Roasted veggie pasta. |Meaghan Penrod, Special to Record-Journal

Recipes to use up summer produce

Recipes to use up summer produce

Recipes to use up summer produce

Summer is in full swing and that means we’re getting lots of fresh, local produce! If you’re like me, you get very excited about all the seasonal produce and bring home lots of it—whether it’s through a CSA, your own garden, a farm stand, or your local grocery store.  However, coming up with ways to use it can sometimes be a challenge.

Here are three recipes to use for three different produce scenarios:

You went berry picking and have more berries than you can eat before they go bad

Try this recipe: 

Easy Berry Parfait

I love this recipe with strawberries but it also works great with blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries! 


A box of yellow cake mix (and the added ingredients it calls for), gluten free if needed

1 pint strawberries (or berries of your choice), de-stemmed and sliced

2 tbs sugar

8 oz cool whip 

8-10 mason jars or plastic  cups


Bake the cake according to package instructions. Let it cool.

Slice up your strawberries and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and stir. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes. They’ll begin to soften and get nice and juicy.

Slice your cake into about 1 inch cubes. 

Begin assembling the jars/cups. To each cup add 2-3 cubes of cake, a thin layer of strawberries, and a layer of cool whip. Repeat until you’ve reached the top of the cup. 

You have more squash or zucchini than you know what to do with

Try this recipe:

Summer Squash Casserole


3-4 squash or zucchini, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1/3 cup parmesan cheese 

1/3 cup bread crumbs (Italian bread crumbs work great). I ground up Aldi’s Tomato and Basil gluten free crackers for the casserole pictured. 

1.5 tsp salt 

Avocado or olive oil 2-3 tbs 

Cooking spray 

Fresh basil (for garnish) 



Preheat oven to 350°

Layer sliced squash/zucchini in a baking dish so it’s in rows. Drizzle with avocado oil. 

Tuck sliced garlic in between the sliced, evenly distributing it. 

Sprinkle rows of squash with salt, then Parmesan cheese, then bread crumbs. 

Spray the top with cooking spray (it will help it brown. 

Bake covered at 350° for 30 min. Uncover and bake for 5-7 minutes or broil for 2-3 min until brown. 

Garnish with fresh basil. 


You have a little bit of lots of different veggies in the fridge that need to be used up

Try this recipe:


Roasted Veggie Pasta 

This recipe can be made with a wide variety of veggies! I used cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and eggplant, but you could use asparagus, zucchini, green beans, etc. 


1 package pasta, gluten free if needed

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs fresh basil or 1 tbs Italian seasoning

¼ cup parmesan cheese

For the roasted veggies:

A pint of cherry tomatoes

A pint of mushrooms

An eggplant

2 tbs avocado oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1 tbs Italian seasoning

For the chicken:

2 chicken breasts

1 tsp salt

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion powder

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Drizzle of avocado oil for the pan



Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dice veggies so they’re in bite-sized pieces. Add them to a bowl and toss in avocado oil, 1 tsp salt, Italian seasoning, and minced garlic. Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

While the veggies cook, season your chicken breasts with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and Italian seasoning. Heat avocado oil over medium heat and place chicken breasts in pan. Cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes or until nicely browned. Place a lid on the skillet and allow it to fully cook—internal temperature of 165 degrees. 

In a big pot, add in pasta, roasted tomatoes (with all the juices), and the chicken sliced up. Mix in the olive oil, parmesan cheese, and fresh basil or Italian seasoning. 


All of these recipes can be made gluten free! And feel free to interchange many of the produce suggestions with whatever is freshest and in season in your area. 

Meaghan Penrod lives in Connecticut and is the creator of the gluten free food blog Low Key Gluten Free. She shares recipes, restaurant finds, products, and tips for living with Celiac Disease. You can follow her at @lowkeyglutenfree on Instagram and Facebook or check out her blog at

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