Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad is not just for the hot summer months. Make this refreshing Italian-inspired dish all-year-round with this easy-to-follow recipe!

I love pasta dishes because they are simple yet the flavors sing. This is just one of the many easy-to-make recipes that I have along with Shrimp and Broccoli, Cheesy Chicken Fajita Quesadilla, and Ground Beef Stroganoff. Check them all out!

caprese pasta salad with pesto

Italian Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad is something you need to try in case you haven’t. If you love Italian dishes like me, you will surely love this recipe.

There are many layers of flavors in this one because of the pesto. Yet it is still light and refreshing with the use of the tomatoes and basil.

It tastes good whether you serve it hot or cold. Just take the basics of this recipe and make it entirely a hot dish. It will still burst with freshness.

caprese pasta salad with bow tie pasta

And even when it is no longer summer, my family still craves this dish. You only need 30 minutes for this yet the outcome is something you would expect from a restaurant.

Also, you will only need a few basic ingredients for this one. It makes for a perfect weeknight dinner, right?

And it is loaded with pasta which makes it hearty. Pair it with your favorite meaty main dish and you get yourself a feast!

What is Caprese?

It is an Italian salad that has basil, mozzarella, and tomatoes dressed with Italian dressing or olive oil. With its lightness, it is best served as a starter.

Named after the place it is thought to originate which is Capri, an island in Italy, it is easy to remember the main ingredients. They simply correspond to the colors of the Italian flag – green, white, and red.

caprese pasta salad

How to make Caprese pasta salad?

These are the basic steps that you need to do:

  1. Prepare the pesto: Mince the ingredients. Slowly, add in the olive oil. Then, mix in the cheese.
  2. Prepare the bow ties: Simply follow the directions in the packaging to cook it al dente. Then, drain.
  3. Assemble: In a large bowl, layer all the ingredients. Then, toss everything with the pesto.
  4. Serve: Garnish with nuts and herbs. Then, serve.

What to serve with Caprese pasta salad?

I love pairing this with meaty mains. Here are some of my equally easy recipes that you can pair with this:

caprese pasta salad with tomatoes

Can pasta salad be made ahead of time?

Yes! It will even taste better if you prepare it earlier and allow the flavors to meld.

And as soon as you assemble this, it may be watery. But as it sits, the pasta somewhat absorbs the excess moisture making it more delightful to eat.

You can also store this for up to 2 or 3 days in the fridge. So, if you have a party coming up, you can prepare this in advance. Then, you will have more time to prepare your other dishes on the day of your party.

Looking for more pasta dishes?

Try these recipes that you can prepare real quick:

caprese pasta salad in a bowl

Recipe Tips:

  • Instead of the bow tie, you can always use another type like rotini, fusilli, or even shells that can also hold the pesto well.
  • Another variation of this recipe is to use balsamic vinegar as the dressing.
  • You can add more ingredients like bits of ham, olives, and peppers to make it tastier.
  • Since this can be stored for a few days, you can double this and save the rest for later.
5 from 5 votes
caprese pasta salad with pesto
Caprese Pasta Salad
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Caprese Pasta Salad is not just for the hot summer months. Make this refreshing Italian-inspired dish all-year-round with this easy-to-follow recipe!

Course: Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Caprese Pasta Salad
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 730 kcal
Author: Catalina Castravet
Ingredients
Pesto:
  • 6 cups fresh basil leaves tems removed
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Pasta Salad:
  • 12 ounces bow tie pasta measured dry and cooked per package directions and drained
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
  • 3 cups small mozzarella pearls halved
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
Ganish:
  • Basil Leaves
Instructions
Pesto:
  1. Combine ingredients in a food processor, except olive oil and cheese, and finely mince.
  2. Reduce speed to low, and little by little add the olive oil, blend until smooth.
  3. Add the parmesan cheese, and pulse to combine.
  4. Scoop into a small airtight container use it immediately or cover and refrigerate.
Salad:
  1. After cooking the pasta, run it under cold water and drain it very well. Add it to a large salad bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Toss to combine.
  3. Garnish with basil and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Caprese Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 730 Calories from Fat 837
% Daily Value*
Fat 93g143%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 516mg22%
Potassium 517mg15%
Carbohydrates 54g18%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 2561IU51%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 376mg38%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
easy caprese pasta salad pin

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