Caprese salad is possibly one of our favorite salad combos and we go crazy for pesto pasta. Every time. There’s something about fresh tomatoes and basil, with creamy mozzarella that tickles our fancy, and pairing it with a delicious basil sauce seemed like the most natural thing in the world.
Generally, pasta salads are seen as a side dish, but not this time; while this dish is low-key enough to eat, standing up, straight from the mixing bowl, there’s nothing low-key about it’s flavor this stuff is great! Make this ahead of time and you’ll have the perfect lunch or dinner all week not just for yourself, but for everyone in your family!
Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1/2 pound bite-size mozzarella balls (bocconcini)
- 2-3 large tomatoes
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup pesto sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to packaging directions, or until al dente. Don’t overcook, as it will make pasta stick together once it’s chilled.
- Rinse tomatoes thoroughly, pat dry with paper towels and dice them into even pieces.
- Prepare a bowl filled with ice cubes and set aside.
- Drain pasta and immediately place in ice bath to stop further cooking.
- Next, transfer pasta to a large bowl and add tomatoes and mozzarella balls. Pour pesto sauce over the top and mix well.
- Chill for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours. Chop 1/2 cup basil leaves and toss with pasta. Add the remaining 1/2 cup whole basil leaves to the pasta and toss again.
- Serve chilled. Enjoy!