Caprese Pasta Salad is so easy to prepare and using fresh ingredients is key! Ripe, juicy tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, tender basil, and to stretch that dollar, add some cooked pasta. I add olives and a good amount of balsamic reduction with shredded parmesan cheese to take it to the next level!
Caprese Pasta Salad
I’m sharing another summer salad with you today and it’s a great one for potlucks, picnics and any day dinner or lunch.
Caprese Salad is one of those Italian classic salads that never seem to go away because of their simplicity and that fact it’s so darn tasty! Fresh, juicy tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Kissed with some balsamic reduction, fresh back pepper and I could eat a plate by myself!
Now to take this classic to the next level and stretch that dollar, I add cold, cooked pasta.
Ingredients for a Caprese Salad
- Ripe, juicy tomatoes that can be sliced or whole. I love the pops of flavor that you can get from the teardrop or cherry varieties.
- Fresh, sliced mozzarella cheese is first choice, but I’ve been using small round mozzarella balls lately and some even can be found already marinated!
- Fresh, tender basil leaves are a must.
Seasoned with salt and black pepper with a drizzle of good olive oil and you have a fantastic salad that can be either lunch, or a side dish.
Typically for presentation purposes this is all assembled in alternating slices of the cheese and tomato, with the torn basil leaves scattered on top.
My Caprese Pasta Salad
I love to drizzle a good balsamic syrup (reduction) over it for that acidic touch and parmesan cheese for that salty flavor.
With some good olives sprinkled around, this makes for a healthy salad and large enough salad to call a meal on it’s own!
Other salads to think about
- Cucumber Salad
Made using chilled, sliced cucumbers and onion all tossed in a tangy sauce with fresh dill. Light, healthy and refreshing!
- Southwest Bean Salad
Loaded with plump chick peas, tender red, pinto and cannellini beans, this cold bean salad gets tossed in a zesty Southwest inspired vinaigrette for the perfect side dish.
- Couscous Salad
This easy to make Israeli couscous salad has the round, steamed pasta (Ptitim), colored bell peppers, green onion, tomatoes, zucchini, olives and basil all tossed in a simple lemon dressing.
- Broccoli Salad
This cold Broccoli Salad with Tarragon Dressing has lots of fresh broccoli, golden raisins, marinated red onion and roasted pumpkin seeds all tossed in an amazingly tangy and delicious salad dressing.
Caprese Pasta Salad
- 8 oz mini penne pasta cooked, drained and cooled
- 16 oz teardrop tomatoes sliced lengthwise
- 16 oz mozzarella balls
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves torn
- 1 cup black olives drained
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- balsamic reduction
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta per package directions. Drain and place in a large salad bowl to cool.
- Add tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, olives, cheese, olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Spoon salad onto a platter and scatter with torn basil leaves and balsamic reduction on top. Cover and refrigerate or serve immediately.