Join us for an adventure in flavor!

    Caprese Pasta Salad

    Just in time for 4th of July, my easy Caprese Pasta Salad is the perfect dish for all of your summer potlucks and get togethers. It’s so easy to make, and the flavors are just spot on.

    My easy Caprese Pasta Salad is a great contender for all your summer cookouts and get-togethers.

    Everyone always gets drawn to a good pasta salad. Even beyond social events, we like to keep a big batch in the fridge for quick lunches and easy snacks.

    Our Antipasto Pasta Salad and Rainbow Pasta Salad make frequent visits to our fridge, and Hawaiian Macaroni Salad always receives recipe requests.

    Today’s recipe is one of the simplest pasta salads you could ever make, but it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

    Overhead shot of a platter of our pasta salad.

    Ingredients Needed


    • Extra virgin olive oil – The base of the dressing. Nowadays there are a variety of types in the grocery store, I like a bold, richly flavored oil for this salad.
    • Balsamic vinegar – For that classic caprese flavor.
    • Lemon juice – To give the dressing a little tang. Please use freshly squeezed juice.
    • Garlic – Just a little.
    • Italian seasoning – To amp up the flavors.
    • Crushed red pepper – For a touch of heat.
    • Salt and pepper – To taste, as always.

    Pasta salad

    Pasta salad ingredients arranged in a bowl.
    • Pasta – A short shape is ideal. My favorite for this salad is bowtie, followed by rotini.
    • Cherry tomatoes – Halved.
    • Fresh mozzarella pearls – If your grocery store does not carry them, you can dice up fresh mozzarella balls.
    • Fresh basil – It’s a must, don’t use dried here.
    • Balsamic glaze – To drizzle on the salad before serving. If you don’t have it, you can simmer regular balsamic vinegar in a pan for 10-15 minutes until it reduces by half.

    Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe

    First, I get the pasta water boiling, adding about 1 tablespoon of salt per 4 quarts of water. I add the pasta and cook it to slightly more than al dente, then drain in a colander and rinse it with cold water.

    While the pasta is cooking, I whisk together the dressing in a bowl, halve the cherry tomatoes and slice the basil.

    Once the pasta is done, I toss it with the dressing, tomatoes, mozzarella pearls and basil. I cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour before serving. Usually, I make it a day in advance to let the flavors mingle together. When ready to serve, I give it a drizzle of balsamic glaze to finish things off.

    Final product, before serving.

    A Few Tips and Notes

    • Good extra virgin olive oil is key. Don’t even think of replacing it with any other type of oil.
    • Cook the pasta until it’s a bit softer than al dente. Since it gets rinsed with cold water, it will not continue cooking.
    • This recipe scales very well. If you’re serving a big crowd, just double all the amounts.

    Serving Suggestions

    Caprese pasta salad is the ideal side dish for all of your summer grilling favorites. Think Grilled Chicken Thighs, Grilled Flank Steak or grilled Sausage and Peppers.

    Other great pairings are Chicken Wings, Big Mac Tacos, Shrimp Foil Packs or Country Style Beef Ribs.

    My easy Caprese Pasta Salad is a great contender for all your summer cookouts and get-togethers.

    Whip up a big batch of my Caprese Pasta Salad, it may be the new star of your cookout spread.

    If you try this recipe, please leave a star rating and comment, we love to hear from you. And be sure to stay in the loop by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Pinterest.

    Caprese Pasta Salad, in our Gypsy Bowl… enjoy!

    Serving of caprese pasta salad in the Gypsy Bowl.

    More great cookout side dishes:
    Mexican Street Corn Salad
    Fried Green Tomatoes
    Three Bean Salad
    Watermelon Salad
    Cowboy Caviar
    Maque Choux

    Featured image for caprese pasta salad recipe.

    Caprese Pasta Salad

    Yield: 6-8 servings
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 25 minutes

    My easy Caprese Pasta Salad is a great contender for all your summer cookouts and get-togethers.



    • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
    • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
    • salt, to taste
    • black pepper, to taste


    • 8oz pasta
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 8oz fresh mozzarella pearls
    • ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced
    • balsamic glaze, for garnish


    1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add pasta until it is cooked tender. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water.
    2. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together all dressing ingredients.
    3. Toss pasta with prepared dressing in a large bowl and stir in halved cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls and basil.
    4. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Drizzle on balsamic glaze before serving.


    • This pasta salad is a great make ahead dish. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. The pasta may absorb some of the dressing, so you may wish to stir in a little additional olive oil before serving.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 8 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 214Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 18mgSodium 223mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 7g

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

    Get griddling! Try these Blackstone Recipes!

    Never miss a recipe!

    Join the GypsyPlate mailing list and get easy dinner recipes right in your mailbox. From homestyle comfort food to exotic dishes from around the world.

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Search by Cuisine

      Travel a word of flavors with GypsyPlate. Sort our recpes by regions:

      GypsyPlate logo.
      Skip to Recipe