Tomato pasta salad in a blue bowl with a brown wooden spoon.

The Best Tomato Pasta Salad

  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Summertime picnics call for the best sides, and this tomato pasta salad is a winner. You won’t believe how light and bright it is.



For the Dressing:

For the Salad:

  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes, diced (approximately 2 ½3 cups)
  • 2/3 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Cook penne pasta according to the instructions on the box. Drain in a colander, and add to the large bowl with the dressing. Toss to combine.
  3. When the pasta stops steaming, cool completely in the refrigerator, approximately 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the refrigerator and add the mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and parmesan cheese. Stir to make sure everything is incorporated well.
  5. Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


You can make this recipe up to a day in advance. Simply complete steps 1 and 2, then chill. When you’re ready to serve, stir in the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and parmesan.

  • Category: Pasta Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Side Dish

Keywords: tomato, pasta, basil, mozzarella, summer