Summer Squash with Pesto and Parmesan

Summer Squash with Pesto and Parmesan is an easy delicious low-carb side dish made with zucchini or yellow summer squash, or use both colors! And the technique used here for roasting the summer squash and then broiling at the end with the pesto and parmesan adds so much flavor!

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Summer Squash with Pesto and Parmesan shown on baking pan

This recipe for Summer Squash with Pesto and Parmesan is a total winner and it’s perfect for a late-summer treat with zucchini and pesto, two of my favorite summer foods! And even though summer is winding down, I’m one of those people who always likes to hold on to summer foods as long as possible. And for a long time now I’ve thought the month of September is the perfect time to make roasted Zucchini recipes! 

And of course zucchini + pesto is such a great combination, but but this recipe cooks the summer squash in the oven until it’s nearly done, and then it’s topped with pesto and Parmesan and broiled, which creates such a flavorful way to prepare squash! I’m featuring this recipe as my Friday Favorites this week to entice you to make it if you’ve never tried the recipe. But make it soon, because zucchini season is definitely winding down!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • summer squash or zucchini
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Basil Pesto (affiliate link) (or other pesto of your choice)
  • coarsely grated Parmesan cheese

What kind of pesto can you use?

I would love this recipe with my favorite Basil Pesto with Lemon. Or if you use Kirkland Basil Pesto like we did, this recipe is even easier and simple enough to make for a side dish most any night of the week! But any pesto that has good flavor will be a hit with the mild flavor of summer squash! 

What is Summer Squash?

There are two kinds of squash, and the different names come from how squash was stored in the days when refrigerators weren’t available. Winter squash is the name for squashes like butternut and acorn, which have a hard skin and can be stored through the winter. Summer squash is the name for thin-skinned squash like zucchini, yellow crookneck or straightneck squash, or patty pan squash that will only keep for a few days without being refrigerated. Here’s more about Summer Squash and Winter Squash.

Want more recipes with pesto?

Check out My Favorite Low-Carb and Keto Recipes with Pesto for more tasty ideas for using basil pesto!

process shots collage for Summer Squash with Pesto and Parmesan

How to make Summer Squash with Pesto and Parmesan:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Preheat oven to 450F and take pesto out of the fridge to soften.
  2. Cut yellow squash, zucchini, or a mixture into slices about 1/2 inch thick and lay them out on a sheet pan you’ve sprayed or brushed with a little olive oil.
  3. Spray or brush the top of the squash with a tiny bit more olive oil; then season with Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link), salt, and a little fresh-ground black pepper.
  4. Roast squash for ten minutes, or until it’s barely starting to get tender.
  5. Remove squash from the oven and switch oven to broil, with a rack about 3-4 inches below the broiler.
  6. Brush the top of the squash with Basil Pesto (affiliate link); then sprinkle with coarsely grated Parmesan.
  7. Broil about 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
  8. Serve hot, and wait for everyone to gush over how good this is!

Summer Squash with Pesto and Parmesan on baking sheet on wooden background

Make it a Low-Carb Meal:

This delicious summer squash with pesto would be amazing to serve with Chicken Cutlets with Mustard Sauce, Baked Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Air Fryer Chicken Drumsticks, Spicy Baked Shrimp with Garlic, or Grain-Free Breaded Pork Chops for a low-carb meal.

More Summer Squash Recipes to Try:

Baked Summer Squash with Lemon, Mint, and Feta

Roasted Balsamic Zucchini and Mushrooms with Feta and Thyme

Zucchini Bake with Feta and Thyme

Roasted Summer Squash with Garlic and Parmesan

Raw Summer Squash Salad with Arugula and Feta


  • 4 medium summer squash or zucchini, washed and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 tsp. + 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Italian Herb Blend
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup Basil Pesto (more or less to taste; see notes)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated Parmesan cheese (more or less to taste)


  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Take pesto out of the fridge and measure out 1/3 cup into a small bowl and let it soften on the counter. Brush large baking sheet with 2 tsp. olive oil (or spray it if you have an olive oil sprayer.)
  2. Wash squash and cut off stem and blossom end. Cut squash into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange squash in single layer on a roasting pan. (If you have two colors, it looks nice to alternate them.) Brush the top of the squash with the other 2 tsp. olive oil and season with Italian Herb Blend (affiliate link), salt, and fresh-ground black pepper. Roast squash for 10 minutes, or until the squash is barely starting to soften when you pierce it with a fork.
  3. Remove squash from oven and turn the oven to broil, with a rack about 3-4 inches below the heat element. Brush the top of the hot squash pieces with Basil Pesto with Lemon, or Kirkland Basil Pesto and sprinkle with the coarsely-grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Put the baking sheet under the broiler and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. (Watch it carefully; things can easily burn under the broiler.)
  5. Serve hot. This can probably be kept in the fridge and reheated, although I haven’t ever had any left to try that with. I’m guessing it’s probably best freshly made.


I’d love to make this with my homemade Basil Pesto with Lemon, but if I didn’t have any of that in the freezer I’d happily use my favorite Kirkland Basil Pesto.

Recipe created by Kalyn and adapted into this updated version in 2017.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 142Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2.9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7.4gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 321mgCarbohydrates: 6.4gFiber: 1.7gSugar: 2.6gProtein: 5.6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

Did you make this recipe?

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating (under the PRINT button in the recipe) or share a photo of your results on Instagram! THANKS!

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Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This simple-to-make summer squash dish is perfect for any low-glycemic or low-carb eating plan, including Keto. For the original South Beach Diet be sure to use a moderate amount of cheese and pesto, since both are high in saturated fat.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Zucchini Recipes or Side Dishes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet Type Index to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2008. It was updated with better photos and a recommendation for basil pesto in 2017 and was last updated with more information in 2022.

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