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Pasta with Grape Tomatoes and fresh basil is an easy recipe and a great way to use up fresh tomatoes from the garden. A simple 30 minute meal perfect for busy weeknights!

penne pasta and garden fresh tomatoes and basil in wooden spoon

If you have an abundance of tomatoes, preferably cherry tomatoes or sweet grape tomatoes, in the garden, you can whip up this simple recipe for fresh grape tomato pasta in minutes. It makes the most flavorful sauce without a lot of fuss!

We don’t have room for a large garden, but we do grow grape tomatoes and basil every year. A container garden in the Arizona desert is a wonderful thing!

I usually make spicy pico de gallo, chicken and zucchini with tomatoes and bruschetta with tomato basil , but I also love adding fresh tomatoes and herbs to pasta.

I love cooking garden fresh tomatoes and pasta in the summer. But you don’t have to have a garden to make this recipe. In fact, this simple pasta dish is a nice recipe for a quick dinner or side dish all year round. My whole family loves it!

fresh basil, penne pasta, grape tomatoes, seasonings and olive oil


You only need a few ingredients for this easy pasta recipe. If you don’t have them at home, you can find them in the grocery store.

  • Penne pasta
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Grape tomatoes — I used a combination of tomatoes, both cherry and grape from the garden this time
  • Seasonings — sea salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
  • Fresh basil  — either whole leaves or sliced (chiffonade)
  • Parmesan cheese — or feta cheese is optional but adds an extra layer of flavor
  • Fresh parsley — optional but adds flavor and freshness

How to Cook Pasta with Grape Tomatoes

This cherry tomato pasta dish literally comes together in minutes, so I recommend having everything prepped and ready to go.

First, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. You can use a large pot of salted water or, cook pasta in the Instant Pot. Just make sure to save one cup pasta water because you’ll be using it later!

While the pasta cooks, rinse the tomatoes. You can leave tomatoes whole, unless you have larger tomatoes. I usually cut those in half.

Next, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Then, add the tomatoes to the skillet.

cook fresh grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes in skillet

Instead of making burst tomatoes, I like to heat tomatoes until they’re just warm and the skins just start to blister.

It’s a personal preference. If you want to know how to cook grape tomatoes for more of a fresh tomato sauce pasta, you can cook them longer or cook them in a sheet pan in the oven.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet. Then, add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil, and season with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and garlic powder.

stir penne pasta with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes in skillet

If the pasta seems dry, add a little bit of the reserved pasta water. Stir everything together until it’s well blended.

You can top the pasta with fresh herbs, such as parsley and basil, and add feta cheese or Parmesan cheese if you like.

I also like to sprinkle on some crushed red pepper flakes!

Cook Time

The best part about this easy tomato basil pasta meal is that the total cooking time is only 15 minutes to 20 minutes. It takes about 8 minutes to heat the tomatoes and pasta.

Then, you factor in the amount of time to cook the pasta. The cook time will vary with the type of pasta you use.

That’s it. Your fresh tomato pasta is ready to enjoy!

penne pasta and garden fresh cherry tomatoes and basil in wooden spoon

How to Store Fresh Grape Tomato Pasta

Store leftover pasta with grape tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge or in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap.

This lighter meal will last in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can also store it in the freezer for longer storage.

Reheat in the microwave or on the stove for best results.

Recipe Substitutions and Variations

Add your favorite type of protein to this easy tomato basil pasta. Chicken and sausage are my personal favorites, but any meat will work.

If you want more vegetables, spinach or kale make the perfect addition. Just mix the fresh produce into the skillet after the pasta is added.

For a garlic pasta, chop up some fresh garlic cloves.

Adding some chopped up onions is a great option for a more flavorful dish.

Use your favorite pasta. Whether it’s spaghetti noodles, angel hair pasta, or shells, it’ll work. I personally think that penne is the best pasta for this simple dish.

You can also use your choice of cheese — any type will work!


Are cherry or grape tomatoes better for pasta?

Both are good with pasta. However, larger cherry tomatoes tend to be juicier than smaller grape tomatoes and work better as a fresh tomato sauce. So, if you want pasta with whole tomatoes, smaller grape tomatoes work better.

Do grape tomatoes need to be refrigerated?

Grape tomatoes do not need to be refrigerated. Store freshly picked ripe grape tomatoes at room temperature for a day or 2 until ready to use. You can refrigerate ripe tomatoes to prolong freshness, but they may lose flavor.

5 from 5 votes

Pasta with Grape Tomatoes

By: Dee
Pasta with Grape Tomatoes and fresh basil is an easy recipe and a great way to use up fresh tomatoes from the garden. A simple 30 minute meal with few ingredients perfect for busy weeknights!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 16 oz penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 cups fresh grape tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh basil chopped
  • feta cheese or Parmesan cheese if desired
  • fresh parsley if desired
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  • Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1 cup pasta water
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet
  • Add tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and heat until warm and skins just start to blister
  • Add cooked pasta and remaining olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning, and stir together. Add some reserved pasta water if needed
  • Add fresh basil, and top with fresh parsley and feta cheese or Parmesan cheese if desired


Use your favorite pasta here
You can chop 1 or 2 cloves of garlic instead of using garlic powder


Calories: 354kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 10g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 395mg, Potassium: 302mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 526IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

I hope you love this pasta dish as much as much as we do. It’s a bright-tasting meal that is full of fresh flavour.

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Recipe Rating

1 Comment

  1. Kathy says:

    So simple and tons of flavor. I used tomatoes from my own garden and garnished with home grown basil too!5 stars