Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Walnuts and Feta

$5.95 recipe / $1.49 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.89 from 17 votes
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A few weeks ago I made a pasta dish that quickly became my favorite, One Pot Sausage and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta. I was craving it again and had a few sun dried tomatoes left, but instead of just making the exact same dish, I decided to try a vegetarian version. I added a few toasted walnuts, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and topped it off with feta instead of Parmesan. This Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Walnuts and Feta turned out just as simple and incredibly flavorful as the original version, and will definitely make it’s way into my regular rotation!

Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Walnuts and Feta

Finished Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Walnuts and Feta from above

A True Pantry Meal

What I love about this skillet pasta the most is that many of the ingredients can be kept on hand, either in your pantry or freezer, so it’s easy to whip up when you haven’t had the chance to go to the grocery and your cabinets are a little bare.

I use a little bit of feta to top dishes quite often because it really adds a pop of flavor. It can be expensive though, so be sure to use it sparingly. The remainder of the feta can be frozen for future use. I like to cut my 8oz. block into four 2oz. squares, which is about the amount I usually use per recipe (sometimes even less!). A little bit goes a long way.

I originally wanted to use pine nuts for this recipe, but they were just outside of my budget this time around. If walnuts are still a little too costly for you, you can skip this ingredient and still have a really amazing pasta.

 

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Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Walnuts and Feta

4.89 from 17 votes
A few pantry staples come together to make a fantastic dinner in this fast, easy, and flavorful one Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Walnuts and Feta.
A few pantry staples come together to make a fantastic dinner in this fast, easy, and flavorful one Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Walnuts and Feta. BudgetBytes.com
Servings 4
Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 25 mins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts ($0.76)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.13)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 1/2 lb frozen broccoli florets ($0.85)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth ($0.28)
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes ($1.00)
  • 8 oz bowtie pasta ($0.75)
  • 1 fresh lemon ($0.75)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes ($0.02)
  • 2 oz feta ($1.25)

Instructions 

  • Place the chopped walnuts in a large skillet and toast them over medium-low heat, stirring often, until they smell toasty (1-2 minutes). Remove them from the skillet to a medium bowl.
  • Add the olive oil and minced garlic to the skillet and turn the heat up to medium. Sauté the garlic for about one minute, or just until it has softened and smells very fragrant. Add the frozen broccoli florets to the skillet with the garlic (no need to thaw) and sauté for about two minutes more, or just until the broccoli is thawed through. Remove the broccoli to the bowl with the walnuts.
  • Slice the sun dried tomatoes into small pieces or strips. Add the pasta, vegetable broth, sun dried tomatoes, about 1 Tbsp of the juice from the lemon, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the skillet, and stir to combine (the broth will not fully cover the pasta and that is okay). Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to high. Allow the broth to come up to a boil, give the pasta a stir, replace the lid, turn the heat down to low, and let it simmer for 7-10 minutes or until the pasta is tender and most of the broth has been absorbed. Stir the pasta every few minutes as it simmers, replacing the lid quickly every time to maintain the simmer.
  • While the pasta simmers, use a zester or small-holed cheese grater to remove the zest from the lemon. Once the pasta is tender and only a small amount of saucy liquid remains in the bottom of the skillet, return the broccoli and walnuts to the skillet and stir to combine. Top with crumbled feta and zest from the lemon and serve.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 480.8kcalCarbohydrates: 54.78gProtein: 13.88gFat: 24.08gSodium: 750.13mgFiber: 5.73g
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Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Walnuts and Feta viewed from the side

A bowl of Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Walnuts and Feta with a gold fork

Step by Step Photos

Toast Walnuts in a dry skillet

Add 1/3 cup chopped walnuts to a large skillet and toast them over medium-low heat, stirring often, until they smell nice and toasty (about 1-2 minutes). Once they start toasting, they go fast, so use your nose and remove them from the skillet once you smell that beautifully toasty-nutty smell. Transfer them to a large holding bowl (large enough to hold the broccoli as well).

Sauté Garlic and Broccoli in skillet

Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet along with 2 minced cloves of garlic. Turn the heat up to to medium and sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic has softened and is fragrant. Add 1/2 lb. frozen broccoli florets to the skillet with the garlic and sauté for just a couple minutes more, or just until the broccoli is thawed through (don’t over cook the broccoli). Remove the broccoli to the bowl with the walnuts.

Add Pasta, Broth, and Tomatoes to the skillet

Slice or chop 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes into small pieces or strips (I used the dry type of tomatoes, not the kind packed in oil). Add 1/2 lb. bowtie pasta, the sun dried tomatoes, a pinch of red pepper flakes, 2 cups vegetable broth, and about 1 Tbsp of juice from a lemon to the skillet. Stir to combine. The broth will not fully cover the pasta, but this is okay. The steam trapped in the skillet will help cook the pasta that is not covered.

Cooked Pasta in skillet

Place a lid on the skillet and turn the heat up to high. Allow the broth to come to a boil, then quickly stir the pasta, replace the lid, turn the heat down to low, and let it simmer for 7-10 minutes. Stir the pasta every few minutes as it simmers, replacing the lid quickly each time so that it maintains a simmer. Let it simmer until the pasta is tender and most of the broth has been absorbed. It’s okay if a small amount of thickened liquid remains in the bottom of the skillet.

Add Broccoli and Walnuts to cooked pasta in skillet

Return the broccoli and walnuts to the skillet and stir to combine.

Crumble Feta and Zest Lemon

While the pasta is simmering you can also zest the lemon and crumble the feta. I buy an 8oz. block of feta, cut it into quarters and freeze the portions that I don’t use.

Top Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes with feta cheese and lemon zest

Top the pasta with the crumbled feta and lemon zest. Serve and enjoy! :D

Finished Skillet Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes Walnuts and Feta in a white bowl with a gold fork

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  1. I’m not generally a fan of brocoli, but wow, there are so many different an interesting flavours layered over its bitterness that even I was charmed. As many have said, this dish is packed with flavour and a really satisfying crunch and crumble (when fresh brocoli used). I would never have thought to put these things together myself, but it’s so good it doesn’t even feel like you’re suffering to eat meatless. Definitely going into my rotation!

  2. Question: does this use whole wheat pasta? Or is it just more brown looking because of the broth. 

    1. It’s not whole wheat pasta. :) You’re correct, the vegetable broth and the sun-dried tomatoes end up darkening the pasta.

  3. Right now, I ran into a “I want to cook something different than my usual stuff” phase and am trying out different recipes. I wanted to do something with broccoli today, so I searched up some and came across yours. I changed out the frozen broccoli for fresh one (which I blanched and then put for two minutes in the skillet like in your recipe) and left out the lemon because I didn´t have some, but this is really great (and I made too much for today, I have a serving left for tomorrow and I am looking forward to that). It was my first time trying out a one-pot-pasta, too, so thanks for this great recipe, it will become something I´ll make more often (and I probably try out cooking pasta in broth more often, that is a great basis, but I only used it for lentils, polenta or rice before).

  4. So, I can’t post a true review of this recipe because I changed several things. But I want to say THANK YOU for how delicious and flexible and customizable your recipes are. I very often use them as an inspired starting point and build on them from there.

    This one was excellent for that. I took the base recipe, added shrimp, and swapped the feta for little cubes of goat cheese. And it’s amazing <3 I never would've come up with it on my own.

  5. I used this recipe as inspiration for my lunch today :). I sauteed onion and garlic with frozen peas and then added leftover macaroni, some of Beth’s fake sun-dried tomato sauce (!) and a squeeze of lemon juice hehe. Topped it off with some roasted sunflower seeds and crumbled feta. A tasty meal that came together fairly quickly!

  6. I was thinking of making this with fresh broccoli. Do you think I could add it in with the pasta and tomatoes and let it cook with them?

    1. Yes, although there is a chance that it may get too soft. It’s hard to know without just giving it a try. :)

      1. Reporting back! I sauteed the fresh broccoli with the garlic and then removed it. Then when there were like 2 minutes left in simmering the pasta, I threw the broccoli back in to finish up and it was PERFECT. This is going into our regular rotation! I bought a giant bag of sun-dried tomatoes, so I can make this recipe at least 25 times before I run out. YUM!

  7. This was so tasty, the fresh lemon juice really makes it! Sundried tomatoes are really flavorful, so I like to pat them down with a paper towel before chopping them and use a little less than the recipe calls for. Thanks for sharing!

  8. This is the second time I’ve made this recipe, and both times were hits! I was ready to make dinner the second time, and almost ran to the store, but decided to sub frozen green beans. I was doubtful, but it was just as flavorful. This was an easy recipe to double for my hungry family of 5 (and we have leftovers!). I used the whole bag of frozen green beans and whole bag of pasta and whole box of veggie broth. My husband said “this tastes like it took a long time!” LOL. We are trying to eat more vegetarian meals, and this fits the bill. One more thing, I love that it uses just one pan!

  9. This is one of those recipes that I squinted at a bit before deciding to try it. Honestly, I was thinking, nuts in pasta? How is that good? As it turns out, I was totally wrong, so I’m really glad I tried this! I’d definitely make it again.

  10. This turned out great! The broth boiled off before the noodles were done, so I added a third cup of water at the end to finish off the noodles. This dish had the perfect amount of spice to it as well. I did not think it was lacking in taste at all, it was delicious and we WILL have this again! 

  11. This was really tasty and very satisfying – used whole grain penne pasta and a bit more lemon juice instead of the zest. Thank you for another great meal!