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
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    September 17, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    I love pesto and this is a nice change from the classic. Great way to mix-up pasta night!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Yes! Simple pastas like this are such a great mainstay. All the flavors in the pesto sound fantastic together!

  • Reply
    September 17, 2015 at 8:32 am

    This looks out of this world delicious! I’m drooling!

    • Reply
      September 17, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Thanks Monica, I hope you try it, it’s a winner!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    September 14, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Just searching through some of your recipes looking for pasta inspiration. Found it! This is a lovely recipe Sue – just beautiful.

    • Reply
      September 15, 2015 at 5:27 am

      That’s so funny you found this, Tricia – it’s my oldest daughter’s favorite and she makes it all the time. I love it too!

  • Reply
    November 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    sun-dried tomatoes are magical! i love this take on pesto, sue–bravo!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I’ve been thinking about T-day non-stop and you’re so right…a pasta break would be great right about now. Love that pesto!

  • Reply
    Jesica @ Pencil Kitchen
    November 22, 2011 at 3:15 am

    and i cried… I have soft spot for everything you make!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2011 at 7:16 am

    oh my this looks AMAZING!!!!! simple yum recipe. what a great idea using almonds, i just have pinenuts to go with it

  • Reply
    November 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I’m a pasta lover and this looks terrific!!! 😀

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    November 22, 2011 at 3:47 am

    This looks very good. Of course being Italian, pasta runs through my veins. I love fresh parsley as well. It really freshens everything up.

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