My Debut Cookbook 'Comfy' Is Out Now. ORDER HERE!
Lunch/ Pasta/ Summer Lovin'

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

March 29, 2019 (Last Updated: March 14, 2022) by Chris Collins

If you’re looking for a quick and easy pasta lunch, look no further than this delicious Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta recipe!

And that’s what’s so perfect about pesto pasta, it’s truly so quick and easy to make! One of those lazy lunches that requires minimal effort, but the taste is just incredible. Follow me…

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta on a white plate with a gold fork and basil in the background

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

When you see jars of ‘red pesto’ at the store, 9/10 it’s sun dried tomato pesto. Before we get started, if you haven’t already do check out my homemade sun dried tomato pesto if you fancy a homemade version. Alternatively, you could use a store-bought sun dried tomato pesto. Either way, you can still use the same toppings and exactly the same method for this recipe.

Whatever pesto you use, one of the most common issues when making pasta is the pesto drying out and going greasy.

How to stop Pesto Pasta drying out?

I don’t know about you, but my experience of pesto pasta used to be ‘oh yummy, it looks so saucy… Wait… Where are you going? Oh no, Grease… Send help!’. Or something of that nature. Truth is, it’s very easy to serve up pesto pasta that’s ultra greasy and not that saucy. Which is understandable as pesto has a large quantity of oil, but we want saucy pesto pasta right? Okay, here’s a trick for you.

Starchy Pasta Water

By tossing starchy pasta water through the pasta and pesto, it creates an emulsion, which in turn creates a saucy, almost creamy texture. This will create more of a pasta sauce, instead of a pesto that just about coats the pasta.

The second tip is to do this in a bowl away from heat, as opposed to doing it in a pan on the hob. Pesto is often heavily made up of parmesan, and because it isn’t that saucy, when you start trying to fry the pesto it starts frying the cheese. Which we don’t want.

Bowl of Sun Dried Tomato Pesto with spoon poking out surrounded by basil, pine nuts and parmesan

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

What’s the best pasta to use?

Here I use linguine, but realistically you can use any pasta you want. I just love how the pesto wraps itself around the long noodles in this instance.

What can I add to sun dried tomato pesto pasta?

In with the pasta, I add a pinch of chilli flakes. The gentle heat really compliments the sun dried tomatoes. In the past, I have stirred through both grilled chicken and sausage, both of which work great. Roasted veggies also work great.

How can I store this?

If you’re not eating it right away, just allow it to completely cool then tightly store it in the fridge for a couple of days.

Can I reheat leftovers?

I tend not to reheat leftover pesto recipes, just because they tend to turn greasy and lose their ‘juiciness’. Therefore I recommend serving any leftovers at room temp. Tastes just as delicious!

Process shots: cook & drain pasta (photo 1), toss in pesto and pasta water (photo 2).

How to make Sun dried Tomato Pesto Pasta - 2 step by step photos

Serving Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

When tossing the pasta, pesto and pasta water, it’s important to do it in a separate bowl, not on the stove. The heat from the pasta and water will lightly cook the best. Having it on heat will burn the basil in the pesto; it’ll also cause it to split and go greasy.

Once you’ve tossed through the pesto and pasta serve straight away so it stays warm, then add on some extra goodies. Here I garnish with Pine Nuts, Shaved Parmesan and Fresh Basil.

Fancy something a little creamier? Check out my Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta! (photo below).

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this sun dried tomato pesto pasta shall we?!

close up shot of tongs twisting pasta in pan

How to make Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta on a white plate with a gold fork and basil in the background

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

If you're looking for a quick and easy pasta lunch, look no further than this delicious Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta recipe!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate Share by Text
Servings (click & slide): 2
Course: Brunch / Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Calories per serving: 460kcal
Cost per serving: £2.50 / $3


  • Large Pot & Colander
  • Large Mixing Bowl & Tongs
  • Cup/Mug (for scooping pasta water)

Ingredients (check list):

Pesto Pasta

  • 7oz / 200g Pasta of choice (here I use Linguine)
  • 1/2 cup Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, or to preference
  • 1/3 cup / 80ml Starchy Pasta Water, or as needed (see notes)
  • pinch of Chilli Flakes (optional)
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste


  • Shaved Parmesan
  • Pine Nuts, toasted if desired
  • Small Basil Leaves


  • Cook your pasta in salted boiling water until al dente, reserving a cup of starchy water just before you drain it.
  • Combine pasta in a bowl with 1/2 cup / 2-3 heaped tbsp pesto & chilli flakes if using.
  • Toss through 1/3 cup / 80ml starchy pasta water (or until you get to your desired texture, start off a little at a time). Serve with extra basil, pine nuts and parmesan!

Quick 1 min demo!


a) Check out my Homemade Sun Dried Tomato Pesto!
b) Starchy water - When you scoop out the pasta water, make sure it's towards the end of the cooking process so it's as starchy as possible. This will help emulsify the pesto and water more efficiently (and add more flavour). It'll also obviously be hotter as well, in comparison to scooping it at the start and letting it go lukewarm.
c) Mixing Bowl - Important to toss the pasta in a mixing bowl, not over heat in a pan. Subjecting pesto to direct heat will cause it to go greasy and potentially burn the basil.
d) Additional Fillings - I've tried this recipe with both grilled chicken and sausage, both work great. Any sort of roasted veg (courgette/zucchini, aubergine/eggplant, peppers etc) works great too. Feel free to chuck in some olives too if you like them!
e) Can I reheat leftovers? - I actually don't recommend reheating this, pesto is always served best at room temp!
f) Calories - Based on sharing between two people without the toppings.

Your Private Notes:


Nutrition Facts
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 460 Calories from Fat 322
% Daily Value*
Fat 35.75g55%
Saturated Fat 6.125g31%
Polyunsaturated Fat 6.613g
Monounsaturated Fat 20.793g
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 640mg27%
Potassium 132mg4%
Carbohydrates 25.84g9%
Fiber 2.8g11%
Sugar 0.5g1%
Protein 11.29g23%
Vitamin A 1550IU31%
Vitamin C 2.5mg3%
Calcium 160mg16%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart
Looking for more?You'll find plenty more delicious comfort food like this in my Debut Cookbook 'Comfy'

If you like the sound of this sun dried tomato pasta be sure to check out both my Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sun Dried Tomatoes and my Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sausage Pasta!

If you’re after some more funky pesto recipes be sure to give these a ganders too:

Deliciously Different Pesto Recipes

If you loved this Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta recipe then be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a burning question? Give me a shout in the comments below and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!





Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating


  • Reply
    Shashi at SavorySpin
    April 1, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    5 stars
    Yes to saucy pesto pasta! Love that pasta water trick and love the sound of this!

    • Reply
      April 1, 2019 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks Shashi! 🙂

  • Reply
    April 1, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    5 stars
    It was so good! Everyone in my family loved it!

    • Reply
      April 1, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      That’s so awesome to hear! So glad you enjoyed 🙂

  • Reply
    Sharon Chen
    April 1, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    5 stars
    Looks so yummy! The flavors are just my favorite. Pesto is love.

    • Reply
      April 1, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      Yup, pesto certainly is love 🙂

  • Reply
    April 1, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    5 stars
    I know what I’m making for dinner tonight! This looks so perfectly creamy and delicious! Can’t wait for dinner tonight!

    • Reply
      April 1, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicolas Hortense
    April 1, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Yes!! Definitely agree with the pasta water trick! I use it all the time!! (:

    • Reply
      April 1, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      It makes such a difference doesn’t it!?