Feta, zucchini, and tomato are classic Greek ingredients, and they add so much color, flavor, and texture to this 5-ingredient, 30-minute pasta. A sprinkle of lemon zest and the juice of a lemon perks everything up considerably. This is a vegetarian dish, but if you want to add some cooked chicken or shrimp, that would be great, too. Or go the other way, and leave out the feta, and you have vegan pasta!
The ingredients in the dish couldn’t be more accessible, especially during the end of summer months. Note that the vegetables cook down when you make this pasta, so this might look like a lot of veggies when they are chopped and raw, but they will be just the right amount for the pasta once cooked. The vegetables shrink as they release water while cooking, while the pasta swells as it absorbs water. The quantities will even themselves out! And you can always up the amount of vegetables or use less pasta if you want an even more vegetable-heavy pasta.
Pasta – I picked a chunky shape for this dish this time around, but it works just as well with long skinny pasta. Different pasta, different dish — change it up! You can also use whole wheat pasta if you want to bump up the nutritional value of this dish, or a gluten-free pasta if there are allergies or intolerances in your home. Make sure to save some of the cooking water to create the sauce before you drain the pasta.
Onion – Any color is fine.
Zucchini – Don’t use super large zucchini here, which will have less flavor and be more watery when cooked. If you use medium zucchini, halve it lengthwise and slice; if you use baby zucchini, just slice it crosswise.
Cherry or grape tomatoes – You can also use 6 cups or diced larger tomatoes.
Feta – You can leave it out or use vegan feta for a vegan pasta
Oregano – Fresh is best, but dried will also work. Use 2 teaspoons of dried oregano instead, and skip the final sprinkle of fresh oregano.
You can really use any pasta you like for this recipe, from long strands like linguine or spaghetti to chunkier shapes like ziti, penne, or elbows. Regular semolina pasta works great, but you can also experiment with whole-grain pasta, which is a nice way to get more whole grains into your diet. You could go for a tri-color pasta if you want extra color in this already colorful pasta.
And yes, this Greek pasta is another way to use up all of that zucchini that’s flooding the garden and the farmers markets. If you’re facing a log jam of zucchini, also try Modern Greek Salad, Crunchy Parmesan Zucchini Coins, Zucchini Ribbon Salad, and Tomato, Zucchini, and Bulgur Salad.
I love it when earlier in the season, you can find baby zucchini, which I used here. It’s adorable, has very few seeds, and a nice firm texture. If baby zucchini are in your world, use them in this recipe. Diced regular ripe tomatoes are very fine as well instead of the cherry or grape tomatoes; use about 4 large ones.
If you don’t count the pasta, salt, and olive oil, this is a 5-ingredient pasta dish. Instead of the final sprinkling of fresh oregano, you can also think about sprinkle of parsley on top, or perhaps slivered basil or sliced chives.
Feta, zucchini and tomato are classic Greek ingredients and they come together in this pasta like they’ve know each other forever.Tweet This
Other Easy 5-Ingredient Pasta Recipes
- Thin Spaghetti with Fennel, Bacon, and Parmesan
- Campanelle with Chicken Sausage, Kale, and Olives
- Pasta Aglio e Olio
- Pasta with Creamy Sundried Tomato and Scallion Sauce
- Cacio e Pepe
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Vegetarian Greek Pasta
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- 1 pound penne (or cavatappi, or other short chunky pasta)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion (any color, diced)
- 3 medium zucchini halved and sliced (or use 10 baby zucchini sliced)
- 3 pints cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1 cup crumbled or diced feta cheese (divided)
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped (plus more for serving; see Note)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water generously, and let it return to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook accordingly to package directions, stirring occasionally. Before you drain the pasta, make sure to remove a cup of the cooking water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until they start to soften and caramelize. Add the zucchini and sauté until it starts to become tender, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté until they start to soften and slightly release their juices, about 2 minutes.
- Drain the pasta, reserving the cup of cooking water, and return the pasta to the pot with ½ cup of the cooking water. Add the zucchini-tomato mixture to the pot, along with ¾ of the feta, the lemon zest and juice, and the 2 tablespoons oregano, then toss well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss in the rest of the cooking water. Turn into a serving dish and sprinkle with the remaining feta and some more fresh oregano. Serve hot or warm.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.