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Main Dish | August 13, 2014

Spaghetti Margherita

It’s summer and if you’re like me, you’re thinking of every way to avoid turning on the oven, but not eat a sandwich or salad!  Making Spaghetti Margherita involves the stove top, but only for a few minutes.

I originally posted this recipe in 2010, but have updated it a bit. Spaghetti Margherita is a simple and straight-forward dish. While the pasta is cooking, you can throw together the sauce.
Some people think- Margherita Pasta? Is that alcoholic? The answer is no. Legend (some question this) says that Pizza Margherita was created in the late 1800’s, and named for Queen Margherita to reflect the colors of the Italian flag. The pasta variation followed.

I know I say this all of the time, but EVERYONE loves this dish. When I make it for my boys, they love it, even though it isn’t a meat dish. Now that’s saying something…(since they have never jumped aboard the “meat is not all that good for you and you should eat it sparingly” train)!
Lazy summer days mean lazy summer nights.
This dish fits perfectly with that theme. Hope you love this Foster family favorite!

5 from 30 votes

Spaghetti Margherita (updated)

Servings 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side
Author abountifulkitchen


  • 3/4 lb. spaghetti cooked “al dente”, drained
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus a little more for drizzling on top after finished
  • 2 tablespoons butter optional, but highly recommended for flavor
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 lbs. Roma tomatoes about 10-12 coarsely chopped or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • ½ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • additional basil leaves for garnish


  1. Cook pasta. Set aside, or while pasta is cooking prepare sauce.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil and butter over low heat.
  3. Sauté the garlic until fragrant over low heat, about 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper.
  5. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add basil, and pasta to pan with tomatoes.
  6. Cook for 2-3 minutes, just until all pasta is heated through.
  7. Just before ready to serve, pour into serving bowl, toss with fresh mozzarella and grated cheese. Serve at once with additional grated cheese, and more fresh basil if desired.
  8. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and top with a light sprinkle of course sea or kosher salt.

Recipe Notes

-Fresh Mozzarella differs from mozzarella that is sold in most cheese cases at grocery stores. Some grocery stores, such as Harmons in Utah, make their own fresh mozzarella daily. Make sure you are purchasing fresh mozzarella for this dish. Fresh Mozzarella is made from whole milk in small batches, usually round in shape and surrounded in liquid.

-If you aren’t growing basil in your back yard, you can purchase fresh basil at farmers markets, grocery and garden stores. One plant will yield fresh basil for several recipes this summer.

57 thoughts on “Spaghetti Margherita

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Recipe Rating

    1. Hi Susan, thanks for sharing, and yes you should include the whole tomato in the sauce. If it was watery, you could try cooking the sauce for longer to let it thicken a little more. Hope this helps and thanks for reading ABK!

  1. 5 stars
    Oh. My. Gosh. This has been saved for a few weeks now (since you posted it on favor eats) and I finally just made it. It is amazing. I will definitely be making it a lot!! I just devoured it and had to comment as soon as I finished. Delicious!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Kalyn! It’s so simple and delicious. I’m glad you enjoyed it. And I love using the favor eats app, it makes planning meals so much easier. Thanks for reading ABK,

  2. This was so good and so easy to make! I made it for an extended family dinner and everyone liked it…kids and grown ups:)

    1. Thanks for sharing, Jamie. It’s perfect to make for a crowd of all ages. I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed it. Thanks for reading ABK!

  3. 5 stars
    This has become one of my favorite weeknight meals! ALL of my kids love it and it comes together so quickly! I also sent the recipe to my daughter who is away at college. Her roommates now think she’s a gourmet chef ;))

    1. It’s one of our favorite weeknight meals too, Kathy. I love how simple it is to make and it’s perfect for college students! Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,

  4. 5 stars
    Just made this for my family. They loved it. Even my son who all of the sudden this summer decided he hates pasta 😩. Thanks for another great recipe.

    1. You’re welcome, Kristy. It’s hard not to go wrong with this recipe, even for all the picky eaters out there. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This looks so yummy! I’m wondering if you think I could use regular tomatoes instead of roma? I have so many from my garden(better boy and early girl kind) and wondered if they would work the same or have too much liquid?

    1. Hi Nicky, you could use regular tomatoes, it just may turn out with more liquid. But if that doesn’t bother you, then definitely use those fresh tomatoes! Thanks for asking and for reading ABK,

  6. 5 stars
    This recipe is so good! One our favorites! My husband is constantly begging me to make it. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I’ve been making if for about a month and everyone that I have made it for loves it! I also had the chance to modify it for my step-dad, who has a strict heart disease diet and he absolutely loved it too! It’s a quick recipe and great the next day 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Holy cow! I loved this, it was a hit with my whole family, (tomato hating husband, and 4 picky eaters) will definitely make this again and again!

  9. 5 stars
    This is why I grow tomatoes and basil! This recipe is my absolute favorite pasta recipe and I have shared it many times with other discerning pasta lovers. I crave it all summer and keep a fresh basil plant, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella around throughout the year so I can quickly satisfy my cravings! Thank you for this delicious “go-to” classic for our family!

  10. 5 stars
    This was so fresh and amazing! I made it for my parents and we could not believe the level of flavor with such simple ingredients. We served it with some crusty garlic bread and it was a crowd favorite! It’s a must make!

  11. 5 stars
    Still dreaming about this! I love it so much my husband is making it for my birthday dinner in August.

  12. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I was wanting it tonight, but didn’t have the fresh mozzarella, so I tried just adding zucchini, yellow squash and onions…still the same with the tomatoes and other ingredients! It was still so good! I think that cooking the tomatoes in the garlic, olive oil and butter that way, brings out so much flavor!

    1. I agree, Beckie, cooking the tomatoes that way really enhances all the flavors, and I love your modifications! Thanks for sharing,

    1. I’m so glad to hear that Koleen. It’s hard to go wrong with this recipe, especially with how simple it is. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I am in the process of making this so I hope I did this right. But when it says to cook for 10 minutes is this on low also? Or should I turn it up? Thanks!

    1. 5 stars
      ***Update so I ended up turning up the heat to medium so it had kind of a gentle bubbling. I used tomatoes from my garden and after reading previous comments was worried about the extra moisture. I ended up with quite a bit of extra. I decided to toss the noodles in anyways. The extra moisture was not a problem at all!!! My whole family loved this dish. It was so simple and I loved that I could use up the many tomatoes from my garden taking up space on my countertop! Highly recommend this recipe!

      1. What a great way to use up those fresh tomatoes, Sara! The extra moisture definitely makes a difference, especially when you use fresh tomatoes. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK,

  14. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! I had to throw together a last minute dinner – I had the ingredients in my fridge and had remembered seeing this recipe a few weeks ago. SOOOO easy and delicious! My kids and my husband all loved it. I think next time I would add less pepper, but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve tried so many of your recipes, and your blog is definitely one of my favorites. Thanks for another great dinner!

    1. You’re very welcome, Kristen, this is one of my all-time favorite simple recipes to make for dinner. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK!

  15. 5 stars
    This recipe is delicious! This has definitely become a favorite in our house. We especially love making this with fresh tomatoes from the garden. So good!

    1. Oh, I bet that tastes even better with fresh tomatoes, Kim! It’s one of our favorites too. Thanks for sharing,

  16. 5 stars
    This has become my absolute favorite meal (along with your No fail French bread recipe)! It is so delicious and to top it off- so easy to make! Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  17. 5 stars
    This is a new go to favorite! I didn’t have pasta the last time I made it so I used quinoa. I was so nervous. It still turned out wonderful and everyone loved it! I would not classify myself as a cook but I’m slowly learning and this is so simple but tastes amazing!

    1. Hi Abby, I’m glad you found a substation that worked for you, cooking is all about trial and error and being creative! Thank you for sharing and for reading ABK,

  18. 5 stars
    My family of 7 loved this recipe! They’re begging for more!! We doubled the recipe and only had a little bit of leftovers. The only change we made was reducing the sugar. Great recipe for using garden tomatoes and basil!

  19. 5 stars
    All you gluten free/celiacs/carb watchers – I made this with zucchini noodles (zoodles) and it was soo yum! I used the OXO brand hand-held spiralizer. Just stick a raw zucchini into it and spin and you’ll have delicious noodles in a couple minutes.

    I used 2 lbs of Roma tomatoes and followed the rest of the recipe to a T. If you’re looking to serve a large family I would recommend doubling or even tripling this recipe because it is that good! I made a single recipe and ate it all for my lunch and dinner, it was so delicious!

    I’m adding this to my regular meal rotation and you should too.

    1. Emily,

      thank you so much for sharing about using zoodles to make this gluten free and low carb! Love this suggestion.
      Thanks for reading ABK,

  20. 5 stars
    It was such a hit, so simple to make. A great recipe to use our garden tomatoes. My husband said please done everything buy store sauce again. I agree.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, fresh garden tomatoes make such a difference. Thank you for sharing Susan!

  21. 5 stars
    This recipe was so good and fresh tasting. One guest told me it was the best spaghetti he had ever had! Thank you!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that Alison, this recipe is about as easy and simple as it gets! Thank you for sharing,

  22. 5 stars
    This is so simple, delicious, and fresh. I now literally make this once a week, especially during the summer when I have so many delicious fresh tomatoes to use up. Thank you for this wonderful recipe, it has become a staple in my home!

  23. 5 stars
    I planted Basil in the backyard this summer and it was wonderful to have so much for this recipe along with the garden tomatoes. My husband was a bit hesitant that this could be enough for dinner since he loves his meat, but he loved it Light and yummy, we all loved it.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Cherylann! I love the idea of having a few meatless dinners every once in a while, and they can still be just as yummy. Thank you for reading ABK,

  24. 5 stars
    This is one of my all time favorites ever!!! What kind of salad would pair well with this dish? Any suggestions??

  25. 5 stars
    I thought, what’s all the hype about? Well, I tried it myself, and wow! It was so tasty, we LOVED it! Simple, yet so flavorful!

    1. Hi Nicole,
      Thank you for your positive comments. I feel the same way- simple, fresh and flavorful! Always a hit when I make this for friends and family! I’m so glad you liked this recipe. Thank you for reading ABK.

    1. Thanks Melanie!
      My family loves this recipe as well. We love the cheeses, and the basil makes it taste so fresh! Thank you for your positive comments. I hope this recipe will become a standby for you and your family. Thank you for reading ABK!