Summer Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad, a easy pasta salad for summer parties made with juicy mini heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella pearls, fresh basil and a balsamic reduction drizzle.  

caprese pasta salad

This easy and refreshing Caprese Pasta Salad just screams summer! It’s the perfect side dish to pair with grilled chicken or burgers or to just enjoy  on it’s own!

caprese pasta salad

Why is this a great summer side dish?


Because it uses it’s served cold, it uses fresh ingredients and you can make it ahead.

On hot summer days, no one wants to eat a steaming bowl of pasta. A cold pasta salad like this Summer Caprese Pasta Salad is just the thing to satisfy any pasta craving. In this recipe I use fusilloni pasta because it is a hearty noodle that holds up well. In the recipe notes I’ve given some other suggestions for pastas that will also work, but stay away from small, delicate noodles because they can make the pasta salad mushy. It’s also important that, no matter what type of pasta you use, you cook it al dente so it holds up in the pasta salad.

Tomatoes are the best during summer, they are juicy and sweet – I can’t get enough of them! They are the star of this pasta salad, but it’s the way their bursting flavor pairs with the sweet fresh basil and creamy fresh mozzarella that makes caprese salad a fan favorite.

Since it’s served cold, you can easily make this pasta salad ahead of time, actually I think it tastes best if you make it 1 day ahead. You can put the whole salad together and make the balsamic reduction, store the pasta salad in the refrigerator and pull it out right before serving. Drizzle on the balsamic reduction and it’s ready to go!

caprese pasta salad

How to Make a Balsamic Reduction


Every great caprese also has a delicious balsamic reduction drizzled on top. So we could not leave that out of this Caprese Pasta Salad! Making a balsamic reduction is so simple!

Start with a high quality balsamic vinegar. Heat it over medium-high heat and bring it to a rapid boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer. What this does is reduce the water in the vinegar through evaporation which causes the sugars to concentrate and both thicken and sweeten the balsamic vinegar. For added sweetness, in this recipe we are adding a little bit of honey, but you can leave that out if you choose. We’ll whisk in the honey and a pinch of salt after bringing the heat down to simmer. Continue to simmer for about 10 minutes and then cool to room temperature before using on the pasta salad.

caprese pasta salad

How to make Summer Caprese Pasta Salad


We already talked about all the main elements – so you have your hearty, al dente pasta prepared. We’ll toss that with olive oil and then let it cool to at least room temperature in the refrigerator. Then we will toss in some add dried oregano, dried parsley and salt. To this we add the sliced mini heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. We finish it off by drizzling the balsamic reduction over top just before serving!

caprese pasta salad

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Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Author: Sprinkles & Sea Salt


Caprese Pasta Salad, a easy pasta salad for summer parties made with juicy mini heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella pearls, fresh basil and a balsamic reduction drizzle.  



Caprese Pasta Salad

1 pound fusilloni pasta*

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried parsley

4oz fresh mozzarella pearls

1 cup mini heirloom tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Balsamic Reduction

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

pinch of salt


Cook pasta according to package instructions for “al dente”

Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl

Pour the olive oil over the pasta, toss to coat

Cool pasta to in the refrigerator at least 1 hour

Add the salt, oregano and parsley, toss

Add the mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, toss

Serve cold with the balsamic reduction drizzled over the pasta salad

Balsamic Reduction

Pour the balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan

Bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat

Once it reaches a rapid boil, reduce heat to simmer

Whisk in the honey and add a pinch of salt

Allow to simmer at least 10 minutes until it has reduced and thickened

Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature


*rotini, bow ties or penne work well too

**can use cherry tomatoes if you can’t find heirloom

  • Category: Pasta Salad
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: #coldsummersides, #summersidedish, #capresepastasalad, #pastasalad

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caprese pasta salad

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  1. Liz said:

    This looks so good! I love caprese salad just as much as I love pasta! Saving this for later.

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