Basil Zucchini Tomato Pasta

Basil Zucchini Tomato Pasta, a simple summer pasta recipe that takes advantage of the fresh zucchini, tomatoes, and basil harvests. Great served warm and cold as a pasta salad!

a pan of rotini pasta with zucchini, tomatoes, and basil on a white table

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Love summer zucchini and tomatoes? Use them to make pasta! This simple pasta recipes uses the best of the summer harvest for a quick 15-minute pasta that’s great as a warm dinner or cold pasta salad lunch.

👉 Ready to learn how to make pasta with zucchini, tomatoes, and basil? Let’s do it!


🌿 Ingredients

  • Pasta: any type of pasta will do; I used chickpea rotini pasta in these photos for a higher protein option
  • Zucchini: sliced zucchini is cooked until soft and browned to take advantage of the summer harvest
  • Tomatoes: any type of tomatoes work, cherry or plum tomatoes work well
  • Basil: fresh basil is best, but dried basil can work; other herbs can be substituted
  • Red onion: thinly sliced red onion add a touch of flavor
  • Garlic: adds a small kick of flavor to the olive oil-based sauce
  • Olive oil: the base of the pasta is olive oil, which cooks the veggies and holds flavor
  • Seasonings: salt and red pepper flakes are used as simple seasonings
  • Recommended tools: small pot, pan
bowls of pasta, tomatoes, olive oil, and zucchini and basil on a white table for pasta

🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Cook pasta

First, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Typically this means boiling salted water and adding pasta, then cooking 7-8 minutes until pasta is al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water after cooking.

👉 What kind of pasta should you use? Any type of pasta and pasta shape works well in this recipe; I used chickpea pasta in a rotini shape for these photos, but have also tested it with penne and farfalle, with great results.

a large black spoon lifting cooked pasta out of a pot of boiling water
Cook pasta

2️⃣ Step Two: Cook vegetables

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add sliced red onion, sliced zucchini, and tomatoes and cook until the vegetables are soft and begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes.

Add garlic slices and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, and then sprinkle with red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute more to release their flavor.

Remove the pan from heat until the pasta is done.

a pan with zucchini, tomatoes, and red onion cooked in oil for pasta
Cook vegetables

3️⃣ Step Three: Combine pasta with vegetables

Add cooked and drained pasta to the pan with the cooked vegetables and bring to medium heat. Then drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons of the the reserved pasta water and stir until the water dissolves and the pasta sauce thickens.

Serve pasta by garnishing with basil and sprinkling with salt, if needed. Then enjoy!

a close up photo of cooked pasta with zucchini, tomatoes, and fresh basil
Combine pasta and vegetables with fresh basil

❓ Recipe questions + quick tips

How do I add more protein to this pasta?

To add more protein to this pasta, simply use a higher protein pasta like a chickpea, soybean, or other bean pasta. I personally like to use chickpea pasta for a higher protein vegetable pasta option.

Can I use other vegetables and garnishes?

This pasta recipe is very flexible and you can add or substitute any vegetables you’d like in place of the zucchini and tomatoes. You can also add your favorite fresh herbs and other garnishes like lemon or nutritional yeast.

zucchini and tomato pasta with fresh basil in a pan with a spoon after cooking

💡 Ideas for serving

  • Serve as a main dish. Enjoy this pasta recipe as written as a main dish for lunch or dinner.
  • Serve cold as a pasta salad. Chill this pasta after making to serve as a cold pasta salad.
  • Add leafy greens. Serve this pasta cold on top of leafy greens like spinach as a traditional salad.

🧊 How to store and reheat

  1. Refrigerator storage: Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezer storage: I do not recommend freezing as pasta will not retain its texture after thawing.
  3. Reheat instructions: To reheat, cook for 5 minutes on the stove or 1 minute in the microwave.
zucchini and tomato pasta in a pan with a wooden spoon on a white table

👉 More summer pasta recipes

Want more summer pasta recipes? Try Lemony Asparagus Orzo Pasta or Pesto Penne with Burst Cherry Tomatoes.

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zucchini and tomato pasta with fresh basil in a pan with a spoon after cooking

Basil Zucchini Tomato Pasta

Kristina Todini, RDN
Basil Zucchini Tomato Pasta, a simple summer pasta recipe that takes advantage of the fresh zucchini, tomatoes, and basil harvests. Great served warm and cold as a pasta salad!
5 star (1 rating)
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian-Inspired, Vegan
Servings 4 servings
Calories 97 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 small pot
  • 1 pan

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces pasta any type
  • 1 generous pinch salt to salt water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup red onion sliced thin
  • 1 medium zucchini sliced thin
  • 1 cup tomatoes cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced thin
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup basil sliced thin

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta: Cook pasta according to package instructions. Typically this means boiling salted water and adding pasta, then cooking 7-8 minutes until pasta is al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water after cooking.
    8 ounces pasta, 1 generous pinch salt
  • Cook vegetables: Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add sliced red onion, sliced zucchini, and tomatoes and cook until the vegetables are soft and begin to brown, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic slices and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, and then sprinkle with red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute more to release their flavor. Remove the pan from heat until the pasta is done.
    2 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ cup red onion, 1 medium zucchini, 1 cup tomatoes, 2 cloves garlic, 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • Combine and serve: Add cooked and drained pasta to the pan with the cooked vegetables and bring to medium heat. Then drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons of the the reserved pasta water and stir until the water dissolves and the pasta sauce thickens. Serve pasta by garnishing with basil and sprinkling with salt, if needed.
    ¼ cup basil

Notes

Prep ahead: Make and store pasta up to 3-4 days before serving.
Leftovers and storage: Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. I do not recommend freezing as pasta will not retain its texture after thawing. To reheat, cook for 5 minutes on the stove or 1 minute in the microwave.
Nutrition notes: Nutrition information is an estimate using all listed ingredients except the salt for the pasta water, as the pasta itself only absorbs a small amount of sodium. This recipe uses all plant-based ingredients and can be gluten free if you use gluten free pasta.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 97kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 276mgPotassium: 410mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 741IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 27mgIron: 1mg
Keyword basil zucchini tomato pasta
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