This Caprese Pasta Salad is filled with tender noodles, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and creamy mozzarella cheese. It’s tossed in a white balsamic and pesto dressing, which gives this dish a burst of flavor. Simple, fresh, and full of flavor, this cold pasta salad is ready in minutes and is perfect for summer!
Easy Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe
If you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you know that I’m practically obsessed with caprese flavors, especially in the summer.
From this garlic bread, to that quinoa salad, this burger, and that grilled cheese, I love finding new ways to incorporate the trifecta of my favorite ingredients (tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese).
This caprese pasta salad is filled with tender noodles, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and creamy mozzarella cheese. It’s tossed in a white balsamic and pesto dressing, which gives this dish a burst of flavor. Simple, fresh, and full of flavor, this pasta salad is ready in minutes and is perfect for summer!
If you love caprese as much as I do, then I guarantee you’ll be head over heels for this caprese pasta salad.
The fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella make the most amazing flavor combination, especially when tossed with a zesty dressing. And what could be better than tossing everything with some fresh pasta?
So, the next time you’re looking to entertain at a summer party or get-together, or just want to embrace the flavors of summer, this Caprese Pasta Salad is just what you need!
Caprese Pasta Salad Ingredients
This caprese pesto pasta salad couldn’t be simpler to make! Here’s what you’ll need to make this tomato, basil, and mozzarella pasta salad:
- Olive oil
- White balsamic vinegar
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Mozzarella pearls
- Salt and pepper
What’s the Best Pasta for Pasta Salad?
I recommend using cavatappi or another short, sturdy pasta shape to make this recipe for caprese pasta salad.
How to Make Caprese Pasta Salad
And like most of my recipes, this caprese pesto pasta salad is a breeze to whip up. But you knew that was coming, right?
- Cook noodles until al dente.
- Toss together cooked pasta, olive oil, pesto, and white balsamic vinegar.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir.
You can enjoy this caprese pasta salad immediately while it’s still warm, or you can refrigerate it to eat as a cold pesto pasta salad.
Can You Freeze Pasta Salad?
I don’t recommend freezing this caprese pasta salad, no. The cherry tomatoes would change texture, as would the fresh basil.
How Long Does Caprese Pasta Salad Last?
You can keep this caprese pesto pasta salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days, noting that the pasta and tomatoes will soften over time.
Recipe Variations to Try
You can mix and match the ingredients in this caprese pasta salad recipe as you see fit. Here are some ingredient swaps you can make, if needed:
- Pasta: Use any short and sturdy pasta shape you’d like.
- Mozzarella pearls: You may buy a ball of mozzarella and dice it, if that’s all you can find.
- Pesto: I used basil pesto, but any variety will work.
- White balsamic vinegar: Regular balsamic will also work, just note that it has a much stronger flavor.
- Cherry tomatoes: Grape tomatoes or diced Roma tomatoes may also be used.
Tips for Making Caprese Pasta Salad
- I used cavatappi noodles to make this caprese pesto pasta salad, but any short, sturdy noodle will work. Think: elbow macaroni, bowtie pasta, etc.
- I used classic basil pesto in this recipe, but really any pesto will work. I’ve seen fun pesto variations at the store like sun-dried tomato pesto — use whatever you’d like.
- Note that this caprese pasta salad is best the day it’s made. The tomatoes and basil wilt over time, and the pasta will soften the longer it sits in the fridge.
Looking for more pasta salad ideas? I’ve got you covered!
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Roasted Mushroom and Tomato Pasta Salad
- Cherry Balsamic Pasta Salad
- Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
- Creamy BLT Pasta Salad
Caprese Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces cavatappi noodles (or other noodle of choice)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes , quartered
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 8 oz mozzarella pearls
- Salt and pepper , to taste
- In a large pot, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and immediately rinse under cold water.
- Pour pasta into a large bowl. Add olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and pesto. Toss to combine.
- Add tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.