Caprese Pasta Salad

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Caprese Pasta Salad is a bright, tangy summer salad that is perfect to take to a potluck or picnic. Grape tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, garlic, and fresh basil are the most delicious additions to a pasta salad recipe!

This caprese pasta salad is a great meatless meal or top it with grilled chicken breasts to add extra protein.

Caprese Pasta Salad in a white bowl

Start with Fresh Ingredients

caprese salad is a very simple recipe with few ingredients so it’s important to choose great quality.

  • Tomatoes: I use cherry or grape tomatoes but any ripe fresh tomatoes will be great in this recipe. I also add some diced sundried tomatoes (oil packed is best).
  • Mozzarella: Bocconcini is the perfect creamy addition to this salad. It’s softer and milder than a traditional mozzarella (and available at almost any store).
  • Basil: This is one place it’s really worth it to use fresh, the flavor is amazing! Instead of buying a little bunch of basil at the grocery, check if they have basil plants. They’re only a few dollars and will last a long time!
  • Pasta: Any medium pasta works, choose one with crevices and curves so it can hold the dressing!

Caprese Pasta Salad ingredients in a bowl before being mixed

How to Make Caprese Pasta Salad

This recipe is easy caprese!

  1. Cook and drain pasta, rinse under cold water (to stop it from cooking).
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and add tomatoes to the dressing. Let marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature for maximum flavor!
  3. Combine the pasta with the remaining ingredients and drizzle dressing over.

Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate at least two hour before serving. Garnish with fresh basil and cracked black pepper before serving (the basil is best added just before serving)!

Caprese Salad Dressing

A simple combo of olive oil and red wine vinegar is the base of the dressing. If you are using oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, add a splash of oil from the jar for great flavor!

Some people like balsamic vinegar on caprese, you can add a splash if you like but it’s a bit more powerful than red wine vinegar so use sparingly. I prefer a small drizzle of balsamic glaze before serving.

a serving of Caprese Pasta Salad in a white dish

Can You Make This in Advance?

Caprese Pasta Salad can be made in advance, but no more than about a day. Be sure to toss well and adjust the salt and pepper before serving!

Pass the Pasta

closeup of Caprese Pasta Salad in a white bowl
4.95 from 19 votes
Review Recipe

Caprese Pasta Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Caprese Pasta Salad is a bright, tangy summer salad that is perfect to take to a potluck or picnic. This easy recipe can be scooped onto a bed of lettuce or a hearty piece of garlic bread, or served as a side to any grilled meat!


  • 1 pound rotini cooked & cooled
  • 3 cups grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese cubed
  • cup red onion diced
  • ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup basil chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze


  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt & pepper

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  • Place dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add tomatoes to dressing mix and allow to marinate at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
  • Combine pasta, mozzarella, red onion and sun dried tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss with tomato/dressing mixture and season with salt & pepper to taste.
  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
  • Chop fresh basil. Drizzle salad with balsamic glaze and sprinkle basil on top just before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 386, Carbohydrates: 49g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 172mg, Potassium: 365mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 480IU, Vitamin C: 7.2mg, Calcium: 226mg, Iron: 1.3mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
caprese pasta salad in. a white bowl
closeup of caprese pasta salad in a white bowl
a dish of Caprese Pasta Salad, ingredients of Caprese Pasta Salad in a bowl before mixing
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’m going to make this salad for a party where I’m expecting approximately 45 people. I will have other side dishes but I was wondering if this recipe is easily doubled or tripled? Thank you!

  2. Don’t ever rinse pasta. You are washing away the starches which actually help the sauces or dressings stick to it.

    1. The pasta is rinsed under cold water specifically to stop the cooking process for this recipe since it is a cold salad.

  3. Super simple and refreshing! Tomatoes aren’t quite in season yet here so I ended up using supermarket grape tomatoes and it was still delicious. When I can get some from the farmstand in a month or so I know it will be even better! I often find pasta salads too vinegar-y but this ratio is perfect. Tastes like summer! :-)5 stars

  4. I added grilled chicken and served this warm and it was seriously delicious! My kids gobbled it right up! I love the balsamic drizzle at the end right before serving! We used fresh garden tomatoes, fresh garden basil and man this dish is one of my favorites!5 stars

  5. I also add whole black olives and fresh basil leaves along with a small amount of of Italian seasoning. The seasoning is added to the salad,not the dressing.4 stars