Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

Enjoy this quick and easy Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad as a side salad or main dish! Pesto is mixed into tortellini pasta with traditional tomatoes, basil and bocconcini cheese. A great salad for your next family get together!


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We are in the middle of a heat wave as I write this post and I can say that I was so grateful to have this salad in the fridge and not have to turn the oven on again.

You do have to boil the tortellini, but that is a quick five minutes!

We are a family of pesto lovers and this salad is so tasty with the pesto used as a dressing! A bit of white balsamic is added to the mix for flavour and that is it for the dressing! So simple and after it sits in the fridge for awhile, the flavours mellow and the pesto sets into the cracks and crevices of the tortellini. YUM-MY!

This salad is our top three favourite along with Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad and BLT Pasta Salad with Chicken. If you’re looking for quick and easy summer salads, we’ve got you covered!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • this recipe is so quick and easy! Just what we love right?
  • your favourite Caprese flavours with added pasta for a delicious, satisfying salad.
  • no fancy equipment needed!

INGREDIENTS & SUBSTITUTIONS

Ingredients for caprese pesto Pasta Salad in glass bowls with text overlay.
  • tortellini pasta- I like to use cheese tortellini but you can use your favourite in this recipe. You could also substitute any of your favourite pasta shapes such as rotini or penne.
  • grape tomatoes – substitute any type of tomatoes with the same great results.
  • bocconcini mozzarella pearls – you can find these in different sizes. The small pearl ones are what you see in the photos for this recipe.
  • pesto – you can use bottled pesto or make it fresh with basil using this delicious pesto recipe.
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • fresh garlic
  • balsamic glaze is option to drizzle on top and highly recommended! You can buy it pre-made in the grocery store or find the instructions for how to make it in the notes at the bottom of the recipe card.
  • fresh basil – a few fresh basil leaves chopped into this salad combines beautifully with the other ingredients.

STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS

All ingredients for recipe in mixing bowl ready to be mixed.

Cook pasta as per package directions. Rinse, drain and set aside.

Chop tomatoes and fresh basil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta, pesto, tomatoes, cheese, garlic and white balsamic vinegar.

Stir well to combine all of the flavours together.

Chill for at least 30 minutes in refrigerator before enjoying this salad.

The balsamic glaze is optional and can be drizzled over the entire salad, or set out at the table and each person can drizzle their own over individual salad portions.

Close up image of Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad.

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS

Cover salad with plastic wrap or place in a sealed refrigerator container for 2-3 days.

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Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad


  • Author: Sandra Flegg
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings

Description

Enjoy this quick and easy Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad as a side salad or main dish! Pesto is mixed into tortellini pasta with traditional tomatoes, basil and bocconcini cheese. A great salad for your next family get together!


Ingredients

8 cups (700g) tortellini pasta

1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1 cup (200g) bocconcini cheese pearls

1 cup pesto (store-bought or you can make fresh basil pesto)

1 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

5 fresh basil leaves

Salt & pepper to taste.

Balsamic glaze to drizzle on top (store bought or see notes below to make it from scratch)


Instructions

  1. Cook pasta as per package directions. Rinse, drain and set aside.
  2. Chop tomatoes and fresh basil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine pasta, pesto, tomatoes, cheese, garlic and white balsamic vinegar.
  4. Stir gently until all ingredients are mixed together. Taste, then add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Chill for 30 minutes in refrigerator before serving.
  6. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.  You can either drizzle the glaze on the entire salad or each individual serving. (see notes for how to make balsamic glaze, or buy in the grocery store)

Notes

  1. How to make balsamic glaze reduction: In a small saucepan, combine 2 cups of balsamic vinegar with ½ cup brown sugar. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Mixture should be reduced by half and coat the back of a metal spoon.
  2. Store salad covered in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 helping
  • Calories: 322
  • Sugar: 4.2 g
  • Sodium: 683.4 mg
  • Fat: 19.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 20.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 46.9 mg

Keywords: Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad

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