Healthy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Spinach (No Cream!)

Last Updated on June 29, 2022 by Kayla Berman

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta is a light and creamy pasta recipe! Made with penne pasta, greek yogurt, spinach, parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and no heavy cream … this Italian dish is hearty, healthy, flavorful, and delicious. An easy weeknight dinner recipe for the whole family that comes together in under 30 minutes!

healthy sun dried tomato pasta with spinach in a bowl

Light & Creamy Italian Pasta Dish

Healthy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Spinach is my new favorite pasta recipe for a couple of reasons. First, it utilizes a jar of sun dried tomatoes to make an irresistibly delicious sauce. The little tomatoes pack an extremely flavorful punch and are such a fun variation.

Second, this pasta dish is both incredibly creamy and light at the same time. All because of the secret ingredient – greek yogurt! Greek yogurt lightens up the sauce, makes it creamy, and adds protein. It’s amazing!

This easy recipe also comes together in under a half hour and is perfect to feed the whole family on a busy weeknight! Add some grilled protein on top for a well rounded, healthy dinner.

Ingredients

Sun dried tomato pasta with spinach is made with pantry staples and simple ingredients! It is an incredibly creamy pasta recipe that skips the heavy cream completely, and uses greek yogurt instead.

This keeps things light and healthy, but satisfying too!

Ingredient Notes

  • Pasta: You will need 8 oz of pasta for this recipe. I used penne!
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the base of this flavorful sauce. You will need 2 tbsp!
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes: Delicious sun dried tomatoes are of course the star of the show here! You will need 1/3 cup of the tomatoes themselves and 1 tbsp of the oil they come in. Using the oil makes for extra flavor here!
  • Fresh Garlic: This recipe calls for 3 cloves of garlic. But you can never go wrong with more, so add however much you’d like.
  • Tomato Paste: Tomato paste adds a more concentrated tomato flavor to this sauce. 1 tbsp is all you need!
  • Chicken Broth: Add 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the sauce.
  • Greek Yogurt: The addition of greek yogurt in the tomato pasta sauce makes it super creamy! It also packs some protein. 1/3 cup is perfect!
  • Parmesan Cheese: Parmesan cheese makes any pasta dish better, and this one is no different. 1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan adds amazing flavor.
  • Spinach: Throw a big handful (1 cup) of fresh baby spinach into this pasta! You’ll barely be able to tell it’s there, but it is such a healthy addition.
  • Fresh Basil: 1 tbsp of fresh basil adds so much flavor. It’s truly key to any Italian dish!
  • Oregano: Add 1 tsp of dried oregano too.
  • Salt & Pepper: Lastly, add salt and pepper to taste.
sun dried tomato pasta ingredients

Substitutions & Additions

This healthy pasta is easy, delicious, and actually quite customizable! You can substitute or add ingredients to meet your personal preferences or needs.

Here are some of my ideas!

Pasta: You can swap the regular penne pasta in this recipe with any whole wheat pasta for a slightly more nutritious option if you would like.

Greek Yogurt: The greek yogurt here helps to get that creamy consistency, but still keeps things light. I think sour cream or cream cheese would be great alternatives!

Chicken Broth: Chicken broth could easily be replaced with vegetable broth in this pasta for a more vegetarian friendly option. You could also try white wine – just be sure to cook it off properly if you do.

Spinach: I love tossing spinach in this recipe for bit of green and extra health! You could replace with a different leafy green of your choice, like kale.

Chicken: If you’re looking to add protein to this dish I recommend adding some chicken breast. You could do any kind – grilled, baked, roasted, etc. But I think grilled would be best! Here is a simple recipe.

Fresh Herbs & Seasonings: Feel free to add as many fresh herbs and additional seasonings to this pasta as you would like. The more the merrier! I suggest Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, or fresh parsley.

healthy tomato pasta with spinach

How To Make This Recipe

This easy pasta recipe comes together in less than 30 minutes and is perfect for a busy weeknight meal! You’ll simply whip up the creamy sauce while the penne noodles are cooking and then combine the two into a mouth-watering, delicious dinner.

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1: Start by cooking the penne pasta al dente according to the package instructions.

Step 2: Next add the olive oil, sun dried tomato oil, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper to a large skillet or pan on the stove over medium heat. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic and tomatoes are soft and fragrant.

Step 3: Next add in the tomato paste.  Sauté for about 5 minutes to allow it to caramelize and to deepen the flavor.

Step 4: Then add in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Let simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken a bit.

Step 5: Next turn the heat low. Add the greek yogurt, parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup of pasta water. Combine until smooth and the cheese has fully melted. Stir the spinach into the cream sauce until completely wilted.

close up shot of sun dried tomato sauce

Step 6: Toss in the cooked pasta and thoroughly coat in the tomato sauce.  Finish with fresh basil.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve & enjoy!

sun dried tomato pasta no cream in a pan

Expert Tips

Make sure to use freshly grated parmesan cheese! The pre-grated cheese will not melt properly in the tomato sauce and it will turn out stringy or grainy.

Use higher fat percentage greek yogurt! The fuller fat the yogurt, the creamier the sauce. I used 2% and the result was perfect.

When mixing in the greek yogurt, turn the heat low or even completely off. This will prevent it from curdling!

Save the pasta water. The starchy water helps make a creamy, thick sauce and makes it stick to the noodles better.

Add salt and pepper to taste! Seasoning to your own taste is key to making a pasta you love.

healthy tomato pasta in a bowl

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use other types of pasta?

Totally! You can use any pasta shape you would like in this recipe.

If you’re not using penne, I would go for fettuccini!

What are sun dried tomatoes?

Sun dried tomatoes are tomatoes that have been dehydrated and then preserved in olive oil. This enhances their flavor and the flavor of anything they are put in. They can be made from Roma, San Marzano, grape, or even cherry tomatoes.

They are chewy, sweet, tangy, and packed with flavor! They’re often used in pastas, salads, and pizzas.

How to best serve this recipe?

I like to serve this recipe fresh with extra fresh basil, grated parmesan cheese, and cracked black pepper. So scrumptious!

I love to pair with cheesy crescent roll garlic knots too.

How to store creamy sun-dried tomato pasta?

Store this pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for about 5 days!

How to best re-heat this pasta recipe?

To re-heat this recipe, simple add a touch of water or chicken broth and pop in the microwave. The extra bit of liquid helps to bring the sauce back to life as it will dry up a bit in the fridge.

You could also add a serving to a pan and heat up on the stove!

sun dried tomato pasta with spinach and fork taking some

Love this recipe? Check out more delicious pasta recipes below…

Connect with me!

If you make this tomato pasta recipe or any of my other recipes, I would absolutely love to know! Tag me @wellnessbykay on Instagram so I can see and share your recreations.

creamy tomato pasta sauce in a pan
close up shot of healthy sun dried tomato pasta in a bowl

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Print

Healthy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta with Spinach (No Cream!)

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta is a light and creamy pasta recipe! Made with penne pasta, greek yogurt, spinach, parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and no heavy cream … this Italian dish is hearty, healthy, flavorful, and delicious. An easy weeknight dinner recipe for the whole family that comes together in under 30 minutes!

  • Author: Kayla Berman
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

Scale

Instructions

  1. Start by cooking the penne pasta according to the package instructions.
  2. Next add the olive oil, sun dried tomato oil, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, oregano, salt, and pepper to a large skillet or pan on the stove over medium heat. Sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic and tomatoes are soft and fragrant.
  3. Next add in the tomato paste.  Sauté for about 5 minutes to allow it to caramelize and for the flavor to deepen.
  4. Then add in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.  Let simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken a bit.
  5. Next turn the heat to low. Add the greek yogurt, parmesan cheese, and pasta water. Combine until smooth and the cheese has fully melted.
  6. Stir in the spinach until completely wilted.
  7. Toss in the cooked pasta and thoroughly coat in the tomato sauce.  Finish with fresh basil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Enjoy!

Keywords: sun dried tomato pasta, sun dried tomato pasta recipe, healthy sun dried tomato pasta, creamy sun dried tomato pasta, sun dried tomato pasta with spinach, sun dried tomato pasta with greek yogurt, sun dried tomato pasta no cream, healthy sun dried tomato pasta with spinach

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2 Comments

  1. Jill Nobles

    Delicious. Though I would double the ‘sauce’ and the spinach. Great flavour, and the addition of the greek yogurt was inspired. Thank you for the idea!

  2. I wanted to love this but the Greek yogurt curdled so bad when I put it in. Better off just using a splash of heavy cream.

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