This Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad is the traditional Caprese salad in pasta form! Pasta, tomatoes, basil, and tomatoes! This  is so fresh and the perfect side dish for BBQs and potlucks!

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad


I’m in the middle of a laundry fiasco. For some reason this year our dryer, dishwasher, AC, and now washing machine have kicked the bucket.

We spent our last date night looking for a new washing machine.

We decided on a washing machine that had a large capacity which means less loads for me and with five kids that means everything.

So today, the delivery guys took our old one out and went to put in the new one and…couldn’t get it through the laundry room doorway! AHHHH!

It was too big by an inch. Which means now we have to exchange it, pick out a smaller one, and schedule a delivery.

Best case scenario I’ll have a new washer in 4 days which in mom time might as well be 2 weeks.

So if you see the Denney family looking a little less fresh, you’ll know why.

It’s important to know that I am obsessed with having clean smelling laundry. I go through dryer sheets and fabric softener like it’s my job.

My friend moved away and I sent her a gift and she said my package smelled like my house.

I hesitantly asked, “And…what does my house smell like?”

You know…fabric softener.”

Phew. Let’s face it. There are a lot of smells my house could be associated with since 5 kids live here. I’m just glad it was fabric softener.

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

Would it be weird to have a fabric softener that smelled like pesto.

I could smell pesto all day long which is probably why I love this Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad. It’s pretty simple.

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

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad


Any short pasta will do here such as farfalle, rigatoni, penne, elbows, ziti,…you name it.

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

Now with traditional Caprese Salad there are layers of tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic.

The key to giving that extra bite is to mix a little balsamic in the dressing. Any more than about 1/2 a teaspoon 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
3.95 from 19 votes

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

This Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad is the traditional Caprese salad in pasta form! Pasta, tomatoes, basil, and tomatoes! This  is so fresh and the perfect side dish for BBQs and potluck!


  • 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 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


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; cook the pasta at a boil until tender yet firm to the bite, about 8 minutes; drain and cool.
  2. Mix pesto, olive oil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and balsamic vinegar in a 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.

  3. Add pasta and toss to coat. Fold in tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil.

  4. Chill in the fridge until ready to eat. Drizzle with balsamic glaze if desired.

Recipe Notes

Source: slightly adapted from Allrecipes

Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad