Tender pasta tossed in a creamy pesto dressing with fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella. Summer is here and Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad is a summer staple!
Summer is here and it is one of my favorite times of year. Truth be told, I am a person that needs all 4 seasons. I love each one for different reasons, but summer holds a special place.
I love all of the summer food. I live in Wisconsin so we do not have a year-round growing season, and I get so excited when fresh local produce starts to come to the farmer's markets and stores.
I love to use fresh basil to make pesto. Pesto is such a simple sauce to make and so versatile in the summer.
My flavors with pesto are tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil. Which is, of course, a traditional caprese salad. However, I like to jazz my caprese up a bit and add as little pasta. I also make a creamy dressing with the pesto and mayo t create a delicious Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS SALAD?
- shaped pasta- I like to use capatavi or bow-tie
- cherry tomatoes
- bocconcini- mini mozzarella balls
- fresh basil leaves
- fresh pesto
- cutting board
HOW DO YOU MAKE THIS PASTA SALAD?
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Gently, drain and rinse with cool water. Transfer to a large bowl. Make sure the bowl allows enough room to stir the ingredients together without spilling.
Mix pesto and mayo together and gently stir in with the pasta. Gently fold the tomatoes, basil, and cheese into the pasta. I like to reserve a small amount of tomatoes, cheese, and basil for topping, but this is optional and it can all be mixed in the to salad.
Chill for about 30 minutes before serving.
LET'S TALK PESTO!
Traditionally, pesto an Italian sauce is made from basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. You can make it from scratch or buy it in the store.
When I make this pasta salad, I like to use a traditional pesto sauce recipe, but there are many types to consider!
LOOKING FOR MORE DELICIOUS PASTA SALAD RECIPES?
Easy Southwest Pasta Salad from Kylee Cooks
Mom's Linguine Salad from Family Around The Table
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Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad
- 1 pound shaped pasta
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 8 oz Bocconcini, halved
- 3 large basil leaves, chiffonade
- One cup mayo
- ½ cup Pesto
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cool water to cool. Transfer to a large bowl. Make sure the bowl allows enough room to stir the ingredients together without spilling.
- Mix pesto and mayo together and gently stir in with the pasta. Gently fold the tomatoes, basil, and cheese into the pasta. I like to reserve a small amount of tomatoes, cheese, and basil for topping, but this is optional and it can all be mixed in the to salad.
- Chill for about 30 minutes before serving.
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This post was originally published in 2018 and was updated in 2020 for reader enhancement and enjoyment.