Dinner/ European/ Pasta & Noodles/ Recipes/ Super Simple

Roasted Cherry Tomato Pesto Pasta

21/03/2024

Our 15 minute cherry tomato pesto pasta really is the (almost) effortless dinner recipe you’ve been looking for. Minimal prep and zero fuss, yet still looks fancy and oh-so-appetising. It just about cooks itself!

A blue bowl filled with golden pasta, bursts of red cherry tomato and a hint of green basil.

Why We Love This

The air fried cherry tomatoes are like little sauce bursties. Rich, sweet and FULL of flavour!

Feel free to amp it up with fresh basil and Parmesan (but it’s just as good without it). You can even add some fresh or toasted pine nuts to make it extra fancy.

Related: Napolitana Pasta / Creamy Chicken Pasta Bake

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A sheet of aluminium foil layered with yellow and red roasted cherry tomatoes.

What is Cherry Tomato Pesto Pasta?

We’ve had so many cherry tomatoes growing in the garden, we needed to do something with them. We’re also super lazy, so here’s our pretty-much-hands-off cherry tomato pesto pasta.

This might just be the most versatile recipe we’ve ever created. You can enjoy it for lunch or dinner, as a warm pasta or a cold pasta salad on the side. You could even serve a small portion as a bento box addition.

It’s simple to make and the air fried cherry tomatoes are insanely good for such little effort, perfect for a quick weeknight dinner you can literally have on the table in 15 minutes. You only need 4 ingredients – so no excuses for not making yourself a delicious homemade meal – you’ve got this!

What You’ll Need

  • Cherry Tomatoes – Use your favourite variety, or better yet, fresh from the garden if you’re lucky to have some growing like we did! The sweetness and intensity of flavour from sun ripened cherry tomatoes is what takes this dish to a whole new level. If you don’t have any, the best sub is sun dried tomatoes (no need to air fry them if you do). Otherwise use regular size tomatoes, chopped into bite size pieces.
  • Pesto – We love the combo of cherry tomatoes and pesto to add huge flavour. It also helps give a light and creamy texture to the finished pasta.
  • Olive Oil – Adds flavour and also helps stop the pasta from drying out and sticking together. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is our recommended grade.
  • Pasta – Your choice! This sauce works great with any style of pasta. We use short pasta varieties like casarecce (short twisty pasta from Sicily), penne or spirals to keep it nice and easy to eat and help the sauce cling to them. Since it’s such a simple dish, using high quality pasta will really transform it from yum to WOW!
Ingredients laid out ready to make cherry tomato pesto pasta.

How to Make Air Fried Cherry Tomato Pasta with Pesto!

First, gather your ingredients: See recipe card below for measurements.

  1. Cook pasta according to packet directions and drain the water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, place your cherry tomatoes on a layer of alfoil in the air fryer and roast for around 12 minutes at 200°C / 400°F, or until the tomatoes start to wrinkle, brown slightly and begin to burst open.
  1. Stir through the olive oil and pesto sauce through the cooked pasta in the saucepan off the heat.
  2. Lift the roasted tomatoes out of the air fryer using the aluminium foil and pour them into the saucepan. Carefully stir through the pasta.
  3. Serve with optional garnishes such as fresh basil leavesParmesan and salt and pepper.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Pasta – If your drained pasta sticks a little while waiting for the tomatoes to finish cooking, you can stir through a little reserved pasta water or an extra drizzle of olive oil to loosen it up again.

Storage, Freezing & Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for around 2-3 days. You can freeze it (again in an airtight container) for around 2 months if you need. Reheat in short bursts in the microwave until heated through (around 1-2 minutes).

FAQs

Can I cook this using an oven if I don’t have an air fryer?

Sure thing! Layer a tray with aluminium foil and pop under the grill / broiler for around 5 – 10 minutes until they start to wrinkle and char, then proceed with the recipe as normal.

Can I make my own pesto sauce?

Sure thing, just follow the “Pesto Rule” – Pick a leaf, a nut and a cheese then add garlic, salt and pepper and mix to your heart’s content.

Be sure to taste test, add a bit more cheese or a little more oil if needed, and you’re good to go.

Don’t have fresh basil leaves? Why not substitute with radish leaves, beetroot leaves or even rocket for a spicy zing?
Pine nuts too expensive? How about walnut or almond instead? You’re only limited by your tastebuds and imagination, so why not get creative and try something new!

Serving Ideas & Variations

  • Saucier Sauce – Add in half a cup of passata to the mix and cook for a minute or so to heat through before serving.
  • Add Veg – Fry up some onions, garlic and mushrooms in a frying pan, then stir through the pasta along with a sprinkling of herbs such as oregano, thyme or sage.
  • Rose Pasta Sauce – Add in half a cup of passata and a scoop or two of sour cream to the mix and cook for a minute or so to heat through before serving.
A black fork sits in a bowl filled with cherry tomato pesto pasta.

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★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

A bowl of cherry tomato pesto pasta topped with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Pesto Pasta

Our 15 minute cherry tomato pesto pasta really is the (almost) effortless dinner recipe you’ve been looking for. Minimal prep and zero fuss, yet still looks fancy and oh-so-appetising. It just about cooks itself!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 Serves
Calories: 352kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $8

Ingredients

Optional garnishes

Instructions

  • Cook 300 g pasta according to packet directions and drain the water.
  • While the pasta is cooking, place your 2 cups cherry tomatoes on a layer of alfoil in the air fryer for around 12 minutes at 200°C / 400°F, or until the tomatoes start to wrinkle, brown slightly and begin to burst open.
  • Stir through the 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp pesto sauce through the cooked pasta in the saucepan off the heat.
  • Lift the roasted tomatoes out of the air fryer using the aluminium foil and pour them into the saucepan. Carefully stir through the pasta and serve with optional garnishes such as fresh basil leaves, Parmesan and Salt and pepper.

Video

YouTube video

Recipe Notes

  • Pasta – If your drained pasta sticks a little while waiting for the tomatoes to finish cooking, you can stir through a little reserved pasta water or an extra drizzle of olive oil to loosen it up again.
  • Saucier Sauce – Add in half a cup of passata to the mix and cook for a minute or so to heat through before serving.
    Rose Pasta Sauce – Add in half a cup of passata and a scoop or two of sour cream to the mix and cook for a minute or so to heat through before serving.
  • Add Veg – Fry up some onions, garlic and mushrooms in a frying pan, then stir through the pasta along with a sprinkling of herbs such as oregano, thyme or sage.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Roasted Cherry Tomato Pesto Pasta
Amount per Serving
Calories
352
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
7
g
11
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
1
mg
0
%
Sodium
 
83
mg
4
%
Potassium
 
330
mg
9
%
Carbohydrates
 
60
g
20
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Protein
 
11
g
22
%
Vitamin A
 
516
IU
10
%
Vitamin C
 
17
mg
21
%
Calcium
 
36
mg
4
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Roasted Cherry Tomato Pesto Pasta
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2 Comments

  • Reply
    LucretiaBorgia
    29/03/2024 at 7:47 pm

    5 stars
    Super yummy!
    The tomato taste is really boosted by air-frying and the pesto rounds out the taste beautifully.

    As an aside, I like to use Macadamia nuts in my pesto: their mellow oiliness is on the money.

    (N.B. Coriander and Almonds make a top pesto too!)

    • Reply
      Wandercooks
      30/03/2024 at 3:09 pm

      Oh great, so happy to hear you enjoyed and tried this one out. 🙂 Thanks for the tip for coriander and almonds – we wouldn’t have thought of that combination before, so looking forward to trying it out.

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