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This creamy dump-and-bake sun dried tomato pasta is an easy dinner with just 10 minutes of prep. You don’t even have to boil the noodles before the casserole goes into the oven!

Close overhead image of a red and white bowl full of dump and bake sun dried tomato pasta.
Table of Contents
  1. Why You’ll Love this Sun Dried Tomato Pasta
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. Preparation and Storage Tips
  6. Recipe Variations
  7. Tips for the Best Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe
  8. Dump-and-Bake Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe

If you love dump-and-bake dinner recipes as much as we do, be sure to try this dump-and-bake meatball casserole, our dump-and-bake bbq pulled pork casserole, my kids’ favorite sesame chicken noodles, and this dump-and-bake ravioli casserole, too!

Why You’ll Love this Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

  • One Dish. Nobody wants to wash a sink full of dishes at the end of a meal! Fortunately, you can stir everything together in a single baking dish, minimizing the pots and pans that you have to clean later.
  • Minimal Prep. You don’t even have to cook pasta or prep any ingredients, and the noodles come out tender and perfect every time! It might not be fancy, but you’re going to appreciate the dump-and-bake method of cooking when it comes to getting dinner on the table on busy weeknights!
  • Vegetarian. If you’re hosting a vegetarian for supper, or if you’re just trying to incorporate more meatless dinners into your regular rotation, this is one of those hearty, satisfying dishes that appeals to both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike!
  • Versatile. Want to add some protein? You can easily stir in 2 cups of diced or shredded rotisserie chicken towards the end of the baking time. Cooked Italian sausage would also be delicious here!
Overhead shot of a white casserole dish full of sun-dried tomato pasta.

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for this creamy sun-dried tomato pasta. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Rotini pasta: if you can’t find rotini, another short pasta will work. Try penne, ziti, or medium shells for nice substitutes.
  • Alfredo sauce: I keep it simple with a jar of store-bought sauce, but you can certainly use your own homemade Alfredo with heavy cream if you prefer. You’ll need a total of about 2 ½ cups, which is approximately one very large 22-ounce jar, or 1 ½ 15-ounce jars.
  • Broth: adds flavor to the pasta and sauce as the ingredients cook together in the pan. Use chicken broth or chicken stock for a non-vegetarian meal, or use vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian.
  • Sundried tomatoes packed in oil: these add so much rich, concentrated, sweet tomato flavor to the dish. Make sure to get the version that’s packed in oil, since these have a softer texture and better flavor. Look for the julienne cut sun dried tomatoes to reduce prep time because you won’t have to cut them yourself!
  • Garlic: use fresh garlic cloves that you mince or grate yourself, or grab a jar of pre-minced garlic for a shortcut.
  • Fresh baby spinach: this is optional, but it adds great color, texture, and nutrition to the dish.
  • Shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend: for a melty, gooey, cheesy topping. You can substitute with any good melting cheese that you prefer. An Italian blend that includes a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses is also really nice.
Sun-dried tomato pasta ingredients stirred together before baking.

The Best Casserole Dish to Use for this Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

We rounded up the best casserole dishes you can buy, including 2 that I personally own and love! While I use different-sized casserole dishes for different dump-and-bake meals, the Staub Ceramic Rectangular Baking Dish earned the top spot. You can buy it on Amazon for $78.95 or at Target for $79.95. That said, I also love the beautiful, Scandinavian style of the Dansk Kobenstyle Baker, available for $135.

Process shot showing how to make sun dried tomato pasta in a white baking dish.

How to Make Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

Start by preheating your oven, because there’s very little prep work necessary for this creamy sun dried tomato pasta bake! You’ll find detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  • Combine the uncooked pasta, Alfredo, broth, sundried tomatoes, and garlic in a greased baking dish.
  • Cover tightly and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach, top with cheese, and bake for 5-10 more minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh basil (or other herbs) and grated Parmesan cheese, and serve!
Close up shot of a serving spoon in a dish of creamy sun dried tomato pasta.

Serving Suggestions

Since this casserole includes pasta, a creamy sauce, and veggies, you’ve basically got an entire meal in one dish. If you’d like to round out the main course with a side salad or other options, here are some easy sides that go well with creamy sun dried tomato pasta:

Horizontal side shot of dump and bake sun dried tomato pasta in a red and white bowl.

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • Make Ahead: You can assemble the casserole a few hours in advance, or even leave it covered in the refrigerator overnight before baking. The pasta will start to soften and absorb some of the liquid as it sits, so you may need to decrease the baking time slightly. You don’t want to overcook the casserole or you’ll end up with gummy, mushy pasta.
  • Storage: This casserole is best enjoyed immediately from the oven. Leftovers will  keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The pasta will dry out a bit as it sits, so you may need to stir in some additional Alfredo sauce or stock when you reheat the dish. Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes.
  • I do not recommend freezing this casserole because pasta has a tendency to get gummy and mushy when thawed.
Square overhead image of a bowl of red and white sun dried tomato pasta.

Recipe Variations

  • Add 2 cups of diced or shredded cooked chicken to the casserole at the same time that you add the spinach. Cooked and crumbled or sliced Italian sausage would also be great in this pasta.
  • Don’t have rotini? You can substitute with other similar short pasta shapes such as penne, ziti, elbows, or medium shells. Just pick a pasta that has a similar cooking time as rotini (about 7-8 minutes recommended on the package) — otherwise you’ll need to adjust the casserole’s baking time in the oven.
  • Cooking for a Smaller Family: Cut all of the ingredients in half and bake the casserole in an 8-inch square pan. Check the pasta after 25 minutes, as it may be done slightly sooner than the larger pan.
  • Add extra vegetables. You can stir frozen peas into the dish at the end (along with the spinach), or include broccoli, asparagus, or zucchini at the start. If using frozen broccoli, just thaw it and stir it right into the dish. If using fresh broccoli florets, you might need to par-boil or steam them first so that they’re a little bit tender when you add them to the casserole.
  • Use homemade Alfredo sauce instead of a jar of store-bought sauce.
  • Add herbs to the pasta with sun dried tomatoes for even more flavor. Good options include fresh or dried parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary. An Italian seasoning blend would also be fine, since it combines a lot of these spices in one convenient package.
Close up side shot of sun-dried tomato pasta in a vintage red and white bowl.

Tips for the Best Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Recipe

  • Pick a high-quality, flavorful Alfredo sauce (or make your own). With only 7 ingredients in the casserole, each individual ingredient is very important! A delicious sauce will yield a delicious meal. I like Rao’s brand if you can find it, but any similar variety (like a 22-ounce jar of Prego) will work.
  • Total cooking time will vary depending on the type of pan that you use and your individual oven. Glass or ceramic baking dishes will take longer than metal pans, for instance. To know when your casserole is done, taste a bite of the pasta. The noodles should be tender and much of the liquid should be absorbed.
  • Be careful not to overbake the casserole or the pasta will become mushy.
  • Make it spicy by stirring in some crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Garnish the casserole with fresh herbs like basil or parsley for a bright, fresh touch. A sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese is also delicious!
Overhead shot of a bowl of sundried tomato pasta on a wooden dinner table with a side salad and bread.

More Dump-and-Bake Pasta Recipes to Try

Looking for even more inspiration? Check out this convenient collection of more than 65 of our favorite dump and bake dinners!

Square overhead image of a bowl of red and white sun dried tomato pasta.

Dump-and-Bake Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 425 kcal
A creamy sun-dried tomato pasta recipe that's ready for the oven with just 10 minutes of prep!

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish, whisk together the broth, Alfredo sauce, and garlic. Stir in the uncooked pasta and the sundried tomatoes. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
    Sun-dried tomato pasta ingredients stirred together before baking.
  • Uncover; stir the pasta gently with a fork. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but with a tender bite). I have had good luck with the 30-minute cook time; however, some readers have noted that it required about 10 or 15 minutes longer. If it’s still too hard after 30 minutes, just cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.
    Process shot showing how to make sun dried tomato pasta in a white baking dish.
  • Stir in the spinach leaves and sprinkle the cheese over top. Bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and the pasta is tender). Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan or fresh chopped herbs, if desired.
    Close overhead image of a red and white bowl full of dump and bake sun dried tomato pasta.

Notes

  • Pick a high-quality, flavorful Alfredo sauce (or make your own). With only 7 ingredients in the casserole, each individual ingredient is very important! A delicious sauce will yield a delicious meal. I like Rao’s brand if you can find it, but any similar variety (like a 22-ounce jar of Prego) will work.
  • Total cooking time will vary depending on the type of pan that you use and your individual oven. Glass or ceramic baking dishes will take longer than metal pans, for instance. To know when your casserole is done, taste a bite of the pasta. The noodles should be tender and much of the liquid should be absorbed.
  • Be careful not to overbake the casserole or the pasta will become mushy.
  • Make it spicy by stirring in some crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Garnish the casserole with fresh herbs like basil or parsley for a bright, fresh touch. A sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese is also delicious!
  • See my Recipe Variations section in the post above for tips on adding chicken, herbs, and extra flavor to the dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 of the casseroleCalories: 425kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 16gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1031mgPotassium: 322mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 894IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 193mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: pasta with sun dried tomatoes, sun dried tomato pasta
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Kathleen Labounty says:

    5 stars
    I LOVE your Dump and Bake recipes! I’m 71 and cooking for 2. The recipes work well for me as I can halve them or make the whole thing and freeze 1/2! Thank you!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Kathleen! We’re so glad you enjoy it and are able to have leftovers.

  2. michele gravina says:

    I made this for a church dinner and was a little afraid it wasn’t going to work and it was SO DELICIOUS!!! it was everyone’s fav. thank you for an easy dinner!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Thank you, Michele! We’re happy to hear it was a hit.