You’ll love this Mediterranean inspired pasta salad with sun dried tomatoes, arugula, artichokes, tomatoes and olives. Loaded with flavour, this will be a winning potluck recipe.
This delicious pasta salad is inspired by flavours of the Mediterranean, in particular ingredients that are featured in many Italian dishes like tomatoes, artichokes and arugula. What sets this recipe apart are the sweet and savoury sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. I like to think of this recipe as an antipasto pasta salad.
I also love to make bright and summery pasta salad with lemon vinaigrette.
Why this recipe works
The secret to this recipe is the amazing dressing! I use the oil from the sun dried tomatoes in place of regular extra virgin olive oil along with some garlic, red wine vinegar. This means that every bite is perfumed with sweet and savoury notes of sun dried tomatoes.
This also means that this is a recipe without mayonnaise (I’m not a fan of creamy pasta salads and much prefer those with a vinaigrette!)
- Pasta, obviously. I like to use either rotini or fusilli in this recipe as it catches the dressing perfectly.
- Sun dried tomatoes packed in oil are the key ingredient, I chop them up to add to the pasta and I also use the oil in the vinaigrette dressing.
- Cherry tomatoes add bursts of fresh flavour.
- Arugula is an ingredient that balances perfectly with the sweet notes of the dressing, add this just before serving.
- Canned artichoke hearts are another antipasto ingredient here that just works wonderfully and adds some substance to the dish.
- I like to use green onions as a more mild onion choice, you could also use red onion or shallots if that’s what you have available.
- Nothing says summer or Italian food to me like fresh basil, so some gets sprinkled on just before serving.
- Cheese is totally option in this recipe, but I’ve made this with feta and parmesan cheese with much happiness!
- If you’re preparing this dish ahead of time, leave out the arugula and basil. These leafy greens are best added just before serving, otherwise they will end up soggy.
- To avoid a dry salad, if this has been in the fridge, be sure to let this come to room temperature before serving.
What to put in pasta salad?
The options are endless! I always like to keep mine vegetarian as they are usually served as a side dish, you’ll want a variety of textures and flavours to make something extra special.
What to serve this with?
I love to serve other Mediterranean inspired recipes with this recipe, this would go well with chicken souvlaki (my family’s recipe!) or if you’re looking for a vegetarian option, why not try grilled eggplant skewers? You could also pair this with a variety of mezes like Greek eggplant dip or olive hummus.
Delicious potluck recipe ideas
Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes
Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup oil from sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar will work as well
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- ½ lb whole wheat rotini
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes packed in oil drained and chopped
- 2 cups packed arugula
- 1.5 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 398 ml can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- ½ cup chopped kalamata olives
- ¼ cup thinly sliced basil
- ¼ cup feta or Parmesan cheese, optional
- ¼ tsp salt
- In a small bowl or mason jar, combine all ingredients for lemon herb vinaigrette.
- Cook rotini according to package directions. Once pasta is cooked, drain and toss warm pasta with dressing to avoid it clumping together. Allow pasta to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine cooled, dressed pasta with arugula, cherry tomatoes, green onions, artichokes, olives, basil, cheese (if using) and salt. Serve immediately.
- If preparing ahead of time, leave out the arugula and basil. Toss this in just before serving to avoid it being mushy.
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