Bruschetta Pasta Salad is the perfect light and fresh summer pasta side dish you must try! Made by combining fresh bruschetta with spaghetti pasta this recipe uses the freshest ingredients, is one of the easiest to make and comes together in no time. Recipe is vegan and vegetarian friendly, and includes a step-by-step recipe video.
Interested in more pasta salad recipes? You definitely need to check out this Pesto Orzo Salad or this Orzo Salad with Sundried Tomatoes and Feta! Lastly, if you’re a fan of this recipe you absolutely need to try the appetizer version, Tomato Basil Bruschetta Bites and the chicken version, Bruschetta Chicken Recipe.
Bruschetta Pasta Salad
Pasta is my thing. Salads are also my thing. Therefore, this mashup recipe of the two is definitely up my alley! The combination of al dente spaghetti pasta with the fresh bruschetta, makes for a tremendously delicious, light, fresh and satisfying meal.
This summertime or all-year-round Bruschetta Pasta Salad is one you must try! Especially when the heat is kicking up and the sun is out, it calls for all the light, fresh and delicious recipes! This summer time staple pasta salad is a must try and is made by combining fresh bruschetta with spaghetti pasta and a heaping drizzle of Balsamic glaze – simple, simple!
You’ll Love This Bruschetta Pasta Recipe! Here’s Why…
- Ready in 30 Minutes – it’s a quick and easy busy weeknight recipe the family will love – ready in just 30 minutes.
- Plant Based Recipe – calling all vegans and vegetarians, this recipe is for you as well!
- Add Protein – you can easily add protein such as grilled chicken or steak, sliced Italian sausage and even grilled shrimp will do well.
- Add Cheese – try adding burrata, parmesan, feta or your whatever your favourite cheese is to elevate this dish.
What is Bruschetta?
Bruschetta (pronounced brew-SKET-uh, not brew-SHET-uh) is slices of toast with various toppings, most commonly fresh tomatoes dressed with garlic, basil, olive oil, and salt.
Where Did Bruschetta Originate?
Without doubt, Bruschetta is one of Italy’s most popular and notable appetizers. Although not confirmed, it’s origins is said to be located in an area between two regions, Tuscany and Lazio, Italy.
What is the Difference Between Bruschetta and Caprese Salad?
Caprese salad can easily be confused with bruschetta in which call for very similar fresh ingredients – tomatoes and basil. However, a caprese salad is served with fresh slices of mozzarella along with a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
What is Balsamic Vinegar Glaze (Reduction)
Balsamic Glaze is essentially a reduction of balsamic vinegar. It’s when balsamic vinegar is simmered in a saucepan with brown sugar for around 12 to 15 minutes or until it’s reduced in half and has the consistency of maple syrup or honey.
Is Balsamic Glaze the Same As Balsamic Vinegar?
Essentially, yes as the main ingredient in balsamic glaze is balsamic vinegar. However the difference is in its consistency. Balsamic vinegar is simmered with brown sugar until the consistency resembles that of maple syrup, known as balsamic glaze or reduction.
Recipe Shortcut: Use Store Bought Balsamic Glaze
Save time and effort and opt for store bought balsamic glaze. Nonna Pia’s Balsamic Glaze is so tasty, and my recommendation (this is not sponsored – I genuinely love their product).
What You Need to Make Bruschetta Pasta Salad
Sharp Chef Knife: this makes the prep work of chopping the fresh ingredients much easier. However, use whatever knife you are most comfortable with, just ensure its sharp.
Cutting Board: this is an essential in the kitchen and used for preparing ingredients.
Ingredients and Ingredient Notes
Vine Ripen Tomatoes – you’ll want to use the freshest, ripest, most juicy tomatoes in any variety that you can find. Vine ripen roma and grape tomatoes tend to be a great choice.
Red Onion – use this sparingly as too much with the combination of the garlic can lend a very overpowering taste. However, using the recommended amount adds a great layer of flavour!
Fresh Basil – definitely fresh, not dried or dehydrated; the flavour is incomparable in this recipe.
Garlic – I recommend using minced garlic, not chopped as it yields a much more intense flavour.
Dried Oregano – use this dried herb to help pull the flavour combo together.
Fine Sea Salt – helps all the ingredients meld together. Feel free to use regular table salt or whatever you have on hand alternatively.
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper – this add a little kick to the recipe for added flavour along with the salt.
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – you can use regular olive if that is what you have on hand, however my preference is extra virgin.
Cheese – this is optional, however my preference is to use fresh burrata, parmesan, feta or goat cheese.
Balsamic Glaze – also known as balsamic reduction is an essential ingredient for that authentic bruschetta taste.
Spaghetti Pasta – use this variety of pasta or your preferred pasta of choice.
How to Make Fresh Homemade Bruschetta
1. Dice Tomatoes and Onions – chop tomatoes and red onion to an equal size and set aside in a medium sized bowl.
2. Add Herbs and Spices – add fresh basil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, black pepper, and olive oil to the chopped tomatoes and red onions.
3. Mix and Allow to Marinate – mix all ingredients together until well combined, then set bruschetta aside to allow the flavours to meld.
How to Make Bruschetta Pasta Salad
1. Cook Pasta – bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions or until al dente.
2. Make the Bruschetta – dice tomatoes and onion, set aside in a medium bowl. Add fresh basil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and 3 tbsp olive oil to the serving bowl. Stir to combine, set mixture aside to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta has boiled.
- Combine Pasta and Bruschetta – when the pasta has finished cooking to al dente, drain, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and transfer to a large heatproof serving bowl or skillet. Add bruschetta to the pasta and toss together until well combined; season to taste if needed.
- Drizzle and Garnish – drizzle balsamic glaze, top with extra basil, cheese (optional), and black pepper if desired and serve.
How to Make Your Own Balsamic Glaze (Reduction)
- Combine 2 cups of a good quality balsamic vinegar with 1/2 cup brown sugar or honey (optional).
- Bring to a low boil and reduce heat to keep at a simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until reduced by half and lightly coats the back of a spoon!
Notes for Balsamic Glaze
- Time will vary depending on whether you use the brown sugar/honey (more time without…less time with).
- The glaze will thicken slightly as it cools.
See My Story Below for Step-by-Step Instructions
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
This recipe has endless variations and substitutions that you can opt for to either elevate or simply change up this pasta salad. Some of my favourite ways to do this are by adding or substituting:
- Grilled or Roasted Chicken – this is what you’ll call a Chicken Bruschetta Pasta Salad.
- Cheese – such as fresh burrata, parmesan, feta, goat, or mozzarella cheese balls (bocconcini).
- Veggies – roasted or grilled veggies are a great choice, such as red peppers, mushrooms or eggplants.
Recipe Notes and Tips for Success
This Bruschetta Pasta is super easy to make, super fresh, flavourful, and absolutely delicious but here are some tips to help guide you:
- Switch up the Pasta, use the pasta of your choice i.e. penne, farfalle, linguine, spaghetti etc. for this recipe, and cook according to package directions or until al dente.
- Allow your Bruschetta mixture to Marinate, this helps the flavours meld. Mix your chopped tomatoes, olive oil, basil and seasoning, then let the entire mixture rest for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add Protein, serve as a light and fresh vegetarian or vegan meal on its own, or add grilled chicken, steak, or shrimp for added protein.
- Add Cheese, try fresh parmesan, crumbled feta, goat cheese or burrata
Can I Make this Ahead of Time?
This pasta salad is best enjoyed the day of or a few hours after making as the noodles will absorb all the juices from the bruschetta. If you do want to make it ahead of time, I would suggest keeping the pasta and the bruschetta separate until ready to serve.
What to Serve with Bruschetta Salad?
Try serving this pasta salad with the following simple sides:
- Garlic Bread
- Grilled Vegetable Salad
- Wine and Cheese
- Baked Fish
- Grilled Chicken
- Toasted Rustic Bread
How Should I Store My Bruschetta Pasta Salad?
Although this recipe is best served fresh, if you have leftovers, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The pasta will soak up much of the juices of the bruschetta, so my recommendation is to make a fresh batch of bruschetta to toss in right before you serve it.
I do not recommend freezing this recipe for later consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Absolutely! Choose whatever pasta variety you prefer or have on hand – it will still be amazing!
Make it yourself at home by combining 2 cups of a good quality balsamic vinegar with 1/2 cup brown sugar or honey (optional). Bring to a low boil and reduce heat to keep at a simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until reduced by half and lightly coats the back of a spoon!
Add grilled or roasted chicken or cheese such as fresh burrata, parmesan, feta, goat, or mozzarella cheese balls (bocconcini). Additionally add roasted or grilled veggies such as red peppers, mushrooms or eggplants.
If You Love This Light and Fresh Recipe, You’ll Want to Check Out These Other Tasty Recipes Next!
- Pesto Orzo Salad
- Orzo Salad with Sundried Tomatoes and Feta
- Tomato Avocado Cucumber Salad
- Jerk Chicken Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
- Tomato Basil Bruschetta Bites
- Easy Mixed Bean Salad
- Summer Peach and Prosciutto Pizza with Balsamic Glaze Drizzle
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Bruschetta Pasta Salad
- 4 Vine Ripen Tomatoes or any variety, diced
- 1/2 small Red Onion diced
- 2 tbsp Fresh Basil chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 Clove Garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt more or less to taste
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 5 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil divided
- Parmesan Cheese Burrata, Crumbled Feta or Goat Cheese, as desired, optional
- 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar Glaze as desired
- 500 g Spaghetti Pasta or pasta of choice
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta (500g) and cook according to package directions or until al dente.
- In the meantime, make the bruschetta. Dice tomatoes and onion, set aside in a medium bowl. Add fresh basil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and 3 tbsp olive oil to the serving bowl. Stir to combine, set mixture aside to marinate for 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta has boiled.
- When the pasta has finished cooking to al dente, drain, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and transfer to a large heatproof serving bowl or skillet. Add bruschetta to the pasta and toss together until well combined; season to taste if needed. Drizzle with balsamic glaze, top with extra basil, cheese (optional), and black pepper if desired and serve immediately!
Note, the nutritional information is calculated using a nutrition facts calculator. It is a rough estimate and can vary based on products used.