Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad | Lemons + Zest

Below is a list of the best Sun dried tomato pasta salad voted by users and compiled by us, invite you to learn together

This simple Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad is a delicious recipe bursting with flavor. Minimal ingredients to chop. Uses reserved oil from the sun-dried tomatoes in the dressing to give the most flavor to this salad that will steal the show!

White dish with sun-dried tomato pasta salad with fresh basil and shaved parmesan.

Pasta salads are my love language. And adding sun-dried tomatoes into pasta salad only makes it that much better.

This Tortellini Caprese Pasta Salad is hands down the most popular on the site, but this recipe is up there as well for me!

If you love sun-dried tomatoes, you will love these Breakfast Sandwiches, Turkey Burgers as well as this Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta. Check them out as well!

Why You Will Love This Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad:

  • It is SO EASY to prep. Minimal ingredients to chop and just a matter of tossing everything together once the pasta is ready. When I say this sun-dried tomato pasta salad is easy to make, I mean it!
  • Easy to make into a complete meal. Toss in some beans or freshly grilled chicken or steak and you have yourself a full meal. I love to add these steak bites to mine instead of tossing them in the garlic butter.
  • Packed with fresh veggies and ingredients. Lots of fresh spinach in every bites, fresh basil-straight from the garden if you are lucky! The fresh mozzarella doesn’t hurt either! So much flavor from these ingredients!
  • It has all the sun-dried tomato flavor! This pasta salad uses sun-dried tomatoes and the oil for the jar to make the dressing. For all the sun-dried tomato lovers out there, this is heaven!

Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • pasta: any short pasta works great. I love rigatoni, tortellini or bow tie pasta especially. You could even use tortellini for extra heartiness and even more cheese.
  • sun-dried tomatoes: you want the sun-dried tomatoes in oil with herbs for this recipe. The oil will be drained off and then added to the dressing for optimal flavor.
  • spinach: fresh spinach, baby spinach is our favorite but you can chop regular spinach as well.
  • onion: red onion if what we love for extra color
  • basil: this is a key ingredient for this sun-dried tomato pasta salad. For best results, do not skip this!
  • mozzarella: fresh mozzarella versus shredded. I use the mozzarella pearls, smaller balls for this recipe but you can cut a mozzarella log into bite sized pieces as well.
  • parmesan: I opt for shaved or shredded, but grated will work as well. I just love bigger pieces of parmesan in this dish.
  • olive oil: You will add alive oil to the drained oil from the tomatoes. It will vary based on brand how much oil you get. I typically get at least ⅓ cup of oil from the tomatoes.
  • vinegar: I opt for the flavor of balsamic in this recipe but used a white balsamic to lighten the color of the dressing. I didn’t want the deep black of the balsamic mixed in with the red oil from the tomatoes
  • Italian seasoning: if you don’t have an Italian seasoning blend, combine equal parts dried oregano, oregano, thyme and basil. You can also add sage, marjoram, and parsley as well.
  • garlic: freshly minced for best flavor

How to Make This Pasta Salad Recipe:

Whipping up this sun-dried tomato pasta salad is seriously SO SIMPLE. The only ingredients you need to chop is the basil and onion.

Start out by draining the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes so that can slowly separate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Cook the pasta and then drain and toss with the spinach to wilt. You can rinse the pasta with cool water to help it cool off a bit more quickly. It’s ok to do that with the spinach already mixed in as well.

Add the chopped tomatoes, basil, onion, parmesan and mozzarella (only if the pasta is cooled enough otherwise the mozzarella will melt slightly) and toss to combnie.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour ¾ of it over the pasta salad and toss.

  • Glass bowl with rigatoni and spinach in it.
    Cook pasta and toss with spinach.
  • Mixing bowl with pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan, onion, basil and mozzarella.
    Add veggies and cheese.
  • Sun-dried tomato pasta salad tossed together in glass bowl.
    Toss with dressing.

Chill the pasta salad until ready to serve, but for at least 30 minutes for best results, even though it can certainly be served immediately if desired.

Toss with remaining dressing just before serving. Enjoy!

Like I said, so easy!

Overhead view of sun dried tomato pasta salad with fresh basil, mozzarella and parmesan on top.

Optional Add-Ins:

I love this pasta salad as is, but I love to change it up from time to time with the addition of the following:

  • cherry or grape tomatoes. Toss in about one cup, halved or quartered tomatoes.
  • pepperoni or bacon: add some mini pepperonis or sliced pieces of bacon
  • pine nuts: I regularly like to top this pasta salad with about half cup of pine nuts. They are pricey so I don’t always have them on hand.
  • grilled veggies: this sun-dried tomato pasta salad is amazing with some fresh from the grill mushrooms and zucchini. Grilled peppers are great as well.
  • grilled chicken or steak: cube freshly grilled chicken or steak for a hearty meal
  • beans: kidney beans and cannellini are our two favorites to add. Chickpeas would be delicious as well.

Other Pasta Salad Recipes:

  • Grilled Zucchini Pasta Salad
  • Tortellini Caprese Salad
  • Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
  • Lemon Orzo Salad
  • Tomato Basil Pasta Salad

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