This Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe makes a fantastic picnic or potluck side dish. Or serve with grilled chicken for light summer meal. Pasta salad is an incredibly popular versatile side dish! Whether the salad is based in oil or mayo, it’s always a hit at potlucks. This version is a fabulous natural make-ahead dish and combines the classic American pasta salad with the Italian Caprese flavors!
Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 4-5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp capers, drained and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 oz bocconcini fresh mozzarella balls (or fresh mozzarella cut into 1/2″ cubes)
- 12 oz dried orecchiette pasta (or other shortcut pasta)
- 3 Tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, add dressing ingredients and whisk until well combined. Reserve 2 Tbsp of dressing and place in an airtight container and set aside. Add cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella to mixing bowl with the dressing and toss to combine. Let sit and marinate approximately 30 minutes. While the cheese and tomatoes are marinating, boil pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Let cool slightly. Add pasta to mixing bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to serving container, cover and refrigerate 1-2 days. Before serving, toss pasta salad with reserved dressing and serve.