Sweet cherry tomatoes, delicious fresh mozzarella balls, fresh slithers of basil leaves, and pasta, all tossed in a delicious balsamic vinaigrette – what’s not to love? We love making our Caprese pasta salad, it’s quick, it’s easy and it tastes SO good!
Why you’ll love this recipe
What’s in a Caprese pasta salad?
In our Caprese salad, we have fusilli pasta, mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, a delicious balsamic vinaigrette dressing, and a balsamic glaze garnish.
What does Caprese mean?
The traditional Caprese salad comes from the Island of Capri which is on the Amalfi coast in Italy, and this is where we first tasted this delicious Italian salad.
It’s a combination of slices, sliced mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil and it has a delicious Italian dressing drizzled over it, usually a balsamic vinaigrette.
We’ve taken the essence of Caprese and made it our own dish and it’s now one of our favorite pasta salads.!
Our Caprese pasta salad is a real crowd pleaser. Sweet, fresh, cheesy, and filling, it’s always the first bowl to be emptied at family parties.
What type of pasta should I use?
Most short pasta will be great in a Caprese pasta salad.
We’ve used fusilli, but you could use fusilli, ziti, or rigatoni, just use what you have in your store cupboard.
What type of mozzarella should I use?
For our pasta salad, it must be fresh mozzarella.
Mozzarella balls are perfect, they are small, tender and taste mellow, pearl mozzarella balls are the perfect size but if you can’t find them, then just dice a mozzarella instead.
Do I have to cook the tomatoes for this pasta salad?
We’ve designed this pasta recipe for ease and speed, so you don’t need to cook your tomatoes.
However, cooking the tomatoes would be a tasty alternative to raw tomatoes.
We recommend cooking them gently until they have just started to burst out of their skins, and when tossing your salad, do so gently so they don’t get too mushy.
Can I make this ahead?
Yes, you most certainly can!
Assemble the salad, then drizzle a small amount of dressing on it, then store it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Your Caprese pasta salad will keep for up to 4 days and the leftovers make great lunches or snacks.
Do I have to use balsamic glaze?
No, you don’t have to use balsamic glaze on your pasta salad, it’s not essential to the recipe.
However, it does add an intense tangy, sweet flavor to the dish and it’s got a wonderful deep color to it, it’s the finishing touches to a delicious salad!
Or why not make a vinaigrette?
With just olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, and garlic, you can make our awesome balsamic vinaigrette.
Recipe tips and notes
More easy pasta recipes for you to try
If you like pasta dishes, then you should check out these easy recipes.
And these delicious recipes tortellini pasta salad and peach Caprese salad.
How to make Caprese pasta salad with step-by-step instructions
Our Caprese pasta salad recipe is so easy, let us show you how to make it.
First, you’ll need to cook your pasta.
Place your pasta in a pan of salted water and cook (see packet instructions for how long to cook your pasta for).
Be careful that you don’t overcook your pasta, you want it to be al dente.
When the pasta has cooked, immediately drain it and set it aside.
Meanwhile, while your pasta is cooking, drain your mozzarella balls and, depending on their size, cut them in half and add them to a large bowl.
Now, slice your cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl.
Next to go in is your cooked pasta, toss it to ensure that all the ingredients are combined.
Now add your balsamic vinaigrette, drizzle it over your Caprese pasta salad, so that it’s evenly coated.
Then cut your fresh basil leaves into ribbons, add them to the bowl and then toss your pasta salad once more.
Finally, garnish balsamic glaze.
Either serve immediately or leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marinate.
The perfect Caprese pasta salad – enjoy!
We hope you enjoy making and eating our best Caprese pasta salad and would love to hear how you got on with making it.
Please leave a comment below and feel free to ask any questions you may have.
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EASY CAPRESE PASTA SALAD
- 8 oz Pasta
- 9 oz Mozzarella balls
- 8 oz Cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 2 tbsp Balsamic vinaigrette
- 3 tbsp Fresh basil cut into ribbons/slivers
- Balsamic glaze to garnish – optional
- First, you'll need to cook your pasta. Place your pasta in a pan of salted water and cook (see packet instructions for how long to cook your pasta for). Be careful that you don't overcook your pasta, you want it to be al dente. When the pasta has cooked, immediately drain it and set it aside8 oz Pasta
- Meanwhile, while your pasta is cooking, drain your mozzarella balls and, depending on their size, cut them in half and add them to a large bowl. Now, slice your cherry tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl. Next to go in is your cooked pasta, toss it to ensure that all the ingredients are combined9 oz Mozzarella balls, 8 oz Cherry tomatoes
- Now add your balsamic vinaigrette, drizzle it over your Caprese pasta salad, so that it's evenly coated. Then cut your basil leaves into ribbons, add them to the bowl and then toss your pasta salad once more. Finally, garnish balsamic glaze2 tbsp Balsamic vinaigrette, 3 tbsp Fresh basil, Balsamic glaze
- Either serve immediately or leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marinate
- The perfect Caprese pasta salad – enjoy!
- Making our Caprese pasta salad ahead?
Leave adding the fresh basil ribbons until around 30 minutes before serving, this way they will remain fresh and won’t wilt
- Is your salad looking too watery?
Don’t worry, just leave the pasta salad in the fridge for 30 minutes and you’ll see that the pasta will absorb the vinaigrette
- Want more flavor?
Add more vinaigrette and basil ribbons!
- Add a little crunch
Try scattering toasted pine nuts over the salad to give a nutty crunch to it
Please note that nutrient values are estimates only. Variations can occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of origin, preparation, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.
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