Caprese Pasta Salad – the perfect refreshing side dish for summer barbecues, potlucks, picnics and parties. Best of all, it’s easy to make with the classic caprese flavors and a homemade balsamic dressing. Plus recipe video.
Summer is all about grilling, salads and side dishes so you can never go wrong with pasta salads. Our four favorites we make again and again are: Caprese, Chicken Caesar, Greek Tortellini and this Broccoli Pasta Salad. They’re so versatile and always a hit at potlucks and cookouts.
Plus you can’t beat how easy and simple they are to throw together. They keep well in the fridge so you can make them in advance. Just prep all the ingredients and toss everything together on the day you need it.
This Caprese Pasta Salad is a summertime favorite. I am a big fan of anything caprese. To me, it’s the perfect combination of flavors, textures, and freshness.
How to make this Caprese Pasta Salad
- small pasta shells (I usually use (Ditalini or Orecchiette)
- cherry / grape tomatoes
- fresh basil
Toss all that together with your favorite pasta and balsamic vinegar and you get a great tasting side dish that takes no time at all!
I love throwing in some color to my salads so I tossed in some blueberries I had sitting in my fridge. It adds a touch of sweetness but free to leave it out if you don’t have any on hand.
This Caprese Pasta Salad is a light, refreshing and delicious side with ingredients that just scream summer.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS FOR THIS CAPRESE PASTA SALAD AND SUNDAY MEAL PREP
- cook the pasta ahead of time and store in a large zip-top bag in the fridge
- wash and slice the tomatoes in advance and store in an airtight container or large zip-top bag in the fridge
- make the dressing in advance and store in an resealable jar
- for Sunday Meal prep, divide the pasta salad into lunchboxes – this is my favorite lunch container. Or make all four pasta salads and bring a different one to work every day.
- 2 cups dried pasta Ditalini or Orecchiette
- 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese cut into bite-sized cubes
- 1 cup fresh basil roughly chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup blueberries optional
- Lunchboxes for meal prep
- 3 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Whisk in the olive oil until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in a large bowl. Toss in blueberries (optional).
- Add the dressing toss evenly to coat. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover and chill in the fridge.
- For meal prep: Divide the pasta into lunch containers. Store in the fridge for up to four days.
You can prep everything in advance and store it in the fridge. Just add the dressing the day that you plan on serving this.
More side dishes: