Mediterranean Pasta

This 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. It means that I only need to buy one or two things to make dinner, it’s often less expensive, AND because pantry items are typically quick and convenient, it means 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!

Mediterranean Pasta—Fast Meets Fresh

On Team Fast, we have the pasta, canned artichokes, and olives. Each of these items takes minutes to prepare (Steam and section whole fresh artichokes on a weeknight? No. Open a can of artichoke hearts and add them to a quick pasta? Yes!), adds depth of flavor (olives, thanks for the salty-umami factor), and will only add a few dollars to your grocery bill.

On Team Fresh, we have sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes, chopped garlic, fresh lemon juice, and grated Parmesan. It’s a classic Mediterranean combo that brings the pasta to life.

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

This easy, one-pan vegetarian pasta recipe comes from my friend Mary’s new cookbook The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook, a followup to her first, equally wonderful book The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook.

The book is brilliantly divided into sections for quick recipes and make-ahead recipes, meaning that you can turn to it both when you have time to plan in advance and when you walk through the door and in an utter moment of panic find yourself asking: What on earth are we going to eat???

The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook - Filled with fast and easy recipes.

Like this Mediterranean Pasta, the recipes in Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts are a testament to the fact that a recipe doesn’t need to be long, time-consuming, or complicated to be delicious. Many of the lunch recipes work well for dinner too.

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, I found this Mediterranean Pasta plenty satisfying when left vegetarian. If you prefer to add meat, you can make this Mediterranean Pasta with chicken or Mediterranean Pasta with shrimp. For shrimp, I’d suggest sautéing or grilling the shrimp separately, then tossing it with the pasta at the end.

For those seeking shredded chicken pasta recipes, try combining this Mediterranean Pasta with my quick and easy method for How to Cook Shredded Chicken. You can shred or dice the chicken and toss it in with the pasta at the end.

To make the Mediterranean Pasta vegan, you can simply omit the Parmesan.

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

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Mediterranean Pasta

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.

Yield: 4–6 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 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 or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1 (6-ounce) can whole pitted black olives
  • 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

Directions:

  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.
  • 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.

Lightly adapted from The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook by Mary Younkin

// All images and text ©Erin Clarke/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 6)

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 267 Calories
  • Total Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 4mg
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Protein: 18g

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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

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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…

19 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!

    Rating: 5
    • 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!

    Rating: 5
  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!!

    Rating: 5
  10. Anny Cristofano Reply

    Do you need to drain the olives and artichokes?

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