Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe -
Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe

Caprese Pasta Salad

Recipe by  

"The dynamic trio of fresh basil pesto, mozzarella cheese, and juicy tomato are reunited once again in an American favorite- pasta salad. This light and fresh salad is great for a lunch, a side dish, or even a snack."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    25 mins
  • COOK

    15 mins

    1 hr 25 mins


  1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the fusilli, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain.
  2. Place basil, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and garlic into a blender or food processor; cover and chop to a coarse paste. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Continue processing until a soft paste has formed. Set pesto aside.
  3. Combine the cooked pasta, tomatoes, 3 tablespoons Parmesan, mozzarella, and pesto in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover bowl, refrigerate to chill for 45 minutes, and serve.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 16, 2009

The real caprese salad is my all time favourite salad, so this idea seemed good too. The combination of fresh basil pesto and the mozzarella cheese really works! Couple of minor things: saved a few basil leaves and slivered them over top of the salad, and added a bit of sweet aged balsamic vinegar, because I usually add that to the tomato version of this salad. Also, fresh mozzarella cheese doesn't shred, so I chopped it into thin slices. Thanks!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Aug 30, 2010

This was so disappointing!

Dec 28, 2009

This is delicious! You can't go wrong with basil, tomato and cheese. One thing I didn't think to do that I should have done - rinse the pasta with COLD water before combining it with the pesto, cheese and tomatoes. I simply drained it and it ended up melting my cheese. It's still good, but would be better with un-melted cheese.

Jul 15, 2009

I made this recipe for a cool dinner dish tonight after a hot day here in the Sierra Nevada's and it didn't dissapoint. I thought the pesto was a little light and I doubled the pesto recipe (I'm pregnant so fat content be damned!) and added a 6 oz can of olives halved and loved it! Thank you for the new summer staple at my house!

May 17, 2010

This was awesome! I did make a few changes that didn't really affect the taste. I used tri-color rotini, I didn't use the optional pine nuts so I just chopped the fresh basil instead of creating a pesto. I used halved grape tomato's since they are a bit sweeter. This makes an amazing summer side dish!

Sep 10, 2010

I've made these a few times and it always turns out so yummy! I haven't made it without the pine nuts because I think it makes it more authentic. If pine nuts aren't available or really expensive, I've seen walnuts, pecans or almonds used, but haven't tried it myself. I would wait to add the mozzarella until the pasta is cooler (room temp, or if it's been in the fridge for a while), or just before serving. If added warm, they start to melt. If you add it while the pasta is cold and let it sit in the fridge, it and the pasta tends to absorb the flavor of the pesto. I use fresh fusilli from the farmers market. I also add a few dashes of balsamic vinegar for a little tang and cut through that super fresh herby taste.

Jul 14, 2010

It was wonderful. I doubled the fresh mozzarella cheese and added feta because I had some. I took it to a pot luck and it was gone in no time. Thanks, this is a keeper

Jun 28, 2010

This is good, but a lot more pasta than I would use, so I'd probably use half the amount next time. I found myself adding more mozzarella and tomato because the pasta overwhelmed everything else. The pesto is very good and did cover the amount of pasta called for. I made this to take to a bbq and made it the night before; before I left, I added a bunch of sliced basil leaves to the salad. It added more color and helped the flavor, so if you love basil don't be afraid to add more! :o) This was a lovely pasta salad that is easy and relatively quick to make. It was a hit at the bbq. I had leftovers, but it made a ton, so keep that in mind. Thanks for the recipe!


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  • Calories
  • 354 kcal
  • 18%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 44 g
  • 14%
  • Cholesterol
  • 15 mg
  • 5%
  • Fat
  • 14.6 g
  • 23%
  • Fiber
  • 2.6 g
  • 10%
  • Protein
  • 13.2 g
  • 26%
  • Sodium
  • 94 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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