Sundried tomato pasta salad with spinach is a flavorful and easy pasta salad recipe. It's made with fresh baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and briny olives tossed together with a delicious dressing made with balsamic vinegar for the perfect combination of flavors.
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 an easy recipe made with just a few simple ingredients
- 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.
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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.
- Baby spinach
- Kalamata olives
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
How To Make Spinach Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Prepare the ingredients: cook the pasta according to package directions rinse, drain and chop the spinach, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Mix up the dressing.
Step 1. Assemble the salad ingredients
Place the cooked pasta, olives, spinach and sundried tomatoes into a large bowl.
Step 2. Add the dressing
Pour the homemade dressing over the top of the salad.
Step 3. Combine all of the ingredients
Mix all of the ingredients together, and serve or chill.
TIP! If you don't plan to serve the salad immediately, reserve half of the dressing and pour it over the salad just before serving.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
The full list of ingredients to make this pasta salad recipe is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients along with ideas for substitutes.
Pasta. I use whole wheat pasta when I make this pasta salad, but you can use white pasta as well.
Substitute pasta with gluten-free pasta such as chickpea pasta for a gluten-free pasta salad.
Spinach. Fresh 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.
Vinegar. Balsamic vinegar adds a touch of sweetness to the pasta salad dressing and can be swapped with an equal amount of apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.
This is a great recipe to make ahead of time, here's how:
Prepare the pasta according to package instructions, mix the dressing ingredients, chop the spinach and sundried tomatoes and store them in separate containers in the refrigerator for up to two days.
Five to ten minutes before serving your pasta salad, combine the ingredients in a large bowl and pour on the dressing.
Sun-dried tomato pasta salad tastes great with burgers like this caramelized onion burger or turkey burger.
This delicious pasta salad also makes a hearty easy weeknight dinner that's vegetarian as it is or you can add ½ cup of garbanzo beans for a little extra protein.
Storing and Using Leftovers
This is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day, so keep your 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.
Add cheese. Stir in ½ cup of fresh mozzarella balls, crumbled feta cheese or shredded parmesan cheese.
Zesty pasta salad. Use an equal amount of arugula instead of baby spinach or use half spinach and half arugula.
Add Meat. Toss in ¼ pound of shredded chicken or prosciutto to the salad.
Herbs. Add ¼ cup of chopped herbs such as fresh basil or oregano to the salad.
Artichokes and Onions. Add ¼ cup of thinly sliced red onion, and½ cup of chopped artichoke hearts.
Recipe Tips and Questions
- To avoid a soggy pasta salad, don't overcook the pasta!
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and rinse it in cold water to remove excess starch and to cool the pasta.
- To prevent the vegetables from wilting, be sure the pasta is cooled to room temperature before adding the vegetables.
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.
The best pasta types to use is short pasta such as fusilli, penne or bow-tie pasta with nooks and crannies to hold onto the dressing
No, you don't need to soak the sundried tomatoes. The moisture from the dressing will help to soften the sundried tomatoes.
You Might Also Like these Pasta Recipes
- Pasta with Spinach and Mushrooms
- Asian Pasta Salad with Chicken
- Creamy Pasta with Vegetables
- Tomato Basil Feta Pasta Salad
Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 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 garlic powder
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Cook 8 ounces of pasta according to the package directions, drain and rinse in cold water 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.
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 provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used
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Liz Berg says
This looks delicious, Anne! And healthier than your typical pasta salad!!
What a fresh and inviting looking salad! Love how easy it is to put together too. I'm all about no fuss, but lots of flavor. This seems to have exactly that, lots of flavor and none of the fuss.
Wendy Klik says
This sounds wonderful. I always like to have a vegetarian or vegan option when hosting a party.
This is a gorgeous salad! I cannot wait to make it!
Cindy Kerschner says
I love this flavor combo.
Christie Campbell says
The spinach, the large shells! I'm drooling over everything in this dish!