You’ll be making this Caprese Pasta Salad on repeat all summer long! It’s the perfect fresh combination of flavors with the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, pasta, and balsamic vinaigrette.
This post is sponsored by BUBBL’R.
Caprese Pasta Salad
This Caprese Pasta Salad is the best simple summer pasta salad! It honestly couldn’t be any easier to make, and the flavors are so incredibly delicious.
It’s perfect as-is if you want to serve it as a vegetarian side dish, but feel free to add some sliced grilled chicken if you want to serve it as a main dish.
I’ve written the recipe to be the right size to make a side dish for a family. If you’re planning to feed a crowd at a BBQ or a cookout, feel free to double or triple the recipe! It multiplies perfectly.
I’ve partnered up with BUBBL’R to bring you this super easy cold pasta salad recipe. I love pairing it with a can of their twisted elix’r flavor – the flavors pair so well together! You can find out where to buy BUBBL’R here.
Olive Oil: Be sure to use a high quality extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. It really makes such a difference in the flavor of this tomato pasta salad.
Balsamic Vinegar: I used regular balsamic vinegar, but feel free to use white balsamic vinegar if you’d prefer. I think this Italian pasta salad would probably look a little prettier with white balsamic vinegar, but it tastes super delicious with regular balsamic vinegar, so I wanted to use the ingredient that I think more people are likely to have on hand.
If you really love the flavor of balsamic, try drizzling balsamic glaze over the finished pasta salad before serving it.
Garlic: One medium sized clove of garlic pressed through a garlic press adds so much flavor to this dressing! It really amps up the flavor. Since it’s raw garlic, I wouldn’t recommend doubling it (even if you’re one of those people that normally add tons of garlic to every recipe they try).
Italian Seasoning: A little bit of Italian seasoning adds so much incredible flavor to the dressing. Definitely don’t skimp on this! If you don’t have any Italian seasoning, try using a bit of pesto instead. It will add a delicious flavor to the dressing.
Salt: I used sea salt, so if you’re using table salt, I’d recommend using less. Table salt will make the dressing taste much saltier than sea salt does.
Pasta: I used rotini, but feel free to use your favorite short pasta for this recipe.
Mozzarella: Fresh mozzarella is the way to go for this pasta salad. You can either use pearl mozzarella, mini bocconcini that’s been quartered, or a large ball of fresh mozzarella that’s been cut into 1/4” cubes.
Tomatoes: Cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes both work here. Just use whichever one you have on hand.
Basil: Fresh basil is always the way to go with anything caprese. It adds tons of flavor and really rounds out the whole dish.
How To Make Caprese Pasta Salad
Start by boiling the pasta until it’s al dente, then rinse the pasta in a colander under cold running water. While the pasta is boiling, mix together the ingredients for the pasta salad dressing. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Quarter the cherry tomatoes.
If you’re using pearl mozzarella, they’re ready to go. But if you’re using mini bocconcini you’ll need to quarter them. If you’re using a large ball of mozzarella, dice it into 1/4” cubes.
Finely chop the fresh basil.
To a large bowl, add the cooked pasta, vinaigrette, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Gently stir until the pasta is evenly coated in the dressing. See the recipe card below for the full written recipe, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
What Type Of Pasta Should I Use?
I used rotini because I love the way the grooves hold the flavor from the dressing. Some other great options are bowtie (farfalle), orzo, penne, orecchiette, or your favorite short pasta.
You could even use tortellini if you want to make this a heartier recipe!
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our side dishes! Some reader favorites are:
- 1/3 cup high quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 medium clove garlic (pressed or minced)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt*
- 1/2 pound short pasta (I used rotini)
- 8 ounces mozzarella pearls (or mini bocconcini quartered, or you can cut a large ball of fresh mozzarella into 1/4” cubes)
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes (quartered)
- 7 large fresh basil leaves (diced)
- To a large pot of salted boiling water, add the pasta and cook to al dente, according to the package instructions. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it through a colander and rinse it thoroughly with cold water.
- While the pasta is cooking, make the vinaigrette. To a small bowl, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, and fine sea salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a large bowl, toss the pasta, vinaigrette, mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil together.
- Let the pasta salad rest for 20 minutes before serving. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your preference.
*If you’re using table salt, this amount will be too salty. It’s better to half it to 1/4 teaspoon, and adjust up from there if you’d like it saltier.
This recipe can be doubled if you’re planning to make it for a large crowd.
If you’re making this ahead, only mix in 2/3 of the vinaigrette and store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge, then toss the salad with the remaining vinaigrette just before serving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 532Total Fat: 29.1gCarbohydrates: 49.1gFiber: 3.1gSugar: 4.5gProtein: 18.3g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
This is the best Caprese Pasta Salad! If you love spice, try adding a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes.