Easy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe With Spinach

Sundried tomato pasta salad with spinach features fresh baby spinach, briny olives, and sun-dried tomatoes, all tossed together with a delicious balsamic vinegar dressing. It’s the perfect combination of flavors for any occasion.

a close up picture of spinach pasta salad on a white plate

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This sun-dried tomato pasta salad is perfect for a light and quick meal with a side of grilled chicken or seafood, or is a great side dish for your next potluck!

Why you will love this easy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe With Spinach

  • Simple – It’s a quick and easy pasta salad recipe made with fresh ingredients.
  • Hearty – Even though pasta salad is usually a side dish, this salad is hearty enough to serve as a complete meal.
A photograph of the ingredients needed for spinach pasta salad: pasta, olives, balsamic dressing, and sun-dried tomatoes

This is a brief summary of the ingredients needed to make easy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe With Spinach and a convenient shopping list from my Instacart affiliate link. For a printable recipe card with exact measurements and detailed instructions, scroll down to the recipe card section.

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Ingredients

🥄Equipment

How to make sundried tomato pasta salad with spinach

Prepare the ingredients: Cook the pasta according to package directions, rinse in cold water, and drain and chop the spinach, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Combine the dressing ingredients.

Process step 1, a photo of the ingredients(pasta, spinach, sun dried tomatoes and olives) in a mixing bowl

Step 1. Place the cooked pasta, olives, spinach and sundried tomatoes into a large bowl.

Process step 2, salad dressing pouring into the salad ingredients in a mixing bowl

Step 2. Pour the homemade dressing over the top of the salad.

Process Step 3 - all of the salad ingredients mixed together in a bowl

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 fusilli or bow tie pasta when I make this pasta salad, but you can use white pasta as well. Any shape will work too! For a gluten-free pasta salad that’s also lower in carbohydrates, swap wheat pasta with chickpea pasta..

Spinach. Fresh baby spinach is the best option for this recipe as it is tender and has no tough stalks. If you opt for more mature spinach, trim off the stalks.

Sun-dried tomatoes. Both dry-packed or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes will work. If you use an oil-packed drain, rinse the jar with sun-dried tomatoes 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 or white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.

How to make sun-dried tomato pasta salad ahead of time

This is a simple recipe that can be prepared up to a day in advance. If you intend to eat this salad within a few hours, you can put together the whole salad, reserve a little bit of the dressing, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, give it a toss, add a bit of dressing, and serve.

You can prepare the salad ingredients a day ahead and keep them separately in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the package, chop the fresh spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, and prepare the flavorful dressing. Store each element in separate containers in the fridge for up to two days. About 10 minutes before serving, combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and add the dressing.

Serving suggestions

Sun-dried tomato pasta salad tastes great with burgers like this caramelized onion burger or turkey burger.

This Italian pasta salad is not only delicious but also a hearty and easy vegetarian dinner option. Try adding 1/2 cup of garbanzo beans for an extra protein boost or to make it a full vegetarian meal.

Storing and Using Leftovers

This is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day, so store your leftover spinach sundried tomato pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

To serve the leftover salad, toss it and add a small amount of dressing or olive oil to add some moisture.

A picture of pasta salad on a plate with a fork with a bowl of salad in the background

Mediterranean Twist – Add feta cheese, diced cucumber, fresh oregano and basil for a Mediterranean flavor.

Protein Boost – You can make this salad a filling meal by adding grilled chicken strips, shredded chicken, shrimp or chickpeas for a filling hearty salad.

Add Cheese – Experiment with different cheeses such as shaved parmesan, crumbled goat cheese, mozzarella pearls or feta cheese.

Zesty – Use an equal amount of peppery arugula for a zesty flair instead of baby spinach or use half spinach and half arugula.

Herbs – Mix in chopped herbs such as fresh basil leaves, fresh parsley, mint, or fresh oregano to the salad.

Artichokes – Add a quarter cup of thinly sliced red onion, and 1/2 cup of chopped artichoke hearts.

Nuts – Toss in some toasted pine nuts, chopped almonds, walnuts or pistachios for added texture and flavor.

Spicy – Spice up your pasta salad with a pinch or two of red pepper flakes to the balsamic dressing.

Tips

  • To avoid a soggy pasta salad, don’t overcook the pasta!
  • If you don’t plan to serve the salad immediately, reserve half of the dressing and pour it over the salad just before serving.
  • To prevent the fresh vegetables from wilting, do not combine with hot pasta. Be sure the pasta is chilled or at least cooled to room temperature before adding the vegetables. I find that cold pasta works the best when adding fresh veggies.
Can I use frozen spinach in this recipe?

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.

What is the best pasta shape to use to make pasta salad?

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

Do you have to soak the sundried tomatoes to make this pasta salad?

No, you don’t need to soak the sundried tomatoes. The moisture from the dressing will help to soften the sundried tomatoes.

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pasta sald on a plate with a fork

Pasta Salad with Baby Spinach and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Pasta salad with spinach is a delicious and easy pasta that is perfect for a side dish or complete meal.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Click on serving size to scale this recipe

Course: Side Dish Recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sundried tomato pasta salad
Servings: 6
Calories: 273kcal
Author: Anne
Scale this Recipe 6

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta – rotini spirals, bow tie or penne work best
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes dry packed or oil packed – julienne sliced
  • 3 to 4 cups raw spinach chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • DRESSING
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large clove garlic minced or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Place the chopped spinach, olives, sun-dried tomatoes and pasta into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add add the dressing, toss and serve.

Video

Notes

Substitutions:
Substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta for a gluten-free version.
Swap out kalamata olives for black olives.
Use your favorite vinegarette dressing
Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Add cheese. Stir in 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella balls or crumbled feta cheese.
Make it zesty. Use arugula in place of spinach.
Add chicken. Add 1/4 to 1/2 pound of shredded chicken to the pasta salad.
Add 1/4 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 3/4 dressing over the salad and add the remainder just before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 328mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1591IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and can vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used

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6 Comments

  1. 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.