Caprese Pasta Salad

This salad.  Oh, this glorious salad.  Can I tell you how good it is?

My favorite salad quite possibly is a Caprese salad.  I love it all year long, but especially in the summer with fresh tomatoes from the garden or the farmers market.  

I love the simplicity of a Caprese salad and how the flavors blend together so nicely.  Fresh juicy tomatoes with creamy mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinegar.   It just can’t get much better than that.  

Since I frequently make a Caprese salad, usually on a bed of peppery arugula or if you recall last year when I created it with peaches in my Peach Caprese Salad.  The pasta lover in me thought how wonderful it would be tossed as a pasta salad.  

Friends, this is some good stuff.

You get all the components of a fresh Caprese salad tossed with pasta in a balsamic reduction and olive oil dressing.

I could eat this entire pasta dish.  

Actually, I almost did.  

If you are trying to stay away from thick, mayonnaise based pasta and potato salad than this is a fresh and crowd pleasing pasta salad.  Serves well at any gathering, a picnic in the park or just to grab a fork and nibble on it right out of the bowl which I like to do.  

Caprese Pasta Salad

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente
8 ounces fresh Ciliegine (cherry size) mozzarella balls, cut into wedges
8 ounces cherry tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste

Add balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan and simmer until liquid reduces to half, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat to cool.

In a large bowl combine pasta, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, garlic.  Drizzle balsamic reduction and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on toss and gently toss until thoroughly combined.

Season with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Before serving toss with remaining extra virgin olive oil.  


  1. I love all the tastes of summer in this gorgeous pasta salad!

  2. I adore caprese! This is beautiful Jennifer!!

  3. Like you, I’m a huge fan of caprese salads as well…what a wonderful idea turning it into a pasta salad! This is great for having a lot of company over for the 4th or any bbq. I’m going to check out your peach caprese, too…that sounds off the charts awesome!

  4. i love caprese salads and this pasta dish just tops off that caprese salad. love the flavors and gorgeous colors on this!

  5. Good thinking Jen! It looks even prettier in a pasta.

  6. I love everything with pasta – caesar salad with pasta in it is one of our favorites! This looks delicious, there is nothing better than fresh mozzarella!

  7. That has my mouth watering – especially with the balsamic!!

  8. This is just total perfection as far as I’m concerned. Love all the flavors!

  9. Glad I stumbled upon your site! Making this dish tonight!

  10. I added about 2 tsps Vegenaise to the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and salt / pepper/garlic to emulsify it . SO good!!!

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