Spinach pasta salad with sun-dried tomatoes is an easy pasta salad recipe. It's made with fresh baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and salty olives tossed together with a balsamic vinaigrette.
Spinach and sun-dried tomato pasta is perfect for a light and quick meal with a side of grilled chicken or seafood, or bring it to your next potluck!
Why this Recipe Works
- It's made with only a few ingredients.
- It can be made ahead of time.
- Spinach pasta salad is hearty enough to serve as a full meal or a side dish.
- It's a vegan recipe and it can be made gluten-free.
Here is What You Will Need
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This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe, scroll down to see ingredient notes and substitutions as well as a printable recipe card with exact measurements and complete cooking instructions.
Estimated Time To Make This Recipe: 15 to 20 minutes
Here is How To Make Spinach Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Prepare the ingredients: cook the pasta, rinse, drain and chop the spinach, olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Mix up the dressing.
Step 1. Place all of the salad ingredients into a bowl.
TIP! Make sure the pasta is cooled to room temperature before adding the vegetables to keep them from wilting.
Step 2. Pour on the dressing.
TIP! If you don't plan to serve the salad immediately, reserve ½ to ¼ of it and pour it over the salad just before serving.
Step 3. Mix everything together, and serve.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
Pasta. Any shape of pasta will work in this pasta salad. Our preference si fusilli or bow tie pasta because the shape and ridges hold onto the dressing nicely.
Substitute gluten-free pasta such as chickpea pasta with wheat pasta for a gluten-free pasta salad.
Spinach. Baby spinach is the best spinach option for this recipe. It's tender and there are no tough stalks. If you choose more mature spinach, trim the stalks off of the spinach.
Sun-dried tomatoes. Both dry-packed or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes will work. If you use oil-packed drain and rinse them before adding them to the salad.
Olives. If you don't care for kalamata olives, they can be replaced with black olives or they can be left out.
Salad Dressing. can be substituted with your favorite vinegarette dressing.
This is an easy make-ahead salad recipe that can be made a day or two ahead of time. Here's how:
Prepare the pasta, mix the dressing ingredients, chop the vegetables and store them in separate containers in the refrigerator for one to two days.
Five to ten minutes before serving your pasta salad, add the chopped spinach and pour on the dressing.
Storing and Using Leftovers
Store leftover spinach sundried tomato pasta salad for up to four days in the refrigerator.
Serve leftover salad. If the salad is dry, stir in a small amount of dressing or a little bit of olive oil to add moisture.
Freezing leftover pasta salad is not recommended.
Add cheese. Stir in ½ cup of fresh mozzarella balls or crumbled feta cheese.
Zesty pasta salad. Use an equal amount of arugula instead of baby spinach.
Add Meat. Toss in ¼ to ½ pound of shredded chicken to the salad.
Herbs. Add ¼ cup of fresh chopped herbs such as basil or oregano to the salad.
Spinach Pasta Salad Questions Answered
Here are the most commonly asked questions about this recipe. If your question isn't answered below, leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
It is not recommended to use frozen spinach in this spinach pasta salad. Frozen spinach contains too much moisture and is much stronger in flavor than raw spinach.
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- 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta - rotini (spirals), bow tie or penne work best
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes (dry packed or oil packed) - julienne sliced
- 3 to 4 cups raw spinach chopped
- ¾ cup chopped kalamata olives
- ⅛ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 large clove garlic minced or ¼ teaspoon garalic powder
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Cook 8 ounces of pasta according to the package directions, rinse drain, and place it into a mixing bowl.
- While the pasta is cooking, mix up the dressing and roughly chop the spinach and olives.
- Set the cooked pasta aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, and olives.
Substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free version.
Swap out kalamata olives for black olives.
Use your favorite vinegarette dressing
Add cheese. Stir in ½ cup fresh mozzarella balls or crumbled feta cheese.
Make it zesty. Use arugula in place of spinach.
Add chicken. Add ¼ to ½ pound of shredded chicken to the pasta salad.
Add ¼ cup of fresh chopped herbs such as basil or oregano to your pasta salad.
NOTE: If you are not serving the salad immediately, pour only ¾ dressing over the salad and add the remainder just before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 227mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g
Nutrition information is provided by an online calculator and is meant to be used for informational purposes only. Even though I try to provide accurate information, these figures should still be considered as estimates.