Burst Tomato Pasta

4.77 from 13 votes

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With a couple pints of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil & Parmesan, you can make this easy burst cherry tomato pasta for a quick weeknight dinner.

Burst Tomato Pasta

After squeezing in a quick getaway before the start of school, I’m still not ready for summer to end quite yet.

I absolutely love fall, but I want a few more weeks (ok, maybe more like a month or so) of days that I don’t have to think twice if I need to stop wearing sandals and start remembering to put on a jacket.

My brother took care of our cat and our container garden while we were away. No surprise, he did a fantastic job. We came home to a happy cat and A LOT of tomatoes.

Right before we left, I did a big harvest, but this time it was an even bigger one! I am always amazed at how many cherry tomatoes a single plant, let along a few, can produce!

Different varieties of cherry tomatoes are my favorites to grow at home.

Cherry Tomato Pasta

What To Do With Cherry Tomatoes

Because the surplus tends to hit with more tomatoes than I know what to do with at once, I look for recipes that use up a lot of tomatoes.

I love slow-roasted cherry tomatoes. When I have less time, I do my easy 30-minute roasted tomatoes. You can stash these tomatoes in the fridge or freeze them, so they last a bit longer.

But I don’t always want to turn on the oven. Skillet pastas are a great way to pack in a ton of cherry tomatoes into a meal that’s ready fast. It is so satisfying to see the tomatoes wrinkle and burst in the pan in minutes.

Bookmark this burst tomato pasta for a busy weeknight dinner.

Recipe ingredients including dried pasta

The Ingredients

This is what you need to make this tomato pasta:

  • Tomatoes: Small tomatoes are best, which is why I like cherry tomatoes. They can be different colors and shapes. It doesn’t matter as long as they are tiny.
  • Spaghetti: I always keep spaghetti in my pantry. It is an all-purpose noodle that’s ready in 10 minutes. You just can’t go wrong with it.
  • Garlic: We are big on garlic at our house, so I slice 3 garlic cloves for this recipe. You can see the slices throughout the spaghetti.
  • Red pepper flakes: It’s impossible for me to make a tomato dish and not include red pepper flakes for that touch of heat.
  • Parmesan: I stir shaved Parmesan cheese into the pasta when the sauce has finished cooking.
  • Olive oil: Make sure to use extra virgin olive oil.
  • Salt & pepper: Such a simple recipe with so few ingredients needs salt and pepper to bring out all the best flavors.
  • Fresh herbs: Once I have the pasta divided onto plates or into bowls to serve, I sprinkle on chopped fresh herbs like basil, parsley or chives—really whatever I have on my kitchen counter!
How to make burst tomato pasta

How To Make Burst Tomato Pasta

First, I get the pasta out of the way. I cook the spaghetti until it is al dente. Then I drain it and toss the noodles in a splash of olive oil, so they don’t’ stick together.

Next, I get started on the tomatoes. I heat olive oil in a large skillet and carefully add the tomatoes. As they cook, I stir them around so they are getting heated on all sides. After a few minutes, the skins on some will start to split.

To give the tomatoes a nudge to burst, I softly push them down with the back of a wooden spoon as necessary. You can also use a potato masher to do this.

Then I add the sliced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the skillet. I keep cooking and stirring for a few more minutes. By then the tomatoes have released their juices and have turned kind of saucy.

At this point, I fold the pasta into the sauce doing my best to coat the spaghetti. Finally, I stir in the Parmesan.

Burst Tomato Pasta in a Skillet

What To Serve With Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta

I divide the pasta into bowls or portion it out onto plates. To finish, I top the pasta with chopped fresh herbs.

Keeping with the theme of easy cooking, I like to serve this pasta with an arugula salad tossed in lemon vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette. If I am feeling more ambitious, there’s a chance I may be able to top that salad with homemade croutons, if I already have a batch made.

Try These Other Cherry Tomato Pasta Recipes

Cherry Tomato Eggplant Pasta
Tomato Corn Orecchiette
Sheet Pan Cherry Tomato Gnocchi
30-Minute Zucchini Tomato Orzo
Roasted Garlic Sheet Pan Gnocchi
Zucchini Noodles and Cherry Tomatoes
Roasted Tomato Zucchini Squash Pasta Salad
One Pan Orecchiette
Roasted Tomato Garlic Pasta Salad

Burst Tomato Pasta

4.77 from 13 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
With a couple pints of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil & Parmesan, you can make this easy burst cherry tomato pasta for a quick weeknight dinner.


  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for pasta
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan
  • Chopped basil parsley or chives


  • Cook the spaghetti until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and toss with a splash of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
  • Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and stir them around frequently. After 3-4 minutes, the skin of some of the tomatoes will start to split. Use the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to carefully press them down, helping them burst.
  • Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the skillet, and continue cooking for a few more minutes until the tomatoes turn a bit saucy but are still very chunky.
  • Stir in the pasta coating in the tomatoes.
  • Then add the Parmesan.
  • Divide into serving plates or bowls and top with chopped fresh herbs.


Calories: 406kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 738mg | Potassium: 670mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1257IU | Vitamin C: 55mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 3mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
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Author photo

Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Hey, I need you to understand that this is one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever had. Like, I’m kinda obsessed with it. It was gone like, less than 3 minutes after I started eating. I did used fresh pasta instead of dried spaghetti, tho cuz I really was craving fresh pasta but I followed the rest of the recipe to a T. Thank you so much for sharing this !!!

  2. 5 stars
    This was incredible. I had an abundance of cherry tomatoes and I’m so glad I stumbled on this recipe! I’ll be making this again soon.

  3. 5 stars
    I had my doubts that so few ingredients would result in a great dish; however, I followed the recipe exactly and this was so so good … restaurant quality. So much flavor!!

  4. 5 stars
    This is a fabulous, delicious, easy to make recipe! I wish I would have had it when the kids were home and playing sports. In those days, I always had to get a meal on the table in a hurry. Now though, I can make it and take my time eating, enjoying every bite!

  5. 5 stars
    I added some chopped basil (plenty growing in the backyard) and a small amount of cubed mozzarella; added extra sliced garlic. Very flavorful and hearty (and easy). Family was very complimentary!