30 Basil And Tomato Dishes You'll Want To Make All The Time

Few ingredient pairings are as reliable as tomatoes and basil. The combination is so flawless that one of its most famous iterations, Caprese salad, involves just one other ingredient: mozzarella. The natural sweetness and acidity of tomatoes perfectly complement the fresh, slightly peppery flavor of basil, while their vibrant colors make a photo-worthy contrast. Uniquely, the pairing is just as delicious when cooked as it is served raw. Fresh tomatoes and basil taste divine in a salad, while a creamy tomato bisque is equally flavorful despite the transformation that occurs during cooking.

If you love this combination, however, you may have exhausted your recipe index. There are only so many times you can eat Caprese salad or pasta with red sauce before you start feeling bored, no matter how skillfully prepared. Luckily, this recipe roundup will rescue you from monotony with an array of familiar favorites and exciting twists. If you want a few ideas about how to jazz up a classic Caprese without losing its fresh, summery appeal, we've got a recipe or two for that. If you're looking for an appetizer for your next dinner party, we've got you covered there, too. 

We have recipes for salads, sandwiches, casseroles, and even a pie that showcase one of the most delicious pairings in the culinary world. Keep reading to find the recipes that will make you fall back in love with this versatile ingredient duo.

1. Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

You might associate creamy tomato soup with upscale diners or French bistros, but you can make this delicious dish at home with little hassle and even better results (everything tastes better homemade, right?) Instead of reaching for a can of Campbell's soup or chopped tomatoes, this recipe calls for fresh tomatoes, giving the final product a bright flavor that you can't obtain any other way.

Dried and fresh basil provide all the zesty kick you'll need, so we've limited the rest of the ingredients to the bare minimum — salt, pepper, olive oil, chicken stock, and cream.

Recipe: Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

2. One Pan Tomato Basil Chicken And Rice

The best weeknight meals are quick, mess-free, and don't require a trip to the store. This chicken and rice recipe with a tomato and basil twist fits all these needs, and it's delicious and healthy.

From start to finish, it takes only 25 minutes to make, and you won't have to worry about the dishes piling up because it's made in one pan. As for ingredients, you'll probably have most on hand, including chicken thighs, rice, spices, and a jar of marinara or tomato and basil sauce.

Recipe: One Pan Tomato Basil Chicken And Rice

3. Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

For a simple twist on a standard Caprese salad, all you have to do is swap the slices of fresh tomato for whole roasted grape tomatoes and you'll have something that tastes deliciously new.

The fresh mozzarella and basil remain unchanged, while the tomatoes are roasted with whole garlic cloves, salt, pepper, sugar, and balsamic vinegar, making them extra tangy and sweet. Instead of arranging the tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in the usual overlapping manner, you can simply mix and serve them in a bowl.

Recipe: Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

4. Easy Toasted Tomato Sandwich

Sandwiches are rarely given the respect they deserve. Sure, they come in handy when you have an assortment of random ingredients and need to make a speedy lunch, but when given some thought, they can be as fancy and flavorful as a person could wish for without all the baking, sauteeing, and chopping that most gourmet recipes require.

Take this toasted tomato sandwich; all you have to do is toast buttered bread, slather it with mayonnaise, and top it with sliced tomatoes and fresh basil. Sometimes, simplicity is perfection.

Recipe: Easy Toasted Tomato Sandwich

5. Easy Balela Salad

Middle Eastern balela salad is perfect for summertime picnicking. Packed with nutrient-rich ingredients and bursting with a refreshing taste, it should be at the top of your list when you're planning an outdoor meal.

Chickpeas, black beans, red onions, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, basil, parsley, cucumbers, and kalamata olives form the bulk of the salad, while a simple dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic powder brings it all together. Don't let the lengthy ingredients list concern you. This dish takes only 10 minutes to whip up, and it keeps in the fridge for up to five days.

Recipe: Easy Balela Salad

6. Classic Tomato Bruschetta

If you have a dinner party lined up, this tomato bruschetta recipe is practically a necessity. Crunchy, flavorful, and bite-sized, it's the perfect canape to wow your guests and keep their hunger at bay before dinner is served.

You can think of this as a deconstructed caprese salad on a crunchy baguette. Fresh basil, diced tomato, and mozzarella are enhanced with red onion and balsamic vinegar to make a potent amuse-bouche that will have your guests begging for more. Rubbing each slice of bread with half a garlic clove is the secret to deepening the flavors even further.

Recipe: Classic Tomato Bruschetta

7. 20-Minute Tomato Bisque

For a light tomato soup that is creamy and full of flavor, look no further than this 20-minute tomato bisque recipe. It's made with canned fire-roasted tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions, garlic, cream cheese, and chicken broth for a savory, comforting meal that will taste even better on the second or third day. 

For a fresh kick of flavor, add a handful of basil leaves before serving. The recipe is ready in no time and can last for days in the fridge as a quick, delicious meal to enjoy throughout the week.

Recipe: 20-Minute Tomato Bisque

8. Traditional Tomato Pie

Tomato pie may not be your go-to dinner but taste this one and that might change. The dish is often made with a focaccia-like base, however, this version looks more like a quiche, albeit with a cheesy filling rather than an eggy one.

Slices of tomato are layered onto the pie crust and topped with a mixture of mayonnaise, grated mozzarella, nutritional yeast, and lots of seasonings. As the pie bakes, the filling melts around the tomatoes, creating a dense, cheesy dish brimming with tomato flavor topped with fresh basil.

Recipe: Traditional Tomato Pie

9. Cucumber Tomato Salad

Refreshing salads never go out of style, especially when the summer heat refuses to quit. Cucumber is the quintessential refreshing vegetable, and when paired with the sweet juiciness of fresh tomatoes, it's a match made in heaven.

This salad pairs classic ingredients for maximum effect. The sharp kick of red onions and a dressing made of red wine vinegar and olive oil join the sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, making the veggies juicier and the flavors even brighter. Last but not least, an herb medley of dried oregano, fresh basil, and parsley top it off.

Recipe: Cucumber Tomato Salad

10. Summer Tomato And Corn Salad

Corn is a highly versatile ingredient that tastes just as delicious baked into bread as it does mixed into a savory chili. But lightly boiled corn cut straight from the cob might be the best of all, providing a sugary crunch that can elevate almost any dish.

This tomato salad lets corn take center stage, complemented by feta cheese, shallots, basil, and an easy homemade vinaigrette. In the late summer when corn is at its peak, use fresh kernels from the cob. Otherwise, frozen corn still tastes delicious.

Recipe: Summer Tomato And Corn Salad

11. Best Southern Tomato Sandwich

Southerners know a thing or two about tomatoes, so when a recipe is labeled as the "best" Southern tomato sandwich, it's worth paying attention. This one calls for marinating fresh tomato slices in vinegar and whipping up a mouthwatering dressing with egg yolk, pickle juice, and mustard.

As if those ingredients weren't enough, the sandwich is topped off with crushed pork rinds. Layer everything between two pieces of bread fried in a buttered skillet and you'll be wondering where this recipe has been all your life.

Recipe: Best Southern Tomato Sandwich

12. Easy Caprese Skewers

There's a reason there are so many variations on a classic Caprese salad; it's a flawless formula that can be enhanced with minimal effort. Take these skewers, for example. We're not reinventing the wheel here. All it requires is taking the same tried and true trio of tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella, and serving it on skewers instead of in a line.

Use grape tomatoes and mozzarella balls for ease of preparation and make sure to add plenty of fresh basil leaves. Ready in five minutes, this recipe is one of the quickest ways to enjoy these beloved ingredients.

Recipe: Easy Caprese Skewers

13. Simple Caprese Salad

There are many ways to dress up a traditional Caprese salad, but let's face it, the original formula is faultless; all those variations are mere deviations rather than improvements. Because of its simplicity, the key is high-quality ingredients. Now is the time to splurge on heirloom tomatoes, high-end mozzarella, and premium olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Nathaniel Lee, the brains behind this version of the salad, suggests using fresh mozzarella that is high in moisture. For an extra decadent insalata, use burrata, the fresh Italian cheese with a creamy interior.

Recipe: Simple Caprese Salad

14. Easy Hearts Of Palm Pasta

Just because it's pasta doesn't mean it has to be heavy. This recipe uses pasta made from hearts of palm, an ingredient you may be familiar with in jars and mixed into salads. The main selling point of this veggie alternative to wheat-based pasta is its low water content, which solves the sogginess problem of many pasta dishes made with zucchini noodles. It also looks a lot like regular old spaghetti.

Aside from this unusual ingredient, the recipe relies on the classic pairing of fresh tomatoes, basil, and garlic.

Recipe: Easy Hearts Of Palm Pasta

15. Fresh Sardine Pasta

Tomatoes come in many preparations. There are fresh ones, of course, and many canned versions. And then there are sun-dried tomatoes, the chewy, sweet, and slightly tangy morsels that are often sold in oil.

Their powerful flavor is necessary in this recipe to balance the intensity of fresh sardines, pine nuts, raisins, and lemon juice. This is a grown-up pasta recipe that is perfect for sophisticated dinner parties. Serve it with a bottle of sauvignon blanc and you'll be transported straight to the shores of the Mediterranean.

Recipe: Fresh Sardine Pasta

16. 30-Minute Sausage Ragu

There are plenty of ways to make fresh, summery meals with tomatoes and basil, but you can also turn these star ingredients into a rich, hearty dish that is perfect for winter evenings or any time you're looking for something hearty and filling.

Ragu is a meat sauce made for pasta that can take hours to prepare depending on the recipe. Luckily, this one has efficiency in mind without sacrificing flavor. In just 30 minutes, you'll be ladling a rich, sausage ragu over penne and sprinkling it with fresh basil, parsley, and cheese.

Recipe: 30-Minute Sausage Ragu

17. Easy Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is often looked down upon as a bland choice for a summer barbecue, but it's only limited by lack of imagination. Aside from being a cold dish centered around pasta, there are no rules. Our recipe developers have created a fleet of wildly different pasta salad recipes, but for tomato and basil lovers, this one is a clear winner.

Tomatoes, feta, chickpeas, corn, fresh basil, chives, and a Dijon vinaigrette make it stand out both in flavor and appearance. With protein-rich chickpeas and carb-heavy pasta, you could even serve it as the main dish.

Recipe: Easy Bow Tie Pasta Salad

18. Easy Brunch Casserole

There's no need to fall back on the standard pancakes and waffles for your next brunch. Try this eggy casserole instead and you will be converted to eating savory bakes for breakfast. Even better, it only takes five minutes to prepare.

Cream, ricotta, and eggs make this casserole fluffy and creamy, while tomatoes, fresh basil, onions, and garlic powder provide all the flavor of a five-star brunch hotspot. Recipe developer Sher Castellano recommends serving it with a green salad, but adding a mimosa or two to the menu wouldn't hurt either.

Recipe: Easy Brunch Casserole

19. Grilled Caprese Sandwich

The ingredients in a Caprese salad taste delicious on their own, but for a little more substance, why not turn them into a sandwich? Recipe developer Erin Johnson has found a way to transform this famously tasty yet mild salad into a sandwich that is full of flavor and texture.

Fresh tomato slices provide crunch, while mozzarella adds a springy texture. Instead of using fresh basil leaves, this recipe calls for pesto, ensuring the light, spicy herb packs a punch. Mix store-bought pesto with mayonnaise, drizzle the contents with balsamic vinegar, and you'll have a mouthwatering summer lunch.

Recipe: Grilled Caprese Sandwich

20. Peach Caprese Salad

Peaches add yet another uniquely seasonal dimension to a classic Caprese salad. These juicy stone fruits carry hints of perfume and honey, two qualities that elevate the usual trio of basil, mozzarella, and tomato. Peaches are the perfect addition because, like tomatoes, they do not have an overpowering flavor. Instead, they are refreshing and faintly sweet, balancing the acidity of tomatoes without stealing the show.

Balsamic vinegar is an optional ingredient in Caprese salad, but it works wonders in this recipe, bringing a sharp, tangy accent to the harmonious flavors.

Recipe: Peach Caprese Salad

21. 5-Ingredient Summer Pasta

Many of the best pasta recipes are simple. Even a drizzle of olive oil and a smattering of parmesan is enough to make a restaurant-worthy spaghetti dish. This recipe is a perfect example of how a few carefully selected ingredients can taste more delicious than a grab-bag of random ones.

Spaghetti, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and creamy burrata cheese are all you need (along with the obligatory salt and pepper). The tomatoes are cooked lightly — enough to draw out the flavor, soften the texture, and reduce the moisture content, but not enough to turn them into sauce.

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Summer Pasta

22. Creamy Avocado Pasta

Considering how in demand avocado is, it's surprising how limited our uses of it are. Guacamole and avocado toast seem to dominate, but there are many more recipes that we should be trying. For example, this pasta. Made by blending avocado, spinach, basil, garlic, and lemon zest in a food processor to create a creamy, zesty sauce, it is every bit as delicious as pesto.

Mix the sauce with spaghetti and top it with fresh tomatoes and you'll have a mouthwatering new favorite avocado-based dish.

Recipe: Creamy Avocado Pasta

23. Easy Margherita Pizza

Aside from Caprese salad, Margherita pizza is probably the most iconic showcase of tomato and basil. Proving the power of simplicity once again, this pizza doesn't bother with pepperoni or multiple types of cheese. Instead, it sticks with the flawless basics.

All you need is a can of whole tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, and pizza dough. Recipe developer Kristen Carli recommends using San Marzano tomatoes for the best flavor. As for the dough, you can easily buy it from the store, but we have a no-knead version if you'd like to make it yourself.

Recipe: Easy Margherita Pizza

24. Cold Lemon Capellini Salad

Capellini is a type of pasta that is even thinner than spaghetti, offering the same flavor but a more delicate texture. For this reason, it pairs best with light ingredients rather than heavy marinaras or cream sauces. This recipe puts capellini in its element with capers, tomatoes, parmesan, fresh basil, and lemon juice.

This is a sophisticated pasta dish that is surprisingly quick to make. You could easily serve it at a fancy dinner party without anyone guessing that it only took you 15 minutes to whip up.

Recipe: Cold Lemon Capellini Salad

25. Frutti Di Mare

Set aside the intimidation factor that often accompanies shellfish and dive right into this recipe. Anchovies, clams, mussels, shrimp, and scallops make this a dish fit for special occasions. All the same, there is nothing difficult with the process as long as you set aside enough time and read through each step carefully.

Dry white wine and Italian seasoning add another level of sophistication to the dish, while the combination of tomato and basil gives it a comforting hint of familiarity.

Recipe: Frutti Di Mare

26. Chicken Bruschetta Pasta

Chicken, bruschetta, and pasta may sound like an unlikely combination, but you'll almost certainly change your mind the moment you take a bite of this dish. Bruschetta is most commonly associated with small rounds of toasted bread topped with chopped tomatoes and garlic, but we've omitted the toasted bread in favor of spaghetti.

The pasta is mixed with lightly sauteed tomatoes, onions, and garlic, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, sprinkled with parmesan and fresh basil, and topped with roasted chicken breast. You can substitute the chicken for another meat of choice or a vegetarian option.

Recipe: Chicken Bruschetta Pasta

27. Summer Pesto Pasta Salad

Tomato and pesto constitute one of the most delicious sub-categories of the tomato and basil combination. Pesto is a powerful ingredient and a little goes a long way. When paired with fresh, juicy tomatoes, it provides a salty, peppery complement that elevates everything from sandwiches to quiche. In this recipe, we've taken the more traditional route of pesto and tomato pasta.

In addition to these three ingredients, we're looking at two kinds of cheese (parmesan and mozzarella), as well as red onion and arugula for an extra kick of peppery flavor.

Recipe: Summer Pesto Pasta Salad

28. Creamy Pasta Primavera

Whenever you can make a pasta dish equally nutritious and delicious, we're all in. Recipe developer and health coach Miriam Hahn has struck that balance, creating a creamy pasta primavera that's packed with vegetables and drenched in a creamy sauce of flour, milk, and broth. When combined with parmesan, it's as rich as pure cream.

The vegetable medley really stands out; with the crunchiness of bell peppers, carrots, and asparagus, sweetness of peas, savory umami flavor of mushrooms, and fresh juiciness of tomatoes, it's a vibrant celebration of colors, textures, and tastes.

Recipe: Creamy Pasta Primavera

29. Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad

Pasta mixed with a Caprese salad sounds like such an obvious pairing when you think about it, even if it isn't a standard menu item. This recipe stays true to the original concept of the salad but heightens the flavors with a few strategic additions.

The tomatoes are left to marinate in balsamic vinegar and salt for 15 minutes, while the usual balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil duo is joined by honey, Dijon mustard, and garlic powder. With mozzarella and fresh basil to finish, this is a foodie's dream.

Recipe: Balsamic Caprese Pasta Salad

30. Greek Sheet Pan Chicken

Sheet pan recipes have the same allure as casseroles — conveniently dump all the ingredients into one dish and bake everything at once. The result is no hassle, fewer dishes, a shorter preparation time, and hopefully, a delicious meal. This Greek sheet pan chicken ticks all these boxes and has the added benefit of being full of nutrients.

Bell peppers, red onions, garlic, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes are baked on a cookie sheet with chicken breasts. Add feta toward the end to make it warm and slightly toasted, and garnish it all with fresh basil.

Recipe: Greek Sheet Pan Chicken