Pasta with Grape Tomatoes and Mozzarella

The first time I made this pasta, I was a little underwhelmed. It was good, but not great. While I love pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella and chickpeas, there was something that just wasn’t doing it for me. However, I was not willing to give up on this recipe so easily. It had all the potential to be something fantastic, just clearly needed a little tweaking. 

First, I decided to marinate the tomatoes and mozzarella in the vinaigrette while I cooked the pasta. I also added some garlic for good measure. It then became obvious. While thyme may offer a unique flavor, it was just not right in this dish. What goes best with tomatoes and mozzarella is…basil! Nothing beats classic caprese-inspired flavors. 

As I hoped, with just a few changes, this dish became something extraordinary. It was simple, delicious and very easy to make. We enjoyed this pasta warm as an entree, but it would also be excellent served as a pasta salad. This quick and easy pasta has definitely landed a spot in our weeknight dinner rotation!

Pasta with Grape Tomatoes and Mozzarella
Yields 4 to 6 servings

1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed

12 ounces pasta (any shape short pasta, any flavor; I used whole wheat & flax rotini)
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Coarse salt and ground pepper

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic and basil.  Add tomatoes and mozzarella and toss until combined.  Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions.   Add chickpeas to pot for the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain pasta mixture and return to pot.
  3. Add tomato mixture to pasta.  Toss, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time to create a thin sauce to coat the pasta (you may not need all of the water). 
  4. Season with salt and pepper, as desired and toss to combined.  Serve, garnished with basil leaves, if desired.
Adapted from Everyday Food


for new recipes
and blog updates!


  1. This pasta dish looks excellent, love all the flavors! 🙂

  2. You’re right, nothing beats basil when it comes to pasta, tomatoes and mozarella!

  3. Best combo ever! Sometimes simple combos are the tastiest!

  4. Oh I love this dish! Can’t beat tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in the summertime =)

  5. How cool to add chickpeas! What an unexpected twist, I need to give it a try!

  6. The pasta is so pretty! Tomatoes, basil and pasta were born for each other!

  7. This is by far my favorite..yours look and sound so delicious..I am getting hungry just by looking :))

  8. A classic combo! Basil is my favorite herb and if I have tomatoes….chances are basil isn’t too far behind!

  9. This is the ultimate summer paste salad! I love the addition of chickpeas. I told my BF I was going to make him this ‘great caprese pasta salad with chickpeas’ this weekend! I make a pretty good chickpea tuna salad with pasta, but I like yours better 🙂 BTW, those strawberry vanilla pancakes below also look to.die.for~ That’ll be ‘dessert’ lol

  10. Oh, that looks so fresh and colorful! And I love rotini–my favorite type of pasta, by far! 🙂

  11. Alida,

    I added a can of black olives to get a more Mediterraanean feel and it looks and tastes scrumpious. Thanks for the inspiration. I grow basil so there is a tono of it in the salad.