No better way to close out summer than with caramelized onion tomato pasta!

caramelized onion tomato pasta with basil

Super caramely onions, bursting tomato gems, lots of fresh basil ribbons and of course – parmesan. Because life is nothing without cheese! 

This is late summer in a skillet. 

caramelized onions and cherry tomatoes

In case you haven’t noticed, this has basically been the year of caramelized onions for me. I mean, sure, I’ve used them in many recipes over the last decade, but this year I’ve really gone over the top.

And I can only assume that’s because we have so much time at home, that right now I’m like “oh, I have to caramelize onions for 30 minutes? Sweet! Something to do!”

You know?

caramelized onions and burst cherry tomatoes

Anyway, that’s why I don’t feel terribly awful about sharing so many recipes recently that require you to caramelize onions for a half hour before you really make the meal.

Promise promise it’s worth it. 

caramelized onions and burst cherry tomatoes in a skillet

So I know I just gave you a whole spiel about the onions taking quite a while, but other than that, this is such a quick and easy pasta. It’s one that comes together in a matter of minutes once the onions are caramelized and the tomatoes have popped. Throw the ingredients in the skillet and check them every so often. That’s all it takes! 

caramelized onion burst tomato pasta up close

There are a few major flavor players here in this skillet:

The caramelized onions, of course. They have so much sweet and savory flavor that I can’t help but use them in everything.

Burst cherry tomatoes! The best of summer, adding a little acid and a bit more sweet to the skillet.

Fresh basil, for an herby, refreshing pop.

And parmesan. Nutty and buttery and savory all in the one. It brings everything together and tastes so lovely. 

caramelized onion tomato pasta with basil in a skillet

Any pasta you love works here. Any shape, any kind. This is my idea of a perfect meatless meal, but it can also be a great side dish too. Or a pot luck dish, you know, when we can do that again in ten years. It’s even tastes good when it’s cold.

The leftovers are TOPS. The flavors just marry together even more in the fridge and taste incredible.

caramelized onion tomato pasta with basil

This is everything I want for dinner.

caramelized onion tomato pasta with basil

Caramelized Onion Tomato Pasta

Caramelized Onion and Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta

This caramelized onion tomato pasta is super simple and flavorful. Perfect for the end of summer! Delicious as a main dish or side.
4.99 from 59 votes
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  • 2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups whole cherry tomatoes
  • cup fresh chopped basil ribbons, plus extra for topping
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • shaved parmesan for topping


  • Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the onions with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 25 to 35 minutes, until the onions are golden and caramely.
  • Towards the end of the onions caramelizing, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions.
  • Add the garlic and cherry tomatoes into the skillet with the onions. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes begin to burst, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir the pasta into the skillet. Stir in the basil ribbons and the parmesan cheese. Taste and season with a pinch of salt and pepper if you feel it needs it.
  • Serve immediately with extra basil and parmesan for topping.

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caramelized onion tomato pasta with basil and parmesan

Cute little springs!