Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe


Pasta: 12 ounces short pasta (rotini, penne, farfalle, or orecchiette work great)

Tomatoes: 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered

Mozzarella: 16 ounces fresh mozzarella (pearls, ciliegine, or a ball cut into bite-sized pieces)

Basil: 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced


  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (white balsamic is milder, regular balsamic is bolder)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional, adds a flavor boost)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Optional additions: Slivered Kalamata olives, toasted pine nuts


Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Make the dressing: In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard (if using), garlic, salt, and pepper.

Assemble the salad: In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked pasta, halved tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

Dress the salad: Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Taste, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Marinate (optional, but recommended): Cover and let the salad marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Serve: Serve chilled or at room temperature. Garnish with extra basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, if desired.


Salt your pasta water: This really brings out the flavor of the pasta.

Fresh is best: Use the freshest tomatoes and basil you can find for the best flavor.

Customize: Add other Caprese-inspired ingredients like olives, artichoke hearts, or a sprinkle of pine nuts.

Make it ahead: This salad is perfect for making ahead of time as the flavors intensify. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Enjoy your delicious Caprese Pasta Salad!


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