This cherry tomato pasta is my ideal summer dinner. Filled with bursty tomatoes, garlic, and basil, it's fresh, flavorful, and super easy to make!
Making this cherry tomato pasta recipe is like giving yourself a gift. It’s incredibly simple, so you don’t need a lot of time or energy to do it, and the flavor is just so good. Sweet, tangy, fresh…this cherry tomato pasta is what summer cooking is all about.
Cherry Tomato Pasta Recipe Ingredients
Like any good summer recipe, this cherry tomato pasta starts with peak-season produce. Here, that means lots and lots of cherry tomatoes. Use as many varieties as you can get your hands on. Any color or shape will work – the more, the merrier!
You’ll cook down half into a light, garlicky sauce. Then, you’ll add the rest in the final few minutes of cooking. That way, they’ll still be plump and bursty when you eat.
Here’s what else you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Pasta, of course! I love using bucatini here. The chewy, al dente noodles contrast perfectly with the juicy cherry tomatoes.
- Extra-virgin olive oil – For richness.
- Garlic – It infuses the pasta with nutty depth of flavor.
- Capers and balsamic vinegar – They give the pasta a tangy, briny kick.
- Lemon zest – It adds a nice brightness.
- Red pepper flakes – For heat.
- Fresh basil – Because tomatoes + basil are a match made in heaven! Its spicy, aromatic flavor is essential here.
- Pecorino cheese – It gives the pasta a rich, savory finish. If you’re vegan or dairy-free, feel free to skip it, or sprinkle your pasta with my vegan Parmesan cheese instead. Both options are delicious!
- And salt and pepper – To make all the flavors pop.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Cherry Tomato Pasta Serving Suggestions
This cherry tomato pasta recipe is the perfect easy, elegant summer dinner. Serve it with crusty bread for mopping up the pasta sauce and a simple salad. Any of these recipes would be a great pick:
- Simple Green Salad
- Green Bean Salad
- Zucchini Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Caesar Salad
- Or any of these 37 Best Salad Recipes!
Round out the meal with peach crisp or cobbler for dessert. Enjoy!
More Summer Pasta Recipes
If you love this recipe, try another summer pasta dish next:
- Linguine with Lemon & Tomatoes
- Creamy Pasta Pomodoro
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta
- Best Vegetarian Lasagna
- Easy Pesto Pasta
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Or any of these 25 Easy Pasta Recipes!
Cherry Tomato Pasta
- 12 ounces bucatini pasta
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 pints cherry tomatoes, divided
- 2½ tablespoons capers
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ cups fresh basil
- ¼ cup pecorino, Parmesan, or Vegan Parmesan, optional
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to the package directions, or until al dente. Drain and toss with a drizzle of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring, until soft and fragrant. Add half the tomatoes along with the capers, lemon zest, vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, and several grinds of pepper. Toss to coat. If the oil starts to sputter while cooking, turn the heat down as needed. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, until the tomatoes break down and release their juices.
- Add the remaining tomatoes, stir, and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until the second addition of tomatoes is just beginning to burst. Add the pasta and toss to combine. Cook for 1-2 more minutes, or until the pasta is coated in the sauce and heated through.
- Stir in the basil and cheese, if using. Season to taste and serve.
I tweaked it somewhat and added shallots, arugula, and butter. It came out amazing! And instead of Bucatini pasta, I used Farfalle ( I love bowtie pasta❤️😁) This was a great recipe, Thank You for it
I also used Chardonnay Bellavitano Cheese. Same consistency as Pecorino.
I’m so glad you loved it!
So glad I found your page!! I need to know what kind of skillet you’re using, the white one with short handles.. love!!! And your stone serving bowl with brown rim?? So cute!
Hi Nicole, Welcome! It’s a Le Creuset Braiser. The platter with the wood handles was from target many years ago.
What a lovely way to use cherry tomatoes. This was PHENOMENAL. And so easy. i was lazy and used lemon juice instead of zest, and dried instead of fresh basil since I didn’t have any on hand. Can only imagine what it would have tasted like if I used fresh. So delicious! Will definitely be making again.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
So good! Made exactly as written and it was delicious. The lemon zest and capers made it a restaurant-worthy meal (and a little different from all the other quick pasta recipes out there with cherry tomatoes, basil, and parmesan). I’m sad I didn’t discover this recipe earlier in the summer!
This was so absolutely delicious! Like summer on a plate!
I’ve made other variations of this burst-cherry-tomato sauce, but this is by far my favorite. The capers and lemon zest completely put it over the top. It’s so easy, yet it looks and tastes like a dish you’d get at a fancy Italian restaurant!
My garden is overflowing with ripe cherry tomatoes, so I started freezing the sauce for later, when garden-fresh tomatoes are no longer available. One recipe fills a quart-size container. When ready to use, defrost, heat, and add the cooked pasta, basil, and cheese.
Hi Kim, I’m so glad it’s been such a great use for your cherry tomatoes!
This was so good! We loved it! Going to make this again today – great flavor and super easy.
I’m so glad you loved it!
Made this for my family for dinner, was so easy and delicious! got compliments the whole dinner on how yummy it was!!
I’m so glad everyone loved it!
This is a delicious meal, easy to make with readily available ingredients. It compares to a dinner served at. high end North End restaurant.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
I recently purchased grape tomatoes twice on sale, and hadn’t had occasion to use them. I was starting to feel guilty about having them in my fridge. I searched recipes for cherry tomato pasta, and found a few. Most of them were similar calling for olive oil, garlic, and basil, often with parmesan as a finishing touch. I found your recipe a little bit different and quite intriguing because of the addition of capers, balsamic vinegar, and lemon zest, and I just happened to have on hand capers, balsamic vinegar and lemon zest.
What a sublime melding of flavours! Really impressed! (It didn’t look anywhere near the same as yours because i let the tomatoes burst but I’m pretty sure that’s the way they’re supposed to be)
Lately I’ve been trying to unsubscribe from most of my recipe emails because there’s just too many but, because of this one recipe,I’m going to subscribe to yours.
Hi Valerie, I’m so glad you enjoyed the flavor combination! I hope you enjoy the emails, thank you for subscribing 🙂
Really good…. Didnt have capers… But super easy
I have made this numerous times. So delicious. Thank you!
Was absolutely delicious. I wanted some protein so added about 1/2 can of garbanzo beans — smashed up — to the tomatoes after they burst. Will make again for sure.
Thanks For Sharing this Amazing Recipe. My Family Loved It. I will be sharing this Recipe with my Friends. Hope They will like it.
This was delicious. the whole family loved it. I doubled the basil and garlic, and I used spinach linguini. Such a wonderful and fresh sauce!
Looks fabulous! We’re heading home after a week of vacation and I was worried about what to do with all the cherry tomatoes that we haven’t harvested while away. This will put them to good use.
great summer pasta dish, a nice pasta splurge for me and may even also try it with zucchini noodles to see how that tastes, thank you!