Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

With fresh tomatoes and basil, this Sun Dried Tomato Pasta lets the abundance of fresh summer produce shine. A sun dried tomato dressing makes it an especially great salad for a picnic!

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta from #pasta #salad #sundriedtomatoes #tomatoes #tomato #sundried #basil #mozzarella

This happens every single August.

When we’re in the middle of a heat wave (check!) and I’m swimming in an overabundance of garden tomatoes and basil (check!), we make this Sun Dried Tomato Pasta.

My whole family loves it, even my un-salad husband. Which is definitely a testimony to how wonderful this pasta salad truly is.

This recipe is bursting with summer flavor. And with a sun dried tomato vinaigrette, certainly a great choice for toting along to a picnic.

Our oldest daughter made this pasta salad again just this past week. We packed it in a cooler, along with some fresh fruit and cold drinks. It was one of the most memorable lunches of this summer, as I sat at a picnic table under big ol’ shade trees with our daughters and their friends.

*Here are a few more salad recipes I’m loving right now: This past week, I’ve had two friends text me photos as they’re making this Grilled Vegetable Salad – have you tried it yet?! Our girls are especially fond of this Grilled Chicken and Lemon Orzo Salad. And this Pineapple Fruit Salad makes such a fun (and delicious!) presentation for a special brunch!

(This post was previously published in 2010. It was updated in 2016, and again in 2018.)

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta from

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

I first made this salad for a friend’s bridal shower many years ago. A bunch of us girls met at St. Croix Vineyards, near Stillwater, MN. We enjoyed some wine tasting in their beautiful old barn, and then a picnic lunch under a canopy of shade trees.

One friend brought a tasty Asian noodle salad and I came bearing this sun dried tomato pasta salad. For the occasion, I girlied it up a bit by using the very pretty campanelle pasta. The salad was a big hit, and I’ve been making it ever since!

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta from


Our girls like to use the super fun cavatappi noodles, as my photos show. Its curliness is so much fun.

Rotini would also be a great choice. I just recommend a larger pasta shape – use whatever you like!


This pasta salad gets a double-dose of sun dried tomato goodness. Chop some sun dried tomatoes and add them to the salad, for chewy bites of flavor and texture. And then blitz a few more sun dried tomatoes into the dressing, using either a blender or an immersion blender. It’s so good!

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta from


Sun Dried Tomato Pasta from #pasta #salad #sundriedtomatoes #tomatoes #tomato #sundried #basil #mozzarella


Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

This pasta salad recipe lets the abundance of fresh summer produce shine, using fresh tomatoes and basil. It’s a great salad for a picnic!

Yield: 10 servings

Prep Time:25 minutes

Cook Time:8 minutes

Total Time:35 minutes

Calories per serving: 303


  • 1 lb. larger sized pasta (I like to use curly cavatappi, pretty campanelle, or rotini.)
  • kosher salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3/4 c. kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tsp. capers
  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella, medium-diced (Or use mozzarella pearls.)
  • 1/3 c. chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1 c. packed fresh basil leaves, julienned
  • 1/3 c. toasted pine nuts, optional but highly recommended

for the dressing:

  • 1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, diced
  • 1 tsp. capers, drained
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. finely shredded Parmesan cheese


Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water with a splash of olive oil to keep it from sticking together. Boil according to the directions on the package, taking care to not overcook. Drain well and allow to cool. Place the pasta in a bowl and add the tomatoes, olives, capers, mozzarella, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

For the dressing, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, capers, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor until almost smooth. If you have an immersion blender, this also works great. 

Pour the dressing over the pasta. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, basil, and optional pine nuts, and toss well.

This salad keeps well, so you can make it early in the day. Add the Parmesan, basil and optional pine nuts just before serving.

Adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Family Style”



Here are a few recipes I’d like to try:  Asian Almond Slaw Salad from Aggie’s Kitchen, because I’m always up for a new slaw recipe. Southwest Salad with Avocado Dressing from Recipe GirlAnd this Caribbean Chicken Salad with Mango Dressing from Well Plated by Erin looks delicious!

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta from


garden tomatoes from

(This post was previously published in 2010. It was updated in 2016, and again in 2018.)

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