Cherry Tomato Pasta

Simple Cherry Tomato Pasta

This cherry tomato pasta is fantastic any time of the year and is also very fast and easy to make. No need to peel or fuss with the tomatoes.

Sometimes the only thing I want for dinner is a really good plate of pasta. Maybe it’s the 1/4 Italian running through my veins but if I don’t get a big plate of pasta once a week, I get pretty cranky. This simple Cherry Tomato Pasta ensures that I can have an easy and fresh plate of pasta any time of the year.

I usually don’t do anything too fancy with the pasta, but I do go back and forth on jarredd pastas. I use them plenty as they make for fast meals, but many tend to be a bit sugary and gloopy. 

But hey. It’s summertime so I try to use fresh tomatoes these days. Of course the traditional way to make sauce is to buy large tomatoes, peel them, cook them down for hours, and flavor them with all kinds of spices.

I like that method just fine, but I don’t always have time for that business. This is the way to cheat at tomato sauce by using cherry tomatoes!

Why use cherry tomatoes for pasta sauce

If you are reading this in late summer, you can probably find very good fresh tomatoes, but most of the time during the year, it’s not worth using fresh tomatoes for pasta sauce. Just find a good jarred sauce that you like.

But, cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes are the exception! They are fast-growing and are generally available and ripe throughout the year. There isn’t a huge drop-off in ripeness from a cherry tomato in February and one in August. 

So, if you are craving a fresh tomato pasta, then this cherry tomato pasta might be the thing for you!

Another perfect dish for your cherry tomatoes is this Pearl Couscous Salad with Burst Tomatoes!

Starting the cherry tomato sauce

Even though it’s made from scratch, this is really a lazy man’s pasta sauce. I start by just blistering the tomatoes in some olive oil.

I like to use a big skillet for this with high sides. I’ve made this dish in a huge variety of pans including a dutch oven. Whatever you have will probably work, but wider surface area the better because that ensures that the tomatoes aren’t piled on top of each other.

Once your tomatoes start to blister a bit you can add in the onions and garlic. A pinch of salt and pepper wouldn’t hurt!

Cherry Tomato Spaghetti start in a skillet.

They’ll sizzle and pop and smell good. Eventually, they’ll start to kind of wilt and give up. This is when you can get aggressive and take a fork or spatula and start mushing them to bits. This part is more fun than it is work in my opinion.

NOTE: For those of you concerned about the skins or seeds or tiny cores in the tomatoes, it’s really nothing to be worried about. You can barely even see them in the final product and the skins give a little texture to the dish which I find kind of nice actually. If you’re going to peel and core the tomatoes though, by all means, use larger tomatoes.

Anyway, this is after about 10 minutes of cooking:

 Cherry Tomato Sauce mashing

Turn the heat down to medium, add any extra spices you like (I like red pepper flakes) and let this simmer and reduce until it forms a pretty solid paste. Now would be a good time to hit it with some salt and pepper also.

You’ll want to stir this every once in a while, but it’s far from high maintenance.

Once you get it all reduced down, I would start cooking my pasta (your salted water should be boiling already dude).

Cherry Tomato Sauce cooking down.

As your pasta cooks, you want to add some flavor BACK into the tomatoes. So add your white wine and use the liquid to scrape up any little bits that are in the pan. Also add the huge amount of chopped basil!

Stir this all together and turn the heat down to low on the sauce. The white wine should evaporate pretty quickly.

Hopefully, your pasta is ready now. If it’s not and your sauce is getting dry then you might want to add a 1/4 Cup of pasta water (just scoop it out) to the sauce. This will thin it a bit but also add some starch to the sauce which will actually help out it’s ending texture/flavor.

When Your Pasta is Done

When the spaghetti is al dente, just use some tongs to yank the pasta from the water and add it directly to the sauce. Pasta water should be dripping from the pasta. It’s all good.

Once you get all your pasta in the pot give it a good stir and you’re ready to go with your finished cherry tomato pasta!

Cherry Tomato pasta stirred together.
Tossed together!

I serve this cherry tomato spaghetti with a good bit of grated parmesan cheese, some fresh cracked black pepper, and maybe a side salad.

Very delicious.

So, if you’ve been timing this recipe you might notice that the pasta sauce itself does need to simmer for probably 35-45 minutes. So I’m not sure that I’d categorize this as a completely “quick” recipe, but the good news is that it requires very little chopping and very little monitoring.

The ending sauce is light yet really flavorful and has a great texture.

If you have a pasta fetish like me, this is a great summer option.

Cherry Tomato Pasta in a skillet.

Substitutions and Variations

I would keep this base sauce pretty simple and as-written for this cherry tomato pasta, but there are some things you can change up if you would like!

  • Pasta switch! I used spaghetti here but using bucatini or any long pasta works well. 
  • Add protein! Add some grilled chicken or sauteed shrimp to the skillet to make it more than just spaghetti!
  • Add toppings like fresh herbs or the crispy breadcrumb topping I used for this spaghetti recipe

Reheating leftovers

You can absolutely store this cherry tomato pasta for later. While you can microwave it without too much worry, I find it reheats best in a skillet with a splash of water over medium-low heat.

My Simple Cherry Tomato Pasta Recipe

Cherry Tomato Pasta

Summer Tomato Pasta

Light angel hair pasta tossed with a no-cook cherry tomato pasta sauce. Perfect for really ripe summer tomatoes.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Course, Main Dishes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 Servings



  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • 3 Cups cherry tomatoes about a pound, halved and squeezed
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil minced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh marjoram minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ Cup olive oil
  • ½ Cup kalamata olives diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese for topping


  • Wash cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.
  • Squeeze each half into a large bowl.
  • Add olive oil, vinegar, chopped herbs, minced garlic, and diced olives to bowl.  Stir to combine.
  • Let sit for 10 minutes, then taste for salt and pepper.
  • Cook pasta according to package.  Be sure not to overcook it.  It’ll cook fast!
  • Drain pasta and toss it in with tomatoes.  Toss well to combine.
  • Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese!


Adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe.


Serving: 1plateCalories: 471kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 11gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gSodium: 189mgPotassium: 343mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 472IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 33mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Pasta recipes, Tomato recipes, Vegetarian Pasta

Did you make this?

Instagram logo

Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your work.

Cherry Tomato Pasta with fresh tomatoes.

Here are a few other recipes to try!

59 Responses to “Simple Cherry Tomato Pasta” Leave a comment

  1. Perfect for the end of summer, when the tomatoes and basil are running high. Thank God you don’t advocate for peeling and seeding the tomatoes–who wants to fuss with that?

  2. Can we talk whole wheat pasta? I swear I can’t find a WW pasta that tastes good. They all taste weird/grassy? What brand should I try?

    I bought some Quinoa pasta and haven’t tried it yet.

  3. Another reason to make your own sauce: there’s usually a huge amount of salt (as well as sugar, as you said) in jarred pasta sauce. Anyway, this recipe looks really good

  4. Finally I know what to do with all the cherry tomatoes growing on my porch. I just won’t know how it will look since I have yellow, orange, purple, red and green cherry tomatoes. Hopefully not too bad. They look awesome in bruschetta though.

  5. saw this a fwe days ago and couldnt resist! i just made it. it was fantastic. i used a fresh pasta (bought at my local amazing gourmet store) as well as cherry tomatoes grown in my mom’s back yard :-D. it was absolutely delicious. I also liked the texture provided by skin and seeds.

    I would recommend against the red pepper flakes though. I added a pinch and wished I hadnt!

    Overall…I would make it again…and again…and again!

    1. I personally loved the red pepper flakes, and only had sweet white wine instead of dry…so it was sweet and a tad hot…lovely! So probably up to personal taste.

  6. I just made this! It turned out great. I'm so happy I had an opportunity to use my almost too-ripe cherry tomatoes.

  7. Wow, I have been making a similar dish for years!!! Mine is a bit different though, Nick, but I think you would like it. I saute just garlic in olive oil. Add my tomatoes. At about the same point I put up my pasta. When the pasta is just about aldente I add zucchini and yellow squash to the water. I top the pasta and

  8. Made this tonight, it was delish! I added some chicken right before the white wine- turned out quite nice!
    Anne- try Barilla Plus whole wheat pasta- its the only one I can stand!

  9. Thank you for this great recipe. It was delicious and we enjoyed it throughly. It was layered with flavor and we loved the red pepper flakes in it. Gave it a little something extra.

  10. nice job on this! I was looking for a recipe to use some of the many cherry tomatoes that my plants have been giving me this summer and this so fit the bill. Thanks for a great dinner recipe!

  11. Just finished making this. The pictures were really helpful and your directions were great. Really good recipe, will totally make again. Thanks for sharing. :)

  12. Very good! Thank you so much for the recipe! I had SO many cherry tomatoes, and I was sick of making salsa. My brother and bf also enjoyed :)

  13. I just made this and it was SOOOO good, so easy, so fresh, so fast and just generally awesome. Thanks for the inspiration! I threw in some frozen veggies and lots of spices… I had no idea you could just throw in cherry tomatoes like that and let them POP! Saves a lot of time with slicing!

    1. Hey Hollie, pretty much any white wine should work. Grab any pinot grigio on the shelf and you should be just fine. :)

    1. The sauce would freeze okay… not sure about the dish as a whole… I generally don’t recommend freezing spaghetti.

  14. Great recipe, the only thing I would change is to add the herbs and dried spices at the beginning of the recipe with your oil. This “blooms” the herbs, releasing their flavor compounds into the oil quickly, and you’ll get more flavor out of fewer dried herbs.

  15. How much is 1 quart in grams? Google told me roughly 1kg, but in your pics I can only see two smallish looking packs! I still have hundreds of cherry tomatoes left in my garden and think I might try your dish this weekend. Usually I halve the cherry toms and roast them in the oven, but it’s such a faff.

    1. Hey Bex, I’m not sure actually what the conversion is as it would be specific to tomatoes. I would guess about 1/2 KG actually.

      BUT, the recipe is super flexible. There would be nothing wrong with doubling that amount. I would say just use how much you want but probably cap it at 1KG.

      Good luck!

  16. Just wanted to say I tried this tonight and it was delicious with whole grain pasta. Will be my go to sauce for a while.

  17. I just found your blog yesterday! and tonight I put my abundance of garden tomatoes to good use! yummy, this recipe was divine. We are a dry household so I substituted the wine with good chicken broth with a dash of balsamic vinegar! It worked perfect. My two young kids ate two huge helpings….and I won’t divulge my helping size;) thank you!

  18. LOVE IT! I’m not sure if it’s the recipe or if I’m that damn good. Didn’t have basil but substituted with a butt load of italian seasoning. I also used red wine because that’s all I had. Smells and tastes AMAZING!

  19. Thanks for posting! Was excited to find this recipe as we have more cherry tomatoes (the sweet yellow-orange variety) than we know what to do with… I must have had the heat too high, as when mine broke open and I smashed them, I was quickly left with almost no liquid. Followed through with the whole recipe and added some pasta water, but the end result had a bitter/burnt taste to it. I knew I’d done something wrong, since they just didn’t look like the pics.

    I noticed at least one poster said they’d used yellow ones and they were good, so maybe I’ll try again. I’d also used red vs. white onion, since it was all I had – you think that would account for it, or just too much heat?

  20. Thanks so much for this can’t wait to try it I have soooooo many cherry tomatoes right now. is there something that I can use in place of the white wine? I am pregnant and even tho alcohol cooks off I would rather not risk it.

    1. Hey Heidi, you could use any sort of stock (veg stock) and maybe a dash of white wine vinegar for some acid. Should be good!

  21. Thanks for this recipe! Bought a container of cherry (cherub) tomatoes last week from Costco…which means of course that it was a LARGE container…I had the realization that I had no idea what I was going to do with these but this recipe not only saved me from cherry tomato ruin but I may just buy the giant container again just to make this recipe! I did add sliced baby portabella mushrooms when I added the white wine. I like to do a few vegetarian recipes during the week and this one was a hit with the fam. thanks again.

  22. Had heaps of home grown cherry tomatoes and basil that needed using, thought about pasta sauce and found this super easy recipe – I also used some home grown chillies instead of red pepper flakes and some extra wine but followed the recipe as shown. Used linguine pasta and really loved the meal. Thanks for posting the recipe!!!!!!

  23. I made this last night because I too had lots of cherry tomatoes and basil from the garden and wanted a new recipe. It was so amazing!!! Thanks for posting!! I too added sliced chicken breast right before I added the wine because we were having my niece and her boyfriend over for dinner after a long bike ride and I knew people would be really hungry. :) I did add a little red pepper and everyone was glad that I did. It was yummy!!! I will be passing this recipe on to everyone I know! I can’t wait to make it again….the four of us gobbled it up last night and there was not any left overs! :)

  24. I have an ungodly amount of cherry tomatoes this year, it’s like my one little plant mutated and took over the entire garden. Needless to say I googled cherry tomatoe pasta and this was the first thing that came up. I made it with penne pasta and it was really good. I also loved the excuse to buy a bottle of wine, and of course I had to drink the left over wine, wouldn’t want that to go to waste or anything! Excellent recipe, I will be using this one a lot for the rest of the tomato season!! :)

  25. Thanks for the recipe!! I made it last night and am so happy to have something easy and delicious to do with an over-abundance of cherry tomatoes from my CSA :) Did not have fresh basil or wine on hand, but it still turned out great without them. Used about half yellow tomatoes that seemed to give it an almost creamy sweetness.

  26. I added olives and fresh lemon juice to this and it just made everything even better. I love this simple and delicious recipe!!!!!!

  27. Cool, a vegan recipe!! I was loving this blog until I decided to go vegan (health, and bc you can eat as much as you want sans oil) and am glad to see a recipe here I can try again. Would love more!! It’s been tough for me!

  28. Made this for dinner last night with some cherry tomatoes and basil from our garden, AMAZING! So simple but incredibly delicious, and vegetarian too! Plus, a great excuse to share a bottle of wine with dinner. Thanks!

  29. Perfect year around as cherry tomatoes are oh so flavorful. I have made this multiple times and this recipe is consistent. Reminds me of the times we visited Tuscany. Thank you.

  30. 5 stars
    Dude you completely changed this recipe. Wth I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for years and this isn’t even close. If you’re going to change or update a recipe at least make it known and have the original recipe accessible. Honestly it’s just misleading having all of these stellar reviews for a completely different recipe.

  31. Same as the last commenter – I’ve been sharing this recipe out for years because it’s so yummy and you’ve completely changed it! Please put it back! I’m sure this new one is good, but it’s really not the same thing at all. :(

    1. Hey Carol, no problem! I sometimes update recipes to try to improve them. I get it though if you like the classic. :) Here are the ingredients for the original version:
      1 pound pasta
      2 pints (1 quart) ripe cherry tomatoes
      2 Tablespoons olive oil
      3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced
      1/2 onion, diced
      1/2 cup dry white wine
      1/4 Cup fresh basil, chopped
      Salt and pepper
      Optional spice add-ins: Red pepper flakes, dried marjoram, dried oregano, all to taste.

      Only real difference in prep is in the original I cooked the sauce down for like 45 minutes until it’s a really thick paste and this updated version I prefer to keep the tomatoes a little fresher and cook them for less. Personal preference! Good luck!

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating