Bruschetta Pasta

This Bruschetta Pasta is everything you love about bruschetta, bursting with a no-cooking-required fresh tomato sauce and tossed with pasta. It’s an easy and flavorful weeknight dinner that’s ready in 25 minutes.

fresh tomato and basil pasta in large white bowl with serving spoon and two small bowls with fresh basil leaves and block of parmesan cheese

Let’s talk about pasta.

In particular, this bruschetta pasta. I know that this pasta dish is delicious because my husband not only eats it – he gets seconds and he loves it. The reason why this is telling is because he does not like pasta. He eats it if I put it in front of him, but he never goes out of his way to eat it.

I found this recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine and have made it many, many times since. It takes no time at all to make and is fresh tasting and flavorful. A keeper. It is also perfect for Meat Free Monday.

easy bruschetta pasta recipe in large white bowl with serving spoons and fresh basil leaves

What is Bruschetta?

Traditional bruschetta is simply toasted bread that has been drizzled with olive oil and then rubbed with a garlic clove.

Believe it or not, but the bruschetta we know and love here in the U.S. is actually a version in Italy known as bruschetta al pomodoro.

The extra finesse with tomatoes and basil is the type of bruschetta pasta recipe I am making today!

Ingredients

About half of the ingredients are pantry staples and the other half are fresh produce easily available at the market. All are commonly found in specialty Italian markets, too.

fresh tomato and basil pasta in large white bowl with serving spoon and two small bowls with fresh basil leaves

For the fresh tomato-basil sauce, you will need olive oil, red wine vinegar, capers, garlic, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and flat-leaf Italian parsley.

For the pasta and finishing you will need any tube-shaped pasta, pasta cooking liquid, roasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Mozzarella Cheese. Fresh mozzarella outshines packaged mozzarella in every form. Purchase a full 8-ounce ball and cut it into ½-inch cubes when you get home or get cute, little balls known as bocconcini. Trust me, your kids will love them.

Tomatoes. I love super-sweet cherry tomatoes that always seem to be in season. Simply half them with a serrated knife to preserve their plump, round shape. If it’s tomato season, sun golds are a yellow variety of cherry tomatoes that are even sweeter than their red cousin, but summer fresh tomatoes of any variety will be delicious. Look for fun, heirloom varieties around July-August.

Pasta + Cooking Liquid. Any short-grain, tube shaped pasta will do. I love radiatore for their special shape and ridges, which help hold on to the fresh tomato and olive oil marinade. Make sure to reserve about ¼ – ½ cup of the pasta cooking liquid (I scoop it out with a glass or mug). The salt and starch that lingers within the water create a beautifully emulsified sauce – no cooking required!

How To Make // The Steps

The fun part is picking your favorite pasta shape. Once you have that down, all it takes is a quick tomato-marinade and one-pot to reach fresh, glorious, pasta heaven. Simply:

bruschetta pasta finsihed with pine nuts and parmesan cheese
  1. Begin to make the raw sauce. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, capers, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the star ingredients. Add the tomatoes and mozzarella.
  3. Toss! Let this marinate for 30 minutes, if possible. I do this if I have time. If I don’t, I do this while the water is boiling for the pasta.
  4. Add herbs. Toss in the basil and parsley. I reserve a little for adding at the very end.
  5. Boil pasta. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted water until al dente according to the package directions.
  6. Reserve pasta water. Make sure to reserve at least 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
  7. Toss the pasta with the tomato sauce. Add the pasta and the reserved pasta water. Toss well. Check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Finish and serve. Sprinkle the reserved herbs on the top. Add the pine nuts and some Parmesan cheese.

What Makes This Bruschetta Pasta Recipe So Good?

Even though my husband is not a fan of pasta, this is an easy pasta recipe I make on the regular because:

  • Fresh tomatoes and olive oil create a luxurious, fresh, no-cooking-required sauce.
  • It is delicious served warm or cold.
  • I like to consider it the ultimate weeknight meal ready in less than 30 minutes!

Variations //

While I love the simplicity of this pasta recipe with bruschetta sauce, you can add or change an ingredient or two to make it your own. Try:

  • Chicken or Shrimp: Add sliced grilled chicken or a few freshly sauteed shrimp.
  • Long Grain Pasta: While I love fun shapes and sizes, spaghetti, linguine or angel hair would be wonderful.
  • Olives: Add a few sliced black or purple olives. This is a great substitute if you are not particularly fond of capers.
fresh tomato and basil pasta in large white bowl with serving spoon and two small bowls with fresh basil leaves and block of parmesan cheese

Serving Suggestions

I love to toss this together on the weeknights when I am short on time or just want to throw something together fast for my family. It’s always a winner.

But it’s also really good as a cold pasta salad, which means I can meal prep it at the beginning of the week or bring it to picnics, potlucks or BBQs.

Top Tips for Pasta with Bruschetta Sauce:

  • Use the brightest, juiciest tomatoes. This is a bruschetta sauce, after all, so you really want the best tomatoes you can find. I always find bright red cherry tomatoes in the store any time of year, but this is a dish where summer tomatoes really shine.
  • Marinate the sauce for 30 minutes or as long as it takes the water to boil. The 30-minute mark is ideal as it helps the ingredients marry together, but the amount of time it takes your pot to boil works just fine.
  • Remember to save some of the pasta water. Scoop out ¼ – ½ cup pasta cooking water just before it’s al dente. This helps create a smooth, emulsified sauce at the very end.
  • Reserve a few fresh herbs for garnish. The basil and parsley add that final pop of color and flavor.

I hope that you like this as much as we do.

More Pasta Recipes //

Originally published in January 2011, updated August 2020 with updated images and updated recipe card.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it goes! Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, too!

fresh tomato and basil pasta in large white bowl with serving spoon and two small bowls with fresh basil leaves

Bruschetta Pasta

Yield: serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This Bruschetta Pasta is everything you love about bruschetta, bursting with a no-cooking-required fresh tomato sauce and tossed with pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella (cubed or bocconcini)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 box orecchiette (or any other tube pasta you have)
  • 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid
  • 1/3 cup roasted pine nuts
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, capers, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the tomatoes and mozzarella.
  3. Give a good toss. Let this marinate for 30 minutes if possible. I do this if I have time, if I don’t I do this while the water is boiling for the pasta.
  4. Toss in the basil and parsley. I reserve a little for adding at the very end.
  5. Cook the pasta in a pot of salted water.
  6. Make sure to reserve at least 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
  7. Add the pasta and the reserved pasta water. Toss well. Check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Sprinkle the reserved herbs on the top. Add the pine nuts and some Parmesan cheese.

Notes

Make extra of the fresh tomato sauce and serve it on top of toasted bread!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 250Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 334mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only.

Oh hey there!

Well, hello there! I’m Bree Hester, the Boston-based blogger and food photographer here at Baked Bree. Here you can get lots of weeknight meal inspiration, eat more plant-based meals, and still indulge in a decadent sweet treat. Baked Bree is a place where you will find great recipes and inspiration for your next family adventure.

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This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. Dangler

    I’m going to need a big ‘ol bowl of this somewhere right about now. Looks divine! I love orecchiette!

    1. bakedbree

      I do too! Come visit and I will make you some.

  2. Darcie

    I’m a little funkified about my son, who’s 7, going back to school, too. He had had 3 weeks off and we spent much of it in our pajamas and baking, watching movies or making art. Aside from the fact that I miss him when he’s in school all day, I’m not so jazzed about getting back into the early-morning routine, the homework, etc. But having something new to look forward to, even small things like this pasta recipe, are a help.

    1. bakedbree

      I have a hard time with the early morning routine as well. I know that they are ready to see their friends and get back to their activities, but I liked having everyone home.

  3. Kelley {mountain mama cooks}

    This looks delicious and light- perfect for the new year! I love anything with capers. I’ll bet this is great cold too!

    1. bakedbree

      Me too. Love capers.

  4. Heather {WhipperBerry}

    This looks heavenly!!

    kisses
    Heather

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Heather!

  5. emily @ the happy home

    oh, so yummy. that looks wonderful, and just right for the kind of weather we’ve been having in LA!

    1. bakedbree

      this is one of my new favorites. I could eat it every day. Did you have a nice holiday?

  6. Marissa

    This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to try it! 🙂

    1. bakedbree

      good! Let me know how it goes.

  7. Kat

    This looks sooooooo good. I can’t wait to make it for my family.

    1. bakedbree

      thanks, my family loves is. I should have mentioned too, that it is really good without pasta. You can put the tomato and cheese mixture over bread. Yum.

  8. Cubicle

    Wow…what a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    1. bakedbree

      no problem!

  9. Kristina @ spabettie

    I love bruschetta… I made a similar dish over the summer, using a gf spaghetti… yours looks so flavorful and fresh – and PRETTY!

    1. bakedbree

      sounds good.

  10. Heidi Alberti and Atticus Uncensored

    This looks Fantastic! (or Pawtastic, as Atticus would say). I make a similar pasta, but you’ve added the capers and pine nuts. Must try!! Thanks for the great recipe, and as a vegetarian, I appreciate the meat-free main dish ideas.

    Your fellow SacConnect blogger –

    Heidi & Atticus
    https://www.atticusuncensored.com
    “commentary to give you paws…”

    1. bakedbree

      Hello Heidi! Hello Atticus! Welcome. I love capers. And vegetarian food. I try to eat veg every Monday, but sometimes it happens on another day.

  11. Dime Store Foodie

    This looks wonderful! For me, coming from Italian decent, anything pasta is my favorite, especially when you include mozzarella. I totally understand having an Ava that only eats six things, I have one of those as well!

    1. bakedbree

      What a small world! Two Avas that eat nothing. LOL….

  12. Heather

    That looks delicious! I have another recipe that calls for orecchiette, but I couldn’t find it at Safeway or Nugget. Where did you buy it?

    1. bakedbree

      I got mine at Nugget. I have also gotten it at Whole Foods.

  13. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    I just love making this type of salad during the summer, it’s great to bring on picnics and the leftovers are really yummy cold like you said!

    1. bakedbree

      me too… this is good on grilled bread too.

  14. Pam

    This was so yummy, and pretty:) My husband and I really loved it, I can’t wait to eat it for lunch for the next couple days:) Definitely a pasta salad to bring to a get together too. Thanks for sharing!

    1. bakedbree

      I love this pasta, glad that you did too.

  15. Harry Rate

    Excellent recipe. Well written and easy to follow. Oh and I should add… …delicious.
    Thanks

    1. bakedbree

      thank you Harry!

  16. Kimberly Noble

    I just love this recipe. I have made it 6 times in the last 5 weeks – for company and for weekends – hot, cold – it is just so delicious! I just wanted to tell you that the first time I made this recipe, I used balsamic vinegar because I did not have red wine vinegar. I loved it. I did get the red wine vinegar for the next time, and it was good. But I think I like the balsamic vinegar better. I looked at it last night, and it was not as pretty, as the balsamic vinegar makes the pasta darker, but either way – it is delicious. Try it both ways! I probably would not use balsamic vinegar if children were going to eat it! Love, love- love this site, and as we are always talking about it, I am sure that traffic from Tallahassee, Florida will pick up. Stay healthy and keep cooking. I appreciate you!

    1. bakedbree

      I am glad that you like it! Balsamic would be great in here too. My kids love balsamic vinegar, so I would make it for them. This is one of my favorite dishes too.

  17. Marissa

    I made this with balsamic vinegar and it was a huge hit! I just posted it on my blog today.

    Thanks Bree!

    1. bakedbree

      Great! I’ll have to check it out.

  18. Corrie

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My husband usually hates the idea of a meatless meal but he was RAVING about this. I thought it was wonderful too and can’t wait to eat the leftovers cold for lunch tomorrow. I used walnuts instead of the pine nuts and it turned out great!

    1. bakedbree

      you are welcome Corrie! I have converted my husband to meatless meals and now he doesn’t even notice.

  19. Brennan McCarthy

    We love it, I insist my wife make twice as much as required because it’s even better cold!

    1. bakedbree

      Is it? Good to know Bren!

  20. Jodi

    Thank you for this! I’ve made it twice in the last two weeks to rave reviews. It is a keeper.

    1. bakedbree

      You are welcome Jodi! Glad that you like it.

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