This delicious caprese pasta salad looks as good as it tastes. With the fresh cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, you anticipate the fresh flavors when you see it. Of course, the mozzarella pearls are always enjoyed in any salad.
This is an easy and quick pasta salad. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is letting the pasta cool.
If you like fresh-flavored recipes, you will love this Greek seven-layer dip with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta. Or, perhaps you would like an orzo caprese salad, which is made similarly to this.
Table of contents
Why I love this salad
It is bright-tasting and fresh-looking and smelling. This is a pasta salad with fresh cherry tomatoes and fresh basil loaded with flavor from a balsamic vinaigrette. Every time I serve it, it just disappears!
I'm a gardener, and sometimes those little red tomatoes all ripen at the same time. This salad uses a bunch of tomatoes and fresh basil. A win for using up garden fresh produce!
I make this salad all summer when my garden is overflowing with fresh basil and small tomatoes. It is one of my favorites and is a great salad for a family or friend gathering.
Ingredients - for the Salad
The salad is so fresh and delicious, and it's just waiting for the dressing.
8 oz uncooked pasta
8 oz drained mozzarella pearls (small balls of fresh mozzarella cheese)
1 Pint of cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade (roll the leaves, then slice thinly)
Ingredients - for the Balsamic Dressing
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 large clove of finely minced garlic
This is a very forgiving recipe. If you have a garden with many large tomatoes, cut them to size and use them. Can't find mozzarella pearls? Buy larger fresh mozzarella and cut to a smaller size. Use a different small-sized pasta. It's easy to substitute and keep this salad's delicious look and flavor.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Make sure you do not overcook it! Drain, stir in about 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick together. As it’s cooling, you must stir it a few times so the pasta doesn't stick. I often make the pasta in the morning or the evening before.
Mix all balsamic dressing ingredients together in a mason jar. Notice that the mason jar has measurement markings on it. No need to dirty any measuring cups! Shake well before serving.
Mix cherry tomato halves, mozzarella pearls, and basil into pasta. Add about ¾ of the dressing, reserving the balance to add just before serving. The pasta does absorb the dressing, so it’s nice to drizzle some on just before serving.
This Caprese pasta salad is a nice alternative to a traditional lettuce-type salad. The ingredients are simple and flavorful due to the easy but delicious dressing.
Yes. Different types of pasta can definitely be used. Just make sure to cook according to package directions and not overcook.
A traditional caprese salad is made with thick tomato slices, fresh mozzarella slices, and fresh basil with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This recipe has all those items with a slightly different twist, such as a pasta salad.
Other delicious salads
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Caprese Pasta salad
- 8 oz pasta cooked per package directions and cooled
- 8 oz mozzarella pearls small balls of fresh mozzarella
- 2 Pint cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup Fresh basil cut in chiffonade (roll the leaves then slice thinly)
Ingredients, Balsamic Dressing
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 large clove finely minced garlic
- Cook pasta according to directions. Make sure you do not overcook it! Drain, stir in about 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil so the orzo doesn’t stick together. As it’s cooling, you will have to stir it a few times.
- In a seperate mason jar, mix all balsamic dressing ingredients together. Notice that the mason jar has the measurement markings on it. No need to dirty any measuring cups! Shake well prior to serving.
- Mix tomato halves, mozzarella pearls and basil into pasta. Add about ¾ of the dressing, reserving the balance to add just prior to serving. The pasta does absorb the dressing so it’s nice to drizzle some on just prior to serving.