Caprese Pasta Salad

Savor the Essence of Summer with Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad merges the simplicity and freshness of Italian cuisine, making it a perfect dish for warm summer days.

Derived from the classic Caprese salad, which traditionally consists of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, this pasta salad variation brings those same beloved flavors into a hearty dish suitable for any gathering.

Ingredients – The Heart of Caprese Pasta Salad

The key to a delicious Caprese Pasta Salad lies in its ingredients. High-quality, fresh components make all the difference:

  • Pasta: Opt for types of pasta like penne or fusilli which hold the dressing well and mix nicely with other ingredients (learn more about pasta types).
  • Cherry Tomatoes: These add a juicy, tart flavor that contrasts beautifully with the creamy mozzarella.
  • Fresh Mozzarella: Often found in the form of balls, this cheese adds a soft, creamy texture. For variations, explore different mozzarella cheese forms (read about mozzarella cheese).
  • Basil: Fresh basil leaves are crucial, offering a peppery yet sweet flavor.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar: These dressing ingredients bring a zesty and sweet tang to the salad, enhancing the overall flavor profile.

Preparation – Crafting Your Salad

The preparation of Caprese Pasta Salad is straightforward:

  1. Cook your chosen pasta al dente, rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process, and ensure it maintains a nice texture.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta with halved cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Tear fresh basil leaves by hand and add them to the mix to preserve their delicate flavor.
  3. Dress the salad with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, mixing well to coat every ingredient. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For an extra touch of richness, a balsamic glaze can be drizzled over the top before serving, which adds a visually appealing finish and a deeper flavor contrast.

Serving and Variations

Caprese Pasta Salad can be tailored to various tastes and dietary needs. Here are some creative twists:

  • Protein Addition: Chicken or shrimp can be great additions for a protein-packed meal.
  • Vegan Variant: Substitute dairy cheese with vegan mozzarella and check the dressing ingredients.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free pasta to accommodate those with dietary restrictions.

Storage Tips

To store, keep the salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It’s best enjoyed within a couple of days. For more about how to preserve the freshness of tomato dishes, see health benefits of tomatoes.


Caprese Pasta Salad is more than just a dish; it’s a versatile canvas that welcomes various interpretations while staying true to its fresh, vibrant roots. Whether you’re hosting a summer party or looking for a satisfying meal that feels like a breeze, this salad is sure to delight you.

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Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Author:
  • Total Time: 20 minutes (plus chilling)
  • Yield: 6-8 as a side
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Caprese Pasta Salad combines the fresh flavors of summer with ripe cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and aromatic basil leaves, tossed with al dente pasta and dressed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s perfect for gatherings and can be served as a light main course or a delicious side dish.


  • Pasta: 12 oz (typically penne or fusilli)
  • Cherry Tomatoes: 2 cups, halved
  • Fresh Mozzarella: 8 oz, balls halved
  • Fresh Basil Leaves: 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 1/4 cup
  • Balsamic Vinegar: 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and Pepper: To taste
  • Balsamic Glaze: Optional, for drizzling


  1. Cook pasta until al dente, rinse under cold water and drain.
  2. In a large bowl, combine pasta with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
  3. Dress with olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Chill until serving, optionally drizzle with balsamic glaze before serving.


  • For best flavor, use high-quality mozzarella and ripe tomatoes.
  • The salad can be customized with additional herbs or ingredients like spinach or arugula.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Tossing
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Calories: 300 kcal
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 22 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 12 g

Keywords: Caprese, Pasta Salad, Italian Salad, Summer Salad, Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil, Balsamic, Vegetarian, Light Meals


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