15-Minute Mediterranean Pasta

Today it’s all about quick and easy! As in, open some jars, boil some pasta, and stir it all together – seriously, it doesn’t get any easier than this 15-minute Mediterranean pasta with olives, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta.

a bowl of mediterranean pasta.

Today we’re using some simple pantry ingredients and taking 15 minutes (!) to make a pasta dinner loaded with flavor and so easy you’ll want it in your pocket for those times when there’s just no time to cook. Or, as is the case during the summer, you don’t want to cook (guilty as charged).

In the time it takes to boil the pasta, the whole thing comes together in a delicious tangle of spaghetti with sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, and feta cheese. The sauce is practically a “no sauce” pasta sauce – just a light lemony garlic olive oil that coats the pasta and ties all the flavors together.

It’s an easy pasta dish, friends, but don’t let its simplicity fool you. We might be using pantry ingredients, but this Mediterranean pasta recipe is bursting with fresh flavors.

Ingredients

  • Pasta – I use spaghetti but pretty much any pasta shape will work in this recipe so use what you have.
  • Smashed garlic clove – You don’t need to chop it, just smash and peel it. It cooks in the olive oil to flavor it and then you toss it.
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Halved Kalamata olives
  • Roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes – I like to use ones packed in oil.
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Crumbled feta cheese
ingredients for the pasta dish.

Make It In Three Easy Steps

Boil the pasta until it’s al dente. While it’s cooking, you can get everything else ready.

Sauce: Warm the olive oil in a skillet. Add the smashed garlic and cook it in the oil. Keep the heat on the lower side so the garlic doesn’t brown quickly. You’re basically extracting the flavor and infusing it into the olive oil. After about 10 minutes, discard the garlic.

process photo collage showing how the dish is made.

Once the pasta is done boiling, drain it and place it back in the pot. Add the garlic olive oil and all of the other ingredients. Toss to combine and that’s it!

Serve it hot, warm, or at room temperature. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge. They’re delicious cold or you can reheat them.

the pasta being tossed with the other ingredients.

Substitutions

This is an easy recipe to adjust so feel free to make substitutions based on what you have on hand. Here are some ideas:

  • Roasted red peppers, roasted grape tomatoes, or fresh cherry tomatoes work great in place of the sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Olives: Not into them? Feel free to omit them or use green olives instead of Kalamata.
  • Cheese: The feta works really well, but I think grated Parmesan cheese would be delicious.
  • Fresh herbs: Instead of parsley try fresh basil leaves instead.
  • Lemon: If you have red wine vinegar on hand, you can use that instead of lemon juice. Just a splash will work.
  • Sauce: A simple marinara sauce would work great instead of the olive oil sauce. I’d use a light hand and just add enough to lightly coat the pasta.
  • Heat: If you want some spice, add a few pinches of red pepper flakes when you warm the olive oil.
  • Protein: If you want to make it more filling add some cooked chicken or shrimp.
  • Use whatever pasta you have on hand. Whole wheat pasta is also an option.
close-up shot of the final dish.

Stock your pantry with the ingredients and dinner is just 15 minutes away! This Mediterranean pasta will be your best friend when life gets crazy. Enjoy!

Happy quick cooking,

April

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overhead shot of Mediterranean pasta on a plate.

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Print

15-Minute Mediterranean Pasta

close-up shot of the final dish.

It doesn’t get any easier than this Mediterranean-inspired pasta. With just a few simple pantry ingredients, a couple of fresh ingredients, and 15 minutes this easy dinner is ready to serve.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/3 cup halved Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained and quartered (use the kind marinated in herbs)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook it according to package directions.
  2. While the spaghetti is boiling, add the garlic and olive oil to a small pan. Heat the oil over medium-low heat and let the garlic gently cook in the oil, for about ten minutes. Adjust the heat, if needed, so the garlic doesn’t brown too quickly. After ten minutes discard the garlic and turn off the heat.
  3. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and return it to the pot. Add everything, except the feta cheese, to the pot with the spaghetti and toss it all to combine. Add 3/4 of the feta, reserve some for serving, and give it one more gentle toss. Serve right away with the extra feta on the side.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 503
  • Sugar: 3.8g
  • Sodium: 978.8mg
  • Fat: 26.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 16.8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.3g
  • Fiber: 5.5g
  • Protein: 14.9g
  • Cholesterol: 33.4mg

Keywords: Mediterranean Pasta

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

Photos and post updated from the archives. First published in October 2015.

The nutrition is an estimate only. It was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.

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34 Comments

    1. I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy it – let me know if there was anything in particular that didn’t work for you.

  1. Made this 3x now since I Pinned it. My family loves it! Thank you!!!

    P.S. I think you have to use good quality ingredients to make this recipe work. The recipe is so simple that you rely on them to make a really good dish.

  2. I pride myself on enjoying cooking/making up my own recipes/friends always wanting my recipes. So I think I’m a good judge 🙂 LOL This was delicious. Id think that the commenter above that didn’t like the recipe must not like one of the ingredients. They are pretty strong flavors. My husband and I love everything in this dish so we LOVED it! Thank you for an easy, flavor filled recipe. I did do a LITTLE lighter on the evoo and rinsed the sundried tomatoes a bit because I didn’t want it to be too oily. Oh and added a bit of pepper because we love it. Thanks a ton!

  3. I make this recipe frequently. I also add fresh basil or the refrigerated kind in a tube. I have also thrown in green onions if I have some. And yes I also like the leftovers cold. Great recipe!

  4. Delicious! I used drained canned artichoke hearts, a tiny drizzle of sundried tomato oil, and some basil, oregano and crushed red pepper. I also added some fresh baby spinach.

  5. The recipe was very tasty! But, as a college student barely learning to cook for myself lol it was sort of difficult to follow along. I understand 1. But, I was lost by 2. So I heat up the oil and the garlic but then it doesn’t say anything else about the rest of the ingredients such as the artichokes and the tomatoes and the olives. I didn’t want to throw them in the pot of the pasta without heating them up first so I heated them in the oil for a bit then threw them in the pasta and tossed. After I sorted that out, it was a very good recipe!

    1. Hi Crysta! Thank you for this feedback – glad you enjoyed it! I will make some updates to the instructions so it’s not confusing for others who try it 🙂

  6. I absolutely loved this recipe! It was SO easy and SO delicious!!! I am new to cooking and I seriously thought I’d just ordered a pasta dish at a fancy Italian restaurant or something. I couldn’t believe something I made tasted so delicious. It definitely took me 30 minutes instead of 15. I spent 15 minutes waiting for the water to boil! But I loved that the hands-on and prep time was so short. After dinner I got the munchies and ate the leftovers cold and it was really good cold too!!! Thank you for such a delicious, quick, and easy recipe!

  7. Oh! I meant to add – is there anything you’d recommend substituting for the olives to still have that tangy flavor? My husband hates olives and I can’t get him to eat them, sadly. I love them! I want to make this again without the olives but I know I would miss that flavor!

    1. I’m so glad you liked it! Maybe some chopped capers instead of olives? They are briny but won’t be as noticeable if you chop them up a bit 🙂

  8. I’ve been trying to replicate dish served at a restaurant in San Jose, CA…Sonoma Chicken Coop I think. It was called greco spaghettini. Years ago I was able to replicate it from memory, but 10 years later your recipe is the closest. I add capers along with the kalamata olives.
    What I can’t recall is whether it had diced chicken breast meat in it. So I fried some in olive oil and some garlic and seasonings and added at the end.
    Wonderful dish!
    thank you

  9. I put together a similar recipe as an entry in the Gilroy Garlic Festival Cook-Off 20 years ago – I used 6 cloves of garlic, no artichokes but lots of fresh spinach. And I called it Mediterranean Pasta! I was chosen as a finalist and participated at the Cook-Off during the festival. Fun times!

  10. This is amazing! I added some mushrooms, capers, fresh green onions and a whole lotta love (can’t forget that!)! ❤️
    I have become obsessed with Mediterranean cuisine. The flavors are just so fresh and it truly is a more than food. It’s home. Thank you for the recipe!

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