Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta salad video (scroll down for printable recipe)

This is one of the simplest pasta salads one could make, and everyone in the world — or at least the potluck — loves it. Instead of balsamic vinegar, I use white wine or champagne vinegar with a little sugar added to keep the color of this pasta salad nice and bright instead of going murky with the dark vinegar. Be sure to cool the pasta completely before adding the cheese or it will melt into a big, stringy mess that behaves more like a casserole than a salad.

Serve it right away or stick it in the fridge over night and add the basil at the last minute. Not only does this caprese pasta salad work as a side dish, it would also be a delicious main dish topped with grilled chicken or shrimp. (You might also like this Greek Pasta Salad with feta and olives!)

caprese pasta salad

Caprese pasta salad recipe – printable!


Caprese Pasta Salad

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-8 1x


  • 8 ounces pasta (short shape like orechiette, rotini or shells)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, torn coarsely


  1. Boil the pasta in salted water according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper flakes in a large bowl until emulsified.
  3. Cut tomatoes in half and add to vinaigrette.
  4. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water to chill it.
  5. Add to bowl and stir to coat.
  6. Add mozzarella once salad is cool (to prevent it melting). Refrigerate now if not serving immediately.
  7. Add basil right before serving.

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caprese pasta salad


  1. Diane on June 6, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Well, this is definitely going into the dinner recipe rotation!

  2. Jensen Bell on June 6, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    “If you’re on a low-sugar thing….” That’s one of the reasons you watch Hilah’s videos . Imagining the taste of everything she makes . #doItalltheTime

  3. The Other Randy on June 6, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Sometimes dearest Hilah, your timing is unreal! There’s something in my DNA (the I-hate-to-shop gene) that prohibits me from going to more than one grocery store in one day. So I was sitting here trying to decide whether to go to Central Market or Whole Foods this evening. For what’s on my shopping list, Whole Foods would be a slightly better choice, but I was leaning towards Central Market because they sell a pre-made caprese salad (Whole Foods probably has one, too, but I just don’t know where they stash it). Despite my serious disdain for anything labelled “chef-made”, I really love it. I guess I’ve never attempted to make it myself because I’m terrible at figuring out what goes into dressings. Whole Foods owes you.

    • Hilah on June 9, 2015 at 7:51 pm

      I love it! That seems to happen often for you. I guess we must have similar pantries 🙂

      • The Other Randy on June 9, 2015 at 8:06 pm

        Funny you should mention pantries. I got spoiled living for 13 years in an old apartment complex that actually had kitchen pantries. The one I live in now has no pantry, but it has 2 hallway closets. I don’t need ONE hallway closet, much less 2. So the bigger one that’s close to the kitchen is my pantry (visitors who don’t get it, usually don’t become friends). The other smaller one is my liquor closet (I see your cabinet and raise you a closet).

  4. grey on June 12, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Your recipe clipper function no longer works as ziplist has gone out of business. Consider looking at either which in my opinion is the best for clipping and meal planning and organizing your shopping list for meals. Others to consider would be or

    • Hilah on June 13, 2015 at 7:40 am

      Hi, yes we got the notification about ziplist. I’ll look at those others you’ve tried out when I get the chance! Thank you.

  5. Maureen on June 18, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    This is definitely going to be on my list. I love the idea of adding white wine or champagne to keep the great color of this caprese pasta salad. It’s deliciously healthy! Yummy!

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