Rich sun-dried tomatoes bring the magic to this super easy one pan pasta dish made with penne pasta noodles. Grab a skillet—you’ll be eating sun-dried tomato pasta in under 20 minutes!
Since you’ve been loving all the one pan recipes I’ve been sharing, I couldn’t resist adding one more to the list! This one is a sun-dried tomato pasta recipe that is both rich and light at the same time thanks to a chicken broth base and big flavor from the tomatoes.
And dinner in 20 minutes has to seal the deal, right?
What are sun-dried tomatoes?
First, let’s get this one thing out of the way. The phrase is sun-dried, not sundried. Or sun dried tomatoes. It’s a whole grammar thing, ok? (If you need a source, Merriam-Webster clears the whole thing up.)
Sun-dried tomatoes are pretty self-explanatory. They are tomatoes that have been dried in the sun and have a rich, sweet flavor and add so much to pasta and chicken dishes.
Side note: Raisins aren’t called dried grapes. They’re given a whole new name. So why not sun-dried tomatoes?
Types of sun-dried tomatoes
If you go to the Italian section of your favorite grocery store to look for sun-dried tomatoes, you’ll usually find two kinds:
- Oil-packed. The kind you’ll use in this recipe. Sun-dried tomatoes are packed in clear jars submerged in olive oil and, in some cases, herbs and seasoning. Read the jar carefully because sometimes they’re already julienned.
- Dried or dehydrated. Packed in cellophane, dried or dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes are usually hydrated when used in dishes like this super popular pasta salad recipe.
Best pan for one pan skillet recipes
If you plan on making lots of one pan dinners (just think of the time you’ll save washing dishes!), you need a large skillet with a tight fitting lid. This large All-Clad skillet is one of my favorites.
Main ingredient call-outs
Sun-dried tomatoes. The hero of the dish. Costco sells enormous jars of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes and the price and quality are incomparable. In a pinch, DeLallo sun-dried tomatoes are fabulous but cost a little more and are smaller in quantity.
Chicken broth. Homemade chicken stock or your favorite brand works. Used my reliable method for making juicy chicken breasts? Save the leftover stock for any one pan pasta recipe!
FInishing touches. Cheese, seasoning and herbs.
How to make sun-dried tomato pasta
- Heat oil in a large skillet with a lid and add onions (row 1, left).
- Saute onions for a bit and add garlic for a few seconds (row 1, center). Caramelize tomato paste and herbs together (row 1, right)
- Pour in chicken broth, pasta (far left) and sun dried tomatoes (center) and stir making sure you have enough broth to cover the pasta.
- Simmer covered for about 10 minutes. Don’t peek!
How to soften dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes for pasta (for recipes)
If you have dried or dehydrated (not packed in oil) sun-dried tomatoes, here’s how to hydrate them:
- Place tomatoes in a large glass measuring cup.
- Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, completely submerging them.
- Allow the tomatoes to soak in the water for up to 20 minutes until softened.
Other ways to add variety to this simple sun-dried tomato pasta recipe are:
Make a batch of my classic Italian meatballs to take the recipe from Meatless Monday to Sunday supper!
Stir in a couple of big handfuls of spinach to the pasta the last two minutes of cooking.
With pan roasted broccolini
Whip up a batch of this 5 minute sauteed broccolini (or broccoli 🥦 ) to add some charred flavor to the dish. So good!
What to serve with sun-dried tomato pasta
One Pan Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Grab your favorite large skillet with a lid and heat it over medium heat. Add olive oil. Once shimmery, saute chopped onion for about 3 minutes.1 Tablespoon olive oil, ¼ onion
- Add in garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Stir in tomato paste and herbs for about 1 minute until the tomato paste is melted and slightly caramelized.½ teaspoon dried thyme, 2 cloves finely chopped garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, 3 T tomato paste, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Stir in chicken broth. And then add in pasta and sun dried tomatoes, making sure the pasta is nestled under the chicken broth. Lower heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook the pasta according to package directions. No peeking until time is up!5-6 big sun dried tomatoes, 2 ½ cups chicken broth, ½ lb penne pasta
- Check the pasta's tenderness about 2 minutes before the package said it should be done. Taste for al dente (which means to the tooth). It should feel tender with a little bite and you should see a little white inside the noodle when you bite into it.
- Stir and garnish with fresh parsley and/or basil, if desired, and lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese. I also like to add a little crushed red pepper to make things a little spicy!fresh parmesan cheese