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How to make pasta salad with sundried tomatoes, step 4: assemble the sun dried tomato pasta salad. Cooked cavatappi tossed in a prepared sun-dried tomato salad dressing, chopped artichoke hearts, crumbled feta, quartered cherry tomatoes, and chopped kalamata olives fill a large white serving bowl. The bowl sits atop a creamy white textured surface with a blue linen napkin set underneath. Two wooden serving spoon, crumbled feta, loose basil, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, and a small ceramic pinch bowl filled with ground black pepper surround the bowl at center.

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 3.5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Pasta Recipes, Main Dish, Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Italian-American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This simple Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad is a longtime favorite here at the PWWB House. I first made it years ago for one of Chris’ birthday celebrations. I knew it was good, but everyone at that party went full-on bonkers for it – such a pleasant surprise, especially considering how truly quick & easy it is to make! It comes together in about 30 minutes, using less than 10 ingredients (many of which are probably already in your pantry!)

The magic of this recipe comes from a humble jar of oil-packed sundried tomatoes. Simply blend them with lemon juice & loads of garlic to create the most deliciously simple sun-dried tomato pasta salad dressing, then toss into warm pasta with a few Mediterranean-inspired add-ins, like fresh cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, & crumbled feta cheese. 

The best thing about this recipe, though, is that it’s super versatile – it’s a great side dish to share for a cookout, it’s a meal prep-friendly recipe you can enjoy as lunches throughout the week, & it’s also the best low-effort summer dinner with big flavor. Be sure to check out the blog post, above, for plenty of easy variations & serving suggestions!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces cavatappi or short pasta of choice
  • 1 (one) 8-ounce jar sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • optional: up to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 16 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 6 ounces feta, patted dry & cubed or crumbled
  • 1 (one) 12-ounce jar artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed & roughly chopped
  • 1/2 (half) 12-ounce jar kalamata olives, drained, rinsed, & roughly chopped
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked to al dente according to package directions. Drain & set aside.Cooked cavatappi pasta sits inside of a white colander that sits atop a creamy white textured surface. Loose dried cavatappi noodles surround the colander at center.
  2. Prep the sun dried tomato pasta salad dressing: Meanwhile, as the pasta boils, prep the sun dried tomato sauce. Empty the jar of sun-dried tomatoes into the bowl of a food processor – you want both the tomatoes and the oil they’re packed in to be in the food processor. Add the lemon juice, garlic, crushed red pepper (if using) to the food processor. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Place the lid on the food processor & let it run until the mixture is smooth & creamy. This takes a solid 1-2 minutes – just be patient & stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Once it’s reached your desired consistency, transfer the sun dried tomato dressing to a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked & drained pasta to the bowl & toss to combine well. Set aside, allowing the hot pasta to absorb & soak in all the flavor of the dressing. [gallery columns="2" size="full" ids="30977,30979"]
  3. Veggie prep: Meanwhile, as the pasta soaks up the sun dried tomato dressing, prep the remaining ingredients: slice the cherry tomatoes, cube or crumble the feta cheese, & drain, rinse, & roughly chop the artichoke hearts & kalamata olives.How to make pasta salad with sundried tomatoes, step 4: assemble the sun dried tomato pasta salad. Cooked cavatappi tossed in a prepared sun-dried tomato salad dressing, chopped artichoke hearts, crumbled feta, quartered cherry tomatoes, and chopped kalamata olives fill a large white serving bowl. The bowl sits atop a creamy white textured surface with a blue linen napkin set underneath. Two wooden serving spoon, crumbled feta, loose basil, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, and a small ceramic pinch bowl filled with ground black pepper surround the bowl at center.
  4. Assemble sun dried tomato pasta salad: Add the prepared cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, & kalamata olives to the large bowl with the sun-dried tomato pasta. Toss to combine. Taste & adjust seasonings as desired. Serve immediately at room temperature or chill to serve cold. Enjoy!Sundried tomato pasta salad served inside of a large white serving bowl with scalloped edges sits atop a creamy white textured surface with an indigo blue linen napkin placed underneath. Two wooden serving spoons rest inside of the pasta salad and the pasta salad has been garnished with fresh basil. Two drinking glasses and a small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt surround the bowl of pasta salad at center.


Notes

  • Serving Suggestions: This sun dried tomato pasta salad is great served at room temperature or chilled. Enjoy it on its own as a light & fresh vegetarian meal, or serve as an awesome summer side dish with Greek chicken, grilled lemon chicken, turkey burgers, grilled sausages, & more – whatever you love!
  • Make-Ahead & Storage: Leftover sun dried tomato pasta salad is best when served within 3 days of assembly, though it’ll keep for up to 5 days. Store the assembled pasta salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • 10-Minute Meal Prep: This sun dried tomato pasta salad comes together pretty quickly, but if you’d like to do a little prep work in advance to help cut down on the active prep time when you make your pasta salad, chop the veggies. At dinnertime, simply boil the pasta & prep the dressing – easy!
    • Prep the veggies according to the Ingredients List, above: Halve or quarter cherry tomatoes, roughly chop artichoke hearts & kalamata olives. Store in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (approx. 10 minutes active prep)