Spinach pasta salad with sun dried tomatoes is a tasty combination of fresh spinach, sun dried tomatoes and salty olives tossed together with al dente pasta in a balsamic vinaigrette. It’s perfect for a side dish or a main dish any time of the year.
- It’s easy to make with minimal ingredients
- Make it ahead of time
- It’s vegan, and can be made gluten-free
- Hearty enough to serve as a full meal or a side dish
Here is what you will need to make this recipe
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- Whole wheat pasta such as fusilli, rotini, penne or bow ties
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Fresh Spinach
- Kalamata Olives
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive oil
- Dijon Mustard
Estimated Time To Make This Recipe: 15 to 20 minutes
Each ingredient plays a part in the flavor of this salad. The salty and slightly sweet flavors from the olives and sun dried tomatoes blend perfectly with the bland pasta, fresh spinach and vinaigrette. Here are some noteworthy items about the ingredients.
I use whole wheat fusilli or penne pasta when I make this pasta salad. The shape and the ridges hold onto the dressing nicely and aren’t too small to be overpowered by the spinach and sun dried tomatoes.
Please note that the pasta should be cooled off to at least room temperature before adding the vegetables to prevent them from wilting.
Any variety of fresh spinach will work in this recipe. I like to use baby spinach because it’s more tender and there aren’t any tough stalks. If you choose to use more mature spinach, the stalks should be trimmed.
Frozen spinach is not recommended this spinach pasta salad
Sun dried tomatoes
You can use either dry packed sun dried tomatoes or oil packed in this recipe. My preference is dry packed.
Dry packed sun dried tomatoes can be tough, if they are, soak them in water for 10 to 15 minutes before adding them to the salad.
Oil packed sun dried tomatoes should be drained and rinsed before before adding them to the salad.
If you don’t care for kalamata olives, you can replace them with black olives or leave them out.
Spinach pasta alad with sun dried tomatoes is hearty enough for a meal all by itself, or you can serve it as a side dish with:
Make Ahead Instructions
This is an easy make ahead salad that can be made a day or two ahead of time. Here’s how:
- Prepare the pasta and mix in the sun dried tomatoes
- Rinse and chop the spinach and store it in a separate container
- Blend the dressing ingredients together
- Store the pasta mixture, chopped spinach and dressing in separate containers in the refrigerator.
- Five to ten minutes before serving the salad, add the chopped spinach and pour on the dressing.
This salad will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. If it appears dry, stir in a small amount of dressing or an equal amount of olive oil and balsamic dressing.
Variations & Substitutions
- Add ½ cup small mozzarella balls or feta cheese.
- Add ¼ cup of fresh chopped herbs such as basil or oregano to the salad.
- For a gluten-free version use your favorite gluten free pasta such chickpea or quinoa pasta.
- Fresh garlic can be substituted with ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder.
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- 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta - rotini (spirals) 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
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Cook 8 ounces of pasta according to the package directions, rinse drain and place into a mixing bowl.
- Set it aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Add the sun dried tomatoes, spinach and olives.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together and pour it over the salad ingredients in the bowl.
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.
Nutrition information is provided by Nutrifox, 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.