This Vegetarian Mediterranean Pasta recipe is healthy and ready in 30 minutes! It’s gluten free and made with fresh veggies. The perfect weeknight dinner!
This post was sponsored by Barilla but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
I don’t know about you guys but sometimes I struggle to come up with healthy meals that are both tasty and satisfying, especially on those busy weeknights when I don’t have much time or energy to concoct elaborate meals.
Pasta is a great option when you need something quick and easy but don’t want to sacrifice flavor AND you want to keep things on the healthy side. It’s perfect when you want dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. It’s made with fresh ingredients that you probably have on hand.
A few quality ingredients and you’ve got a restaurant-quality pasta dish like this Vegetarian Mediterranean Pasta!
I have been loving the Barilla Red Lentil Rotini lately – I discovered it earlier this year and now it’s a staple in my cupboard and on my dinner menu. It’s made with ONE ingredient – Red Lentils. This means that it’s gluten free, high in both protein and fiber, and a great when you want to eat clean.
You can pick up a multi-pack of the Barilla Red Lentil Rotini and Penne on Amazon and get it shipped right to your house. I love this because it means I always have a box on hand and can whip up meals like this on a moment’s notice.
One thing I come back to every time I make this pasta is the awesome texture. There are lots of gluten free pasta products on the market and they don’t all hold up – This cooks up ‘al dente’ every time.
It’s also suitable to all kinds of diets because it’s gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan. I went to a BBQ at my brother’s house this summer and my sis-in-law made a pasta salad using this Barilla Red Lentil Rotini knowing I would be able to eat it. This pasta is versatile and this gluten free foodie definitely approves!
Barilla also makes a Chickpea variety and if you like chickpeas you’ve got to check it out because it’s made with only one ingredient. Can you guess it? That’s right – Chickpeas!
How To Make Mediterranean Pasta
This Vegetarian Mediterranean Pasta recipe starts with a few simple ingredients.
- Mince 6 cloves of garlic.
- Dice 4 roma tomatoes [you can also use 2 regular tomatoes or 1 pint of cherry tomatoes]. The diced tomatoes (whichever variety you choose) yields about 2 cups.
- Roughly chop 1 cup of fresh spinach.
- Mince 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves.
- Cut 1 cup of pitted Kalamata olives into halves. You can use any variety of olives you like if you don’t care for Kalamata olives.
Saute The Garlic and Tomatoes
This pasta starts as so many good pasta dishes do – With extra virgin olive oil and garlic sauteed in a skillet. This creates a flavorful base for the pasta.
- Heat a skillet to medium and add 2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil. Once heated, add the minced garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the diced tomatoes along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the tomatoes to cook down slightly but not completely. They will sweeten a bit as they cook.
I had a roma tomato plant in the garden this summer and I LOVE roma tomatoes in pasta but you can use any variety you have on hand.
Can I Substitute Canned Tomatoes?
Yes – A can of drained diced tomatoes will work as well!
While the tomatoes are being sauteed in the skillet boil a pot of water and prepare 1 box of Barilla Red Lentil Rotini according to package instructions. Drain the pasta once it’s al dente and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
Once the pasta is cooked add it to the skillet along with the 1 cup of reserved pasta water.
Add 2 cups of chopped spinach, the chopped Kalamata olives, and 1 cup of shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir all of the ingredients together and cook for another 2 minutes or so.
The spinach will wilt down as it cooks and the cheese will melt a bit.
Feel free to adjust the salt and pepper levels as needed.
Serve The Vegetarian Mediterranean Pasta
At this point the pasta is ready to serve. Seriously, I love easy meals like this! Honestly, I think it’s ready in LESS than 30 minutes.
Feel free to garnish it with the minced basil and some extra Parmesan cheese.
Other delicious additions to this Mediterranean pasta include sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, any type of olives or capers, or feta cheese instead of Parmesan.
If you love pasta and are looking for more recipes be sure to check out this Cauliflower and Tomato Pasta, Lemon and Leek Pasta, and this Roasted Vegetable Pasta Bake!
We often tend to think that we need tons of time and fancy ingredients to make meals that are healthy and satisfying. This pasta is proof that all you need is a few simple and quality ingredients to create something special.
That is basically the premise of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Simple things done right. Barilla has accomplished exactly that with this Red Lentil Rotini and they make it easy to incorporate into your daily menu.
One of the reasons I grow a garden every summer is to be able to make meals like this one!
Pick up a multi-pack of this Barilla Red Lentil Penne and Rotini on Amazon and try out some new recipes – Leave a review on with your thoughts on the pasta!