10 minutes and a few pantry staples give you this delicious, creamy sun-dried tomato pasta! Bursting with tangy and subtly sweet flavor, this Italian-style pasta with sundried tomatoes is perfect as a vegetarian dinner or with chicken breast.
Sun-dried tomato pasta for the win!
Tangy-sweet sun-dried tomatoes, your favorite pasta, and a quick creamy sauce make an easy pasta dinner. While the penne pasta is cooking, you’ll work on the sauce, so your dinner is ready in like 10 minutes!
This is another meatless weeknight dinner that my family loves as much as they do my pasta primavera. But whenever I have leftover chicken, I toss it in!
Ingredients for sun-dried tomato sauce
To me, the sauce makes all the difference. It is just creamy enough, but not too heavy that it weighs down the pasta. I don’t use heavy cream to make the sauce, relying instead on Parmesan cheese, whole milk, and a little bit of the starchy pasta water. Here is what you need to make the sauce for your sun-dried tomato pasta:
- Extra virgin olive oil - With its aroma of freshly picked tomatoes and mildly spicy finish, our Nocellara Italian EVOO is the perfect choice for this pasta recipe.
- Shallots and garlic - Chopped shallots add some sweetness and minced garlic brings some mild nuttiness.
- All-natural sundried tomatoes, chopped into small bits - I used our vine-ripened all-natural sun-dried tomatoes which are perfectly chewy, tangy, and slightly sweet. These are my favorite, and if you haven’t tried them yet, you’re in for a treat (find them here).
- Whole milk - You can use heavy cream if you like, but I find that a little whole milk, combined with pasta cooking water and parmesan, makes this dish plenty creamy!
- Dried oregano and red pepper flakes - You can use Aleppo-style pepper instead for a less spicy option.
- Grated Parmesan cheese - Adds salty nuttiness, and also helps give this dish its silky sauce.
How to make sundried tomato pasta
In 10 minutes or less, you can have a flavorful vegetarian pasta dinner! Here’s how to make this sun-dried tomato pasta recipe:
- Cook the pasta. Fill a medium saucepan with plenty of water and season generously with kosher salt. (As I like to say, salt like the sea!) Bring to a boil over high heat and add 8 ounces pasta. (I used penne, but any short pasta will work.) Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Make sure to reserve some of the pasta cooking water (about a cup should do) before you drain the pasta.
- Make the sauce. While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add 2 small chopped shallots and 4 large minced garlic cloves. Season with a good pinch of kosher salt and toss regularly for about a minute. Add 3 to 4 ounces chopped sundried tomatoes and cook for another minute. This gives the sun-dried tomatoes a chance to soften slightly.
Add ½ cup whole milk and a little bit of the pasta cooking water (about ¼ cup) and cook until warmed through (two minutes or so). Stir in 1 teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Remove the large pan from the heat and add the cooked and drained pasta and ½ to ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese. Mix to coat the pasta in the sauce. You can add a little more pasta cooking water if necessary.
- Finish and serve. Sprinkle some fresh torn basil leaves over the top and serve immediately!
Sun-dried tomato pasta with chicken
Yes, you can absolutely add chicken to this pasta! You can use leftover rotisserie chicken; just debone and shred the chicken and fold it in with the pasta. But if you’ve made my Italian-style baked chicken breast or my skillet chicken, either of those chicken recipes would work really well with sundried tomato pasta!
- Add spinach or other leafy greens, or vegetables - Stir in some fresh baby spinach (or baby kale) for added nutrition. Baby greens take no time to warm up, so you can just do this as you fold the pasta into the sauce. And if you want some “meatiness” while still having a meatless dinner, you can add some mushrooms! Slice and saute some mushrooms in the skillet along with the sun-dried tomatoes at the beginning so they cook down and release their juices.
- Use mozzarella cheese - For a more decadent sundried tomato pasta, use shredded mozzarella cheese instead of Parmesan. Add it to the skillet with the whole milk to give it a chance to melt and form a creamy sauce.
What to serve along
Leftovers and storage
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for around 4 days. Reheat over medium heat on the stove until warmed through. You might need to add a little water in case the sun-dried tomato sauce has become too thick.
More recipes with sun-dried tomatoes
10-Minute Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
- 8 ounces penne pasta or short pasta of your choice
- 3 to 4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, I used our all-natural sun-dried tomatoes which are bold and flavorful
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 small shallots, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ to ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, more or less to your liking (or a vegetarian Parmesan option)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or Aleppo-style pepper, less spicy
- Fresh basil, torn
- Begin cooking the pasta. Fill a medium saucepan with plenty of water and season the water well with kosher salt. Bring the water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to package instructions, till al dente. Make sure to reserve some of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, work on the sauce. Heat 2 tablespoons of good extra virgin olive oil in a large deep pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallots, garlic, and a good pinch of salt and cook, tossing regularly for about a minute. Add the chopped sundried tomatoes and cook for another minute or so, tossing until the dried tomato bits have softened a little. Add the milk and a little bit of the pasta cooking water (about ¼ cup) and cook for another minute or two until warmed through. Stir in the oregano and red pepper flakes.
- Turn the heat off. Add in the pasta and Parmesan cheese, mix well to make sure the pasta is well-coated (if needed, add a bit more of the pasta cooking water). Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Finish with the torn basil and serve immediately!
- Sun-dried tomato pasta with chicken - You can use leftover rotisserie chicken; just debone and shred the chicken and fold it in with the pasta. But if you’ve made my Italian-style baked chicken breast or my skillet chicken, either of those chicken recipes would work really well with sundried tomato pasta!
- What to serve along - Pasta with sun-dried tomatoes is a satisfying meal on its own, but I do like to start my meal with a big fresh salad, like my easy heirloom tomato salad or quick cucumber salad.
- Leftovers and storage - Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for around 4 days. Reheat over medium heat on the stove until warmed through. You might need to add a little water in case the sun-dried tomato sauce has become too thick.
- Visit our Shop to browse Mediterranean ingredients including extra virgin olive oils and all-natural sun-dried tomatoes.