This Caprese Pasta Salad is the traditional Caprese salad in pasta form! Pasta, fresh tomatoes, basil, and tomatoes! This is a simple recipe and the perfect side dish for your summer BBQ and potlucks!

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad


I could smell pesto all day long which is probably why I love this summer pasta salad. It’s pretty simple.

You could make fresh basil pesto with pine nuts and basil using a food processor but store-bought pesto is fine too.

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

Grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, basil, and pesto tossed with some small tender pasta – any shape will do.

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad


Any short pasta will do here such as farfalle pasta, rigatoni, penne, elbows, ziti, rotini pasta,…you name it. Just use your favorite pasta.

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

Now with classic Caprese Salad there are layers of juicy tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of regular balsamic vinegar.

The key to giving that extra bite is to mix a little balsamic in the dressing. Any more than about 1/2 a teaspoon of the balsamic dressing will start to turn your pasta brown.

Of course if you use white balsamic vinegar you can add as much as you want. This screams summer!!



Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

4.18 from 28 votes
This Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad recipe is the traditional Caprese salad in pasta form! Pasta, sweet cherry tomatoes, basil, and tomatoes! This has fresh ingredients and is an easy pasta salad recipe for BBQs and potluck!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 3 cups dry orecchiette pasta, or other small pasta, (or 4 1/2 cups cooked pasta)
  • 1/3 cup pesto, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, more to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups small pearlini fresh mozzarella balls, (or ciliegine cut in half)
  • 6 leaves fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
  • (optional) balsamic glaze


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; cook pasta al dente, about 8 minutes or according to the package directions; drain and cool.
  • Mix pesto, olive oil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl. You can add more balsamic to taste but it will start to change the color of the dressing unless you are using white balsamic vinegar.
  • Add pasta and toss to coat. Fold in tomatoes, fresh mozzarella pearls, and fresh basil.
  • Chill in the fridge until ready to eat. Drizzle with balsamic glaze if desired.
Cuisine: Italian
Course: Side Dish
Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad