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Cheesecake Factory Copycat: Sundried Tomato Fettuccine {Lightened Up}

A lightened up version of the Cheesecake Factory Sundried Tomato Fettuccine pasta dish!

Cheesecake Factory Copycat: Sundried Tomato Fettuccine [Lightened Up] via

A lightened up version of our favorite pasta dish at Cheesecake Factory! Sundried tomato fettuccine is SO creamy and delicious. No guilt here!

A lightened up version of our favorite pasta dish at Cheesecake Factory! Sundried tomato fettuccine is SO creamy and delicious. No guilt here!

A lightened up version of our favorite pasta dish at Cheesecake Factory! Sundried tomato fettuccine is SO creamy and delicious. No guilt here!

Holy wow. I’m still recovering from this weekend. I think I’m getting too old to drink like I used to in college. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen that this past Saturday was my bachelorette party! I’ll be blogging about it very soon! I had way too much fun and went a tad overboard on the drinking. Never again, never again. My tolerance just isn’t what it used to be. I’m seriously paying for it! I spent most of Sunday morning in bed with a raging headache and all I wanted to do was sleep. The only thing that got me out of bed was when Jason went to pick up some greasy take-out pizza from our favorite local pizza joint. It never tasted so good.

A few months ago, me and two of my girlfriends decided to meet up for happy hour at Cheesecake Factory (have you guys seen their new happy hour specials? They’re kind of ridiculously awesome. I know Cheesecake Factory is so generic, but their drink specials and the appetizers they have during happy hour are pretty well worth it). We got some drinks, some apps, and of course, we had to get some carbs. My FAVORITE pasta is their sundried tomato & chicken fettuccine. Of course it’s loaded with cream and a whole ‘lotta bad, but I can’t ever resist it. It’s a huge guilty pleasure. Plus, I feel better about the whole situation because I know I can’t ever eat the entire thing so really, it isn’t that bad, right?

I wanted to recreate it at home and lighten it up a bit. You guys are in for a TREAT. This pasta is SO creamy and scrumptious. Jason and I were shoveling it in our mouths. Very attractive. You won’t miss the boatload of cream and best of all, you won’t be feeling too guilty. Now, I didn’t do the nutritional information on this so don’t yell at me if you end up doing it and it’s not lightened up enough to your standards. To me, it’s a TON lightened up compared to what you get from Cheesecake Factory. Plus, I added in spinach (you could add kale if you wanted or whatever greens) – greens always counteract everything! ;)

Anyway, I really really hope you make this pasta dish. You will absolutely love it just as much as Jason and I did. It’s very close to Cheesecake Factory’s sundried tomato fettuccine (I omitted the chicken, but you can add it if you’d like) but you won’t have to work two times as hard at the gym after it!

Cheesecake Factory Copycat: Sundried Tomato Fettuccine {Lightened Up}
Recipe type: Main Entree, Pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • ¾ pound dried fettuccine
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup sundried tomato halves, sliced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can of petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • ½ tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup light sour cream
  • 1½ cups baby spinach
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil then add your fettuccine. Cook according to direction on the box then drain (reserving 1 cup of the pasta water) and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the plain Greek yogurt and light sour cream, mix together with a spoon and set aside.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, add the remaining 3 tbsp. of olive oil to the skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is heated up, add garlic and sundried tomato halves. Sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat down to medium low and gently add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and granulated sugar. Stir until well-incorporated.
  5. Swiftly whisk in the Greek yogurt and sour cream mixture. You'll want to slowly add it in but whisk fast to get it all incorporated well. After all of it has been added and combined, bring the heat up to medium high and let it simmer and thicken for about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste, then add in the baby spinach. Once the spinach has wilted, you may add in the cooked pasta and turn off the heat.
  7. Toss to coat the pasta. If the mixture seems too thick, this is where you can slowly add the reserved pasta water (DO NOT add the full cup all at once, pour slowly and stir and see if you need more).
  8. You may top with crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
  9. Serve hot.
You must NOT omit the sour cream in this recipe. I have already done the testing and failed with just Greek yogurt in the sauce. Since the Greek yogurt contains zero (or low) fat, it will curdle as soon as you add it to the hot mixture (since we aren't taking the time to temper it). To ensure that it doesn't curdle, you must mix the sour cream with the Greek yogurt. Sour cream contains fat and this fat will prevent the Greek yogurt from curdling and separating. If you have experience cooking with Greek yogurt and are comfortable with omitting the sour cream and replacing it with all Greek yogurt, by all means, go for it. However, I cannot promise you success as I have done this twice and my sauce has separated. The only success I got was when I mixed my Greek yogurt with sour cream.



  1. Leah
    11/03/2014 at 4:42 pm

    Julie – what sides would you serve with this dish? It sounds delicious but I am wondering what best to pair with it! Thank you!!

    • Julie
      11/04/2014 at 8:41 am

      I typically serve it with a side salad or you could try brussels sprouts or other veggies!

  2. 11/14/2014 at 12:21 am

    Hi Julie! This looks just incredible! Creamy and delicious. I think my son and hubby would LOVE this! Pinning! :)

    • Julie
      11/14/2014 at 8:07 am

      Thanks, Natasha! It’s one of my FAVORITE dishes on the blog!! xoxo

  3. Jessica
    02/08/2015 at 3:39 pm

    What are the calories please?

    • Julie
      02/09/2015 at 7:32 am

      I don’t do calorie calculations. Please see FAQs as to why I don’t. Sorry!

  4. Sylvia
    02/27/2015 at 12:37 pm

    After reading your delicious recipe ,my mouth started salivating immediately. Yuck , gross and too much info I know but I am on my way out the door to buy all ingredients and serve to my family this weekend. Thank you

    • Julie
      02/28/2015 at 8:09 am

      Yay! Hope you enjoy :)

  5. Deb
    04/07/2015 at 5:34 pm

    I have just finished preparing this dish and now enjoying it. Thanks. I think I will maybe add shrimp or chicken next time. Thank you

  6. Jennifer
    04/17/2015 at 10:23 pm

    HORRIBLE. followed recipe exactly and ended up wayyyyyyy to acidic….added a ton of Parmesan and that couldn’t even save it. Will NEVER make again and sad I wasted the time and money on trying. Will go to the restaurant for it from now on or make my own recipe. Such a disappointment.

    • Julie
      04/18/2015 at 8:01 am

      Sorry it didn’t work out for you, Jennifer! Others have made it and enjoyed so I’m not quite sure what went wrong with yours? Would love to hear what you did/what type of yogurt you may have used?

  7. Maria
    05/14/2015 at 11:47 pm

    It was delicious! My husband, not a tomato fan, loved it. My toddlers loved it, too.
    I kept the sour cream, used heavy cream instead of greek yogurt, and omitted the sugar. So yummy!

  8. Bev
    05/20/2015 at 12:20 am

    Have made this twice now. So good. 2nd time opened the wrong can, tomatoe sauce instead of diced tomatoes. Oops. Just eliminated the paste and it turned out. Love the spinach and the sundried tomatoes.

  9. Caitlin
    06/11/2015 at 4:14 pm

    Made this last night exactly following recipe (plus added approx 1 lb peeled raw shrimp at the same time as spinach). My husband declared it “amazeballs”! This recipe is replacing my previous go-to shrimp pasta dish for a quick, delicious meal. Thanks, Julie!

  10. Sarah
    06/11/2015 at 7:08 pm

    I am on a pretty strict vegan diet for health reasons. I used a dairy free sour cream (sour supreme brand) and it turned out great!

  11. Anne
    07/24/2015 at 8:39 am

    This was delicious! I added some grilled chicken (just seasoned it and cooked it on the George Foreman). My husband liked it too. Will definitely use this recipe again.

  12. Julie
    07/27/2015 at 7:56 pm

    Hi, thanks for this recipe, it looks insanely good. I was wondering if it can be reheated?

    • Julie
      07/27/2015 at 8:35 pm

      It can but you might have to thin it out a bit with some water if it’s super stuck together!

  13. Jay
    10/05/2015 at 10:34 pm

    Very good, needed more sugar because it was a bit acidic, but with some tweaks it was excellent. Definitely a keeper.

  14. Pam Mc
    01/15/2016 at 5:36 pm

    I made this tonight and substituted zucchini for the spinach and penne instead of fettuccine. The family said that “It’s a keeper”, Yay!!….. Definitely good advice on the pasta water……Also, they only wanted a little bread on the side. I tried to explain that it would defeat the purpose of a “light” meal. They’re all guys, so I lost that battle….Awesome recipe! Thanks, Julie!

  15. Linda R.
    02/24/2016 at 2:29 pm

    Do you use sundried tomatoes packed in oil or dried?

    • Julie
      02/24/2016 at 3:26 pm

      I used dried :)

  16. Jinny
    03/23/2016 at 8:38 pm

    This looks absolutely phenomenal and I can’t wait to make it this weekend.

  17. 03/25/2016 at 9:26 am

    This is one of my favorite recipes because I like your way of presenting this dish. It is looking very lovely and mind blowing. Thanks for this nice post.

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