Tomato Basil Pasta (ready in 15 mins!)

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The most classic of all combinations comes together in this quick, juicy tomato basil pasta. It makes an excellent meatless meal that is satisfying, easy to make and absolutely delicious!

Serve it with some crispy panini bread or pesto bread and a fresh lettuce salad on the side to make a simple yet delightful weeknight meal.

Top view of a plate with tomato basil pasta served with some bread on the side.

I’ve been making this timeless pasta with tomatoes and basil for as long as I can remember, it was a staple in my household when I was a child, and it’s still my “go-to” meal whenever I have ripe tomatoes.

Burst ripe cherry tomato juice, extra virgin olive oil and garlic make the most delicious of sauces, absolutely perfect for slurp-worthy spaghetti ready in less than 15 minutes!

Not to brag, but this is the tomato basil pasta we all really need. : )

It’s super easy to whip up, economical, kid-friendly… and tastes AMAZING. Once again, a simple recipe where fresh ingredients make an unbeatable flavor combination.

And when this summer you’ll come across ripe cherry tomatoes at your local market, or if you’re sooooo lucky to have your own fresh tomatoes from the garden, this is definitely the pasta recipe you’ll want to make! : )

List of the ingredients

  • Pasta (spaghetti, penne, rigatoni…)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Chili flakes
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Salt & pepper
The ingredients to make this tomato basil pasta are arranged over a white background.

How to make tomato basil pasta

(Note: this is a quick description with step-by-step photos, the full recipe is at the bottom of the page)

  • Cook your pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté garlic and chili.
  • Toss in the tomatoes, salt, pepper and cook.
Top view of a white skillet with olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, and cherry tomatoes.
  • You’ll want to cook the tomatoes over a high heat until they burst and their juice get thicker. It takes about 6-7 minutes.
  • Once the tomatoes look saucy and yummy, stir in the shredded basil, taste and adjust the seasoning.
Close-up of cooked cherry tomatoes the look saucy and delicious.
  • Finally, it’s time to drain the pasta and add it to the skillet.
  • Toss until well combined and serve with more fresh basil, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese!
The tomato basil pasta is tossed in a large skillet until well combined.

Recipe notes

Tomato basil pasta ingredients

Pasta: I’m a spaghetti lover, but any good-quality premium pasta works totally fine as long as you cook it until al dente, not to mention this delicious homemade cavatelli pasta!

Tomatoes: make sure your cherry tomatoes are ripe and sweet and cook them until they burst and get deliciously saucy. I reccommend using cherry tomatoes for this recipe, but Roma tomatoes can work too, although the end result won’t be exactly the same (see notes in the recipe card).

Basil: use only fresh basil for this recipe.

Extra virgin olive oil: it’s absolutely the best for this tomato basil pasta, full of fresh fruity flavor that pairs beautifully with tomatoes.

Garlic: the sautéed garlic provides such a wonderful base, and I’m always happy to use at least three garlic cloves. But If you’re not a garlic fan of if you find it hard to digest, reduce the quantity.

Chili flakes: to give it some kick, but feel free to skip it if you feed children.

Parmesan cheese: it adds plenty of savory flavor, but I leave it optional in case you prefer a vegan or dairy-free version. The end result will be terrific anyway.

Salt & pepper: taste the tomato basil sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed. Salt is also important when you cook your pasta, because If you haven’t salted your pasta water properly the entire dish will be miserably under-seasoned. : (

Close-up of a plate full of tomato basil pasta.

Fancy some variations?

This tomato basil pasta is so delicious as it is, but I’ve also tried a few add-ins, mostly cheese, that paired beautifully with the cherry tomatoes and basil.

Think of some fresh burrata on the side or a dollop of ricotta or soft goat cheese tossed along with the pasta. Even a handful of Kalamata olive will be delicious, but apart from these variations, I would keep it simple.

More recipe with fresh tomatoes?

Since summer is approaching you might want to explore and enjoy more recipes featuring delicious summertime tomatoes. Here I’ve got a few for you:

Close-up of a plate full of tomato basil pasta with parmesan cheese.

More pasta recipes ready in no time?

And if you look for quick and super delicious pasta recipes, I’ve got you covered with some of my most popular recipes:

Lastly, if you make this scrumptious tomato basil pasta, leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating. I would love to hear from you guys and get your feedback!

And for more recipe updates, subscribe my newsletter and follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook. And of course, if you make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me. : ) 

Close-up of a plate full of juicy tomato basil pasta.
Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Tomato Basil Pasta

The most classic of all combinations comes together in this quick, juicy tomato basil pasta. It makes an excellent meatless meal that is satisfying, easy to make and absolutely delicious!
Note: recipe yields 4 servings.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Course: pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Tomato basil pasta
Servings: 4
Calories: 285kcal
Author: Katia



  • ½ lb  (8oz/220 grams) pasta (spaghetti, penne…)

Tomato Basil Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes, use a bit more if you wish
  • 2 ½ cups (approx 12oz/350 grams) cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste
  • teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • grated parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)



  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook al dente according to package directions.
  • Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water (you might need some starchy cooking water to toss your pasta if the tomato sauce is not moist enough).

Tomato and basil sauce

  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and the chili flakes and cook for one minute until fragrant.
  • Toss in the tomatoes, the salt and some cracked black pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for about 6-7 minutes, until the tomatoes burst and begin to stick slightly to the bottom of the pan and their juice get thicker.
  • Add the basil leaves, give a good stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If the pasta is not done yet, turn the heat off and set aside.
  • When ready, add the drained pasta to the skillet, toss until well combined and coated, and cook for about 30 seconds over high heat (adding a touch of the reserved cooking water only if you need extra moisture).
  • Turn the heat off and divide the pasta among plates and serve with an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, basil and grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


Tomatoes: you can use Roma tomatoes or tomatoes on the vine instead of cherry tomatoes. You need about 6 tomatoes to make this recipe. Make sure you diced them and remove excess seeds and water before cooking. The tomato sauce might be more watery anyway, make sure you cook it until reduced.
Pasta cooking water: I always suggest to reserve some starchy pasta water, it’s so useful when it’s time to toss the pasta along with the other ingredients and helps to emulsify the pasta sauce making everything nice and moist. In this recipe, if the tomatoes are very juicy you don’t need it, and I didn’t when I cooked mine. But it’s always a good tip reserving some starchy water… just in case. : )
Nutrition facts: the nutrition values are for one serving and they are based on an online nutrition calculator. It’s an estimate only and it should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please see my disclosure policies.


Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 323mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 441IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg


  1. 5 stars
    Delicious with our home grown cherry tomatoes and Basil. What a great, quick way to enjoy the last of our harvest.

    1. Fantastic, I’m sure it was beyond delicious! Thanks so much for your feedback, Laurie. x

  2. 5 stars
    Nice simple and delicious I cooked 2 chopped chorizo and 1 diced purple onion before adding tomatoes to mine turned out fantastic

    1. That’s great to hear, Adrian. Thanks so much for sharing your lovely feedback. x

  3. 5 stars
    Simple and delicious!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks so much for sharing, Jessica. : )

  4. 5 stars
    I make if few day ago and I am making it today again. It is so delicious. My 2 and 4 years old love it too. Thank you for your recipe !

    1. You’re welcome! I’m very pleased to hear the little ones loved it too.
      Thanks for sharing your feedback Yenly! xx

  5. 5 stars
    As a pasta lover,I adored this perfect summer recipe! So fresh, simple and didn’t heat up the kitchen! Loved all of the flavors plus the little bit of heat was a hit with my spicy loving family! Thanks Katia !!!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that, Steph! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely feedback.
      Have a great weekend. x

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