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49 Basil Recipes to Make Right Now (Because Your Garden Is Overflowing with It)

Basil is one of our favorite herbs to cook with—its strong, sweet flavor adds freshness to pastas, pizzas and, TBH, just about everything. It’s hard to think of a dish that doesn’t benefit from a sprinkling. Even better, it’s surprisingly easy to grow at home (and if you’re a gardener, you probably have your hands full with the stuff right now). Here, 49 basil recipes to make with the bounty—from classic pesto pasta and tomato crostini to sheet pan gnocchi and beyond.

How to Freeze Basil So Not a Single, Fragrant Leaf Is Left Behind


Inspired Entertainment/The Domestic Geek’s Meals Made Easy

1. One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pot, beginner-friendly, vegetarian, ready in <30 minutes, <10 ingredients

If you haven’t already made this one-pot wonder, it’ll revolutionize your pasta game. Instead of cooking the sauce and noodles in separate pots, everything happens together at the same time—the results are glossy, slurpable and downright gourmet.

a bowl of vegan sun dried tomato basil and balsamic bucatini
Rebecca Hincke/The Vegan Pasta Cookbook

2. Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato, Basil and Balsamic Bucatini

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, <10 ingredients, dairy free, beginner-friendly

Butter, cheese and cream are nice, but they’re not necessary to make a decadent meal. This vegan pasta dish is proof. The secret ingredient? Balsamic vinegar, which adds depth and tangy complexity.

a plate of strawberry basil and arugula salad
Katherine Gillen

3. Strawberry, Basil and Arugula Salad with Lots of Black Pepper

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, vegetarian, <10 ingredients, ready in <15 minutes

You know how salads always taste better when someone else makes them? (Don’t ask why; they just do.) Well, this basil-studded salad makes its own dressing. How’s that for effortless?

a platter of black fig mozzarella and basil salad
Ryland, Peters & Small/Cucina Siciliana

4. Black Fig, Mozzarella and Basil Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients, no cook, vegetarian

When the produce is in season, it doesn’t need much adornment. Psst: This is your chance to show off how fragrant and supple your homegrown basil is. (Didn’t grow it yourself? Buy the best you can find at the farmers market.)

bowls of chickpeas with braised summer vegetables and basil
Lizzie Mayson/The Italian Deli Cookbook

5. Chickpeas with Braised Summer Vegetables and Basil

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, <10 ingredients, <500 calories

We love the way that the herb garnish brightens up this otherwise homey, rich dish. It’s almost like we’re on a summer vacation in Italy—swoon.

a plate of tomato basil gnocchi
Jessica Merchant/Everyday Dinners

6. Sheet Pan Tomato Basil Gnocchi

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, kid-friendly, vegetarian, beginner-friendly

Tomatoes and basil are basically the definition of “what grows together goes together.” In this sheet pan meal, they meld together in the oven and create their own sauce without much fuss on your part.

a skillet of pasta with summer squash ricotta and basil
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

7. Skillet Pasta with Summer Squash, Ricotta and Basil

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, one pan, <10 ingredients, high protein

Sorry, parsley. We’re garnishing this luxurious skillet pasta with our one true love, basil. With creamy ricotta and fresh summer squash, it just makes sense.

a bento box with a goat cheese peach basil panini
Aviva Wittenberg/Lunchbox

8. Goat Cheese, Peach and Basil Panini

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, make ahead, vegetarian, <10 ingredients

Boring lettuce need not apply to this sweet-and-savory panini. While we adore summer peaches, you could also try swapping in plums for a variation.

bowls of eggplant pasta with walnut relish and basil
Abra Berens/Chronicle Books

9. Smoky Eggplant Pasta with Pounded Walnut Relish, Mozzarella and Basil

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 2 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, <10 ingredients, low sugar

Basil is magical enough to liven up even the laziest bowl of spaghetti and store-bought sauce, but why not shake up your routine and try this elevated, equally easy-to-make recipe instead? The eggplant is silky, and the walnuts add texture, providing a delicious lesson in contrasts.

a plate of caprese pasta salad
Katherine Gillen

10. Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, make ahead, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Love you, mayo, but you’re not invited to the picnic. This caprese number has all the beloved flavors of the Italian antipasto, plus portability and a sauce that won’t go south in the sun.

two bowls of tomato gazpacho
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

11. 15-Minute Gazpacho with Cucumber, Red Pepper and Basil

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <30 minutes, vegan, gluten free, <10 ingredients

Your blender’s next trick? Blitzing up a few picture-perfect tomatoes into a refreshing, foolproof gazpacho that rivals any fancy restaurant’s. Bonus: It calls for less than ten ingredients.

a green pineapple smoothie with mint basil and spirulina
Rawsome Superfoods

12. Juicy Green Pineapple Smoothie with Mint, Basil and Spirulina

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <15 minutes, vegan, <500 calories

If you’re not putting super-flavorful herbs like basil in your morning smoothies, we urge you to reconsider. Aside from adding nutrients, it’s an easy way to take the flavor all the way to ten.

a plate of pasta with burst cherry tomatoes corn and burrata
Katherine Gillen

13. Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Corn and Burrata

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, vegetarian, <10 ingredients, high protein

The trick to getting a glossy, saucy result here is all in the pasta water. Make sure to save some before draining the noodles—it’ll cook down with the vegetables to coat the strands of pasta just so. Consider the basil garnish the cherry (tomato) on top.

instant pot vegetable lasagna with vegan basil ricotta
Nisha Vora/Avery

14. Instant Pot Vegetable Lasagna with Vegan Basil Ricotta

  • Time Commitment: 55 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, Instant Pot recipe, special occasion–worthy, high protein

Haters will say lasagna isn’t a summer food, but when you don’t have to turn on your oven to make it, we beg to differ. This one also happens to be vegan, NBD.

a bowl of fusilli with pesto and green beans
Kristin Teig/Eat Better, Feel Better

15. Fusilli with Pesto and Green Beans

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, kid-friendly, vegetarian, low sugar

Are you familiar with the old pesto switcheroo? That’s when you add additional greens—veggies, herbs, you name it—to the basil-based sauce for a nutritious upgrade. Here, it’s by way of green beans and peas, which is equal parts ingenious and kid-friendly.

a platter of honeydew feta jalapeno and lime salad with basil
Linda Pugliese/Salad Freak

16. Honeydew, Feta, Jalapeño and Lime Salad

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <30 minutes, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser

Newsflash: Fruit salad deserves an herb garnish too. We’re obsessed with this combo of feta, basil and the ever-so-underrated honeydew, but you could try cantaloupe or peaches too.

a plate of peach caprese skewers
Katherine Gillen

17. Tomato-Peach Caprese Skewers

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, beginner-friendly

These skewers are sweet, tangy, salty and exactly the finger food we want to serve at our next backyard cocktail sesh—they’re ready in 15 minutes and pair really well with a glass of white wine.

a skillet of creamy chicken with corn and tomatoes
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

18. 30-Minute Creamy Chicken, Corn and Tomato Skillet

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, <10 ingredients, high protein

Put fresh corn, tomatoes and basil in the same dish and it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser. Want to really seal the deal? Make it a one-skillet, minimal cleanup situation.

two bruschette with tomatoes and burrata
Lizzie Mayson/The Italian Deli Cookbook

19. Bruschette with Mixed Heritage Tomatoes and Burrata

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, no cook, ready in <30 minutes, low sugar

With so few ingredients, the key to perfecting this beloved appetizer is all in the quality. This is the time to splurge on heirloom tomatoes and top-quality cheese. If you don’t grow your own basil, ask your pro-gardener neighbor if they’ll spare a few leaves.

a black fig and tomato salad
Matt Russell/Provençal

20. Black Fig and Tomato Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegetarian

Pair this simple, picturesque Italian salad with cheese to take it to the next level. Mozzarella or ricotta are obvious choices, but goat cheese would be equally delish.

a bowl of pesto zoodles
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

21. Pesto Zoodles

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, gluten free, vegetarian, ready in <30 minutes

Homemade pesto is just one of those things that makes pretty much any food taste ten times better. Take zoodles for example: Alone, they’re a little snooze-worthy; with a healthy coating of basil-y sauce, you’ll wonder why you ever cared about spaghetti.

a platter of corn fritter caprese with tomatoes and peaches
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

22. Corn Fritter Caprese with Peaches and Tomatoes

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: vegetarian, special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser

This salad is both easy enough to make on a weeknight and fancy enough to impress dinner party guests. It’s basically just a jazzed up caprese, and the sweetness of the corn fritters and peaches give the meal an unexpected (yet awesome) depth of flavor.

a bowl of sun dried tomato guacamole with chips
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

23. Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, no cook, ready in <15 minutes

Traditional guacamole doesn’t need any zhuzhing, but this is a fun twist nonetheless. Pair it with tortilla chips, pita or even crackers.

potato and burrata pizza
Tieghan Gerard/Half Baked Harvest Super Simple

24. Potato and Burrata Pizza

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, <10 ingredients, kid-friendly, vegetarian

Pizza and potatoes: two things we love on their own, but together? Let’s not get carried away…just kidding, we’re totally going there. Thinly sliced spuds, creamy burrata and a generous shower of herbs makes for one mighty fine pie. (The dough is store-bought, so it’s also really easy to make.)

a plate of peach caprese salad
Amy Neunsinger/Magnolia Table

25. Joanna Gaines’s Peach Caprese Salad

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <15 minutes, <10 ingredients, vegetarian

By now you understand that we love caprese salads, but can you guess why? It’s because they’re endlessly versatile and impossibly fresh. Serve this one with a drizzle of honey to take it over the top.

a bowl of polenta with mushrooms basil and tomatoes on top
Plant Power Bowls

26. Soft Polenta and Mushroom Bowls

Most polenta is loaded with butter and cheese—we love that, but sometimes we crave a dinner that’s lighter and less decadent. This version is just as satisfying, but totally plant based. (The toppings are just a guideline, so feel free to go wild and clean out your fridge.)

a bowl of roasted tomato soup
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

27. Roasted Tomato Soup

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian, <10 ingredients

Stop settling for the stuff in a can. Roasting fresh tomatoes concentrates their flavor, so even if your produce has seen better days, it’ll taste delicious in the end. If you’re pairing it with a grilled cheese, we suggest adding basil to that, too.

a plate of baked caprese chicken
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

28. Baked Caprese Chicken Skillet

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, ready in <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser

While cherry tomatoes are kind of key to the caprese theme, another seasonal vegetable (like zucchini or corn) would taste just as delicious here.

a bowl of broccoli pesto pasta
Robert Bredvad/The Secret Ingredient Cookbook

29. Broccoli Pesto Pasta

  • Time Commitment: 23 minutes
  • Why We Love It: kid-friendly, vegetarian, low sugar, <500 calories

This pesto has more than one secret. In addition to being bolstered with broccoli, it’s brightened up with green olives for salty, briny flavor. (Don’t like olives? Just leave them out.)

a skillet of spinach and three cheese stuffed shells
Tieghan Gerard/Half Baked Harvest Super Simple

30. Spinach and Three-Cheese Stuffed Shells

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: special occasion–worthy, crowd-pleaser, high protein, kid-friendly

Fresh basil is a welcome addition to the puddles of cheese in these stuffed shells. If you’re feeding a vegetarian crowd or just prefer to go meatless, you can omit the meat and simply add more crushed red pepper flakes to taste.

a pot of sweet corn pappardelle
Jeanine Donofrio/Love & Lemons Every Day

31. Creamy Sweet Corn Pappardelle

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, dairy free, ready in <30 minutes

A creamy pasta sans heavy cream? Yep, it’s possible. The juicy corn kernels are part of the trick, but so is the “milk” you’ll scrape from the cobs (not to mention cashews).

a bowl of zucchini and tomato ragu
Helen Cathcart/Tuscany

32. Zucchini and Tomato Ragù

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, vegetarian, low sugar

This simple dish shines with fresh summer veggies, so head to your local farmers market stat. It’s excellent served on its own, but it also works as a side dish or even breakfast alongside a poached egg.

two bowls of yellow tomato gazpacho
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Sarah Copeland

33. Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

  • Time Commitment: 45 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <500 calories, vegetarian, vegan, make ahead

This stunning dish is a summer dinner party staple, but it also happens to be make ahead–friendly. Just prep the night before and blend when you want to serve. (While yellow tomatoes are sweeter and less acidic, you can use red if that’s all that’s available.)

a bowl of orecchiette with burrata tomatoes and almond pesto
Ed Anderson/Food of the Italian South

34. Orecchiette with Burrata, Tomatoes and Almond Pesto

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian, low sugar, high protein, <500 calories

Pine nuts are top tier, but they’re also pricy. This basil pesto uses almonds in their place for a sauce that’s just as nutty and irresistible.

tomato and halloumi salad with fresh herbs
Aubrie Pick/Great Tastes

35. Tomato Salad with Grilled Halloumi and Herbs

  • Time Commitment: 10 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <15 minutes, vegetarian, <10 ingredients

Have you ever had grilled cheese? We don’t mean the sandwich, we mean halloumi, which caramelizes when cooked but holds still its shape. Here, it’s paired with a simple mix of ripe tomatoes and basil—you’ll want to eat this one long after summer is over.

a platter of salmon with pesto and blistered cherry tomatoes
Elizabeth Van Lierde/Everyday Entertaining

36. Salmon with Pesto and Blistered Tomatoes

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: sheet pan recipe, <10 ingredients, special occasion–worthy, gluten free

Would you believe us if we told you this impressive dish requires just five ingredients? It’s true, and it can even be assembled ahead of time, so go ahead and bookmark it for your next cocktail party.

a plate of whipped feta with roasted cherry tomatoes
Katherine Gillen

37. Whipped Feta Dip with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy, vegetarian

While we highly recommend seeking out locally grown tomatoes here (and bonus points if you grew them yourself), conventional cherry tomatoes will work just fine in a pinch. They’re more reliably tasty than regular grocery store tomatoes and roasting them concentrates the flavors even more.

a skillet of gnocchi with corn and burrata
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

38. Summer Skillet Gnocchi with Grilled Corn and Burrata

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: crowd-pleaser, vegetarian, special occasion–worthy

Get ready for the oohs and ahhs, because this vibrant skillet is sure to please your dinner party guests. Lucky for you, it’s ready in less than an hour and calls for less than ten ingredients.

a platter of rainbow tomato bruschetta
Photo: Jon Cospito/Styling: Heath Goldman

39. Rainbow Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: no cook, ready in <30 minutes, vegetarian, crowd-pleaser

When crackers and onion dip won’t cut it, make this elegant, 15-minute appetizer instead. It looks like an Instagram fever dream and tastes even better.

flatbread pizza with artichokes ricotta and lemon
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

40. Grilled Flatbread Pizza with Artichoke, Ricotta and Lemon

  • Time Commitment: 40 minutes
  • Why We Love It: beginner-friendly, special occasion–worthy, vegetarian

When you want homemade pizza but can’t bother with all the effort, store-bought flatbread is your new best friend. This one is brimming with ricotta and zesty, briny toppings, so it tastes like it took hours to make.

a bowl of pasta puttanesca
David Loftus/The Tinned Fish Cookbook

41. Pasta Puttanesca

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: ready in <30 minutes, high protein

A fun fact about us is we love tinned fish in all its forms—and you should too. The anchovies in this dish practically melt into the sauce, adding rich umami flavor that can’t be replicated. (If you must leave them out, trying subbing in capers instead.)

a bowl of kelp noodle pad thai
Photo: Michael Marquand/Styling: Jodi Moreno

42. Kelp and Zucchini Noodle Pad Thai

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, high protein, gluten free, dairy free

If you’ve never worked with kelp noodles, this recipe will have you hooked. Traditionally found in Korean dishes, they don’t need any cooking—just soaking—and happen to be gluten free and rich in nutrients like iron, vitamin K, calcium and fiber.

a skillet of roast chicken with peaches and tomatoes
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

43. Skillet Roast Chicken with Peaches, Tomatoes and Red Onion

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, <10 ingredients, high protein

When the weather calls for an alfresco feast, reach for this one-pan meal. It’s ready in about an hour, requires minimal cleanup and pairs just as well with a glass of wine as it does with your patio. Serve it with crust bread for mopping up the pan juices.

a cast iron skillet pizza
Katherine Gillen

44. Crispy Cast Iron Skillet Pizza with Fennel, Sausage and Garlic

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: one pan, kid-friendly, <10 ingredients, ready in <30 minutes

It’s pizza night, but here’s the catch: You have 30 minutes and can’t order takeout. Sounds impossible? With store-bought dough and your cast iron skillet, it’s not. Use this recipe as a template and get creative with the toppings (just don’t skip the basil at the end).

a bowl of coconut salmon
Christopher Testani/Instant Family Meals

45. Instant Pot Coconut Salmon with Fresh Herbs and Lime

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Instant Pot recipe, ready in <30 minutes, dairy free

Instant Pot salmon is a thing, and it’s so tender and flavorful, you’ll never cook the fish another way again. To make this a full one-pot meal, you can toss in sliced shiitake mushrooms or snap peas, too.

a bowl of tomato and yellow zucchini risotto
Lizzie Mayson/The Italian Deli Cookbook

46. Tomato and Yellow Zucchini Risotto

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: vegan, special occasion–worthy, gluten free

We never thought you could make a decadent risotto without butter and Parmesan, but then this one entered our lives and changed our minds. It’s vegan, but you wouldn’t know it (zucchini is sneaky like that). Use green squash if you can’t find yellow.

an avocado egg salad sandwich
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

47. Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: low sugar, high protein, beginner-friendly

Listen, we love a mayo-based deli salad…but egg was never our favorite. (Just sayin’.) That is, until this version rolled around—it’s packed with creamy avocado and fresh herbs, so it tastes bright and fresh even with that aforementioned mayo.

grilled peach chicken ricotta pizza
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

48. Grilled Peach, Chicken and Ricotta Pizza

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, high protein, low sugar

Peaches on a pizza?! Believe it. The sweet stone fruit is the perfect foil to smoky grilled chicken and savory onions. Garnish it with fresh basil, a pizza must-have.

one pot 15 minute pasta limone
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

49. One-Pot, 15-Minute Pasta Limone

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, ready in <30 minutes, one pot, vegetarian

Now that you’ve aced the O.G. one-pot pasta (see no. 1 on this list), it’s time to expand your repertoire. This one is like dinner in your back pocket: You probably already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen, and it’s ready to eat in a flash.

35 Fresh Tomato Recipes for The Summer Season


Katherine Gillen is PureWow’s senior food editor. She’s a writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a degree in culinary arts and professional experience in New York City restaurants. She used to sling sugary desserts in a pastry kitchen, but now she’s an avid home cook and fanatic baker.