This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
This creamy sun-dried tomato pasta is everything you dream of in a cream sauce pasta dish. Packed with bold-flavored ingredients like garlic, tomatoes, and spinach, this pasta is a taste of decadence without the fuss to make!
When was the last time you stepped foot in a Cheesecake Factory? I mean, let’s be honest – I kind of miss the old school restaurants. I remember the crazy wait times at Cheesecake Factory. You either had to get there right at 5pm or the wait time was going to be like over an hour.
I had decided to make this creamy sun-dried tomato pasta for the blog because they had (they might still have it, I don’t know) this dish called sun-dried tomato and chicken fettuccine and oh my gosh, it was SO good. The sauce was so creamy and flavorful and every strand of fettuccine was covered in this thick tomato cream sauce. I wasn’t trying to wait in line for dinner so this is how this recipe came to be — right at home!
Ingredients for Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
- Dried fettuccine pasta – I like using fettuccine in this because of its long flat shape. The entire strand is coated in the creamy sauce and you can plate it nicely for a restaurant-style effect.
- Pasta water – saving that pasta water is crucial to help the sauce thicken and bind to the pasta!
- Olive oil
- Garlic – five finely minced cloves, more if you prefer!
- Sun-dried tomatoes – you can use the ones that are already pre-sliced (julienned) in olive oil (more flavor) or ones in a plastic bag that are dried and sliced.
- Canned petite diced tomatoes – you don’t want regular diced because it can get too chunky in the sauce.
- Tomato paste – this helps intensify the flavor and color.
- Granulated sugar – a little sweetness to balance out the flavors of the sauce.
- 2% or full-fat plain Greek yogurt – helps to lighten up the dish a little and create a thick sauce.
- Sour cream – you need this because of its fat content and it’ll help the Greek yogurt not curdle.
- Grated parmesan cheese – because freshly grated parmesan cheese is the best! Gives it a nutty, salty flavor.
- Baby spinach – gives the pasta dish volume and greens.
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes – this is optional but for my spice lovers, be generous!
What is the difference between sun-dried tomatoes in oil and dry-packed?
Sun-dried tomatoes in oil are made by soaking fresh tomatoes in oil and herbs and then leaving it out in the sun to dry. They’re then packed with the same oil and herbs they were soaking in. The sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil tend to be way more flavorful and tender and they’re most often used in recipes as they produce a much more intense flavor.
Dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes are basically leaving fresh tomatoes out in the sun to dehydrate. They’re then packed up, as is, without liquid. Dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes have a chewier texture and more concentrated tomato flavor; kind of like rich tomato paste. You usually have to rehydrate them before using or let the liquid in the recipe rehydrate them.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta Tips and Variations
- Fat is good. I know it’s tempting to swap for fat-free everything in this (sour cream, yogurt) but you need fat. You need it so your dairy products don’t curdle. The fat in this helps balance it out.
- Add protein. On its own, this is vegetarian, but adding in shrimp or grilled chicken for additional protein is highly encouraged! I would even add in sliced chicken sausage (the Italian-style from Trader Joe’s would be SO good in here).
- Use a different pasta shape. I think fettuccine works best for this recipe but you could experiment and use mezze rigatoni, penne, or even bucatini!
- Be patient. You have to use low heat during part of the cooking process. Be patient with it because it’ll yield a creamy sauce instead of a chunky, curdled one!
Greek yogurt brands and sour cream brands can vary. Canned tomatoes can also vary. If you are finding that your sauce is too acidic, add a little more sugar.
Since the Greek yogurt contains 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.
Yup, you may! 4 ounces to be exact. Make sure it’s softened to room temperature so it melts easier.
Allow to cool then store in an airtight container and put in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, add a little liquid (or if you saved pasta water) before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave to help break up the sauce.
- Bread. Classic bread and pasta always seem to go well together. Try my Easy Garlic Knots or Honey Butter Rolls or Extra Garlicky and Cheesy Bread!
- Salad. A simple green salad paired with a creamy pasta dish allows you to get your greens while not ruining your appetite for the main course. Try my Chopped Endive and Romaine Salad or Quick Basic Chopped Salad.
Other pasta dishes that you might enjoy:
- Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta
- Creamy Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta
- Creamy Lion’s Mane Mushroom Pasta
- One Pot Garlic Parmesan Pasta
- Boursin Cheese Pasta
Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
- ¾ pound (340 g) dried fettuccine
- 1 cup (237 ml) reserved pasta water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup (55 g) julienned sun-dried tomatoes
- 14.5 ounce (440 g) can of petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) plain 2% or full fat Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup (58 g) sour cream
- ½ cup (50 g) grated parmesan cheese
- 1 ½ cups (45 g) baby spinach
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon 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.
- In a small bowl, combine the plain Greek yogurt and sour cream, mix together with a spoon and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, add the remaining tablespoon 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.
- Turn the heat down to medium low and gently add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and granulated sugar. Stir until well-incorporated.
- 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.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste, then add in the grated parmesan cheese and baby spinach. Once the spinach has wilted, you may add in the cooked pasta and turn off the heat.
- 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).
- You may top with crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
- Serve warm.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
Photographs by Eat Love Eat