Penne with Vegetables, Olives, and Feta Gluten-Free Recipe

gluten free pasta meal

With vinegar and cherry tomato brightness, sautéed onion sweetness, feta saltiness, and zucchini freshness, this crowd-pleaser does double duty as dinner and a picnic companion. This gluten free pasta meal is perfect for family dinner, too.

Penne with Vegetables, Olives, and Feta Gluten-Free Recipe

Be sure to slightly undercook the pasta and use a brand that retains its structure; flimsier GF pastas will fall apart.
Servings 6
Author Eric Lundy


  • 1 pound gluten-free penne or other short tubular pasta (like Rustichella d’Abruzzo brown rice penne)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for tossing and drizzling
  • 1 red onion, halved and sliced into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced into ½-inch-thick half-moons
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 4 ounces 3/4 cup feta cheese crumbles


  1. In a large pot, cook the pasta according to the package directions, but remove the pasta when al dente, about 1 minute early. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and toss with a little of the oil to prevent sticking.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the 3 tablespoons oil. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the red pepper flakes and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, sauté for 3 minutes longer, then add the tomatoes, another 1/2 teaspoon salt, and season with black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and zucchini is tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the spinach and the reserved cooking water to the pasta. Pour the vegetable mixture over the pasta, toss, and warm over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and toss. Add the olives and half of the feta and gently toss to combine.
  4. Divide the pasta among dinner plates, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, top with the remaining feta, and serve.

Photography Erin Ng

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