Harvest Pasta Skillet

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As the calendar ticks closer to autumn, I’m clinging to these last warm days of summer produce as long as I can! We are in that odd transitional time where the mornings dawn crisp and chilly but afternoons still swell with lingering August heat. My kitchen menu reflects this seasonal limbo. Juicy tomato caprese salads give way to steaming pots of chili by dinner.

When I spotted vibrant red tomatoes and green zucchini still overflowing from my garden, I wanted to capture the bright freshness in a hearty skillet meal. Diced squash, spinach and corn mingle with savory garlic, onion and herbs for a bounty of late summer flavors. Tossed with protein-rich black beans and al dente pasta, this vegetarian one-pan dish makes a satisfying meal on its own. But it’s also simple to incorporate cooked chicken, beef or shrimp to please the carnivores!

We devoured heaping bowls of this colorful pasta, and I loved seeing my kids enjoy their vegetables unknowingly. The medley of textures and flavors makes each bite craveable, even for picky eaters. As the last of the season’s produce makes its way into this skillet, I’m reminded why autumn is my favorite time for cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Harvest Pasta Skillet

  • It’s a one-pot meal – Easy to throw together with minimal cleanup after a busy parent’s dream!
  • Bursting with late summer flavors – Sweet bell peppers, juicy tomatoes and zucchini fresh from the garden.
  • Easy way to sneak in vegetables – Even picky kids will devour this pasta unknowingly packed with veggies.
  • Endlessly adaptable – Customize with your favorite produce, add meat or extra herbs.
  • Quick yet impressive looking – Vibrant colors make it look gourmet but fast weeknight friendly.


  • Save time by using pre-cut squash and buying pre-washed, pre-chopped spinach.
  • Undercook pasta slightly before adding to skillet because it cooks more once combined.
  • Mix and match any veggies – try eggplant, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower or mushrooms.
  • Bulk it up by mixing in pre-cooked chicken, shrimp or sausage.
  • Garnish with crispy bacon bits, extra cheese or a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

The Main Ingredients

Cherry Tomatoes

Sweet cherry or grape tomatoes add pops of brightness, moisture and texture contrast with each juicy bite. Larger tomatoes would work too but may require pre-roasting.

Bell Pepper

A bell pepper of any color infuses pleasant sweetness. I love the visual vibrancy from mixing red, yellow and orange. Their subtle grassy flavor pairs nicely with the herbs.

Zucchini & Summer Squash

In season now, zucchini and yellow squash lend their moisture and mild flavor to the veggie mix. Diced small, they cook quickly and meld with other ingredients.

How to Make Harvest Pasta Skillet

Cook Pasta Al Dente

Boil pasta just until slightly underdone, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain and set aside.

Sauté Aromatic Base

In a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté minced garlic and onions in olive oil until translucent.

Add Chopped Vegetables

Next add the dice bell pepper, zucchini and yellow squash. Sauté 5 minutes until tender crisp.

Mix in Tomatoes & Greens

Stir in halved cherry tomatoes and fresh spinach leaves. Cook just until tomatoes soften and spinach wilts.

Add Beans & Seasonings

Add drained black beans along with Italian seasoning blend, salt and pepper.

Toss Everything with Pasta

Finally, mix in drained al dente pasta, tossing thoroughly to incorporate vegetables.

Finish with Cheese & Herbs

Remove skillet from heat. Top pasta mixture with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil.

What to Serve with Harvest Pasta

While this veggie pasta skillet is satisfying on its own, here are some tasty accompaniments:

  • Garlic bread – Classic for soaking up the delicious sauce
  • Side salad – Balance the heartiness with fresh greens
  • Meatballs – For a protein boost if not using chicken
  • Bruschetta – Diced tomato topping ties recipe flavors
  • Wine – Savory red or crisp white would complement nicely


  • Eggplant – Meaty chunks for heartiness
  • Carrots – For pops of color and natural sweetness
  • Mushrooms – Earthy, savory flavor
  • Asparagus – For spring version with delicate texture
  • Broccoli – Vitamin boost and texture variation


Does the pasta get mushy by combining it ahead?

No, pre-cooking the pasta al dente prevents it from getting mushy. The starch also helps thicken the sauce.

Can I prep the veggies ahead too?

Yes! You can chop all the vegetables earlier in the day or the day before. Just store them separately and combine right before cooking.

What protein options work best?

I recommend pre-cooked chicken breast, browned Italian sausage or shrimp. Mix in with pasta right before serving.

Can I use pizza sauce instead of a jar?

Sure, for an even quicker shortcut, you can use jarred marinara sauce instead of chopping all the fresh veggies.

Harvest Pasta Skillet

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: pasta
Servings: 4


  • Large skillet or Dutch oven
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Measuring cups
  • Mixing bowls
  • Colander


  • 12 oz Pasta 350g (choose a shape like penne or farfalle)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper diced (choose your favorite color)
  • 1 medium Zucchini diced
  • 1 medium Yellow Squash diced
  • 7 oz Cherry Tomatoes 200g, halved
  • 2 cups fresh Spinach
  • 1 cup Corn Kernels fresh or frozen
  • 14 o) Canned Black Beans 400g , drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese 50g, grated
  • A handful of Fresh Basil chopped (for garnish)


  • Boil pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sautéing until translucent.
  • Stir in bell pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cherry tomatoes, corn, and spinach. Cook until spinach wilts.
  • Mix in black beans, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss everything together.
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Serve warm.