Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad
This Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad is the traditional Caprese salad in pasta form! Pasta, fresh cherry tomatoes, basil, and tomatoes! This is so fresh 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.
Grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella balls, basil, and pesto tossed with some small pasta – any shape will do.
WHAT KIND OF PASTA DO I USE?
Any short pasta will do here such as farfalle pasta, rigatoni, penne, elbows, ziti,…you name it. Just use your favorite pasta.
Now with traditional Caprese Salad there are layers of juicy 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!!
OTHER CAPRESE RECIPES
OTHER ITALIAN RECIPES
- Unstuffed Shells Casserole
- Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
- One-Pan Baked Ziti Skillet
- Chicken and Spinach Stuffed Shells
- Sausage Baked Ziti
- One-Pan Spinach Artichoke Pasta
- Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
- One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
How many servings from that recipe?
What is in the optional balsamic glaze at the end? Just Balsamic vinegar, or a Balsamic vinegar reduction, or something else?
Thank you for your time!
It’s a reduced balsamic vinegar. The glaze is sold by the other vinegars.
It’s still May but I’m gathering recipes for a Fourth of July family gathering at our house.
I like to try new recipes before I serve them to family and friends. This recipe sounds delicious. I’ve never used white balsamic vinegar, but I don’t want brown pasta salad. I’ll get a bottle and if half a teaspoon of regular balsamic vinegar isn’t enough I’ll have white to add.
All of my family members like everything in this recipe, so I don’t think I can go wrong.
My husband and I love onions and I cook with them almost daily. But our youngest son and his family detest onions so this is a perfect recipe for them to enjoy.
Thank you for your recipes.
There’s never a shortage of delicious food when my whole family gets together! I like to try something new each time. This Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad sounded light and “summery”!
I used medium sized shells. Picked basil and cherry tomatoes from the garden. I had to use store-bought pesto because I didn’t have any left in my freezer, but it was fine. I’d never used the mozzarella “pearls” before…they’re so cute! My family loves cheese so I doubled up on the mozzarella. I did use white balsamic vinegar.
I will report that it was completely devoured and received rave reviews. One of my relatives cut up a grilled chicken breast and tossed it in to her serving of the pasta salad…great idea! I will definitely make this again
Great idea to use white balsamic vinegar. Makes it prettier!
Is there something else that can be used instead of balsamic vinegar? I don’t use it for anything.
You don’t have to add balsamic. It just gives it that tang.
Are the calories located anywhere on this? I can’t find them, thanks
Made this for dinner tonight. I also added a can of black olives. It was very good!
So glad you liked it!
This salad is delicious. I never have leftovers.
I love hearing that.
Just made this for the second time. It’s just plain delicious, with all my favorite ingredients! Easy to make, too. Thank you for sharing your recipes!
Hey Michelle, did u make the salad with the balsamic dressing how did it turn out???
Could you use a balsamic vinigerette dressing instead? It’s what I have on hand. Thanks, can’t wait to try this!
I bet that would be great!
I’ve been doing caprese mason jar salads for about 6 weeks now and lost 10 pounds yey. I think Im ready to switch things up and try this. Do you think it will last 5 days refrigerated?
Yes, I do!
Going to try your recipe tomorrow–sounds yummy.
Glad to hear about another person obsessed with fabric softener products. One time I dropped something from my house to my daughter’s work place, and a co-worker asked her what smelled so good at her desk–the GOOD house smell of fabric softener sheets!
Haha. It’s a cheap way to have everything smell wonderful!
Headed to a BBQ tomorrow, going to make this with white balsamic, however I did a balsamic reduction to drizzle over Irvine people want extra. You don’t think the two balsamic will clash do you? Thanks,
Darn auto correct, I meant “incase people want extra”. lolol
Nope! In my opinion they won’t!
This looks delicious! I love everything with caprese on it!
It’s seriously delish!
Oh no!!! Why does everything always break at the same time! That is totally something that would happen to me with the doorway situation. What a bummer! Go stick your nose in some pesto and think happy thoughts 🙂
this pesto pasta salad sounds delicious and it doesn’t use a ton of ingredients! going to need to make this sometime this summer! how awful about the washer – one inch! typical Monday.. hope it all works out!
Haha. Thanks for the sympathy. First world problems though, right?