An easy-to-make summertime favorite, Caprese Pasta Salad is always a hit! Simple ingredients, quick to make, and oh-so-good!

An easy-to-make summertime favorite, Caprese Pasta Salad is always a hit! Simple ingredients, quick to make, and oh-so-good!

This Caprese Pasta Salad is a breeze to throw together and always a hit! We keep to the classic flavors of Caprese, tossing together cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, short pasta noodles, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a touch of garlic, with a generous amount of fresh basil. This salad tastes best if it sits for about 30 minutes to an hour or two, as the pasta will soak up the flavors.

Why you’ll Love This Salad

  1. Quick and Easy: Caprese Pasta Salad can be made in just 30 minutes, making it a perfect dish for busy days or last-minute gatherings.
  2. Simple Ingredients: This salad is made with simple and accessible ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, pasta, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and fresh basil.
  3. Flavorful and Fresh: The combination of cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar creates a burst of fresh and vibrant flavors that are perfect for summer. Each bite feels light and refreshing.
  4. Versatile: While the recipe calls for specific ingredients, you can easily customize Caprese Pasta Salad to your taste preferences. You can add other vegetables, herbs, or even proteins like grilled chicken or shrimp to make it a complete meal.
  5. Great for Summer: This salad is best enjoyed during the summer when tomatoes are at their peak flavor. It’s a fantastic dish to bring to picnics, BBQs, or enjoy as a light and satisfying meal on warm days.

Ingredients In Caprese Pasta Salad

caprese pasta salad ingredients.

Caprese Pasta Salad Ingredient Notes

  • Pasta- any of your favorite short noodles with work. We like cavatappi, fusilli, torchetti or penne.
  • Cherry Tomatoes- sweet and easy to find, but you can use any fresh garden tomato cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Fresh Mozzarella- look for mini mozzarella balls called ciliegine which are “cherry-sized” and go well with cherry tomatoes, or feel free to cut any size of fresh mozzarella into bite-sized pieces. Feta cubes or crumbled goat cheese will work, too, as a substitute.
  • Fresh Basil– this is key to creating the classic fresh flavors of Caprese.
  • Balsamic Vinegar- we use regular balsamic, but white balsamic would also be good. Good quality is going to uplevel the flavor!

*See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.   

How To Make Caprese Pasta Salad

STEP 1)– Cook the pasta in salted boiling water (the water should taste like the sea). Cook according to package. Drain,rinse with cold water, and set aside.

STEP 2)– In a large bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. 

STEP 3)– Add the cooked pasta, sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced mozzarella, fresh basil, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional) and toss well to combine. Adjust salt.

Let the pasta salad sit for 30 minutes for the best flavor (up to 2 hours in the fridge). This is best served the day of because the tomatoes tend to break down. However, leftovers still taste good for up to 2 days, stored in the fridge.

STEP 4)-Before serving, toss, taste once more, and add more salt and vinegar to taste. Add a few more basil leaves and season with pepper and red pepper flakes (if desired).

Caprese Pasta Salad in a white bowl.

Caprese Pasta Salad FAQS

What shape of pasta is best for pasta salads?

Pasta salad is best made with short pasta noodles like cavatappi, fusilli, torchetti, spirals, orecchiette, bow tie, shells or penne.

What is Caprese pasta salad made of?

Caprese ingredients consist of fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil, then tossed with pasta.

What can I use instead of fresh mozzarella in Caprese salad?

Burrata cheese, large feta chunks, or goat cheese will work.

What To Serve With Caprese Pasta Salad

The best caprese pasta salad

More Pasta Salads You May Enjoy

Enjoy this easy summertime salad!

~Tonia

Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.

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Caprese pasta salad recipe

Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Category: salad, pasta,
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

An easy-to-make summertime favorite, Caprese Pasta Salad is always a hit! Simple ingredients, quick to make, and oh-so-good!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 pound pasta, short varieties like cavatappi, fusilli, penne, bow tie, orechiette, etc.
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/23/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 8 ounces fresh mini mozzarella balls, ciliegine are “cherry-sized”, feel free to slice in half
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
  • red pepper flakes to taste

Instructions

  1. Start the pasta cooking in salted water (the water should taste like the sea). Cook according to package. Drain, lightly rinse and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. 
  3. Add in pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional).
  4. Let sit 30 minutes for the best flavor (up to 2 hours in the fridge). 

Notes

This is best served the day of because the tomatoes tend to break down. However, it is still good for up to 2 days, stored in the fridge.

If you like red onion, slice 1/4 cup thinly and add it to the dressing in the bowl while prepping the remaining ingredients. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 292
  • Sugar: 4.2 g
  • Sodium: 391 mg
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33.3 g
  • Fiber: 2.4 g
  • Protein: 17.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 6.8 mg

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Comments

  1. I have never come across a Sylvia recipe I would give less than a 5*. When I do the “faux pas”of serving food I’ve never made before to company, I always make anything from feasting at home website without apprehension!! This pasta salad I made for 40 people who raved, went for seconds and left with a container! Make this easy pasta salad when tomato season and basil is plentiful or anytime for that matter! It’s perfect❤️🙏🏻






  2. Yum!!! This would be great any day in the summer. I’ll also drizzle a little of your basil oil over it!

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