This Tomato Basil Pasta recipe is great for busy weeknights. The heat from the pasta warms the rest of the dish. 15 minutes is all you need, folks. Now, who doesn’t love that?!

An overhead picture of the finished Tomato Basil Pasta on a grey plate and in a serving bowl.

Get ready to fall in love with Tomato & Basil Pasta

I have a great family favorite recipe for you today! I have been making this tomato basil pasta for over 15 years now.

This is the best recipe to make when you have fresh tomatoes and basil coming out of your ears during the summer! Tomato basil pasta is one of those recipes that you will want to add to your monthly rotation.

Why you’ll love this Basil Pasta with Tomatoes

The juicy cherry tomatoes combine with the olive oil and fresh basil to make a delicious no-cook sauce that coats the linguine noodles. The heat from the pasta warms the tomato mixture just enough to brighten all of the flavors and make them completely delicious.

I’ve made this tomato basil pasta for…

  • busy weeknight dinners
  • dinner parties
  • meals for friends after having babies

Basically, it’s an anytime dinner recipe! However, if you’re looking for another 15-minute dinner recipe, then you must try my 15-Minute Citrus Cream Pasta!

A bowl full of the finished Tomato Basil Pasta.

What you’ll need for Tomato Basil Pasta

Per Serving Cost: $2.01

Recipe Cost: $12.05

  • 1 lb linguine or spaghetti – $1.28
  • 14 ounces cherry tomatoes – $3.99
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil – $3.98
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram leaves – $0.98
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil – $0.58
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced – $0.10
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar – $0.13
  • Salt and pepper to taste – $0.02
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese – $0.99

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. 

All of the ingredients needed to make this Tomato Basil Pasta recipe.

Cook’s Tools:

  • Pasta Pot
  • Colander
  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Grater/Zester

How to make Tomato & Basil Pasta

  1. First, cook the pasta until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, cut the tomatoes in half.
  2. Then, squeeze the tomatoes into a bowl until slightly mashed.
  3. Next, add the herbs, olive oil, garlic, and vinegar to the same bow.
  4. Then, season the tomato mixture with salt and pepper and stir it in.
  5. Then, drain the pasta and pour it into the tomato mixture.
  6. Finally, add the parmesan and toss to combine. Now you are ready to serve your tomato basil pasta!

A picture collage of how to make this recipe.

***For complete recipe instructions and a recipe video, see the recipe card below.

Tomato Basil Pasta recipe variations

  • While this recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, you can use grape tomatoes or any tomatoes growing in your garden. You want to chop them into roughly ½-inch pieces.
  • If you don’t have fresh marjoram or can’t find it, you can use ½ teaspoon for dried marjoram. Alternately, you can use 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped oregano.
  • Instead of Parmesan cheese, you can use Pecorino Romano.
  • Sometimes I add ½-1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the tomato mixture for an extra flavor kick.

How to serve Fresh Tomato Pasta

If you serve this alone, then it will serve 4 adults. If you serve it with some nice crusty bread and salad, then it will serve 6.

Feel free to add sliced, grilled chicken or shrimp to this pasta recipe.

Pasta with Tomatoes and Basil storage

SERVE: You can keep the tomato basil pasta out for about 2 hours before it needs to be covered and refrigerated.

STORE: Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 days.

FREEZE: Place the pasta in an airtight container and freeze for 1-2 months. Thaw the pasta overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave until warm.

A fork picking up some of the finished Tomato Basil Pasta recipe.

Fresh Tomato Pasta FAQs

Can you put basil in pasta?

Yes! Just add it in towards the end of your cooking. Putting it in a few minutes before turning your stove off will cook perfectly with your pasta. 

What can I do with lots of fresh tomatoes?

There are so many things to do with tomatoes. You can make tomato basil pasta (obviously!), Honey Lime Chipotle Salsa, add them to your salad, eat them plain, throw them on a sandwich, make a Goat Cheese Tomato Tart, or Cucumber Tomato Feta Salad.

Do you put basil on before or after cooking pasta?

You can use basil in both ways when cooking pasta, depending on the dish and your preference:

Before Cooking Pasta: If you want the basil to infuse its flavor into the pasta and the sauce, you can add it before cooking. Chop or tear the fresh basil leaves and toss them with the cooked pasta and sauce while hot. The heat will help release the aromatic oils in the basil, enhancing the dish’s overall taste.

After Cooking Pasta: For a fresh and vibrant touch, add fresh basil leaves as a garnish after cooking the pasta. This way, the basil maintains its bright green color and fresh flavor. The cooked pasta heat will slightly wilt the basil, creating a lovely contrast of textures.

Why do tomato and basil go together so well?

Tomato and basil go together so well because they have complementary flavors that harmonize beautifully. There are a few reasons why this combination is a classic in many cuisines:
Complementary flavors: Sweet tomatoes and peppery basil blend well.
Aromatic compounds: Both ingredients enhance the dish’s aroma.
Seasonal pairing: Often available together in the summer.
Culinary tradition: Long-standing combination in Italian cuisine.
Visual appeal: Red tomatoes and green basil look enticing.
Culinary versatility: The tomato and basil combination is incredibly versatile and can be used in various dishes, from salads and pasta to pizzas and sauces.

Which basil is used in pasta?

The most common type of basil used in pasta dishes is Sweet Basil. It has large, glossy green leaves and a sweet, slightly peppery flavor that pairs well with tomatoes and other pasta ingredients. Sweet basil is often used fresh, torn, or chopped and added to pasta sauces, salads, and other dishes to enhance flavor. Other basil varieties have unique flavors, but Sweet Basil is the classic choice for most pasta recipes.

Tomato Pasta with Basil recipe tips

  • If you’re making this recipe for a dinner party, try using a vegetable peeler to make beautiful shards of Parmesan instead of grating it. This will make the dish a little fancier.
  • Grab the kids when making this recipe. They’ll love helping you squeeze the cut cherry tomatoes!
The finished pasta on a grey plate with bread in the background.

More Quick and Easy Recipes

A close up picture of the finished tomato and basil pasta.
4.94 from 15 votes

Tomato Basil Pasta – 15 Minute Recipe!

Recipe Cost $ $12.05
Serving Cost $ $2.01
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
6 people
This Tomato Basil Pasta recipe is great for busy weeknights. The heat from the pasta warms the rest of the dish. 15 minutes is all you need, folks.


  • mixing bowl
  • pasta pot
  • cutting board
  • chef's knife
  • measuring cups and spoons



  • Cook pasta, as per package instructions until al dente.
  • While pasta cooks, cut tomatoes in half. Squeeze tomatoes into a large bowl until slightly mashed.
  • Add herbs, olive oil, garlic, and vinegar to the same bowl. Season tomato mixture to taste with salt and pepper, and give everything a quick stir.
  • Drain pasta and pour into tomato mixture. Add Parmesan and toss to combine. Serve immediately with additional freshly grated Parmesan.



Serving: 2.5cups | Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 15.4mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 1.8mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. This is perfect for busy weekdays or when you forget you have to bring a tasty dish to a pot luck – ya, that never happens 😉

  2. I LOVE this tomato basil pasta! My fave!

  3. This recipe is great for when I don’t know what else to cook for dinner. Easy and delicious. Will make it again!

  4. Beth Neels says:

    I have about half a ton of tomatoes in the garden now! I can’t wait to try your easy recipe! Looks perfect!

  5. Sara Welch says:

    What an amazing recipe! A restaurant worthy dish, indeed!

  6. You can’t beat a 15 minute cheesy pasta dish! So yummy!

  7. Jeanne @ Cooksister says:

    It’s always a challenge using up the summer glut of home-grown tomatoes, isn’t it?? This recipe is a great solution – so quick and packed with fresh flavours. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. Jessica Formicola says:

    I love how simple yet delicious this is! It looks like the perfect pasta to enjoy during summer!

  9. Catherine says:

    With all the fresh tomatoes and basil in the garden this has been my go-to meal for the summer. It’s satisfying yet still light for the warmer nights. Absolutely delicious!

  10. I love this simple dish with a classic taste. I also like your marjoram addition. Great to know the cost upfront.

  11. I was looking for an easy recipe to make our large family group while on our beach vacation, and came across this one! It’s simple, flavorful, and super affordable too! The whole family loved it! Will make it again soon!

  12. Love this recipe when I’m busy! Easy and delicious meal when I’m low on time!

  13. Wow! What an amazing easy dinner! I bet it’s still good the next day cold too, like a pasta salad.