Best Caprese Pasta Salad

This crowd-pleasing dish brings together the fresh Mediterranean flavors of the famous caprese salad. Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil come together to make the best caprese pasta salad!

Best Caprese Pasta Salad

This pasta dish is inspired by the fresh and delicious Italian Caprese salad. Caprese salad is the ultimate Mediterranean salad (along with the Greek salad). Thick slices of fresh, ripe tomatoes are layered with slices of fresh mozzarella and basil leaves, dressed with extra virgin olive oil. For this caprese inspired pasta salad, I add some farfalle (bow tie pasta), use cherry tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls for a uniform mixture, and for extra flavor some tasty pesto sauce. This dish is so good and so easy to make, and everybody loves it. Perfect for lunch and dinner, as a side and great to serve crowds.

Caprese Pasta Salad Ingredients

Best Caprese Pasta Salad Ingredients
  • Pasta: Generally, you want smallish pasta, you can use bowtie, penne, macaroni, rigatoni, rotini.
  • Tomatoes: For this salad to work, you will need cherry tomatoes, so that they blend in without falling apart.
  • Mozzarella: Small mozzarella balls work best. They are very small, the size of a cherry and are called Ciliegine. If you are unable to find them, you can use a larger piece of fresh mozzarella and cut it in smaller cubes. Do not use low-moisture mozzarella.
  • Basil: I use fresh whole basil leaves chopped. If you are unable to find that you can use frozen basil, sprinkle, and mix.
  • Pesto: Pesto adds that burst of flavor to this dish. You can omit it, but it truly makes this dish stand out. You can make your own (try my easy recipe >> Classic Basil Pesto) or you can use store bought pesto -just check the label and make sure they use olive oil.

How to make Caprese Pasta Salad

  1. Start by slicing the tomatoes in half, and set aside
  2. Chop the basil and set aside.
  3. Drain the mozzarella balls.
  4. Boil the pasta, drain and place back into the pot.
  5. Add the pesto to the pasta and mix well so that all the pasta is coated with the pesto.
  6. Place pasta in a large bowl, add the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and toss gently.
  7. Finish the dish with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Make Ahead

Pasta salad is very easy to make generally. For this recipe you can do the following:

  • Boil the pasta 1 day ahead
  • Prepare the pesto (if not using store bought) one day ahead.
  • Wash tomatoes one day ahead.

When you are ready to make it, just slice the tomatoes in half and chop the basil and assemble the salad.

Storage

This salad can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

What to Serve with Caprese Pasta Salad

Best Caprese Pasta Salad

This salad is a hearty salad and can be enjoyed on its own as a main dish. As a side it pairs very well with several meat and fish dishes such as:

You may also like these starchy salad recipes

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Best Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe

Best Caprese Pasta Salad
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
This crowd-pleasing dish brings together the fresh Mediterranean flavors of the famous caprese salad. Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil come together to make the best caprese pasta salad recipe.
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: Caprese, Mozzarella, Pesto, Salad
Servings: 2
Author: OliveTomato.com
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 oz (150 g) cherry tomatoes
  • 5 oz (150 g) small mozzarella balls
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 5 oz (140 g) dry small pasta (bowtie, penne, macaroni, rigatoni, rotini)
  • 2 tbsp pesto click here for homemade version
  • 2 tsp olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 tsp coarse seas salt for serving
  • Black pepper
  • Optional balsamic glaze

Instructions

  • Slice the tomatoes in half, set aside
  • Chop the basil and set aside.
  • Drain the mozzarella balls.
  • Boil the pasta, drain and place back into the pot.
  • Add the pesto to the pasta and mix well so that all the pasta is coated with the pesto.
  • Place pasta in a large bowl, add the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and toss gently.
  • Finish the dish with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of coarse seas salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Optional: Add a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Notes

Make Ahead
Pasta salad is very easy to make generally. For this recipe you can do the following:
  • Boil the past 1 day ahead
  • Prepare the pesto (if not using store bought) one day ahead.
  • Wash tomatoes one day ahead.
When you are ready to make it, just slice the tomatoes in half and chop the basil and assemble the salad.
Storage
This salad can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Leave a comment or share on instagram and mention @greekdiet

Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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3 Comments

  • Reply Radhika sharma November 3, 2022 at 5:26 pm

    I have made a lot of pasta dishes but none of them is so light and delicious at the same time , This is now gonna be my weekly meal prep.
    Thanks
    radhika
    https://theasianfoodbaby.com5 stars

  • Reply Roller Blinds October 10, 2022 at 6:23 am

    Would love to read more

  • Reply ikram October 6, 2022 at 7:23 am

    absolutely love all the light veg dishes.5 stars

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