Caprese Pasta Salad – turn classic caprese salad into a quick pasta salad. Great for summer get togethers, quick lunches, or a light dinner!
One of my favorite things about summer is the bright fresh produce, and not having to heat up the house to cool a delicious meal. There is just something about fresh tomatoes that scream summer, and this pasta salad will be a huge hit at your potlucks, barbecues, or even as a side dish with dinner.
And if you want the same flavors, but want to bulk it up a little check out these Meatball Caprese Skewers for a super fun appetizer!
What Is Caprese Salad
A Caprese Salad is a traditional Italian salad that is made with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil. It has an olive oil drizzle on top and is seasoned with salt.
It is named after the island of Capri in Italy and has the same red, white, and green colors of the Italian flag. You will often see it served with grape or cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese pearls as well. No matter what, is fresh and delicious!
This recipe has been on the blog since 2015, and it is still a highly requested recipe every time I bring it to a get together. Fresh tomatoes and fresh basil make it bright and delicious and the is great on its own or a side dish with your favorite Hamburgers.
What You’ll Need
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Fresh Basil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
I like to use traditional balsamic vinegar for the dressing, but a light balsamic vinegar works great and gives it a slightly more mild flavor. The light or golden balsamic vinegar also gives it lighter color to the dressing, so the colors are brighter, if you really want the red and white to show.
How To Make Caprese Pasta Salad
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and rinse to chill.
- In a small bowl or a mason jar mix together the ingredients for the dressing. Whisk or shake very well to combine.
- In a large bowl toss together pasta with halved tomatoes, mozzarella cheese pearls, and fresh basil.
- Pour on about half of the dressing and stir to coat evenly. Taste and add more dressing if desired and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Can Caprese Pasta Salad Be Made Ahead Of Time
Absolutely! Like most pasta salads, they are best served chilled or at least at room temperature. You can make this the day before and just cover in the fridge until ready to serve. If you do make ahead, I like to toss with just half of the dressing, and then when you are ready to serve toss with the rest of the dressing. the pasta will soak up some of the dressing in the fridge, so you want to reserve some, so it is still “saucy” when you serve it.
What To Serve With Caprese Pasta Salad
This makes for a great lunch or light dinner on it’s own. If you need something to bring to a potluck, this will surely be a big hit. Here are a few ways I like to serve it as a side dish.
Pasta Salad Variations
There are lots of ways you can mix this up and make it your own.
- Add chicken. This Air Fryer Chicken Breast would be great to chop up and add to the salad. It would make a complete meal that way.
- Add avocado. I like diced avocado in just about anything, but the flavors match really well with this salad.
- Add pesto. Adding just a little pesto to the dressing gives this salad tons of flavor. If you have just a tablespoon or two, it is the perfect amount to add more flavor.
Store pasta salad in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reserve dressing to add when you serve leftovers if possible. The pasta will soak up the dressing as it sits, so it will come back to life a little if you have dressing to toss the leftovers with.
More Pasta Salad Recipes
- Taco Pasta Salad
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Caesar Pasta Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Avocado Pasta Salad
- 1 pound pasta, cooked according to the package directions
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 16 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
- 3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- In a large bowl combine pasta, tomato, cheese, and basil. Set aside.
- In a bowl or Mason jar mix together all the ingredients for the dressing. Shake until very well combined.
- Start by pouring 1/2 the dressing mixture over the pasta. Mix until combined. Taste, and add more dressing as necessary.
- Extra dressing can be added to any leftover pasta salad the next day.
Amount Per Serving Calories 288Total Fat 13gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 4mgSodium 272mgCarbohydrates 35gFiber 2gSugar 6gProtein 7g
Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on dinnersdishesanddesserts.com should only be used as a general guideline.
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