Roasted Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

Creamy Roasted Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad

This recipe is one of the favorites I have found recently.  In the past, whenever I was asked to bring a pasta salad to a gathering, I would just cut up some tomatoes and cucumber, add it to pasta, and pour bottled Italian dressing over it because I didn’t know what else to do.  But I was never really satisfied with the results.  It was kind of bland and boring. This pasta salad is the opposite of that.  The dressing is so flavorful, and the ingredients are a unique combination that I never would have thought of putting in a pasta salad, but compliment each other very well.

I think the dressing is so good because it contains fresh garlic and lots of parmesan cheese.  And the sun-dried tomatoes add little bursts of flavor every time you take a bite.  One thing I would recommend is adding only half of the dressing at first, let the pasta sit overnight in the refrigerator, and then right before serving, stir in the rest of the dressing.  The first batch of dressing soaks in, adding all of its garlicky goodness to the noodles, and then adding the second half later, gives it the creaminess you want in a pasta salad.

If you are hosting or attending a 4th of July event, this pasta salad would be a great dish to prepare.  And with the hot weather, it would make a good main dish supper if you added some chicken. I am just so glad to have an excuse to make pasta salad, whatever the reason.  Celebrating Independence Day is one of my favorite times of the year.  It is so simple, and usually involves friends, and/or family, and food, and ends with fireworks.  Even in a big city, when you are sitting next to so many other people at the nearest fireworks display, it always has the feeling of a small town event.  What more could you want in a holiday!


For the Salad:

  • 1/2 pound fusilli pasta, cooked according to package directions,and drained
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, cleaned and dried
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag of frozen corn, prepared according to package directions, and drained
  • 1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  1. While pasta is cooking, cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces.  Place on a cookie sheet, and pour olive oil over the asparagus.  Stir to coat asparagus pieces with oil.  Spread the pieces out on the cookie sheet in a single layer.
  2. Bake asparagus in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes until crisp tender.
  3. When pasta is cooked and drained, and corn and asparagus are done cooking, pour all into a large bowl.
  4. Cut the drained, sun-dried tomatoes into halves or quarters, whichever you prefer.  Place tomatoes in bowl with pasta.
  5. In a separate bowl, make the dressing according to directions below.

For the Dressing:

  • 3/4 c mayonnaise
  • 3/4 c sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 1/4 c Kraft parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  1. In a medium size bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream, and garlic until mixed well.
  2. Stir in lemon juice and salt.
  3. Add parmesan cheese and mix well.
  4. Pour half of dressing over pasta salad, and stir to coat dressing evenly over all the ingredients. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight.  Cover and save the remaining dressing in the refrigerator.
  5. Just before serving, toss the pasta salad with the remaining dressing.  Serve immediately.  Refrigerate any leftovers.

Recipe found on page 79 in the June 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine.


About Shari

My name is Shari, and I am an Arizona native and married mother of 3 who loves to cook and bake and figure out how to garden successfully in our suburban home in the desert. On this blog you will find a combination of savory and sweet recipes that have been tested by me, along with many tips to help you be successful. I hope you enjoy them! (
This entry was posted in 4th of July Recipes, Memorial Day Recipes, Pasta, Recipes, Side Dishes, Summer Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Roasted Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing

  1. The colors and flavors of this salad are ‘summer perfect’…like the touch of garlic in the recipe! Great pick!

    • cookazido says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I agree, there is something about pasta salad that just seems perfect for summer. I love the non-traditional vegetables in this version. I appreciate you stopping by, Peri!

  2. rozpaige says:

    This is my kind of pasta salad; quite unlike the same-old-same-old that is usually on a potluck table. I love the ingredients, but the sun-dried tomatoes really take it up a notch Shari! Happy 4th of July! Stay cool out there; I remember those temps vividly . . . it’s pouring down rain here and is supposed to continue the entire weekend. None of my garden tomatoes are red yet this summer, but it sure is green!


    • cookazido says:

      Thank you, Roz! The rain sounds so nice. I can’t wait until the monsoon storms start here pretty soon, hopefully. I hope the rain doesn’t spoil your 4th of July activities, though. I was just saying to my husband this week, that I think our garden is pretty much done for this season. The tomatoes are pretty much stewed on the vine right now!:) It was fun while it lasted. I still have a lot of zucchini to make bread with. You have all the fun of picking yet to look forward to. Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting! Happy Independence Day!

  3. This looks FANTASTIC! I never put asparagus in salads, but you can believe I’m going to do so now.

    • cookazido says:

      Thanks, Ruth! I would never have thought of it until I found this recipe. Roasting the asparagus gives it such a great flavor, too. Thanks for stopping by.

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