Bruschetta topping, or what I like to call Italian Pico De Gallo, mixed into al dente penne makes for an exceptional pasta salad. This Bruschetta Pasta Salad is an exceptional dish full of fresh summer flavors and takes advantage of seasonal produce like cherry tomatoes and basil best straight from the garden. Plus, it's ready in just 20 minutes!
Table of Contents
About this Pasta Salad
There’s a reason tomato, basil, and cheese pair together so often. The flavor combination just WORKS. Margarita pizza, caprese salad, pasta sauce, bruschetta. Yes, all of the tastiest things are made up of the same ingredients.
This pasta salad is no different. I don’t know why I didn’t try Bruschetta Pasta Salad sooner because this is exceptional and it is one of my new favorite pasta salad recipes. I think it's the perfect side dish to serve with grilled chicken seasoned simply with salt and black pepper and maybe a balsamic glaze.
Take advantage of tomato season with another recipe to use up all of those fresh summertomatoes to make the homemade bruschetta. Once combined with the tender pasta it is one of the most delicious salads!
Fun fact: The word bruschetta actually refers to the bread that the tomato basil mixture is traditionally served on and not the topping. So technically I shouldn’t be calling this Bruschetta Pasta Salad at all, but, you get the gist. It’s a tasty noodle salad mixed with simple ingredients like tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and olive oil that you won’t be able to get enough of.
- Penne Noodles - Penne Noodles are great for pasta salad because the flavorful dressing can get inside of each tube. Fusilli, bow tie or rotini would be my other suggestions with similar books and cranies.
- Tomatoes - Grab cherry tomatoes from the garden if you have one! The fresher the better, but even sweet tomatoes from the grocery store are fabulous this time of year. We'll also use canned tomatoes.
- Basil - Fresh herbs are an absolute game changer when cooking from scratch. The amount of flavor fresh basil provides to this Bruschetta Pasta Salad is amazing.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - This will make up the bulk of our Bruschetta Pasta Salad dressing.
- Shaved Parmesan - I like shaved parmesan for the additional texture element as compared to grated which sometimes gets quite literally lost in the sauce. This Bruschetta Pasta Salad recipe would also be delicious with fresh mozzarella pearls.
See the recipe card below for a the full ingredients list and measurements.
How to Make This Recipe
1. Heat a sauce pan with water to medium-high heat. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Strain, rinse with cold water and let cooked pasta cool to room temperature.
2. While the pasta cooks, make the tomato bruschetta. Dice the cherry tomatoes and red onion finely. Julianne the basil into small strips. Drain the canned tomatoes from the juice.
3. Pour ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil into a large bowl. Add minced cloves of garlic, canned and fresh tomatoes, and dried basil into the bowl. Stir.
4. Once the noodles are cooked and drained, add the tomato mixture on top of the pasta along with the onions. Add additional olive oil, shaved parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil. Toss and enjoy cold!
This is the perfect pasta for meal prep. The longer it sits the more the flavors marinate and it's arguably better the next day. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. You may need to add more olive oil as the noodles will soak up the noodles the longer it sits.
Choose whatever ripe tomatoes you can find the freshest. Since the tomatoes are not cooked and basically the star of the show in this recipe, you want them to be flavorful! If you’re using large tomatoes I highly recommend “gutting them” and getting the seeds out to avoid the pasta salad from getting too soggy and watery.
To up the protein and make this a main dish add grilled or rotisserie chicken or salmon. Both would be delicious! You could also use chickpea noodles for higher protein or even add a can of chickpeas to this bruschetta pasta recipe..
Pasta salad is meant to be served cold. With the fresh tomatoes and fresh basil in this salad, serving warms means wilted produce. I recommend rinsing the noodles to cool them down after cooking before adding them to the bruschetta mixture.
More Recipes You'll Love
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating in the recipe card below & if you really like the recipe consider leaving a comment further down. Thanks for visiting!
Bruschetta Pasta Salad
- Cutting Board
- Sauce pot
- Mixing Bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Wooden mixing spoon
- 16 oz penne pasta
- 1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes
- 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis, 10 oz
- 6 stalks fresh basil
- ½ tsp dried basil
- ⅓ cup chopped red onion
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- ⅔ cup shaved parmesan
- ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- Heat a sauce pan with water to medium-high heat. Cook the noodles according to box instructions.
- While the noodles cook, make the bruschetta. Dice the cherry tomatoes and red onion finely. Julianne the basil into small strips. Drain the canned tomatoes from the juice.
- Pour ¼ cup olive oil into a large mixing bowl. Add minced garlic, canned and fresh tomatoes, and dried basil into the bowl. Stir.
- Once the noodles are cooked, drained and cooled, add them to the bruschetta mixture.
- Add the additional olive oil, onions, shaved parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil.
- Toss together and serve cold!
Looking for this in MyFitnessPal?
If you're using MyFitnessPal, search 'A Paige Of Positivity' and find BRUSCHETTA PASTA SALAD calories and nutrition facts. Disclaimer: for most accurate macronutrients and caloric breakdown, it is recommended that you input each ingredient into your MyFitnessPal food diary.
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. It’s my passion to create dishes that can be shared with others. Tell me something you loved or just say hi!