Caprese Pasta Salad – super simple dish that can be eaten as a whole meal or a side. Fresh tomatoes and basil make this an excellent summer pasta salad for picnics, potlucks and family dinners!
You guys LOVE my chopped caprese salad recipe, so here's another way to enjoy it in pasta form!
This can be made with whatever kind of pasta you want – macaroni or another tubular pasta, rotini or spiraled pasta, or any bite-sized pasta. I suppose you could even use a spaghetti-type pasta, though that's not as easy to bring to picnics!
I used a gluten-free fusillo pasta from Trader Joe's.
Then all you need to do is chop up some cherry tomatoes + mozzarella (or get mozzarella balls), and fresh basil.
Toss with olive oil and sea salt, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and/or glaze. I like to use a little bit of both!
You can even use white balsamic vinegar if you have that, if you're worried about the appearance of the pasta turning brown. Otherwise it's good to add that on at the very last minute before serving.
Tip: You could instead use a balsamic dressing to toss in with the salad instead of the vinegar!
If you happen to have leftovers, adding a little more olive oil right before serving again helps freshen it up!
Caprese Pasta Salad
- 8 ounces pasta (macaroni or spiraled like fusilli works best)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more as desired or to freshen up leftovers)
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes , halved
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese , chopped into bite-sized pieces (or use mozzarella balls)
- handful fresh basil leaves , roughly chopped
- sea salt (I like pink himalayan)
- drizzle of balsamic vinegar (and/or balsamic glaze)
- Cook pasta in boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and rinse to cool, and put in large bowl.
- Add in the olive oil to the pasta (adding it now will help the pasta not stick together). Then add the chopped tomatoes, cheese, basil leaves and salt and toss.
- If serving immediately, finish with drizzle of balsamic vinegar and/or balsamic glaze. (Tip: use white balsamic vinegar if you don't want the salad to get discolored.)
- If preparing ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready and drizzle with balsamic right before serving.
- You could instead use a balsamic dressing to toss in with the salad instead of the vinegar!
Recommended and useful items for this Caprese Pasta Salad recipe:
Balsamic glaze, gluten-free pastas and my favorite sea salt can all be found in the Trial and Eater amazon store.
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