This 5-star-rated Spinach and Sundried Tomato Pasta recipe gets rave reviews every single time! It comes together in about 20 minutes with sun-dried tomato pesto, baby spinach, and pasta.

For more easy pasta dishes, check out lemon shrimp pasta.

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This pasta dish serves well with any green salad tossed in Greek salad dressing for one perfect meatless meal!

Reasons to Love Sundried Tomato Spinach Pasta

  • Busy night dinner: This 20-minute sun-dried tomato pasta recipe is made for busy weeknights just like our 3-ingredient alfredo sauce!
  • Minimal ingredients: It all starts with four ingredient sun-dried tomato pesto made in a food processor and then combined with hot Gemelli pasta. Plus, fresh baby spinach and creamy Parmesan cheese are added in.
  • Great leftovers: It’s heaven in a bowl. It truly is. Serve it with a chopped autumn salad and you’ve got dinner in no time. Plus it makes tasty leftovers for lunch.

Video: How to Make Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta with Spinach

Ingredients for Pasta with Spinach and Sun Dried Tomatoes

You just need 7 ingredients total and you’re good to go. See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

ingredients for spinach and sundried tomato pasta recipe.
  • Pasta: I like using Gemelli cut pasta but any short-cut pasta will work. 
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes: For this recipe, you’ll need sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and not the dry variety.
  • Garlic: Use fresh peeled garlic for the best flavor.
  • Fresh basil: Fresh basil makes the best pesto.
  • Red pepper flakes: Just a 1/4 teaspoon is enough to balance out the sweetness and add a touch of heat to the pesto.
  • Baby spinach: I like using fresh baby spinach for this recipe.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is the way to go.


Think beyond basil and Parmesan cheese. The best part about pesto is that it can be made in a variety of ways. 

  • Greens: Instead of basil, try adding tender greens such as arugula, parsley, or mint.
  • Cheese: Pecorino Romano, aged Asiago, or manchego cheese are all hard and salty cheeses suitable for pesto.
  • Nuts: Add in your favorite nuts, such as almonds, pumpkin seeds, or pine nuts. Just make sure to buy roasted nuts or roast them yourself. It’ll add delicious rich flavor to the pesto.
  • A Few Other Things: Fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, or balsamic vinegar is great for brigning up the pesto. Also to switch up the flavors, consider adding jarred artichokes or olives.

How to Make Spinach and Sundried Tomato Pasta

You’ll need a food processor or high-powered blender for the pesto and a large pot for cooking the pasta.

sun dried tomatoes in a food processor.

Step 1: Pulse the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil in a food processor until chopped small.

sun dried tomatoes with spinach and garlic in a food processor.

Step 2: Add the basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and pulse until the mixture is thick and has a paste-like consistency

cooked pasta in a pot with spinach and sun dried tomato pesto.

Step 3: To the cooked pasta, stir in sun-dried tomato pesto, spinach, and some of the pasta water.

tossed pasta with spinach, pesto, and parmesan cheese.

Step 4: Add Parmesan cheese. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Pasta Mix-In Ideas

Once you have this recipe down, you can spruce it up even further with these additional mix-ins:

Recipe Tips

Follow these tips and tricks to make the best pasta with sundried tomatoes and spinach:

  • Add pasta water. Save some of the pasta water to add to the pan of pasta and pesto to thin it out.
  • Don’t overcook the pasta. Cook the pasta until it’s no longer crunchy in the center (al dente) and then drain. You don’t want it to get mushy at all, but rather, still have a bit of a bite.
  • Use baby spinach. Use fresh baby spinach rather than full-grown spinach. It’s more tender and wilts better in this dish.
  • Switch out the pasta water. Replace the pasta water with chicken broth, vegetable broth, or a splash of white wine.

How to Serve

This easy recipe is perfect for any busy weeknight. Pair it with tasty side dishes like Grapefruit Avocado Salad, Summer Squash Salad, Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, or Chopped Antipasto Salad.

Storing Leftovers

Leftover pasta with pesto that is properly stored, will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. 

It is best to warm up pasta on the stovetop with little water, chicken broth, or even white wine. Simply add cold pasta to a saucepan or sauté pan with the liquid of choice and stir until warmed through.

close up of pasta with spinach and sundried tomatoes topped with parmesan cheese.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of pasta is best for this dish? 

This one-pot pasta recipe uses Gemelli pasta, but you can use your favorite pasta like rigatoni, penne, or mini farfalle.

Can I use store-bought pesto sauce for tomato and spinach pasta? 

This easy pasta recipe includes the process to make sun-dried tomato pesto in just a few minutes. If you’d rather buy it from the store, or you already have some in your pantry, you can use that instead.

Is this sun-dried tomato and spinach pasta spicy? 

This recipe uses red pepper flakes in the sauce which makes gives it a little bite. You can make it more or less spicy by adding more chili flakes or leaving them out altogether.  

If you try Spinach and Sundried Tomato Pasta, please leave a star rating and let me know how you like the recipe in the comments below.

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close up of pasta with spinach and sundried tomatoes topped with parmesan cheese.

Spinach Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 10 reviews
  • Author: Katya
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Simmer
  • Cuisine: Italian


Flavor loaded 20-minute pasta with sun-dried tomato pesto and fresh baby spinach is SO easy to make! It makes the perfect meatless dinner or quick side dish for those busy back to school nights.


Units Scale
  • 16 oz. gemelli or other short shaped pasta
  • 1 (8.5 oz.) jar oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach, packed
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper


  1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a bowl of a food processor, pulse the tomatoes and their oil until finely chopped. Add garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until the mixture resembles a paste-like consistency. It will be thick and you may have to stop the food processor to scrape down the sides.
  3. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the heat and stir in the spinach, sun-dried tomato pesto, and reserved cooking water. Stir until the spinach has wilted. Off heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if needed.
  4. Serve garnished with basil and more Parmesan cheese.


  • Pesto: Pesto can also be made in a high-powered blender. You will just have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.
  • Leftovers: Leftover pasta stored in an airtight container will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-low heat with a little water, chicken broth, or white wine.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 243
  • Sugar: 4.1 g
  • Sodium: 57.8 mg
  • Fat: 1.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 47.2 g
  • Protein: 9.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 1.8 mg

Recipe originally published September 2019 but since been updated with new information.