This Pasta with Zucchini, Walnuts and Raisins is the perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner!
In the time it takes for the pasta to cook, you can make the quick and flavorful zucchini sauce.
With crisp tender zucchini, sweet raisins and crunchy walnuts, this is a meatless dinner on the table in under 30 minutes that everyone loves!
So, it is definitely zucchini season around here! Between our CSA and other zucchini that we picked up at the Farmer's Market, I had almost one produce drawer full of zucchini!
I've been pickling it and freezing it cubed to use in soups.
Then I remembered that I'm trying to go back and remake and update old blog posts. I have so many posts that don't have a recipe card or even photos.
I found this Pasta with Zucchini, Walnuts and Raisins from Real Simple that I originally made in August 2010. I loved it because school had started back and I needed quick, easy and delicious dinners.
This was everything I hoped it would be. Quick, easy, delicious. The best part is that it's even better the next day, so make enough for leftovers!
Pasta - use your favorite pasta shape. The original recipe called for spaghetti, but when I have chunks of vegetables, I like to have a chunkier pasta, I think it makes it easier to eat.
Raisins, walnuts, garlic - pine nuts or almonds would also be good.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - use an olive oil that you like the flavor. Since there really isn't a sauce, a lot of the flavor comes from the olive oil.
Zucchini - you can see that I had cute round zucchini from my CSA. I had plans to stuff them, but when I saw how easy this dinner was, it won!
Parmesan Cheese - fresh grated to serve.
Cook pasta according to directions, drain (reserving about a cup of the pasta water.). Timing wise - I cooked the pasta while I was making the sauce.
Wash the zucchini and cut it into bite sized pieces. Since I had a mix of round zucchini and regular shaped zucchini, my pieces are different shapes. With regular zucchini, I like to cut it into thin half moons.
Heat the oil over medium high heat in your favorite skillet. Add the walnuts and cook until they are starting to brown.
Note - I love this step of browning the walnuts in the oil first, you are basically making almost a nut oil that will give that nutty flavor all through the pasta!
Add the zucchini and raisins and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to make sure they get coated with all the yummy nutty olive oil.
Cook until the zucchini is just tender, only about 4-5 minutes.
Add your pasta to the zucchini and stir to combine. You can add a little bit of the pasta water if you want it to be a little more moist.
Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
Serve sprinkled with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
This was everything I wanted in a quick and easy dinner! Perfect for meatless Mondays!
Such a simple and basic recipe. It's lovely exactly as written, but it would be so easy to add variations.
You could make it spicy by adding red pepper flakes or dicing a hot pepper.
Change the flavor profile with some fresh or dried herbs like rosemary or thyme.
Add some other vegetables like onions or tomatoes.
If you're not going meatless, add some cooked chicken or cook some diced boneless, skinless chicken in the oil before adding the walnuts.
More zucchini recipes:
**As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Pasta with Zucchini, Walnuts and Raisins
- 12 ounces dried pasta
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 ½ pounds zucchini thinly sliced in half moons (about 6 cups)
- ¾ cup raisins
- salt and pepper
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and reserve a cup of the cooking water.
- While pasta is cooking heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and cook for a couple of minutes or until they are starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the zucchini, raisins and salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook until the zucchini is just tender - about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the drained pasta to the zucchini and stir to combine. If you want it a little more moist, you can add some of the pasta water. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve with grated parmesan cheese and fresh ground black pepper.
This was originally published in 2010 and has been updated for 2020.
I love this combination of flavors - so good! And I've never seen round zucchini before - super cute!!!
Just in time for back to school! We need more recipes like this!
I love this unique way of making pasta. Never thought of adding walnuts and raisins before.
Lisa | Garlic & Zest says
This reminds me of a pasta dish I made this past weekend and we really enjoyed it (it actually had a can of sardines in it too, which gave it a mild seafood flavor). Definitely trying this version -- I love the raisins and nuts.
Love the addition of raisins to this pasta. I grew up eating them in savory dishes so think the sweetness balances perfectly.
ach, I love courgette! (the word zucchini never really sounds like what it looks like, don't you think??). I think I've made a meal with it at least once a week this summer!
if you still have them coming out of your ears, courgette carbonara is an absolute beauty!
never would have thought about trying it with raisins though so I must definitely try this one. so thanks!
I love the combinations in this one! SO interesting! Real simple is my favorite.
I have to buy my zucchini - but for this recipe I believe it will be worth it! I love cooked walnuts! Thanks for linking this to Two for Tuesdays!
the clark clan says
Hi Pammibobammi and thanks for posting on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop! This sounds so interesting? Never EVER thought to combine zucchini with sweet raisins except in zucchini bread--Yah for stretching MY imagination! Alex@amoderatelife
Me. Me! At the back, can you see how high I've got my hand raised? If I had 1,000 summer squash recipes to try this summer, I don't think it would be enough. Thanks for linking up with Two for Tuesday.
Couscous & Consciousness says
This is totally my kind of pasta dish. Sounds beautifully light and fresh, and I love a sauce that can be prepped and cooked in as little time as it takes to cook the pasta.
Chef Fresco says
I love this - so refreshing! Real Simple comes up with some great stuff. And your post reminds me I need to look into joining a CSA...
Love this combo! I haven't seen walnuts and raisins with zucchini before. So glad that kid moved! And I'm praying for snow too...
Sounds like an amazing combination...I've got to check out Real Simple!
a good yarn says
It's a little known fact that zucchini are purported to have calming properties. Just try stroking one and see how you feel. Okay, you probably won't find anything on google but just take my word for it, okay?
What an interesting combination...looks delicious!
Mary Lee says
Any vegetable which can be a soup, a main course, and even a dessert is okay in my book. I hope you saw Rhymes with Orange Sunday:http://www.rhymeswithorange.com/2010/08/August-08-2010/
Glad your prayers were answered! This looks like a very tasty way to enjoy zucchini.
Lea Ann says
Looks great Pam. I'm going to have to subscribe to that magazine. I've seen alot of good recipes from it.
This looks delicious; love that walnut, raisin combo! That means it has to have a great flavor!
yep, i have zucchini coming out my ears and other orifices, which i'll not name here... 🙂
lovely pasta dish--chewy raisins and crunchy nuts are perfect here.
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
Fantastic! I can take the zucchini dish I posted last week and add some spaghetti to it, and it will be very similar to this one. Nice way to stretch what started as a vegetable side dish into a main dish. (And I hope the school year gets less stressful as it goes along!)
Another great way to use zucchini. It looks delicious!
Betsy from Tennessee says
Hi Pam, That is a good way to use Zucchini --if you have lots of them now. My hubby doesn't like raisins --so I'd have to leave them out of his portion. Otherwise, we'd love that dish. Thanks!!!
How's school so far?
My Mom used to grow zucchini and I always came home with some when I went to visit.
glad that your problem student moved away...must be a real relief for you Pam!
this recipe looks great....I never thought to pair spaghetti with walnuts and raisins...I think I will try it one day!
My second daughter cheers every night that zucchini is her favorite vegetable! At that point, one of her older brothers often hollers or throws something at her. I know she'd like this.
Oh, this sounds so delicious...I love the added levels of flavor from the nuts and raisins...nice! And thanks for sharing it with Two for Tuesdays this week, too Pam 😉
Awww poor you. At least you are enjoying some lovely grub 🙂
Looks delish Pam. So glad your wishes came to pass re the "Trouble kid". Hang in there OK?
I love Real Simple when I'm stressed. I love it even when I'm not stressed. But I think about my love for them more when I'm stressed.
This looks so tasty! I love the raisins in it.
I love the sound of this zucchini with spaghetti! Sorry about school starting, my condolences. (Just think, when you are TRULY OLD like me, you can retire. I promise that day will come!)
From the Kitchen says
I'm real happy to have this real simple recipe. We have all kinds of squash coming from our CSA. We love it but would like to "change it up" and now I can. I'd have never thought of raisins but the addition sounds delicious. I'm going to use a variety of squash since I have about five different kinds/colors on hand right now.
I don't have to search Real Simple's site when I have Sidewalk Shoes! So far, my family is not too hip on zucchini, but I will keep trying!
This reminded me of "Green Eggs and Ham"...
Sheesh - sounds like that kid was a real handful, glad he won't be your problem anymore - and your real simple dish looks real delicious