Caprese Pasta Salad is a huge hit at parties! Serve this delicious dish as a side, salad or appetizer. The combination of Mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil is absolute perfection!
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Caprese Pasta Salad is one of those super easy peasy recipes that gets rave reviews at any type of gathering and during any time of the year. I make this salad A TON throughout the year.
It sits in our fridge for lunches or snacks throughout the week. I also make it as a side dish as well as bringing it to many summer and winter parties throughout the year.
It is so super simple, requiring only a handful of main ingredients and it’s off-the-charts delicious. It comes with a warning, though: Once you start eating it, you will not be able to stop. The combination of fresh grape tomatoes, fresh basil, Rotini pasta and Mozzarella pearls is so deliciously perfect you will hardly be able to stand it.
WATCH THIS QUICK VIDEO TO SEE HOW EASY IT IS TO MAKE CAPRESE PASTA SALAD!
HOW TO MAKE PERFECT CAPRESE PASTA SALAD
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a 16-ounce box of Rotini pasta. Cook until al dente, then drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients:
- Cooked Rotini pasta, cooked according to package instructions and at room temperature
- 8-ounce container grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8-ounce package fresh Mozzarella pearls
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Mix well, season with salt and pepper and cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate until you are ready to serve this yummy salad!
- Pesto is easy to find at most grocery stores, but feel free to make your own pesto if you’re feeling adventurous. It is easy to make and soo delicious!
- If you are unable to find fresh mozzarella balls (look in the specialty cheese section of your local grocery store), purchase a chunk of fresh mozzarella instead and cut it into 1/2-inch chunks.
- Turn this into a gluten free salad by using gluten free pasta!
- Keep this salad covered and in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. It will stay fresh in the fridge for 2-3 days, so it is a great make-ahead dish.
- Replace fresh basil with 1 tablespoon of dried basil in a pinch!
- Sprinkle a thin layer of salt and black pepper over the top of the salad just before serving.
- This makes a large bowl full of pasta salad, so feel free to cut the recipe in half for a smaller batch.
- Add shredded or chopped grilled chicken for extra protein.
WHAT IS CAPRESE
Caprese is a traditional Italian entree made from tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. These caprese flavors make an appearance in any recipe labeled as such.
OTHER PASTA SALAD RECIPES
- Best Ever Pasta Salad – This is my favorite pasta salad recipe of ALL TIME. It is packed full of delicious bites (think olives, salami, chunks of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes!) and it is the perfect food to bring to potlucks.
- Asian Pasta Salad – Spruce up your next pasta salad by making this tangy Asian Pasta Salad! This delicious dish is packed with an irresistible sweet and salty flavor, as well as tons of colorful, crunchy vegetables. This is the perfect dish to bring to any gathering!
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad – If you are a pickle lover, this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad is for YOU! It is creamy, flavorful and crunchy all in a single bite. This is a great, quick recipe to throw together for summer gatherings and potlucks. It’s a crowd pleaser!
- Italian Pasta Salad is a delicious cold salad that can be made quickly, but that does not lack in flavor! It is packed with Italian seasonings, pasta, crisp veggies, fresh mozzarella, black olives and salami. Make a double batch to share at your next summer gathering.
- Easy Classic Macaroni Salad is creamy, crunchy, filling and totally delicious! You have hard boiled eggs, crunchy celery and dill pickles chopped up and mixed in. You’ll enjoy the diced red onion and flavor of the simple dressing made with mayo, mustard and apple cider vinegar with a few spices thrown in!
- Mediterranean Pasta Salad – Fill your fork with an incredibly tasty salad that combines pasta with fresh, crisp vegetables and a light vinaigrette straight from the Mediterranean! This zesty salad will be a perfect addition to a summer BBQ, your work potluck or at dinner on the table.
Caprese Pasta Salad
- 16 oz Rotini pasta cooked al dente, drained
- 8 oz tomatoes cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 8 oz mozzarella pearls
- 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt/pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve!