Peanutty Beef Skewers & Grilled Vegetable-Pesto Pasta Salad

August is winding down. Tears. That means we all really need to get some grilling in! Here are two terrific recipes I recently tried.

Now, first, you need to acquire some skewers. This is really important.

A couple hours before dinner, I soaked a handful of bamboo skewers in water, in preparation for the big event. (The big event was dinner. Weee.)

First, I’ll show you the side dish. Though, I can’t deny, of these two recipes, the “side dish” was my favorite. That’s not to say the other recipe isn’t good. You wait and see.

Grilled Vegetable-Pesto Pasta Salad

Time to practice those veggie-chopping skills. Chop veggies of your choice into large chunks and grill. I preferred to thread mine onto bamboo skewers, but you could also use some sort of grilling basket contraption thing too. Oh, and brush the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning prior to grilling.


I used summer squash, zucchini, red onion, and red bell peppers for my dish, professionally grilled over direct heat by the huz.


Once the veggies are lightly charred, remove from the grill, and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, combine your favorite cooked pasta shape (I love the bite of bow ties!) with a can of drained and rinsed beans (cannellinis for me!), basil pesto, grated cheese (parmesan or similar), and salt and pepper.


Now add all of those chopped veggies to create this beautiful multicolor salad.


Finish off the salad with a final squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.


Summer perfection.

And the best part – the leftovers are even better the next day! This made a pretty amazing lunch for the two days after I made it. It’s so hearty, being filled with pasta, beans, and a variety of veggies, that it really could serve as an entrée all on its own. But, I am married to a man who loves meat, hence the beef skewers, below!

To accompany the Grilled Vegetable-Pesto Pasta Salad, we made even more kebabs!

Peanutty Beef Skewers

First I made this flavorful marinade for the beef:


I’m a sucker for anything with peanut sauce. Aren’t you?


Prior to grilling, I let these bite size pieces of top sirloin steak chill out in the marinade for a couple of hours in the fridge. Then, more skewering occurred. I was a professional skewer-er by the end of this meal. Certified and everything.


The grill master grilled the skewers on the charcoal grill and basted with a bowl of reserved marinade.


The beef skewers were great, but I have a few suggestions:

    • BASTING: There’s a delicate balance between not overcooking the meat and applying enough marinade. Don’t marinate TOO frequently or you’ll prevent the sauce from caramelizing on the meat: your meat will finish cooking before you get those yummy caramelized bits on the meat. The huz recommends basting only once or twice.
    • SPACE: Retain a bit of space between each piece of meat on the skewer. Give those babies room to cook on the grill. This also allows for maximum surface area, and thus allows more caramelization (aka, the good stuff) to occur.


Peanutty Beef Skewers

Recipe from Taste of Home


      • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
      • 1/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
      • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
      • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
      • 4-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
      • 1 tablespoon water
      • 4 garlic cloves, minced
      • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
      • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • 3/4 pound beef top sirloin steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  • In a bowl, combine the first nine ingredients; mix well. Pour 6 tablespoons marinade into a large resealable plastic bag; add the beef. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for basting.
  • Drain and discard marinade from beef. Thread beef onto four metal or soaked wooden skewers. Grill, uncovered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 8-10 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness, turning and basting with reserved marinade.

My rating: 7.3/10


Grilled Vegetable-Pesto Pasta Salad

Recipe from All You

      • 1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
      • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
      • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
      • 1 red onion, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
      • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • Salt and pepper
      • 3 cups whole-grain farfalle or penne
      • 1 15.5-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
      • 1 7-oz. container refrigerated pesto (about 3/4 cup)
      • 1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano
      • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat grill to medium heat (300ºF to 350ºF) [or prep your charcoal grill like us]. In a large bowl, toss zucchini, squash, bell pepper, onion and Italian seasoning with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Lightly brush grill rack with oil. Grill vegetables, covered, until lightly charred in spots but still crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes on each side. Remove vegetables, let cool and chop. Cover and set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 10 minutes or as package label directs. Drain.
  3. Toss pasta, vegetables, beans, pesto, cheese, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper to combine. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and lemon juice just before serving.

Yield: Serves 6

My rating: 8.7/10

What a yummy summery combination! Yummery.


Happy Grilling!


2 thoughts on “Peanutty Beef Skewers & Grilled Vegetable-Pesto Pasta Salad

  1. Pingback: Dinner Meal Plan for April 13-19 + Weekly Recap | Meg Goes Nom Nom

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