This Caprese pasta salad has all of the fixings of a traditional Caprese salad but is elevated with pasta and a savory garlic dressing.
Delicious Caprese Pasta Salad
Our Caprese pasta salad is the fusion between a Classic Caprese Salad and an easy pasta salad recipe. It is the perfect cold pasta salad for summer and can even double as a main meal.
What brings this dish together is the easy garlic vinaigrette that we perfected. It marries all of the flavors into one simple side dish.
“Made this for a summer cookout and it was a hit. Very easy to put together. Sauce separated from what at the end; there was a lot of the cause leftover at the bottom.” – Lauren
Why you’ll love it!
- It is the perfect summer pasta salad. You can use fresh tomatoes and basil!
- This Caprese Pasta salad will be a hit at any party or BBQ you take it to!
- The dressing for this pasta salad is so flavorful and easy to make.
- You can make this Caprese pasta salad your own by adding ingredients you love.
What You Need
Fun pasta: you can’t have pasta salad without pasta! We used cavatappi pasta for this recipe and we suggest using a pasta similar to that!
Mozzarella balls: one of the main ingredients in a Caprese salad is mozzarella. For this pasta salad we suggest using mozzarella balls or pearls. They are the perfect bite-size. If you can only find a mozzarella log, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Cherry tomatoes: tomatoes are another key ingredient in a Caprese salad. Keep it bite-sized and use cherry tomatoes. Try our tomato mozzarella salad with red onion!
Fresh basil: big old pieces of fresh basil tossed into this pasta salad are crucial. Basil adds so much flavor and freshness to this Caprese pasta salad.
Dressing: the dressing for this pasta salad is a classic balsamic dressing with a twist; mayo. It is easy to make and delicious on everything.
Here’s a Tip: add toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds to the top of this pasta salad for a delicious crunch.
How to Make Caprese Pasta Salad
Boil Pasta + Prepare salad
Begin by preparing your pasta by bringing a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Boil the pasta until it is just al dente. Drain the pasta and toss it with the tomatoes, mozzarella, fresh basil, and aged balsamic.
Make the dressing for this salad. Add the mayo, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to a bowl and whisk the ingredients together.
Toss + Serve
Drizzle the dressing over the pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil and toss until all of the ingredients are coated in delicious dressing.
Top Tips for Caprese Pasta Salad
Don’t overcook the pasta. The last thing you want is mushy pasta salad. If you undercook your pasta just a bit, it will last longer and taste better.
If you don’t have aged balsamic it’s ok. Regular balsamic vinegar will work just fine, too!
Add veggies. If you want to make this pasta salad veggie packed add diced red bell pepper, sautéed spinach, or even fresh arugula.
Is caprese pasta healthy?
Caprese pasta salad can be healthy, everything in moderation!
Can I use any pasta for caprese pasta salad?
Yes, you can use any pasta for this caprese pasta salad.
What do I serve with Caprese Pasta Salad?
We suggest serving this salad with grilled chicken, burgers, veggies burgers are any of your favorite main dishes.
Store this Caprese pasta salad in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Caprese Pasta Salad
- 8 oz. uncooked cavatappi pasta
- 20 oz. cherry tomatoes halved
- 16 oz. small mozzarella balls halved
- 6-8 basil leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3 basil leaves minced
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta to the pot.
- Cook the pasta until al dente, about 7-10 minutes. Strain the pasta and rinse with cold water.
- Next, add the pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and basil leaves into a large bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper over the ingredients and toss again. Set aside.
- Prepare the dressing and add the mayo, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to a bowl and whisk the ingredients together.
- Continue to whisk the ingredients together and drizzle the olive oil into the dressing until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss until all of the ingredients are coated in dressing.
- Eat immediately or place the salad in the refrigerator to chill.
Tips & Notes
- You can use whatever fun pasta you would like.
- We used aged balsamic vinegar, but regular balsamic vinegar would work as well.