Caprese pasta salad is the best summer salad! It’s fresh and easy and combines all the classic caprese salad flavors. You’ll want to make this all summer long!
And gosh it’s SO EASY! The hardest part about this recipe is cooking the pasta. Seriously, it’s that easy! And quick! The whole pasta salad comes together in 15 minutes, the longest part is cooking the pasta. 😉 Caprese pasta salad is perfect for a BBQ, family get togethers, picnics, potluck, or as a side dish. Pretty much perfect for any occasion! It’s so popular, I guarantee it will disappear fast. (Probably should make a double recipe!)
What you’ll need to make Caprese Pasta Salad:
- fusilli pasta- or any short pasta like rotini or bowties
- Fresh tomatoes- you can use grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, or diced tomatoes
- Fresh basil- lots of it!
- Mozzarella pearls- or diced up mozzarella from a large ball or the little bocconcini mozzarella balls
- The dressing: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon juice, garlic, and dried oregano
I told you it was easy!
Can this be made ahead of time?
Yes! There are a couple of tips to keep it fresh while still making it ahead of time:
- Use whole cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes. If you are dicing larger tomatoes do that right before serving because it tends to make the salad too watery if the pasta sits in diced tomato juice. You could dice them ahead of time, just keep it separate until ready to serve.
- Same with the dressing. Prepare the dressing ahead of time, but don’t mix it in until you’re ready to serve for the best results.
- Toss the cooked pasta with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together. Make sure the pasta is cooled before mixing it with the other ingredients.
- Mix the pasta (with a little olive oil), the basil, and the mozzarella together, and the tomatoes if they are uncut. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Store the dressing in a mason jar or air tight container in the refrigerator. Let the dressing come to room temperature (about 15 minutes on the counter) before mixing it in the pasta. Right before serving toss everything together.
You can add all kinds of yummy ingredients to this pasta! Make it your own! It’s a great base.
- Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Shrimp
- Diced avocado
- Chopped red onions
- Black olives
- Canned tuna
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Caprese Pasta Salad
- 2 cups grape tomatoes cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup mini mozzarella balls
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- 12 ounces fusilli pasta
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 lemon- juiced
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp garlic cloves minced
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta 1 minute less than the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- Meanwhile whisk together the dressing: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta. Add in the mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil and stir together until coated. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.