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Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10 to 12 side dish servings 1x


This easy Caprese pasta salad is everything summer! Tomatoes, mozzarella and basil make a fresh and crowd-pleasing side dish.


  • 1 pound bowtie pasta
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 8 ounces small mozzarella cheese balls (Ciliegine)*
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil (like grapeseed or organic canola or vegetable oil**)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Add-in: stir in a few drizzles Balsamic Reduction


  1. Start a large pot of well-salted water to boil. Boil the pasta until al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and run cool water over it until it’s room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes in half. Thinly slice the basil. Drain the mozzarella balls.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, granulated sugar, garlic powder, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Then whisk in the olive oil and neutral oil.
  4. Once the pasta is done, add it to the large bowl of dressing and toss with the chopped tomatoes, basil (unless you’re making it in advance), mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Taste and add more salt to taste if necessary. Serve immediately. Stores up to 4 days refrigerated, but the basil does become brown over time. If making ahead, omit the basil and add just before serving. To revive leftovers, allow to come to room temperature, then stir in more chopped basil, a drizzle olive oil, handful Parmesan cheese, and a few pinches of salt.


**You can double the mozzarella quantity if you like a cheesier salad, but we found it was sufficient with one 8-ounce container.

*Using a neutral oil helps so that the dressing doesn’t solidify in the refrigerator. You can also substitute more olive oil.


  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Caprese pasta salad