Caprese Pasta Salad is bursting with fresh basil, juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, tender pasta and drizzled a white balsamic vinaigrette. It's sure to be a vegetarian summer classic recipe that friends and family will love.
Summer is fresh ingredient time and there is no way better to enjoy these flavors than by having a caprese salad. Cherry tomatoes are little balls of sweetness and the basil is so fragrant. Pair it with pasta, mozzarella and a homemade vinaigrette for a delicious refreshing salad!
- tomatoes - for this recipe I used plain red ones but feel free to use colored such as yellow or orange and even mix them all up for this dish. Heirloom tomatoes would be great cut into small pieces.
- basil - if a basil package at the store is too expensive, buy a plant for around $4 and use it all summer long (I got my plant at Trader Joe's)
- pasta - the name of this one is called Gigli. Any type would do but I would recommend using one no bigger than an 1" (think bowties, large elbow, etc.)
- mozzarella - these small balls are called ciliegine. You could also use the pearl size or a log cut into small pieces. For this salad I highly recommend using fresh not processed.
- vinegar - I used white balsamic. You could use dark but I wanted to keep the vinaigrette a light color
- olive oil - a good quality extra virgin would be a good pick
- garlic - use fresh but if in a bind, add a bit of garlic powder
- sweetener - a small amount of granulated sugar gives it a little sweetness. Substitute honey if you prefer
- salt and pepper - kosher salt and freshly ground black
Please see recipe card for instructions and quantities.
In a small bowl combine the minced garlic, pepper, salt, sugar and vinegar.
Add in the olive oil and whisk until well combined.
Cook the pasta according to the directions, strain and run under cold water. Place pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella balls and basil in bowl or platter. Toss with the homemade white balsamic vinaigrette.
Do you like caprese salads and want to try some other variations?
- Corn Caprese Salad - this one is so good with fresh corn!
- Lemon Caprese - for this salad I used yellow cherry tomatoes and even yellow peppers for a summery looking salad
- Burger - what you are saying? Yep - I added a caprese salad to a burger - so good!
The key is to use fresh. Some of the different shapes are called bocconcini, ovoline, ciliegine and perlini. It also comes in a log shape that can be cut into pieces
Yes, dark is typically aged longer and can look "syrupy". It definitely has a great taste. I used white for color looks only.
Caprese salad can be used as a light lunch or side dish. It pairs well with grilled chicken or fish too.
Once the caprese pasta salad is mixed with the vinaigrette, I like to let it sit for about 30 minutes to meld the flavors. You can store covered in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Cook the pasta to al dente, drain and run under cold water to prevent the pasta from cooking further.
Get the Recipe
- 8 oz. ciliegine mozzarella balls, halved
- 4 oz. gigli pasta
- 10 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
- 15 leaves fresh basil
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- In a small bowl whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside
- Cook the pasta according to directions (al dente) then run under cold water, drain well
- Combine the pasta, mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves
- Drizzle on vinaigrette and toss gently under combined
- Let sit about 30 minutes and serve
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 441mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 15g
Nutritional information provided is computer-generated and only an estimate. You may want to do your own research with the ingredients listed if you have concerns about health or specific diets.
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