Caprese Pasta Salad- pasta with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese. This simple and delicious pasta salad is perfect for summertime or anytime!
Is there anything that feels more like summertime than a bright and flavorful pasta salad? They’re a favorite at picnics, barbecues, potlucks, showers…everything! My family loves having one in the refrigerator for lunches or a quick weeknight meal.
This Caprese Pasta Salad is filled with fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and a little balsamic. Oh, how I love a good caprese salad. It is a classic and the addition of pasta is SO good. This salad is hearty and satisfying!
The ingredients are simple, but the flavors are absolutely divine. This pasta salad screams summer and is one of our favorite dishes to share with friends and family.
Table of Contents
Pasta Salad Ingredients
You are going to love the simple and fresh ingredients in this classic caprese pasta salad!
- Grape tomatoes – Cut them each in half! If you don’t have grape tomatoes, you can chop regular size tomatoes.
- Bocconcini – these are small, fresh mozzarella balls that are perfect for a pasta salad like this one. You can find the little fresh mozzarella cheese balls at most grocery stores. If you can’t find bocconcini, you can cut regular fresh mozzarella into bite size pieces.
- Olive oil – I always suggest getting the best olive oil you can! You won’t regret it.
- Balsamic vinegar – Balsamic, tomatoes, and basil…such a great combo!
- Garlic – Fresh garlic adds great flavor to the tomatoes!
- Basil -use fresh basil and not dried. Fresh is the BEST in this salad.
- Dried oregano – I like using dried oregano instead of fresh.
- Crushed red pepper flakes – A dash for a little heat.
- Pasta – Use your favorite kind! I like orecchiette for this recipe. The size is perfect!
- Balsamic glaze – This is for garnish at the end to enhance the balsamic flavor. You can buy balsamic glaze at most grocery stores or you can make your own.
How to Make Caprese Pasta Salad
The biggest perk of pasta salad? It’s EASY to make! Just cook your pasta and give everything a good stir. Done and yum!
- Start with a large bowl (big enough for all of the ingredients!) and combine the tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, half the basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Everything but the pasta!
- Let it sit for 30 minutes to really let all those flavors simmer. If you don’t have time to let the flavors simmer, you can still make the salad, but I think the end results are better when the tomatoes have time to marinate for a bit.
- Cook the pasta to al dente, according to the package instructions. Salt the water generously for the best pasta flavor.
- Drain the pasta, rinse it with cold water, and add it into the large bowl. Stir everything until it’s combined well and add the rest of the basil.
- For finishing touches, drizzle it with a little balsamic glaze and season it with salt and pepper. Amazing! Enjoy!
How to Store
Pasta salads are super easy to assemble beforehand! Make it, store it in the fridge, and give everything a quick stir before serving. If the salad seems a little dry, drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic and stir again.
You can keep the salad in the refrigerator for up to four days. The leftovers are great for lunch, dinner, or even a snack.
What to Serve with Caprese Pasta Salad
- Honey Mustard Chicken
- Steak Kabobs
- Simple Arugula Salad
- Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Kebabs
- Fruit Salad
- Guacamole Bacon Burger
More Pasta Salad Recipes
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Chicken Pasta Salad
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad
- Greek Tortellini Salad
Caprese Pasta Salad
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- 8 oz bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons chopped basil, divided
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz pasta (I like orecchiette)
- Balsamic glaze, for garnish
- In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Stir until tomatoes and cheese are well coated. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Cook the pasta to al dente, according to package instructions, making sure you salt the water. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.
- Add the pasta to the bowl of tomatoes and mozzarella. Stir until combined. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of basil. Drizzle with a little balsamic glaze and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.
Have you tried this recipe?
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This was delicious! Even my 8 years old loved it then licked the plate. I had everything but basil. I added chopped fresh spinach instead and it was still perfect.
Thanks for this amazing recipe.
Everyone in my family loved this, it was delicious and easy. Great leftovers too
I made this tonight and my husband and I both loved it. We just had salad and a grilled steak.
Can you make balsamic glaze? Or is it purchased?
You can make it or most stores sell it in a bottle. Look by the regular vinegars. I usually buy it:)
My 13-year old son basically lives on this salad! I’ve tried a few different recipes from other websites, but he likes your version the best. Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe with us : )
Love this : simple and full of flavours ! Thank you
Everyone in my family loved this and more than one family member stated they don’t usually like pasta salad, but the caprese pasta salad was delicious. The balsamic vinegar really sets this apart from traditional pasta salad. This recipe is definitely a keeper.
Glad you loved the recipe.
This Salad was delicious. We all enjoyed it and I loved the light dressing. I used my fresh basil I’ve been growing this summer. My only question is do you let it marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or in the fridge?