Brunch, Lunch, Pasta, Side Dishes

Caprese Pasta Salad

September 30, 2016

We had a community get together recently for end of summer, and I decided to make a caprese pasta salad.  I always love caprese salads, so this is just a different take on it!



  • Penne or Bow Tie Pasta (1 package)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayo
  • Heirloom cherry tomatoes to give more color (if you cannot find them just use cherry or grape tomatoes) – one large container or 2 small containers
  • 1 package of basil (remove leaves from stem)
  • 1 small package of pine nuts (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 containers of Mozzarella Balls
  • 1/2 to 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

See my pesto recipe below!


  1.  Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta per package instructions, drain and place in bowl.
  3. Immediately add the pesto and mayo.  It’s easier to mix when the pasta is still warm.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the basil and Mozzarella balls.  Wait to add when the pasta has cooled down to add the Mozzarella balls.  Do not add the basil leaves until you are ready to serve otherwise they will wilt.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 10-20 minutes before serving.


Pesto Recipe

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 1 large bunch)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano cheese, or a combo of the two
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste


  1. Combine all the ingredients except the oil and cheeses in a food processor. Pulse until the pesto is blended into a slightly coarse paste.​
  2. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the oil and cheeses.​
  3. To serve with pasta, you can toss the cooked pasta directly with the pesto. Or, if you want to thin out the pesto sauce a little, add a spoonful or two of the hot pasta water to the pesto, then toss with the cooked pasta and serve right away.


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  • Reply Veronica July 14, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Made the Caprese Pasta salad for our annual 4th of July family gathering in a Lake Tahoe
    It was delicious 😋 left overs refrigerated well! Next time I’ll add chicken to it to make it a complete meal ! This was very easy to make and a definite crowd pleaser

  • Reply Dawn Monet July 14, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Wow!! This dish was super easy and delicious!! I made it for a BBQ and everyone wanted the recipe! It took hardly any time at all and didn’t required a ton of ingredients. I am gluten free so I used Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Penne Pasta. I also made it a second time for dinner and added grilled chicken! I highly recommend this dish! It’s a keeper for your recipe box! Mmmmmmmm!

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