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!
About this Pasta Salad
There’s a reason tomato, basil, and cheese pair together so often. The flavor combination just WORKS. Margarita pizza, caprese, 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.
Take advantage of tomato season with another recipe to use up all of those fresh tomatoes to make the homemade bruschetta. Once combined with the
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 tomatoes, basil, parmesan, and olive oil that you won’t be able to get enough of.
And if you're looking for more tasty pasta salads, try this Italian Orzo Salad, this Chickpea Pasta Salad, Italian Quinoa Salad, or this Feta Pesto Pasta Salad!
- Penne Noodles - Penne Noodles are great for pasta salad because the flavorful dressing can get inside of each tube. Fusilli 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 store bought tomatoes 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.
- 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.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to Make This Recipe
1. Heat a sauce pan with water to medium-high heat. Cook the noodles according to box instructions. Strain and let cool completely.
2. 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.
3. Pour ¼ cup olive oil into a large mixing bowl. Add minced garlic, canned and fresh tomatoes, and dried basil into the bowl. Stir.
4. Once the noodles are cooked and drained, add the bruschetta mixture over top along with the onions. Add additional olive oil, shaved parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil. Toss and enjoy cold!
This Bruschetta Pasta Salad is fabulous for meal prep. The longer it sits the more the flavors marinate. Store in the fridge 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 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 meal add grilled chicken or salmon. Both would be delicious! You could also use chickpea noodles for higher protein or even add a can of chickpeas.
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
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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!
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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!
Courtney Paige says
I ate this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on repeat it was THAT GOOD!
Sydney Van Acker says
My mom used to dump store bought bruschetta topping into pasta and call it good so this recipe felt nostalgic, but also SO MUCH BETTER. So fresh, so flavorful. Sorry Mom. This recipe has turned a new leaf.
Another winner! Gosh, this entire blog is just STELLAR! This recipe is delicious (and so easy, which is a must for me). We ate it hot, as pasta, but could definitely be served chilled as well. We also added chicken! Super easy, didn’t change any of the measurements or anything. Check this one out!
So good!! We added a little bit of balsamic vinegar to ours and we are all big fans. Will for sure be making this regularly!
(We added smoked salmon as a protein to the top 🙂)
Jen Boudreau says
Loved this! Added diced chicken breast and ate it hot but it was just as good cold the next day. apaigeofpositivity is my go to for weekly dinner planning, never disappoints