Easy Cherry Tomato Pasta

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Get ready for the quickest, easiest pasta sauce you ever made…completely from scratch! Cherry tomato pasta is packed with bursts of juicy tomato sweetness. This dish tastes like it came from a restaurant, but can be whipped up at home in about 25 minutes! Vegan and optionally gluten-free.

Dinner doesn’t get much easier than this. When it comes to making pasta sauce from scratch, I generally think of thick tomato gravy, simmering away on the stove for hours. That’s how I learned to make tomato sauce, and while it does result in a delicious dinner, there are other ways to do things. Quicker, easier ways!

Let me introduce you to the concept of cherry tomato pasta sauce. This stuff cooks up much quicker than lots of other tomato sauces, and it’s super simple to make. Using super sweet, fresh cherry tomatoes will give you a sauce that’s bursting with flavor, without the need for a long cook time or a ton of ingredients.

Cherry tomato pasta is also an excellent way to use up a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes from the garden.

Jump to:
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Summer Pasta Recipes
  • Easy Cherry Tomato Pasta

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Capellini pasta. You can really use any variety of dried pasta for this recipe, but capellini (also known as angel hair) works really well with this light and juicy sauce. Spaghetti, penne, or fusilli would also be great options. Use gluten-free pasta if needed.
  • Olive oil.
  • Garlic.
  • Cherry tomatoes. The better and sweeter your cherry tomatoes, the better your sauce will turn out. I highly encourage you to give this recipe a try when super fresh, super flavorful cherry tomatoes are abundant.
  • Balsamic vinegar. Choose a good quality balsamic vinegar that’s thick and syrupy.
  • Salt.
  • Red pepper flakes. These will add a tiny little bit of spice to the sauce. You can leave them out if you’re not into heat.
  • Black pepper.
  • Fresh basil.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Start by heating some olive oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot you can add minced garlic. Sauté it briefly, stirring it the entire time so it doesn’t burn.

Add the cherry tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt and red pepper flakes. Stir everything up, then let the mixture slowly begin to heat up.

As the sauce simmers the cherry tomatoes will begin bursting. Smush them with a spoon, or, alternatively, you can use a fork or potato masher.

Stir in the tomato paste and let the sauce simmer for just a minute more. Take the skillet off of heat and stir in some roughly chopped fresh basil leaves.

Tip: It’s up to you how smooth or chunky you make your pasta sauce. For smoother sauce, let it cook longer so more of the tomatoes burst. For chunkier sauce, cook it more briefly and mash fewer tomatoes.

Once the sauce is done you can toss it with cooked pasta. Give it a sprinkle of vegan Parmesan cheese if you’d like.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover cherry tomato pasta will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this recipe gluten-free?

It is if you use gluten-free pasta.

Can I make cherry tomato sauce with grape tomatoes?


Do I need to peel my cherry tomatoes for cherry tomato pasta sauce?

Nope! That’s one of the great things about this dish. Since cherry tomatoes are small, you’ll only get little bits of peel in the sauce, which you probably won’t mind (they actually create a nice textural variation). So no need to peel them!

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