Mediterranean Chicken & Veggie-Olive Toss with Green Dressing, Yoghurt &  Almonds

How to make Mediterranean Olive Toss

During a memorable journey through the picturesque landscapes of the Mediterranean, I was captivated by the diverse culinary traditions that painted every meal with vibrant flavors and textures. Among these culinary treasures, a dish called “Mediterranean Olive Toss” stood out, weaving the rich, bold essences of feta cheese, the al dente bite of penne pasta, and the sweet, roasted charm of red peppers into a harmonious medley. The interplay of these ingredients, complemented by the briny depth of assorted olives, crafted a dish that was both comforting and invigorating, embodying the spirit of Mediterranean cuisine. Driven by an eagerness to recreate this experience and share it with others, I embarked on a quest to perfect the “Mediterranean Olive Toss.” Through trials and tastings, I captured the essence of the Mediterranean in every forkful. Now, I’m thrilled to share this recipe with you, inviting a piece of the Mediterranean into your kitchen and onto your plate, with hopes that it brings the same joy and fulfillment that inspired its journey to creation.

Mediterranean Olive Toss recipe

Mediterranean Chicken & Veggie-Olive Toss with Green Dressing, Yoghurt &  Almonds

Mediterranean Olive Toss

The journey into the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean region is beautifully encapsulated in the "Mediterranean Olive Toss," a dish that was discovered and embraced during travels that transcended mere tourism to become a culinary adventure. At its heart, this recipe marries the bold, briny flavors of assorted olives with the creamy richness of feta cheese, the al dente satisfaction of penne pasta, and the sweet, roasted nuances of red peppers. This combination creates a tapestry of tastes and textures that are both comforting and invigorating, brilliantly embodying the spirit of Mediterranean cuisine. Inspired by this discovery, a quest was undertaken to recreate and refine this dish, eventually succeeding in capturing its essence. The invitation to share this "Mediterranean Olive Toss" recipe is not just about passing on a method of preparation; it's an offer to experience and savor the profound and uplifting flavors of the Mediterranean, inviting others to explore and delight in its culinary riches.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Spanish
Calories 842 kcal


  • 1 large pot


  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 7 pickled red peppers
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1 package penne pasta
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 8 ounces jar artichoke
  • 1/3 cup olive oil


  • Fill a large pot halfway with liquid and bring to the boil, lightly toasted.
  • Return to a boil after adding the penne.
  • Heat pasta for ten minutes, covered, then rinse.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil on moderate heat and cook and mix garlic once aromatic, around 30 seconds.
  • 5 minutes after adding the pine nuts, tomatoes, and artichokes to the skillet, stir to combine flavors.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the penne pasta until well combined; toss the pasta mixture gently with the feta cheese.
Keyword feta cheese, red peppers

Cooking tips about Mediterranean Olive Toss

Mediterranean Chicken & Veggie-Olive Toss with Green Dressing, Yoghurt &  Flaked Almonds

  • Fresh Ingredients: The quality of your ingredients can make or break this simple toss. Ensure your feta cheese is of good quality, briny and creamy. Use ripe, juicy tomatoes and fresh, crisp red peppers for maximum flavor.
  • Pasta Perfection: For the penne pasta, aim for al dente texture by boiling it just until it’s firm to the bite. This ensures the pasta holds up well with the other ingredients without becoming mushy, adding a satisfying chew to each bite.
  • Olive Variety: The olives are key to adding the Mediterranean’s signature briny depth to the dish. Use a mix of kalamata, green, and black olives for a variety of flavors and textures. If you have access to specialty olives, don’t hesitate to experiment.
  • Balancing Flavors: Incorporate a light dressing made from extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and minced garlic to marry the flavors together. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper carefully, considering the inherent saltiness of the feta and olives.
  • Herb Highlights: Fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, or parsley bring freshness and vibrancy to your Mediterranean Olive Toss. Chop them finely and add them in just before serving to preserve their bright, aromatic qualities.
  • Let It Marinate: Allowing the toss to sit for a little while before serving (not too long to ensure the pasta doesn’t get soggy) can significantly enhance the flavors, as it gives time for all the ingredients to meld together harmoniously.
  • Cheese Last: Add the feta cheese last to prevent it from breaking down too much when tossing with the warm pasta and vegetables. A gentle fold through the salad will distribute the cheese evenly without compromising its texture.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve this dish slightly chilled or at room temperature to maximize its flavor profile. Consider garnishing with lemon zest for an added zing and serve alongside grilled meats or a green salad for a complete meal.

Serving suggestions about Mediterranean Olive Toss

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  • Vibrant Presentation: Serve the Mediterranean Olive Toss in a large, shallow bowl or on a platter to showcase the colorful array of ingredients. The visual appeal of the red peppers, mixed olives, and feta cheese, intermingled with the penne pasta, makes it not just a dish but a centerpiece.
  • Complement with Artisan Bread: Offer slices of warm, crusty artisan bread or focaccia on the side. This allows diners to sop up the flavorful olive oil-based dressing that dresses the toss, ensuring no drop goes to waste.
  • Wine Pairing: Enhance the meal with a light, refreshing white wine such as a Greek Assyrtiko or an Italian Pinot Grigio. These wines, with their crisp acidity, pair wonderfully with the briny olives and rich feta, balancing the dish’s bold flavors.
  • Garnish for Freshness: Just before serving, sprinkle a generous amount of freshly chopped herbs like parsley or basil over the toss. This not only adds a pop of color but also introduces a bright, aromatic dimension that complements the overall medley of flavors.
  • Add a Crunch: Consider adding a few toasted pine nuts or slivered almonds atop the toss before serving for an added textural contrast. Their nutty flavor enhances the richness of the feta cheese and the sweetness of the red peppers.
  • Serve as Part of a Mediterranean Spread: Let the Olive Toss be part of a larger Mediterranean-inspired dining experience. Include dishes like grilled octopus, hummus with olive oil and paprika, baba ganoush, and a fresh tabbouleh salad to allow guests to indulge in the full spectrum of Mediterranean flavors.
  • Ambiance Matters: Set the table with Mediterranean motifs—think blue and white linens, terracotta dishes, and simple, rustic flatware. Playing Mediterranean or specifically Greek, Italian, or Middle-Eastern music softly in the background can enhance the thematic dining experience.
  • Refreshing Dessert: Finish the meal with a light and refreshing dessert, such as lemon gelato, fruit sorbets, or a simple fruit platter adorned with mint leaves. This will cleanse the palate and end the meal on a high note.

Top 5 FAQs about Mediterranean Olive Toss

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  • What is Mediterranean Olive Toss? Mediterranean Olive Toss is a colorful and flavorful dish that encapsulates the spirit of the Mediterranean cuisine. It marries the bold flavors of assorted olives with the creamy richness of feta cheese, the al dente satisfaction of penne pasta, and the roasted sweet nuances of red peppers. This combination creates a comforting yet invigorating tapestry of tastes and textures.
  • How do I choose the right ingredients for Mediterranean Olive Toss? Selecting fresh, quality ingredients is crucial for this dish. Opt for high-quality briny and creamy feta cheese, ripe and juicy tomatoes (if using), crisp fresh red peppers, and a mix of kalamata, green, and black olives for a variety of flavors and textures. Using fresh herbs like basil, oregano, or parsley will add vibrancy to your dish.
  • Can I substitute any of the ingredients in the Mediterranean Olive Toss recipe? Yes, you can customize the Mediterranean Olive Toss based on availability or preference. For instance, you could substitute the penne pasta with another type of pasta like farfalle or rotini for a different look and feel. If you prefer a less salty cheese, you might consider using a milder cheese, although it may alter the traditional flavors of the dish. Experimenting with different types of olives and roasted vegetables can also tailor the dish to your taste.
  • What’s the best way to ensure the pasta in the Mediterranean Olive Toss turns out perfectly? To achieve al dente pasta, boil it just until it is firm to the bite. Start checking the pasta a few minutes before the package suggests—it should be cooked through but still have a slight firmness. This ensures the pasta maintains its texture and doesn’t become too soft when mixed with the other ingredients.
  • How do I properly serve and store Mediterranean Olive Toss? Mediterranean Olive Toss is best served slightly chilled or at room temperature to maximize its flavors. If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Be aware that the pasta may absorb some of the dressing over time, so you might need to add a little extra olive oil or lemon juice when serving leftovers to refresh the flavors.

As we reflect on the journey of creating and experiencing the Mediterranean Olive Toss, it becomes evident that this dish is more than just a confluence of ingredients; it’s a vibrant celebration of Mediterranean culture and culinary traditions. The combination of briny olives, creamy feta, al dente penne pasta, and sweet red peppers, all dressed in a light and zesty dressing, showcases a harmonious balance of flavors and textures that are quintessentially Mediterranean. This dish, born from a simple desire to recreate a cherished culinary memory, has evolved into a recipe that invites others to explore and delight in the rich tapestry of Mediterranean cuisine. Sharing the Mediterranean Olive Toss is not merely about sharing a meal; it’s about extending an invitation to experience the warmth, vibrancy, and communal spirit of Mediterranean dining. May this dish inspire you to embark on your own culinary adventures, exploring the depths of flavors and traditions that the Mediterranean has to offer, and may it bring joy and connection to your table.


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