Kitchen

Caprese Pasta Salad – Spend With Pennies

Caprese Pasta Salad is a bright, tangy summer salad that is perfect to take to a potluck or picnic.

Fresh juicy tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and tender pasta are tossed in a simple dressing and topped with fresh basil.

This Caprese pasta salad is a great meatless meal or top it with grilled chicken breasts or shrimp.

close up of Caprese Pasta Salad in a bowl

A Summer Favorite Salad

  • This pasta salad has all of the flavors of our favorite Caprese salad turned into a meal.
  • It’s light and fresh while still making for a hearty meal or side dish.
  • This dish is best made ahead of time making it potluck perfect.

Ingredients for Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes are flavorful and hold up well but any ripe fresh tomatoes will be great in this recipe. Sundried tomatoes (oil packed is best) add a bit of tang and lots of flavor.
  • Mozzarella – Bocconcini, fresh mozzarella cheese, or mozzarella balls are a great addition to this caprese pasta salad recipe. It’s a soft and mild cheese (and available at almost any store).

    We cut them in half but you can find the smaller mozzarella pearls, no cutting is required. If you don’t have bocconcini, cut your favorite mozzarella into cubes.

  • Basil – Fresh basil really adds the best flavor to this pasta salad.
  • Pasta – Any medium or short pasta shape works, choose one with crevices, curves, or tubes so it can hold the dressing! Try penne, rotini pasta, or even elbow macaroni.
ingredients in a bowl to make Caprese Pasta Salad

The Perfect Addition!

Fresh basil makes the salad!

Instead of buying a little bunch or packet of basil at the grocery, check if they sell basil plants. They cost a tiny bit more but will last a long time!

Fresh basil is the perfect addition to pastas, salads and of course bruschetta!

How to Make Caprese Pasta Salad

This recipe is easy Caprese!

  1. Cook the pasta al dente in a large pot of salted water. Drain well and rinse under cold water (to stop it from cooking).
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and add tomatoes to the dressing. Let marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature for maximum flavor!
  3. Combine the pasta with the remaining ingredients and toss with the dressing.

Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate at least two hours before serving. Garnish with fresh basil and cracked black pepper before serving.

Fresh basil leaves are best added just before serving!

Caprese Salad Dressing

A simple combo of extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar is the base of the dressing.

Dressing Options:

  • Use the simple dressing in the recipe below but add a bit of oil from oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes for a boost of flavor!
  • Use balsamic vinaigrette or a bit of homemade Italian dressing in place of the red wine dressing in the recipe.
  • If adding balsamic vinegar use just a splash, it’s more powerful than red wine vinegar and can overpower.
  • Try adding a squeeze of lemon juice or a spoonful of basil pesto.
  • Drizzle balsamic glaze before serving if you’d like.
bowl of Caprese Pasta Salad

Make Ahead & Storage

Caprese Pasta Salad can be made in advance but is best served within a day so the cut tomates are fresh. Toss well and add more dressing if needed.

Leftovers can be kept in the fridge 2-3 days.

Pass the Pasta Salad!

close up of bowl of Caprese Pasta Salad

4.95 from 20 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad is a bright, tangy summer salad filled with juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil.

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Marinating Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

  • Place dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add tomatoes to the dressing mix and allow to marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

  • Combine pasta, mozzarella, red onion and sun dried tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss with tomato/dressing mixture and season with salt & pepper to taste.

  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

  • Chop fresh basil. Drizzle salad with balsamic glaze and sprinkle basil on top just before serving.

  • Add a bit of oil from oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes for a boost of flavor!
  • Use balsamic vinaigrette or a bit of homemade Italian dressing in place of the red wine dressing in the recipe.
  • If adding balsamic vinegar use just a splash, it’s more powerful than red wine vinegar and can overpower.
  • Try adding a spoonful of basil pesto.
  • Drizzle balsamic glaze before serving if you’d like.

4.95 from 20 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Calories: 386 | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 172mg | Potassium: 365mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 480IU | Vitamin C: 7.2mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Pasta, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
close up of Caprese Pasta Salad with a title
close up of Caprese Pasta Salad in a bowl with writing
close up of Caprese Pasta Salad in a bowl with a title
Caprese Pasta Salad in a bowl and plated with writing

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