Caprese salad - the perfect combination of tangy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. It sounds pretty damn good on its own. Turn classic Caprese salad into a Caprese Italian pasta salad, and you've just taken it to the next level! Packed with the flavours you know and love, and a perfectly creamy, tangy dressing, this Caprese Italian pasta salad will be on regular rotation in your home.
If you have been here before, you know I am a big time pasta fanatic - think body by carbs. If you like this Caprese pasta, you will love my other pasta recipes, including my creamy and tangy southern macaroni salad and tortellini antipasto salad.
- Balsamic vinegar
- Basil pesto
- Red chilli flakes
- Grape tomatoes
- Farfalle pasta
- Fresh mozzarella
A full list of ingredients with measurements is located on the recipe card, below.
Preheat the oven - Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Boiling your pasta water - Boil water in a large pot, for the pasta. Do not salt the water until the water has come to a boil.
Collecting all your ingredients - This will make cooking so much easier. Gather all the spices you will need, and keep them nearby.
Prepare the vegetables - Peel and thinly slice your shallots.
- Roast the tomatoes: Arrange the grape tomatoes and whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, and salt. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the skin has burst on the tomatoes.
- Boil the pasta: In liberally salted boiling water, boil the pasta. For pasta salad, I prefer a softer texture to the pasta. For this reason, I suggest cooking the pasta 1-2 minutes beyond the suggested cooking time on the pasta box.
- Prepare the dressing: In a mixing bowl, add the dressing ingredients. Mix well, and set aside. Once the garlic has roasted, remove from the skin and mash into the dressing.
- Mix together the salad: In a large serving bowl, mix together the pasta, roasted tomatoes, shallots and dressing. Toss well, and top with torn mozzarella and fresh basil.
Rinse the pasta! In any other event, rinsing pasta is a sin. For pasta salad, rinsing the pasta helps the pasta stay separated, which is just what you want!
- Fresh mozzarella - Substitute with mini bocconcini, burrata, or even leave it out and sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese.
- Red chilli flakes - Substitute with Calabrian chilli paste, or omit if you wish to make it less spicy.
- Shallots - Instead of shallots, you can use thinly sliced red onions. To mellow them down, soak them in cold water.
This is what I used to make this recipe - Please be mindful that different equipment and cooking utensils may yield varying results. Most of my favourite equipment can be found on my storefront.
This pasta salad stores well for 3-4 days, in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can store it with the dressing tossed, as it will meld into the pasta as it sits.
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Caprese Italian Pasta Salad
Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- Roast the tomatoes: Arrange the grape tomatoes and whole garlic cloves on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil, and salt. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the skin has burst on the tomatoes.3 cloves Garlic, 2 dry pints Grape tomatoes, 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- Boil the pasta: In liberally salted boiling water, boil the pasta 1-2 minutes past the suggested cooking time on the box. Drain, rinse, and set aside.1 lb Farfalle pasta
- Prepare the dressing: In a mixing bowl, add the dressing ingredients. Mix well, and set aside. Once the garlic has roasted, remove from the skin and mash into the dressing.1 cup Mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Basil pesto, ½ teaspoon Chilli flakes, 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar, 3 cloves Garlic
- Mix together the salad: In a large serving bowl, mix together the pasta, roasted tomatoes, shallots and dressing. Toss well, and top with torn mozzarella and fresh basil.2 Shallots, 1 8 oz. ball Fresh mozzarella cheese
- Mixing Bowl
- Large pot
- Baking Sheet