Juicy ripe tomatoes, sweet basil, garlic and fresh parmesan cheese make up this deliciously simple Tomato Basil Pasta recipe. It’s light and fresh and on the table in 20 minutes!

I love using delicious garden tomatoes in simple recipes like this one, and my Tomato Pie , Caprese Salad, or Tomato Cucumber Salad.

Tomato basil pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil over spaghetti noodles, served in a bowl.

Why I love this pasta:

  • Fresh – This pasta is full of the freshest Summer ingredients and it doesn’t make you feel weighed down! Another favorite lighter summer pasta dish is my Lemon Chicken Pasta!
  • Quick – This is faster than take-out (and tastes a lot better too) at only 20 minutes! Perfect for a busy weeknight. I was originally inspired to make this from my love of the old Capellini Pomodoro pasta from Olive Garden.
  • Family Favorite – You just can’t beat the perfect combination of pasta with tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. This simple meal is loved by all!

How to make Tomato Basil Pasta:

Cook Pasta: Prepare pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Sauté Garlic: While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, careful not to burn it.

Finish Sauce: Add freshly diced tomatoes and cook, stirring, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add fresh ground black pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Add fresh chopped basil. In Italian-inspired pasta recipes we use sweet basil (commonly found at the grocery store).

A large skillet with sautéed garlic, fresh tomatoes and basil.

Serve simple sauce over cooked pasta. Garnish with remaining parmesan cheese. I love to serve with Easy Homemade Breadsticks or Garlic Knots on the side.

Variations:

  • Veggies: Try adding chopped spinach, onion, zucchini, or asparagus.
  • Chicken: Add chicken to make it heartier, and add extra protein. Sauté the chicken in oil, first, (season with salt and pepper), then add garlic and continue with the recipe.
  • Pasta: Use whole wheat spaghetti, or any other type of pasta.

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Recipe

Tomato basil pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil over spaghetti noodles, served in a bowl.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins

Ingredients
 
 

  • 12 ounces spaghetti noodles
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 pounds Roma tomatoes , diced, or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • freshly ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves , chopped
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese , divided
  • 1-2 chicken breasts , optional. See note

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  • While pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, careful not to burn it.
  • Add freshly diced tomatoes and cook, stirring, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add fresh ground black pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese. Add fresh chopped basil.
  • Serve mixture over hot cooked spaghetti noodles. 
  • Garnish with remaining parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Notes

Pasta: Use whole wheat spaghetti, or any other type of pasta.
Add Veggies: Try adding chopped spinach, onion, zucchini, or asparagus.
Add Chicken: Add chicken to make it heartier, and add extra protein. Sauté the chicken in oil, first, (season with salt and pepper), then add garlic and continue with the recipe.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 432kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 23gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 241mgPotassium: 789mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1865IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 135mgIron: 2mg

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I originally shared this recipe August 2015. Updated August 2020 and June 2022.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. 3 stars
    Just made this its a little bland/needs a little more seasoning. I added more parmesan cheese and a touch of butter which helped. I think lemon juice would be good with it or a touch of balsamic vinegar.

  2. I made this last night and it is delicious! Just wondering what is considered one serving for the nutritional information? Is that 2 prepared chicken breasts?

    1. So happy you liked it! I would think 1 chicken breast per serving. You could try myfitnesspal.com to calculate the nutritinal info 🙂