Pasta salads are made for the spring and summer time. They’re cold, refreshing and the flavor combinations are endless! So, I find myself making one a week around Friday using whatever I have leftover in the fridge. This week’s feature is this spinach pasta salad. It’s made with short cut pasta, fresh baby spinach, chickpeas and a sweet and savory sundried tomato dressing!
The result is a load of nutrition packed pasta salad with the carbs we all crave. But, the salad has enough protein and vegetable servings to make this meal well-balanced. In fact, there are 19 grams of protein per serving!
This spinach pasta salad makes for easy peasy lunches over the weekend or a perfect side dish for grilling chicken or fish outside. Just buy a jar of simple sun dried tomatoes with minimal ingredients and that alone takes care of all the flavoring you’ll need for this dish! Make this once and you’ll always keep sun dried tomatoes a staple in your pantry to make it again and again.
- Pasta: I used ditalini pasta for this salad. You can use any short pasta you like, macaroni and fusilli both work great. Make it gluten-free by using corn pasta.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes are an easy way of adding a burst of flavor to this dish. We also use the oil from the jar for the dressing so nothing goes to waste.
- Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor.
- Red wine vinegar: The acidity helps to balance out the dish. You can also use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas add protein and texture to the salad.
- Spinach: Use baby spinach which is tender and easy to eat raw. A great source of iron and vitamins.
- Parmesan: Use freshly grated rather than pre-grated parmesan if you can. It’s much bolder in flavor and has a smoother texture.
How to make this spinach pasta salad
- Cook, drain and cool your pasta.
- Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
- Toss the pasta in the dressing.
- Stir in the chickpeas and parmesan and season.
Tips to make this recipe
- Make this salad vegan by omitting the parmesan or using a plant-based variety.
- Don’t use fresh pasta for this recipe. Fresh pasta doesn’t tend to hold up well when it is tossed in the dressing, so stick to dried.
- Take care to not overcook or under cook the pasta. It should be just past al dente. If it is too soft it will break apart, and if not cooked enough it will be chewy.
- Season the dish well. So that you don’t end up with a bland spinach pasta salad, cook the pasta in salted water so you start to add flavor right from the start.
Frequently Asked Questions
Once cooled to room temperature, store the pasta salad in an air tight container in the fridge. It will keep well for 5 to 6 days.
I like to cool my pasta for this recipe, but you don’t have to. Because the dressing has no mayonnaise, you can add it straight to warm pasta. The spinach leaves will wilt a little, but it will still be delicious!
This spinach pasta salad can be enjoyed warm or cold. It’s a great make ahead option of potlucks and cookouts.
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Spinach Pasta Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
More pasta salad recipes
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Avocado Pasta Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes
Spinach Sundried Tomatoes Pasta Salad
- 12 oz ditalini pasta or pasta of choice
- 1 7 oz. jar sundried tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas rinsed/drained
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water until no longer hot.
- In a large bowl, pour the complete contents of the sundried tomatoes jar with the oil from the jar included. Mix in the crushed garlic and the red wine vinegar and slightly whisk the ingredients until well incorporated to create the dressing for the pasta salad.
- Add the pasta to the bowl that contains the dressing and toss together.
- Add the chickpeas and the fresh baby spinach and toss again to combine. Carefully add more olive oil if needed until the pasta salad is coated to your liking.
- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste, if you desire. You can keep out the Parmesan cheese to make this a vegan option.
- Enjoy this hot or cold, and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5-6 days.