked pasta over top. Add sauteed veggie mixture and coat with balsamic glaze. Serve with a side salad if desired.