Somewhat Simple

Caprese Pasta Salad

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This simple and delicious caprese pasta salad recipe is so fresh and easy to make. Loaded with pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and topped with fresh basil and a balsamic dressing, it’s the perfect side dish for any summer potluck or barbecue!

This easy recipe is one of my favorite summer salads to make.  Some of my other favorite salads are these Cobb Salad, Loaded Baked Potato Salad and Asian Chicken Salad recipes.

a white bowl filled with a caprese pasta salad that is made with shell pasta, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, tossed in italian dressing and topped with a balsamic glaze. A spoon has been set in the bowl and two tomatoes and fresh basil are in the background and a black and white checkered cloth napkin is on the counter next to the bowl.

What is Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese (Ka•pre•ze) is a simple Italian dish made up of fresh tomatoes, sliced mozzarella and fresh sweet basil. Many caprese foods are sprinkled with salt and pepper and/or drizzled with a balsamic glaze.  Using these delicious ingredients with a bowl of your favorite pasta and you have a delicious caprese pasta salad.

Caprese Pasta Salad

Now that the weather is warming up, it’s time to bring out all the delicious summer salads! On a hot day, it’s such a relief to have something cool and refreshing to eat for dinner that doesn’t require heating up the whole house. This caprese pasta is the perfect side dish for any summer meal.

It goes wonderfully with grilled chicken or steak, and is just the thing to bring to a barbecue or pot luck! It’s also perfect as a light lunch on a day when you don’t feel like cooking. It’s so savory and flavorful, and the combination of flavors is fantastic!

How To Make Caprese Pasta Salad

  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box
  2. Drain and rinse the pasta will cold water
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the pasta, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and basil
  4. Toss the mixture with the Italian dressing
  5. Drizzle a balsamic glaze over the top
  6. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving

Caprese Pasta Salad Ingredients

This caprese pasta salad recipe has only six ingredients, and takes just a few minutes to make. All you need are:

  • Your favorite type of pasta
  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Basil
  • Italian dressing
  • Balsamic glaze*

*I found my balsamic glaze at the grocery store next to the olive oil and vinegar. If you can’t find a pre-made balsamic glaze, it’s easy to make your own at home.

a white plate filled with this caprese pasta salad recipe. The ingredients used to make it were shell pasta, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, tossed in italian dressing and topped with a balsamic glaze. Two forks on on the counter next to the plate and a bowl of more caprese salad is in the background with a red tomato next to it.

Tips For Making Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Once the pasta has finished boiling be sure rinse it with cold water.  I’ll even throw a few ice cubes on top of the pasta while rinsing it to cool it down even faster.  If the pasta is too hot while you’re mixing in the other ingredients, it can make the texture of the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese less than desirable.
  • Be sure to use fresh mozzarella cheese and basil for this pasta salad.  The flavor of the fresh ingredients really make this pasta salad pop!

How To Store Caprese Pasta Salad

You can store this pasta salad in the refrigerator for about 3 days before it will be too soggy to enjoy.  If you haven’t put any of the dressing on top of the salad, you can freeze it and use it later.  However, because this recipe is so easy to make, I wouldn’t recommend freezing it.  You really can’t beat the taste of this salad when it’s been made fresh.

More Easy Caprese Recipes

Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe

Go ahead, give this delicious salad recipe a try.  Leave us a comment below and let us know how much you enjoyed this pasta salad or tag us on social media after you make it because we love to see what you’ve been up to in the kitchen!

Caprese Pasta Salad
5 from 5 votes
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Easy Caprese Pasta Salad

This simple and delicious caprese pasta salad is so fresh and easy to make. It's the perfect side dish for any summer potluck or barbecue!

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword pasta
Prep Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 Cup
Calories 220 kcal

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces shell pasta
  • 2 small ripe tomatoes chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella chopped
  • 1/2 cup Italian dressing
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, then drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Add the pasta, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella to a large mixing bowl, then toss with the Italian dressing.
  3. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze, then refrigerate 30 minutes, or until ready to serve.

 

a close up of a white bowl filled with a caprese pasta salad that is made with shell pasta, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, tossed in italian dressing and topped with a balsamic glaze. A spoon has been set in the bowl and two tomatoes and fresh basil are in the background and a black and white checkered cloth napkin is on the counter next to the bowl. The words caprese pasta salad are written at the top of the image in a white translucent box.

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