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Overhead view of sun dried tomato pasta salad with mozzarella, basil, parmesan and spinach.
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5 from 5 votes

Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

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!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 357kcal
Author: Lorie Yarro

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. short pasta rigatoni, rotini, bow tie, etc.
  • 3 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 Jar of sun-dried tomatoes, 8.5 oz oil drained
  • ½ red onion small diced
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan shaved or grated will work
  • 8 oz. mozzarella pearls
  • c chopped basil packed

Dressing:

Instructions

  • Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. When pasta is cooked, drain and toss with spinach to wilt. Rinse with cool water to help cool it off more quickly or allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  • Toss pasta and spinach with chopped basil, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan and mozzarella (if pasta is still pretty hot, wait to add the mozzarella until cooled off).
  • Whisk together dressing ingredients and toss ¾ of it with pasta salad, reserving ¼ of the dressing if waiting to serve. Chill for about 30 minutes and then toss remaining dressing before serving.

Notes

  • Try not to over cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in this pasta salad al dente for best results. Overcooked pasta will become mushy and slimy when stirred in with the other ingredients.
  • Allow the pasta to cool slightly before adding in the mozzarella. If you add the mozzarella too soon, it can melt down a little. To avoid this, I often add the mozzarella after the pasta salad has chilled for a bit. You can also toss it in cool water to cool off quickly, but the spinach won't wilt quite as well.
  • Reserve ¼ of the dressing until ready to serve. cold pasta dries out a bit and the oil will solidify a bit in the refrigerator. Before serving, allow the pasta salad to sit out for about 30 minutes and then toss with reserved dressing. You can also just toss with some extra olive oil before serving if you don't have any reserved dressing.
  • Storing this pasta salad: this salad is best eaten within 3-4 days of

Nutrition

Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 236mg | Potassium: 440mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 979IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 148mg | Iron: 1mg