Mediterranean Pasta Salad

White Oak Winery Olive Tree

Please excuse the reuse of the photo of the olive tree from White Oak Winery. Lot of photos of the little man have drained my camera battery, and it is currently on the charger. Photo-filled posts to come tomorrow! Today I share with you a straightforward recipe that is full of flavor, mostly healthy, and fairly easy.

One of my biggest struggles when working in an office was bringing something for lunch that I would look forward to. Some people are just fine eating the same thing every day, but for me, variety is definitely the spice of life, and when I grew tired of chili and salad for lunch, I turned to this pasta which tastes great hot or cold.


4 cups whole wheat rotini

4 cloves garlic

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

2 cups grape tomatoes

1 can tuna in olive oil

1/2 cup crumbled goat or feta cheese

1/4 cup capers

4 TBSP aged Balsamic

additional olive oil if desired

several handfuls fresh baby spinach

a handful shredded basil, if available

ground black pepper and salt to taste


Start by drizzling the garlic cloves, still in their skins, with olive oil. Wrap them in foil and roast them in the toaster oven at 400 for 20 minutes. While the garlic is roasting, start water boiling for the pasta.

Generously salt the pasta water and pour in the rotini. Cook according to package directions until the pasta is cooked to your liking.

Once the garlic is roasted until soft, empty the tuna in olive oil into a bowl. Squeeze garlic out into the tuna and gently mash the tuna, oil, and garlic together.

Add the tuna, garlic, and oil to the drained pasta along with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt, pepper, and oregano as desired.

As I mentioned above, this can be served hot or cold. If served hot, the spinach and basil (if included), will of course wilt, but I often enjoy wilted greens with pasta.

This is also great with a half of a lemon squeezed over it right before serving.

I love that the whole wheat pasta adds some extra nutrition and that the rest of ingredients are generally easy to find in the grocery store. This recipe could easily be doubled to accommodate a few people for the week.

As we roll into winter, I am going to try to start posting more simple but hearty recipes. What is your favorite?

If you would like to share it as a guest post, I would love to have you!

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Tags: easy recipe, Lunch, recipe, Vegetarian

  1. Emily’s avatar

    I often bring leftovers from dinner, but this looks like the perfect workday lunch. My favorite hearty winter meals include chili and anything that involves braising (meats or veggies)!


  2. Gina’s avatar

    This looks easy and delicious! I’m glad you gave instructions for the garlic cloves using the toaster oven. I hate having to fire up the oven to just cook garlic and now thanks to you, I know how it’s done with my toaster oven. For winter, I love a simple, hearty stew!


  3. Megan’s avatar

    I tend to make pasta dishes with all sorts of veggies when I get bored with the usual lunch too. Oddly enough, I brought a sandwich today and really enjoyed it. Maybe because I haven’t brought sandwiches in a long time.

    Tomatoes, feta, and balsamic — I’m definitely in for this pasta!


  4. Grace’s avatar

    This is a great, healthy blend of flavorful ingredients! I have not had pasta salad in ages, but it does make a great lunch!


  5. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    I eat a turkey wrap every day. I’m a creature of habit. I’d make this for dinner though!


  6. Julie’s avatar

    Mmm, this looks tasty! I tend to go through phases and eat the same thing days on end for about a month, and then I swap to something totally different. Right now, it’s yogurt with mixed nuts, and an apple & V9.


  7. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

    Congrats!!!! and pasta salads are so good, I love it how they are filling and easily made of leftovers too :)


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