Baked Mediterranean pasta is simple, flavorful, and vibrant. Tender pasta is tossed in an olive oil based pasta sauce with fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives, then topped with mozzarella cheese and baked to crispy, melty perfection. The best part? This pasta bake is incredibly easy to make and ready in less than 45 minutes. It’s a perfect recipe for busy weeknights, but fancy enough for a dinner party. It’s a dish that everyone will be reaching over for seconds.
Why You’ll Love Baked Mediterranean Pasta
- Mediterranean flavors abound. I love anything with artichokes and olives—and this baked pasta is no different. Add in some tomatoes, garlic, mozzarella, lemon, and high-quality olive oil, and you have the best Mediterranean pasta bake ever. It’s a pasta casserole loaded with flavor.
- Plenty of nutrients. This pasta is also loaded with nutrients. Olives boast nutrients and antioxidants, including vitamin E, and they’re proven to support bone health, skin health, and your immune system! Similarly, artichokes are loaded with nutrients like potassium, fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, and folate. And don’t get me started on the fresh tomatoes and garlic.
- Can be Mediterranean diet approved. Although, regular pasta isn’t on the Mediterranean diet, the good veggies we include are. And, if you substitute with whole grain pasta, then this recipe is completely Mediterranean diet approved.
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this delicious baked Mediterranean pasta, you will need the following ingredients (full quantities in the recipe card below):
- pasta - I used rotini pasta, but feel free to use any shape that you have on hand. A longer pasta such as linguine or spaghetti also work well.
- olive oil
- cherry tomatoes - feel free to use grape tomatoes as a substitute.
- seasoning - Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- artichoke hearts
- kalamata olives
- bocconcini - also known as mozzarella balls. You can also substitute this with 1 cup of grated mozzarella.
- fresh parsley - optional, to garnish on top.
This Mediterranean pasta bake is totally customizable. Feel free to add other ingredients that will complement the Mediterranean flavors here such as spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta.
How to Make the Best Baked Mediterranean Pasta
- Cook pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Add pasta and cook until al dente (fully cooked but still firm) according to package directions, about 6-8 minutes. Drain well and set aside in the pot.
- Sauté aromatics. While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet oven over medium-high heat until the hot oil sizzles, about 2 minutes. Then, add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes
- Add tomatoes. Add tomatoes and season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir well and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomatoes have slightly softened.
- Add remaining ingredients. Add cooked pasta, artichoke, and olives and toss well to coat. Transfer the pasta into a 9x13-inch casserole pan and top with mozzarella balls.
- Bake. Bake in a 375F preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the melted cheese is golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes, then garnish with fresh parsley and serve with fresh Parmesan if desired.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- How to store: Keep leftover Mediterranean baked pasta in the fridge for up to four days. Store it in an airtight container or wrap the casserole pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
- How to freeze: Pasta casseroles are incredibly freezer-friendly! So, pre-portion your pasta bake. Then wrap each piece in aluminum foil or plastic wrap (or place each one in an airtight container). It will last in the freezer for up to three months.
- How to reheat: If frozen, that the pasta overnight in the refrigerator. Then, bake it in a 375F preheated for 20 minutes until warmed through.
More Pasta Recipes
- 40 Best Pasta Recipes
- Pasta Bake with Sausage (Baked Ziti)
- Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Ground Turkey Pasta Bake
- Mediterranean Baked Shrimp Orzo
- Pesto Penne Pasta
- Cacio e Pepe
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.