Easy Caprese Pasta Salad

Make a day ahead or enjoy this easy pasta salad in a few hours.  ( The prep time below includes 2 hours of chilling in the refrigerator)

  • Author: Katia
  • Prep Time: 2 hr 10 min
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 2 hr 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 1/2 lb. (8 oz.) short dry pasta (gemelli, orecchiette, penne, fusilli, rotini, bowtie or small shells)
  • 8 oz. small marinated mozzarella balls, halved
  • 1 cup ( 8 oz.) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, packed, cut into ribbons

Caprese Pasta Salad Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (white balsamic vinegar is great if you have it)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large clove of garlic, pressed
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic


  1. Boil Pasta per directions on the packaging for al dente.
  2. Make the dressing: Mix olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, pressed garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic in a small mixing bowl, and set aside.
  3. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and cut basil into thin ribbons.
  4. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and run a little cold water just for about 1 minute. (We want the pasta to stay warm so the dressing soaks into the pasta better)
  5. Mix pasta, tomatoes, dressing and basil in a large mixing bowl and chill at least 2 hours. (If you can't wait 2 hours, just chill the pasta thoroughly under cold water)
  6. Once you are ready to serve the salad, mix in your cut mozzarella balls, adjust the seasoning and add a bit of olive oil just to freshen it up and enjoy! 



Enjoy this salad within 2-3 days for maximum freshness

Keywords: salad, pasta, ceprese, mozarella, basil, cold side, side dish

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