Mediterranean Pasta

This healthy Mediterranean Pasta is the breezy social butterfly of the dinner recipe crowd. So effortless! So chic! A light, easygoing mix of angel hair pasta, fresh lemon, and classic Mediterranean ingredients like tomato, Parmesan, and artichoke, this simple but splendid healthy pasta recipe can carry itself at any meal. Whether it’s a hectic family weeknight meal or romantic date night in, this Mediterranean Pasta belongs.

Mediterranean Pasta with artichoke, tomato, garlic, and lemon. One of our favorite fast and healthy pasta recipes! Easy to make, warm, and filled with bright flavor! Keep the recipe vegetarian or serve with chicken or shrimp. #healthy #pasta #mediterranean

I prize recipes that combine pantry staples and fresh ingredients to create fast, healthy meals.

Mixing fresh and pantry items means that I only need to buy one or two things to make dinner. Cooking and shopping this way is often less expensive, AND because pantry items are typically quick and convenient, I can get dinner on the table sooner too.

This Mediterranean Pasta is a perfect example.

Mediterranean Pasta with artichokes, olives, tomato, garlic, and lemon. Fast and fresh for weeknight dinners!

Healthy Mediterranean Pasta—Fast Meets Fresh

Pantry ingredients on Team FAST:

  • Whole Wheat Pasta. Higher in fiber, protein, and nutrients than regular pasta, whole wheat pasta is better for you. Its flavor is mild, so no one will suspect your healthy swap. You’ll always find a box or two in my pantry.

As long as the pasta is 100% whole grain, there isn’t one type that is better for you than another. I like to keep a few shapes on hand for making all kinds of healthy pasta recipes. This Garlic Shrimp Pasta, Chicken Feta Pasta, and Kale Pasta are two of my favorites for long-style noodles like spaghetti and fettuccini. Shorter noodles are perfect for Sun Dried Tomato Pasta and Caprese Chicken Pasta. (For more inspo, check out my full list of healthy pasta recipes.)

  • Canned Artichokes. An instant way to add a colorful and delicious serving of veggies to any recipe. Steam and section whole fresh artichokes on a weeknight? No. Open a can of artichoke hearts and add them to a quick pasta? Yes!
  • Canned Olives. The salty-umami oomph. They’re big flavor and will add only a few dollars to your grocery bill.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Don’t skimp on the amount, as you need it to create a luscious sauce. While the olive oil does add fat, it’s good fat and makes this a more heart healthy pasta recipe.

Mediterranean Pasta is a one-pan meal that the whole family will love. Full of flavor and vegetarian too!

Next, we have the ingredients on Team FRESH. They’re a classic Mediterranean combo that brings the pasta to life.

  • Cherry Tomatoes. Juicy, sweet, and tasty year-round.
  • Chopped Garlic. While I sometimes take a shortcut with garlic powder, in this healthy pasta, you need the real deal. Hate chopping garlic? (I do!) Try a garlic press like this one.
  • Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice. No bottled juice allowed. Trust me! You need the real deal here.
  • Grated Parmesan. As with the lemon juice, use the real deal (not the green can). This pasta has few ingredients, so each is incredibly important.

This Mediterranean Pasta is a testament to the fact that a recipe doesn’t need to be long, time-consuming, or complicated to be delicious and taste special.

Mediterranean Pasta with artichoke, tomato, garlic, and lemon. One of our favorite fast and healthy pasta recipes! Easy to make, warm, and filled with bright flavor!

Mediterranean Pasta Recipe Variations

  • Thanks to the hearty artichokes and whole grains in the pasta noodles, I found this Mediterranean Pasta plenty satisfying when left vegetarian.
  • To make the Mediterranean Pasta vegan, you can simply omit the Parmesan.
  • For a seafood spin, try Mediterranean Pasta with shrimp. For shrimp, I’d suggest sautéing or grilling the shrimp separately, then tossing it with the pasta at the end to prevent the shrimp from overcooking.
  • For additional heart-healthy protein and fats, make this pasta recipe with canned tuna. I recommend oil packed for the best flavor.
  • If you prefer to add meat, you can make this Mediterranean Pasta with chicken. For those seeking shredded chicken pasta recipes, try combining this Mediterranean Pasta with my quick and easy method for How to Cook Shredded Chicken (stovetop) or this Instant Pot Chicken. You can shred or dice the chicken and toss it in with the pasta at the end.
  • Another meat option: Mediterranean Pasta with Italian sausage. Slice precooked Italian chicken sausages into coins, then brown the pieces in a sauté pan. Remove them from the pan, proceed with the recipe as directed, and toss the coins into the pasta at the end.
  • For a different spin, instead of Parm, make the Mediterranean Pasta with feta. We served our leftovers this way, and that was delicious too.

What to Serve with Mediterranean Pasta

And now GUESS WHAT? I have a full-length cooking demonstration video showing you just how fast and easy this Mediterranean Pasta is to make!

In addition to posting the video in this post below, I just started a YouTube Channel and would love for you to subscribe. I’ll be sharing a new how-to recipe video there every week.

Making videos for YouTube feels extra special/nerve wracking because I’m filming the videos on my own now without a crew. It’s new territory, and I’m excited and nervous at the same time. If you could click here to subscribe to my channel (or even just visit my channel to like and comment on my videos!), your support would mean the world.

OK, now let’s make this bright and healthy Mediterranean Pasta!

4.95 from 19 votes
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Mediterranean Pasta

Yield: 4 –6 servings
Prep Time:
5 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

Mediterranean Pasta with tomatoes, artichoke, garlic, and lemon. A fast, healthy pasta recipe that’s easy to make and filled with bright flavor! Keep the recipe vegetarian or serve with chicken or shrimp. A nutritious all-in-one meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt — plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 6 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta — whole wheat spaghetti, or similar whole wheat noodles (I recommend DeLallo whole wheat pasta)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes — or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts — (14 ounces)
  • 1 can whole pitted black olives — (6 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons good-quality olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice — about 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley — chopped

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tablespoon salt. Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain.
  2. While the water boils and pasta cooks, prep your vegetables and remaining ingredients: mince the garlic; halve the cherry tomatoes; drain and roughly chop the artichokes; drain and slice the olives in half. Once the vegetables start cooking, the recipe goes quickly, so you want to be ready.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the tomatoes, garlic, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomatoes begin to break down and release some juices into the oil, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Add the artichokes and olives. Drizzle the lemon juice over the pasta. Continue tossing and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until warmed through. If the pasta seems too dry, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen it. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Toss once more and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

  • Tips from Mary, the recipe's author: Don't skimp on the olive oil or parsley. Both are key to giving the final dish great flavor.
  • To reheat: Warm gently in the microwave or on the stove with a splash of water to keep the pasta from drying out.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 4 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Healthy Pasta Dinner Recipe, heart healthy pasta, Mediterranean Pasta, Vegetarian

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 6)) — Calories: 267, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 18g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

57 comments

  1. Thank you for this! I’ll try this pasta tomorrow!

  2. My kids won’t eat olives or artichokes. Do you recommend any substitutes? Thanks!!

    • Hi Laura, maybe roasted red peppers? It would also be pretty easy with this recipe to remove a serving or two from the dish before adding the olives and artichokes, as those are stirred in at the very end just to warm through. Enjoy!

  3. So many awesome flavours going on in that pasta! (:

  4. WOW—such a pretty pasta dish!!

  5. All your foods look so good! But I am having trouble figuring out how much to eat of each throughout the day. Do you have any examples of what you eat in a day to illustrate that kind of stuff for us that have trouble with this kind of stuff? I know how much everyone needs to eat in a day varies from person to person, but an example to use as a baseline might help?

    • Hi Nikki, I definitely recommend talking to a dietitian, because everyone’s needs are different. I eat a good variety, including lots of whole foods, fruits, lean protein, and plenty of veggies. My blog represents the types of food that I eat, and I’m also very active and exercise several times a week. This is just what I personally do on a daily basis, but since I don’t have a medical background, I’d highly recommend talking to someone who does!

  6. Erin, I made this tonight with shrimp, Greek olives and a feta for my cheese (along with your recipe of artichokes, cherry tomatoes, etc.).  I am now a chef to my family  all thanks to you!

    • Alan, I’m so glad to hear the recipe was a hit! Thanks so much for giving it a try and taking the time to leave this wonderful review!

  7. HI! Would this be good as a cold pasta salad??? Maybe with garlic added? Thanks….TOM

    • Hi Tom! Yes, I think that would work well too! I ate some cold out of the fridge, and while I preferred it warm, cold works too if that is your preference. I’d maybe use a different noodle that’s more traditional for cold pasta salads. Bowtie or penne would be great!

  8. Excellent recipe! I used Kalamati olives, added cooked sliced spicy sausage and asparagus- Thanks!

  9. I am so happy that you liked the recipe and I’m thrilled that you are enjoying the cookbook! Your photos are stunning too and now I’m craving pasta!!

  10. Anny Cristofano Reply

    Do you need to drain the olives and artichokes?

  11. Made this for dinner, super meal.  Added shrimp and asparagus as per other comments.  Will be in my rotation.

  12. Barbara C. williams Reply

    What a wonderful dish.  Not only was it beautiful, but the flavors were magical together. My husband and I loved it.  This is one of those dishes that I could eat every week.  I may try  spinach with it next time.  It is perfect as is, but we really love spinach and I think the flavor would be a delicious addition.  Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It is now a favorite. 

  13. I never leave reviews but I read them all the time.  I made this recipe tonight and it was fabulous. Easy and delicious I added spinach to the cherry tomatoes, artichokes, kalamata olives and feta cheese.  
    I will definitely make this again. Thank you for sharing 

  14. An update to my previous post:
    This recipe may actually be better the next day as a cold pasta salad!!!! The flavors actually melded together nicely overnight. I was a little skeptical at first (with only 6 oz of pasta called for in the recipe) but it made plenty for the next days lunch! Fabulous!!!

    Tonight I am trying Mediterranean Bean and Broccoli Pasta — I can’t wait.
    Thanks again for the wonderful recipes

  15. I just made this recipe and I have loved it, easy but very tasteful. THANK YOU

  16. Made this for the family tonight. Added Mediterranean spinach and feta chicken sausage. It was awesome! Thumbs up from everyone. It is tasty as vegetarian dish also. I plan to try it with shrimp too! Five star recipe easy and quick! Thinking about getting the recipe book from which this came. Busy family needs healthy, delicious, but not too time consuming recipes.

  17. I love this stuff!!!!we use the feta cheese and baby shrimp!!!!mmmmmmmmm

  18. Stumbled upon this recipe doing a recipe search for something new to make for dinner and so glad I did! I did a couple things slightly different….
    I’m not a huge tomato or artichoke fan so I cut up my tomatoes a little smaller than it called for and I found a different recipe suggesting you drizzle marinated artichoke hearts  w olive oil, sprinkled with a little oregano and thyme and then baked at 450 for about 18min- stirring/turning them a couple times till nicely browned and a little crispy…(which turned slimy unpleasant things into actually tasty food :)  oh and I added spinach with the garlic and tomatoes… and ended up adding a little extra noodles so there’d be more leftovers  so next time I’ll up the other ingredients accordingly..
    Anyway, was a hit with the whole family. Hubby used the last of the feta in the fridge added to his, if I had more I probably woulda used it instead of the Parm but it was great with the Parm! :) 
    Thanks so much!! :) 

  19. This is a fabulous dish. I topped it with chicken and it is now a family favorite!

  20. Delicious! We added a half pound of shrimp with the tomatoes and garlic and used half green, half black olives (per son’s request) and it was great. Thanks for a quick, easy, healthy recipe!

  21. Would be more easy in cooking if you can post a video of the recipe. Thanks

    • Kamini, adding videos to recipes is definitely a big priority, but it’s so time consuming (1 video takes all day plus hours of editing), that I can’t add it for every single one. I’ve noted this one for a future video though!

  22. Jennifer Woodall Reply

    I had to leave out the olives because my husband and kids despise them and it was still delicious!

  23. This sounds great and I can’t wait to try it! Just one thing to mention is that real Parmesan is not vegetarian. The feta idea sounds delicious though.

    • Hi GS! There are brands that sell vegetarian parmesan, so you can use that here if that’s a concern for you. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  24. Kristi Patterson Reply

    I made this tonight for supper exactly as written and it was delicious!  This is definitely a recipe I will keep and use again. We are not vegetarian, but I didn’t add meat or fish to the recipe and we didn’t miss them at all.  Thanks for sharing this!

  25. Hi there ~~ Gosh this sounded so yummy, I made it for dinner tonight. I had everything on hand except the grape tomatoes, so hot footed it to the store for those. I assembled everything in my cast iron frying pan and just let everyone serve themselves. It was a huge hit!! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I’ll be making it again and again.

  26. Hi Erin – this looks fabulous! I have a potluck dinner to attend (the majority attending are Italians) & this recipe looks like a delicious fit! Wondering if you’ve enjoyed it cold? I have to travel with whatever I prepare and thought this might be perfect for the event, but heating it up would not be an option for where the potluck dinner will be – your thoughts? Thank you, Cheryl

    • Cheryl, while I prefer this warm, I definitely have eaten my fair share of bites out of the refrigerator! Maybe make a test batch for yourself to see what you think and if you are comfortable with it?

  27. We loved  this recipe. The only thing I changed was the cheese. I had feta in the fridge and it worked great. Will definitely make this again and again.  Yummy!

  28. My husband and I just finished having a variation of your recipe for dinner. YUMMMM!!! We used what we had on hand, so I can’t even imagine how wonderful it would have been if we had followed the recipe exactly! We used spaghetti, minced garlic (in oil) from a jar, canned diced tomatoes with basil/garlic/ oregano (drained), no red pepper flakes, bottled lemon juice, parmesan from a canister, and dried parsley. I’m putting fresh garlic, cherry/grape tomatoes, lemons, and a hunk of parmesan cheese on my grocery list for the future! LOL! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!!

  29. This was fabulous! We’re gluten free and adjusted by using Tinkiyada noodles. I didn’t have any fresh tonatoes, so I used canned from our garden and didn’t have parsley, so I threw in fresh oregano and chives from the herb garden. It was a hit with young and old alike and it didn’t take long from start to finish. Thanks!

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