This Mediterranean Veggie Pasta recipe is an imposter. It looks and tastes gourmet but it couldn’t be easier to make. And, it takes less than 20 minutes to prep.
I was inspired by the flavors in my favorite pizza at a local restaurant — tangy marinara sauce with salty olives, artichokes, mushrooms and sweet caramelized onions. And that’s how this Mediterranean Veggie Pasta recipe was born.
Aside from how delicious this pasta dish is, there are a few more reasons I love it and that make it one of my favorite weeknight family meals:
It’s a balanced meal and full of nutrition
This Mediterranean Veggie Pasta is full of so many foods that are nutritious and filling. You can use any pasta that you love, but I like to go with a garbanzo bean or lentil pasta (my favorite is from Banza) because they’re higher in fiber and protein than your usual durum wheat pasta. This dish is loaded with vitamins and minerals from the veggies — artichokes, mushrooms, onion, garlic, tomatoes and leafy greens — as well as healthy fats from the olives and olive oil. If you add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese over the top, it’s even yummier and it provides a bit more protein, too.
You can tailor it to your family’s preferences
You can absolutely change this recipe up with your family’s favorites if you’d like. You can use your favorite pasta and your favorite sauce or even switch out the veggies if you prefer something different. Cooked broccoli would work in place of the artichokes and spinach. If you don’t love olives, leave them out or sub in another food you love, like roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes. There are so many different ways you can make this dish. Be creative!
It’s delicious as next-day lunch leftovers
Have you ever noticed that there are foods that actually taste better the next day? Pasta dishes like this one are one of them. The flavors have time to come together overnight, and when you reheat this dish the next day, the flavors are so much more intense.
If you make this Mediterranean Veggie Pasta recipe, be sure to leave a star rating and a comment below letting me know what you think! Your feedback is so helpful for me and other visitors to my blog.
Want more quick and easy weeknight dinner recipes? Try these:
- Tex-Mex Veggie Grilled Cheese
- Quick Grill Pan Chicken
- Practically Homemade Easy Caesar Salad
- Better Than Takeout Homemade Fried Rice
Mediterranean Veggie Pasta Recipe (Vegetarian)
- 8 oz pasta of choice (I used Banza rotini)
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 10 oz jar artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup sliced kalamata olives, drained
- 2 cups marinara sauce (I used Rao's)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 2-3 cups baby spinach, arugula or other green
- Optional: grated or shaved parmesan cheese for topping
- Add the olive oil to a large pan or skillet over medium to medium-high heat, then add the onion and garlic. Sauté for about 6 or 7 minutes or until the onion is translucent and beginning to caramelize.
- Add the mushrooms, artichoke hearts and olives to the pan and continue to sauté for about 5 more minutes, watching closely to make sure it doesn't stick.
- Add the marinara sauce and sea salt to the mixture, stir well and lower the heat to simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and add the greens to the mixture. Stir well, letting the heat from the sauce wilt the greens.
- Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss everything well. Adjust the seasoning to your tastes. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.