Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto

pasta with pesto

I’m all about healthy 30 minute meals like this Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto that come together from the pantry without a trip to the store. It’s frugal eating at its most delicious!

A bowl of pasta on a plate, with Pesto and Tomato

Think outside the box for a healthy Mediterranean inspired pasta dinner.

Jars of oil packed sun dried tomatoes are a staple in my cupboard,, and I always have good almonds on hand. I’ve gotten to the point where I just grab fresh parsley every time I pass through the store, even though that might mean I sometimes have more than I need. It’s cheap and adds so much to so many dishes. I keep it in a mason jar on my counter, just like cut flowers, and I use a heavy hand with it —no insipid flecks on top of my food—  I chop masses of it for its fresh green flavor.

making breadcrumbs

Fresh breadcrumbs are a must here, and they’re so easy to grind from any sort of leftover bread. I had some leftover brown bread which turned out to be an inspired choice. I like the rustic feel it gave to the finished pasta. A small food processor is the perfect tool for grinding them up. Just pulse until you get your desired consistency, it takes only seconds.

Check out my post on How to Make Homemade Bread Crumbs for more details and options.

almonds for sun dried tomato and almond pesto

Marcona almonds are rich and crunchy.

They’re a Spanish variety and well worth picking up, Trader Joe’s sells them. Mine were still in their skins, and roasted and salted. If you can’t find them, toast regular almonds before using them, it will develop the flavor and crunch. 15 minutes on a dry pan in a 350F oven will do the trick. They crunch up as they cool.

sun dried tomatoes

Don’t let anything go to waste!

You can use the reserved oil from the drained tomatoes in place of some of the olive oil, it’s got tons of flavor. In general they aren’t packed in top quality oil, though, so I still like to use some olive oil for extra flavor.

sun dried tomato and almond pesto in bowl

Whole grain pasta is an easy way to boost the nutritional value of this meal

There are lots of choices in the pasta aisle these days, and I like to use whole grain spaghetti for this dish. The whole grain adds another layer to the complex flavors of the deceptively simple pasta.

pasta with sun dried tomato and almond pesto sauce

pasta with parsley
4.6 from 5 votes

Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto

I have a soft spot in my heart for 30 minute meals like this Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato and Almond Pesto that come together from the pantry without a trip to the store. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (I reserved and used the oil, it's got good flavor)
  • 1/3 cup salted roasted almonds I used Marcona almonds, skin on
  • 1 large garlic clove sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 12 ounces spaghetti I used whole grain
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley plus more for garnish


  • In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes, almonds, and garlic. Add 1/4 cup of the oil and puree. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a skillet, toast the bread crumbs in 2 tablespoons of the oil, stirring, until golden. Transfer the crumbs to a plate; season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. In the pot, toss the pasta with the pesto, parsley, some of the reserved cooking water and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until the sauce clings to the pasta. Transfer the pasta to bowls, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, a little more parsley and drizzle with olive oil.

Cook's notes

  • You can make a double or triple batch of the pesto and store it in a jar in the fridge for super quick meals.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Pasta with sun dried tomato and almond pesto pin



More quick pastas from the archives:

Spaghetti with Tuna, Lemon, and Dill

Quick and easy weeknight pasta with Tuna, Lemon, and Dill

Pasta Alla Norma

Pasta Alla Norma, 2

Lemony Fettuccine Alfredo

Lemony Fettucine Alfredo

Chive and Parsley Pesto

Pasta with Chive Parsley Pesto in a white bowl

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Mmm, looks good. I have to work late tonight so will be forced to eat some cheap catered crap that sits in a warming dish for several hours. Blech – wish I was eating at your house 🙂

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    I’m home alone tonight…can I come over for this?? xx

  • Reply
    Sulpicia (III)
    November 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Looks good! I just made some old bread into croutons…maybe I should have made this instead. I also have used almonds in pesto and they seem a good substitute for pinenuts or walnuts.

  • Reply
    Nessa Robins
    November 21, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I love sun dried tomato pesto and only made some last week for a class. I love your addition of breadcrumbs on the pasta. Will definitely be trying that out!

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    November 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    WOW! Simply WOW! You had this pasta lover from the word sun-dried. That has to be one of my favorite flavors to have with pasta! Love it- your pictures are amazing

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Hi Sue! I have a quick question that I am hoping you can answer. I am on blogger as well and can’t figure out how to list out my recipes the way you do. I have them categorized and listed on the side by dish but that will get crazy as I add more recipes. I like how you have the recipes button and then list them by type.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    I’m making my favorite bolognese tonight but might just have to make this dish after the Holidays. It looks amazing as all of your dishes do.

  • Reply
    Heather @
    November 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Well, I’m not full yet…but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t happily sit down to this meal. I adore both sun-dried tomatoes and almonds. Pesto’s using sundried tomatoes are actually my favorite! I do the same with parsley, mainly because my local market offers a free bunch with any produce purchase. If it’s starting to look wilty, I just throw it in the “stock” bag in the freezer!

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    November 21, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Sounds great and a little like a romesco sauce, which I just made this weekend to go with flank steak. I agree–I love having a few pasta recipes on hand that require no special shopping!

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