Spicy Mediterranean Pasta

Simple can be so delicious. And that’s definitely true when it comes to this spicy Mediterranean pasta. It’s a classic Italian dish with a handful of ingredients, but with a fiery twist. That mix of balsamic vinegar tang and chili pepper heat is extra-special.

Spicy Mediterranean Pasta
Spicy Mediterranean pasta, plated and ready to serve

Enjoy it all year round. It’s perfect served with a salad side in the summer months, or layer in some extra spice in the winter to heat things up on cold days. This dish works particularly well with an arugula salad with Parmesan shavings. It adds to the Mediterranean feel of the pasta perfectly.

Speaking of that heat. Our spicy Mediterranean pasta recipe calls for one red chili pepper. That’s dealer’s choice for you; go as hot or mild as you please. For a very eatable medium heat, a red jalapeño works well (and its bright bite adds to the garden-fresh taste here.) Or ramp it up: Thai chilies are a major step up in terms of heat. Or an extra-hot habanero pepper works here too.

Spicy Mediterranean Pasta
Spicy Mediterranean pasta, seen from above

Of course, you can go milder, too. A fresh Italian long hot pepper may just be the perfect chili for this dish. And its spiciness sits below even a poblano. If you have them available, it’s a terrific family-friendly alternative.

It’s best to enjoy your spicy Mediterranean pasta immediately. It doesn’t reheat well. Though, this pasta does taste pretty darn good cold, so if you want to save some chilled pasta for a next-day lunch, this is an excellent alternative!

See it being made:

Like this recipe? You’ll love these too:

  • Jalapeño and Lemon Pasta: There’s a zing to this pasta, both with the heat and a touch of tanginess. It’s a delicious dish for a light lunch and works really well as a BBQ side.
  • Fiery Chicken with Mediterranean Sauce: The spicy chicken pairs so well with the tastes in this sauce. It’s fresh, earthy, and homey—all in one.
  • Chorizo and Chipotle Pasta: Sort of the exact opposite of this pasta, but just as good! Earthy, meaty, and smoky.
Spicy Mediterranean Pasta

Spicy Mediterranean Pasta

A classic dish with Italian flare and a fiery twist
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Meal
Servings 6 servings
Calories 108 kcal


  • 1 cup dried pasta your choice on type
  • 1 large pan of salted water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 red chili pepper your choice on type based on heat tolerance, chopped fine, pith and seeds removed
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon salted capers


  • Bring to boil a large pot of salted water and add the pasta. Cook according to the package instructions and drain.
  • Place a frying pan over high heat and add the olive oil.
  • Add the onions. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the chili pepper and the garlic powder to the frying pan. Stir to combine.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and the chopped tomatoes to the pan. Then lower the heat to low. Simmer the tomato mix for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the capers and the drained pasta.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 108kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 138mgPotassium: 223mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 154IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Birdseye Pepper, Habanero Pepper, Jalapeno Pepper, Serrano Pepper
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 29, 2024 to include new content.
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
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