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This juicy cherry tomato pasta salad is bursting with flavor, ready in 10 minutes, and requires only 5 ingredients. It makes a vegan, easy, delicious pasta recipe perfect for any summer gathering.
When ripe mini tomatoes are in season, all you have to do is mixing them with garlic, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, and pasta. Fresh, real ingredients, amazing flavors.
That’s all you need and proves less is definitely more!
My dad used to bash cherry tomatoes, garlic, and basil together in a pestle, and the smell was simply incredible! We used to eat his raw tomato “pesto” pasta al fresco, under the porch. And every time I make this simple recipe it’s like taking a sunny and lazy Italian break.
And if you love easy pasta recipes, these quick pasta ideas are a perfect example of how to turn simple ingredients and a little effort into a delicious meal.
What ingredients you need
- Short pasta shapes
- Cherry tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & pepper
How to make tomato pasta salad
- Cook your pasta until al dente
- Cut the tomatoes
- Add minced garlic, olive oil, shredded basil, salt, pepper to a large bowl
- Stir in pasta and toss to combine
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed
This is one of the most crowd-friendly dishes, so quick, easy, and convenient and perfect for a BBQ or a picnic.
Make a big batch, and take it to work as well, it makes an excellent meal prep idea and keeps well for days.
Recipe updated: originally posted in June 2019, I’ve tweaked the post adding more notes and new pictures.
Recipe notes & tips
Cherry tomatoes are perfect for this recipe, but any juice and ripe tomatoes work. If you go for large tomatoes, they might release too much water once they are chopped; if they do, just drain them well before adding the other ingredients. I don’t like it when tomatoes are too watery, I end up with a pool of liquid at the bottom of the bowl and less flavor.
TOMATO PASTA SALAD VARIATIONS
I love to keep this flavorsome vegan pasta salad simple, but it’s actually a terrific versatile recipe. Here are a few variations that taste delicious along with the fresh tomatoes.
- You can swap arugula, fresh parsley or fresh thyme for basil
- Crumbled feta, cubed mozzarella or shaved parmesan are great additions, if you don’t keep it vegan
- Add olives, anchovies or even capers for an extra punch of flavor
- Add grilled chicken or canned tuna for extra protein
MORE QUICK PASTA RECIPES
- Spaghetti with garlic and olive oil
- Easy lemon ricotta pasta with spinach
- Cream cheese pasta
- Marinara sauce & spaghetti
- 1-Pot white bean pasta
If you make this cherry tomato pasta salad and please let me know if you have a question. Leave a comment, rate it or tag a photo #theclevermeal on Instagram.
I would love to hear from you!
Cherry tomato pasta salad
- 2 cups (10oz-300 grams) ripe cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 1/2 lb (8oz-220 grams) short pasta (fusilli, orecchiette, penne…)
- 4 Tbsps (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling if you like
- 2 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 10 fresh basil leaves, shredded
- fine salt & pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
- Meanwhile, cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters and add to a large serving bowl.
- Add extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and basil to the bowl. Season with plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper, and toss well.
- Drain your pasta, then rinse under cold water and drain again. You want to bring the temperature down and dress your pasta when cold.
- Add pasta to the other ingredients and mix thoroughly, taste and season again before serving. Also, you might want to serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and basil leaves. Enjoy!
- STORAGE: This tomato pasta salad keeps will last for 3 days. Store it in airtight container and place in the refrigerator.
- PASTA: short pasta like fusilli, conchiglie, farfalle, penne work fine. However, have a proper look at the label and go for durum wheat semolina pasta, it’s a bit more expensive than basic pasta, but it’s resilient and has a more robust texture, the best choice when it comes to salad pasta recipes
- NOTE: Nutritional values are estimates only