Weeknight Penne with Savory Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Sauce (Shortcut Recipe!)


I admit it, I keep jarred pasta sauce on hand. As you can see in my books, I do often make sauces from scratch. But on busy, or simply lazy, weeknights, that pasta sauce seems like a savior. And I love quick recipes like this sun-dried tomato basil sauce that help to transform a standby jar into something new. You just might be surprised by a couple of the ingredients!

Weeknight Penne with Savory Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Sauce (Shortcut Recipe!) - dairy-free, plant-based, gluten-free, allergy-friendly #weeknightdinner

Tips: Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Sauce

Here are some more ideas to make this weeknight penne pasta dish special.

Pick pretty presentation. I am in love with our pasta bowls. We actually use them for a lot of different meals, but they are a must on Italian nights. These shallow wide bowls make dinner feel fancier, even when eating in front of the TV. Yes, we do. The ones I have are like these YHY shallow porcelain pasta bowls, but I’ve got their Stripe Pattern bowls on my wsih list.

Mix up the noodles. If you opt to keep it meat-free, you can use lentil noodles for added protein. I use them often and find them seamless in recipes like this. However, I personally like the brands with one ingredient (just lentils). We’re not fans of pasta made with brown rice or quinoa in our home, and some lentil brands use these grains.

Serve with a flavorful sprinkle or two. I like to top dishes like this with chopped green or black olives. Other delicious options include dairy-free parmesan (there are two recipes – one nut-free – in Go Dairy Free – I tested over a dozen variations!) or crushed red pepper flakes. All of the above go nicely with sun-dried tomato basil sauce.

Weeknight Penne with Savory Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Sauce (Shortcut Recipe!) - dairy-free, plant-based, gluten-free, allergy-friendly #weeknightdinnerThis penne with savory sun-dried tomato basil sauce recipe and photo was shared with us by ragu.com.

Special Diet Notes: Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Sauce

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, plant-based, and optionally vegetarian. You might even be able to enjoy it paleo with some zoodles!

Weeknight Penne with Savory Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This versatile recipe can be dressed up or down and takes just minutes to make. See the post above for more recipe and serving tips.
Serves: 6 servings
  • 12 ounces (about 5 cups) uncooked penne pasta (gluten-free, if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar dairy-free chunky garden vegetable pasta sauce (like RAGÚ)
  • 1 cup + ¼ cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped and divided
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and paprika and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the sauce and 1 cup basil.
  3. Drain the pasta and rinse if using gluten-free noodles (do not rinse if using wheat-based). Stir the pasta into the sauce and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through.
  4. Plate the penne and top with the remaining ¼ cup fresh basil.
Pump Up the Protein: Add 1 pound sliced cooked chicken when stirring in pasta. For a vegan option, add 1 can, drained and rinsed, chickpeas, or your favorite vegan chicken alternative.

For More Dairy-Free Dinner Recipes Get Eat Dairy Free!

Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets

About Author

This recipe was shared with Go Dairy Free by another recipe creator. We have not tested this recipe in our kitchens unless otherwise noted.

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