A bright and flavorful dish, my Mediterranean pasta is a terrific “clean eating” dish to whip up when you're craving a light and veggie-filled pasta dish. Brimming with grilled vegetables such as zucchini, squash, eggplant and tomatoes, this Mediterranean pasta recipe is tossed together with a creamy lemon-dill dressing and finished with feta cheese and Kalamata olives!
A Veggie-Filled Pasta Dish with a Mediterranean Twist
Nothing sounds more enticing after I've been indulging a little than a light, bright meal filled to the brim with colorful vegetables and a lean protein...
I adore light pasta dishes, and often turn to those when I'm craving some “clean eating” meals, ones that I can easily whip up any ol' day of the week and feel totally satisfied partaking in.
My Mediterranean pasta is a recipe that I find myself preparing when I get a taste for a dish with lemony notes, some fresh dill, lots of charred veggies and some tender slices of grilled chicken.
I love the flavor combination of grilled eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes, so tossing those gently with the chicken, some warm, twisty pasta as well as a light, bright and creamy lemon-dill dressing for an added pop of flavor always hits the spot for me.
This recipe is a fantastic option if you enjoy the flavors and health benefits of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, loaded with lots of good fats, colorful veggies, and bright, lemony notes!
My Recipe for Mediterranean Pasta with Grilled Vegetables and Chicken
This pasta dish is one that can double as a warm pasta salad, since it has the addition of a creamy, lemon-dill dressing that I like to whirl up and drizzle over the warm pasta.
Frankly, this recipe is absolutely scrumptious enjoyed either warm or chilled.
There are slightly creamy notes to this Mediterranean pasta as well as tangy ones, and the grilled vegetables bring lots of color and that delectable charred flavor that adds a lot of earthy depth, plus the chicken adds a little heartiness and extra protein.
I love to use torchiette pasta, which are little trumpet-shaped pasta, but any twisty pasta will do. You can even substitute penne if you prefer, or use bowtie pasta.
And that dressing? It has a generous scoop of plain Greek yogurt, feta cheese, some lemon juice and zest, garlic, dill, and olive oil, to reinforce that mouthwatering Mediterranean flavor.
Here's a peek at my Mediterranean pasta recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I add my dressing ingredients to the bowl of my food processor, and whirl everything together until smooth and creamy, then set it aside.
- I prepare my pasta according to package instructions, then drain and keep it warm.
- While the pasta cooks, I season and grill my chicken breasts, then slice those into thin strips once cool enough to handle.
- In that same grill pan, I then work in batches to first grill the zucchini and squash, next the eggplant, and finally the tomatoes—I set those aside together.
- To finish my Mediterranean pasta, I toss as much of the dressing as I'd like with the grilled vegetables and chicken together in a large bowl, spoon into bowls, and garnish with some extra feta cheese, Kalamata olives, and dill.
by Ingrid Beer
This Mediterranean pasta is bursting with colorful, grilled vegetables and chicken, then tossed with a creamy lemon-dill dressing and feta!
Yield: Serves 4
Nutrition Info: 626 calories per serving
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Mediterranean Pasta Ingredients:
- 8 ounces torchiette pasta (or any “twisty” style of pasta), uncooked
- 2 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, sliced in half to create 4 thinner cutlets
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- 2 small zucchini, quartered and cut into ¼”- ½” thick pieces
- 2 small yellow squash, quartered and cut into ¼” - ½½” thick pieces
- ½ small eggplant, quartered and cut into ¼” - ½” thick pieces
- 1 cup small cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
- ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped, for garnish
Lemon-Dill Dressing Ingredients:
- 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
- ¾ ounces fresh dill (about 1 small package), roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 ½ tablespoons lemon zest
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup water plus 2 tablespoons
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your lemon-dill dressing ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Place all of the ingredients up to and including the black pepper into the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, and process until well incorporated and smooth/creamy. Set aside.
- Next, gather and prep all of your pasta ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Cook your pasta according to the package instructions, then drain and keep warm.
- While your pasta cooks, prepare the chicken cutlets by sprinkling them with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Place a large grill pan over medium-high heat and add about 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil in, and once the oil is hot, add the chicken and grill for roughly 2-3 minutes per side, or until the chicken in golden and cooked through. Set the chicken aside on a plate, and once cool enough to handle, slice into very thin strips. Keep warm.
- To grill the veggies, place the same grill pan onto medium-high heat, and add in about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in about half of the zucchini and squash, and do not move it in order to allow it to brown/caramelize and grill for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, then toss them over and allow them to grill/caramelize on the other side, as well. Turn them out onto a plate or bowl and keep warm, and repeat the process with the remainder of the zucchini/squash.
- Next, add a touch more olive oil to the grill pan, and add the eggplant in along with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Allow the eggplant to caramelize and grill for a few moments on each side, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking. Once golden brown and soft, turn out into the same bowl/plate as the zucchini/squash, keeping it warm.
- Grill the tomatoes in the grill pan last, with a touch more oil if necessary, and a pinch of salt and pepper, for about 1-2 minutes, just to warm them through and lightly char/blister their skins, then add them to the other veggies to hold.
- To finish the pasta, add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Start by drizzling in about half of the lemon-dill dressing to start with, and gently toss to combine. Check to see if you'd like additional dressing, or if any additional salt/pepper is needed.
- To serve, spoon portions of the warm Mediterranean pasta into bowls, and garnish with a few of the halved Kalamata olives, a sprinkle of some of the crumbled feta cheese and fresh dill.
Tips & Tidbits for my Mediterranean Pasta recipe:
- Enjoy this Mediterranean pasta warm or cold: While I typically prefer this pasta dish warm, it actually makes for a terrific pasta salad if you chill the grilled veggies, the pasta, and the chicken. And if you'd like to have it really hot, then add all of the ingredients to a large pan, drizzle in a good amount of the dressing, and toss everything together, gently, over high heat until hot. Otherwise, just serve it warm, as the recipe directs.
- Use your grill pan for convenience: If you have a larger grill pan, that'll work great for this recipe. Typically, I grill my chicken first, then, while it is resting, I'll grill all of the veggies for a few minutes each in the same pan.
- Grilled chicken, fish, shrimp, or completely vegetarian: While I'm opting for grilled chicken breast here, another terrific option is a piece of grilled fish such as halibut, salmon, or tilapia. Shrimp is also a delicious alternative for this Mediterranean-inspired dish. But if you prefer to leave out all protein, just prepare the pasta dish with the grilled vegetables and dressing, and enjoy that way.
- Leftover lemon-dill dressing? Any left-overs of this yummy dressing are terrific as a dressing or dip for green salads or veggies. Just keep in a covered jar or container in the fridge for up to a week or two.
Hungry for more tasty pasta recipes? Check out this Mushroom Pasta, this Vegetable Pasta with Mozzarella, this Bistro Sausage Pasta, this Cajun Shrimp Pasta, or this Bucatini Pasta with Garlic Butter Sauce!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2013, and has been updated with even more love!
Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection
I made a similar pasta this weekend, except I roasted the vegetables. It was out of this world delicious! When DC weather is not cooperating and pretending like it is still winter, I always "escape" by making delicious meals and treats. This salad would definitely help ease the cold, gray day blues!
The Cozy Apron
So true, Elaine!
Cooking from the Heart
This recipe looks amazing, I can't wait to try it! I am just wondering... my husband isn't a big fan of dill... is there another spice that might also work in it's place?
The Cozy Apron
Hi there! I would probably say that substituting parsley and some green onions for the dill would work - the flavors would still be fresh and "green", but provide a different profile if your hubby isn't a fan of the dill. It'll be a little different from the flavors found in the recipe, but I hope you enjoy!
Cooking from the Heart
That's a great idea, I really look forward to trying this out! It sounds SO delish!
This was so delicious. The dressing is to die for. I am a student and love trying new recipes when my schedule allows. This will definitely be a dish I repeat!!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Galen, thank you so much for sharing that with me! I'm so happy you enjoyed this healthy little pasta salad, and that it will now be in your recipe repertoire. Happy cooking, and best of luck with school! 🙂
I would probably grill the chicken and veggies all together outside on my grill...be ready in 5 minutes, tops. Sounds like THIS is what's for lunch this weekend.
The Cozy Apron
Hi Jennie, that sounds perfect. Hope you enjoy!