pesto pasta caprese salad in a white bowl

Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad

Pesto Caprese pasta salad is so quick and easy to make you will be serving it all summer!

This Caprese pasta salad is made easy with small pasta, pearl mozzarella balls, fresh grape tomatoes, and flavorful basil pesto.

pesto caprese pasta salad in a white bowl

Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad

Pasta salads make great sides but add in some grilled chicken or shrimp and you have a full meal. This salad is also great to take to barbecues, potlucks, and family gatherings!

It’s great to serve a crowd or you can cut the recipe in half for serving your family.

Caprese is a basic salad made with tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar. So why not add some pasta to make it even better?

Ingredients Needed for Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad

Ingredients for Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad.
  • Short pasta – Any short pasta will work. You can use farfalle, orichette, penne, or elbow pasta.
  • Mozzarella Pearls – Also known as Bocconcini or Ciliegine. You can also cut a larger piece of fresh mozzarella into tiny bite-size pieces.
  • Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes.
  • Fresh basil
  • Prepared pesto – Homemade is great, but we use jarred pesto to keep this simple and easy.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar – This will turn the pasta dark, if you don’t like that use white balsamic vinegar.
  • Garlic, salt, and pepper.
Caprese pasta salad in a white bowl

How to Make Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, and salt the water generously. Cook the pasta according to the instructions for al dente. Drain and lightly rinse in cold water. Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl and set it aside to cool.

While the pasta is cooling slice the tomatoes in half. Drain the pearl mozzarella if necessary.

Once the pasta is cooled add the mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and the thinly sliced fresh basil.

In a measuring cup add the pesto, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper. Whisk to combine.

Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad

Drizzle the dressing over the pasta and toss gently to coat. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad with some tomatoes as a garnish.

Serve immediately. This pasta salad can be served at room temperature or cold. Serve as a side dish or serve as a meal along with some bread and maybe a tossed green salad.

Can I Make Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad Ahead?

Yes. Drizzle 1/2 of the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Store both the salad and reserved dressing until ready to serve. When ready to serve drizzle the remaining dressing, toss to coat again, and taste for seasoning.

More Salad Recipes

Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad in a white bowl

Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe

This Caprese pasta salad is made easy with small pasta, pearl mozzarella balls, fresh grape tomatoes, and flavorful basil pesto.
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Course: Salad
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: caprese, pasta salad, pesto
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 376kcal
Author: DSTR

Ingredients

Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb Farfalle pasta or Orichette, penne, elbow pasta
  • 16 oz Pearl mozzarella (small balls)
  • 3 cups Cherry tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup Fresh basil thinly sliced

Dressing

  • 1/3 cup Pesto
  • 1/4 cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper

Instructions

  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot, salt the water generously. Cook the pasta according to the instructions for al dente. Drain and lightly rinse in cold water. Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl and set it aside to cool.
  • While the pasta is cooling slice the tomatoes in half. Drain the pearl mozzarella if necessary. Slice the basil into thin strips.
  • Once the pasta is cooled add the mozzarella, tomatoes, and the thinly sliced fresh basil.
  • In a measuring cup add the pesto, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper. Whisk to combine.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the pasta and toss gently to coat. Taste for seasoning.

Nutrition

Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 293mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 449IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 1mg

Recipe adapted from foodiecrush

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