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Kicking off tomato season a bit early with this 20 Minute Garlic Basil Brown Butter Pasta. Buttery, basily pasta with garlic and black pepper, served topped with fresh cherry tomatoes. It’s a garden fresh take on pasta, that’s ready in about 20 minutes, and uses mostly pantry staple ingredients. Ideal for any day of the week from now until fall!

overhead photo of 20 Minute Garlic Basil Brown Butter Pasta

You know those dishes you crave on the busiest/craziest/most stressful days? This is that dish, and it is perfection. Or as close to it as it can get. It’s also so delicious and so easy that it’s almost embarrassing. I wondered if I should really be sharing what’s essentiality “buttered” pasta. But the bottom line? This pasta is too good not to share with you all today.

This pasta is one of my go-to dinners when I have zero time and zero energy left to cook. It’s also 100% inspired by my mom, which makes me love it even more.

First, let me back up. I shared a version of this recipe on my Instagram stories a few weeks back and you guys seemed to go absolutely crazy for it. SO much so that I’m still getting questions about when I will be sharing the recipe here on HBH. This is not the exact recipe I shared on my stories, but it’s similar, and it’s just as good. So hoping you guys are as excited as I am about this pasta.

20 Minute Garlic Basil Brown Butter Pasta in skillet

Growing up my mom’s specialty (other than her chocolate chip cookies of course) was her buttered pasta. What’s buttered pasta you ask?

Exactly as it sounds, butter + pasta, and most definitely a pinch of salt too. My mom’s go-to, and to this day one of her favorites. Though she now much prefers my version that you see here today, with plenty of fresh basil and cherry tomatoes.

This dish starts out very similar to a classic cacio e pepe, but in addition to black pepper, I also like to add a good amount of garlic. I know some of you are not garlic fans. If that’s you, just omit it. BUT for those of us who love garlic, this is the pasta for you. Aside from all the basil, the garlic is key here. It caramelizes in the butter and creates the most subtle garlic flavor that’s also the slightest bit sweet.

Absolutely mouthwatering when tossed with pasta, garden fresh basil, and plenty of black pepper. SIMPLE, but DELISH.

Now, you could stop right there and serve this pasta up as is. It’s great, and often times this is just how I like to do it…

side angled photo of 20 Minute Garlic Basil Brown Butter Pasta

But, cherry tomato season is upon us. I couldn’t help but top this buttery pasta with fresh cherry tomatoes and a touch of lemon. Again, not completely needed, but a very tasty addition if you have a garden full of tomatoes. Or just hit up your local market or farm market.

I know it’s a tinsy bit early for the garden tomatoes. But my market has been stocked with sweet as can be California cherry tomatoes for the last few weeks. So I pretty much always have some in my pantry these days. Too good to pass up, you know?

And that’s it. Takes maybe 15-20 minutes to make, fresh, buttery, hinted with garlic, so much basil flavor, and finished with sweet cherry tomatoes that burst in your mouth. 8 simple ingredients that when combined taste really, really, dang good.

And that’s about all you need to know. Dinner tonight = done!

overhead close up photo of 20 Minute Garlic Basil Brown Butter Pasta

If you make this 20 Minute Garlic Basil Brown Butter Pasta, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

20 Minute Garlic Basil Butter Pasta

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 441 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.



  • 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Just before draining, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
    2. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and pepper and cook 1-2 minutes, until the butter is browning and the garlic is golden and fragrant. Reduce the heat to low and add 1/2 cup pasta water, the pasta, remaining butter, and pecorino. Tossing until melted. Remove from the heat, add 3/4 cup basil and toss, adding in more pasta water if needed to thin the sauce.
    3. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, remaining 1/4 cup basil, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt.
    5. To serve, divide the pasta among bowls and serve topped with tomatoes. Eat and ENJOY.
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  1. 5 stars
    Made this last night, a single serving using pesto pasta, basil and tomatoes I just bought from Amish farmers. The fragrance of my new basil plant enticed me to search for a recipe and this was it. So quick and simple to adjust for a single serving. It was fantastic! I will definitely be making this often!

    1. Hi Patty,
      Wonderful!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was a winner, thanks a lot for making it! Have a great weekend:)

  2. 5 stars
    Very tasty dish….I did modify it a little. I sautéed the cherry tomatoes in some olive oil….brought out some more flavor.

    1. Hi Christopher,
      Happy Monday!!🌞 Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your review, I love to hear that it turned out well for you! xx

  3. I prepared this with fresh basil from my garden. It was absolutely delicious. I, of course, added more garlic, because you can never have too much. I didn’t add tomatoes, but did toss a bit of Parmesan cheese in. Thank you for such a fun, easy and delicious recipe.

  4. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! I used fresh basil from our plant and farm fresh yellow, red, and orange cherry tomatoes! It was so good and I even halved the butter to save calories! You are a genius!

    1. Hi Donna,
      Happy Sunday!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for sharing your review and making it! xxT

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious. Skipped the tomatoes tonight but will be trying again soon with them included! So simply, so easy, so yum

    1. Hey Ryan,
      Happy Sunday! I am so glad to hear this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a bunch for making it:) ?

  6. 5 stars
    I added more olive oil, mushrooms, onions, and threw the butter on upon serving. It’s a great easy dish that got rave reviews from the girlfriend!

    1. Hi Joe!
      Happy Monday!! I am thrilled to hear this recipe was a hit, thanks for trying it out and sharing your review:)

    1. Hi Andrew,
      I am so glad to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for trying it out, sorry to hear it was oily. Have a great holiday weekend!?? xxT

  7. This is another of our favorite HBH recipes—especially on busy nights! My daughter is Basil obsessed and asks for it on repeat. So easy and so tasty!

    1. Hey Megan,
      Happy Mother’s Day! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I am glad to hear that it was enjoyed! ?xxT

  8. 5 stars
    I made this on Sunday night and it is so delicious that I have legitimately been looking forward to lunchtime every single day so I can eat the leftovers. It’s just so good. Going on my rotation of easy weeknight meals for sure!

  9. This was delish!! Cooked some bacon down first, then added the butter, pepper and garlic into the bacon grease. SO much flavor! Will definitely be adding this into my ‘craving a big bowl of pasta’ rotation.

  10. 5 stars
    Used this as a base last night and made a lot of tweaks (sugar snap peas instead of tomatoes, gruyere as didn’t have pecorino, casareccia instead of spaghetti) and it was fantastic. Love the simplicity of the concept and while brown butter pasta on its own would have been even more simple, I enjoyed the veg addition giving the dish a bit of interest. Thanks Tieghan

    p.s. definitely no need to add extra salt from our experience – there was just the right amount from the pasta water, the salted butter and cheese.

  11. Making it now. So happy to have the basil and cherry tomatoes fresh from the garden. Will continue this when I have tried it….
    Absolutely perfect! Yum!!! I love it. Wouldn’t change a thing!

    1. 5 stars
      Yes, I cooked it before I finished the last post. As I wrote before, it was perfect just the way it was written. Fabulously simple and full of our garden ? basil and cherry ? tomatoes. I’ve made it several times since.

    1. Hey Ana,
      Awesome! It is so great to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a go! xTieghan