30-Minute Caprese Pasta Skillet is a one pot caprese pasta smothered in blistered cherry tomatoes with garlic, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella!  

caprese pasta in white bowl


My kids start school today — already.  Summer flew by like it always does, and I’m the proud owner of 7th and 8th graders.  How did this happen???  I’m a sentimental fool, so every new school year chokes me up a bit, just like the end of every school year.  I think I’ll go drown myself in this bowl of caprese pasta now.

Don’t mind if I do. 🙂

Caprese pasta in white bowl with spoon

This pasta is the epitome of comfort food, and everybody loves a good caprese inspired meal, don’t they?  I’d never turn it down, and when it’s done in 30 minutes or less, it’s even more welcome.  

With school starting back up, sports practices, and endless other activities, we need meals, and we need them quick.

Caprese pasta in white bowl with spoon

This meal will only dirty up 2 pots — one to boil the pasta and the other to sauté the garlic and blister those gorgeous cherry tomatoes.  I call this a 30-minute meal, but it’s probably more like 20 minutes depending on how fast you gather up your ingredients.  It’s easy street!

Toss your pasta into that blistered cherry tomato “sauce”, add some fresh basil and top it with fresh mozzarella, and you’re good to go.

Caprese pasta in white bowl with spoon

This caprese pasta recipe is simple, fresh, healthy, and fast — what more can you ask for?  Maybe for your kids to quit growing up so fast like me?

That’s it…I’m going back to drown my sorrows in some more of my delicious pasta now.

Please don’t mind me. 🙂

More 30 minute recipes you’ll love:

Chicken Stir Fry by Dinner at the Zoo

Farfalle pasta

Mexican rice casserole

Pasta e fagioli


Yield: 6 servings

30-Minute Caprese Pasta Skillet

Caprese pasta in white bowl with spoon

30-Minute Caprese Pasta Skillet is a one pot caprese pasta smothered in blistered cherry tomatoes with garlic, fresh basil, and fresh mozzarella!  

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) rigatoni pasta
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed (tear if large)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small pieces


  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Increase the heat to medium high and add the cherry tomatoes, stirring often to keep the garlic from burning. Cook the tomatoes until they're blistered, and use the back of a wooden spoon to break them open and release more of their juices. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the cooked, drained pasta, the reserved pasta water, and remaining olive oil, and cook another 2 minutes to let the flavors meld. Add the basil, mozzarella, and salt and pepper to taste, and stir to combine, allowing the cheese to melt slightly. Serve warm and enjoy!


  • I used a ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced it, and broke the slices into small pieces. You can certainly save even more time by purchasing mozzarella balls and halving or quartering them.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 149Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.


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