This pesto caprese pasta salad is ridiculously easy and so flavorful! It comes together in a pinch and is a great side dish or lunch prep. All you need is pasta, pesto, grape tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. It will be even more delicious mid-summer when produce is ripe & delicious. We served it with a side of grilled chicken & it was such an easy meal to throw together. Especially since you can make the pasta salad ahead! Enjoy!
What you need to make pesto caprese pasta salad + substitutions:
- Cavatappi pasta- We used cavatappi pasta for this one, but you can of course use any shape! Bowties would be fun as well. You can also use gluten free pasta, lentil pasta, chickpea pasta, whatever works best for your family.
- Pesto- Homemade pesto is definitely my favorite when basil is in season. Otherwise the Costco basil pesto is hands down the best store-bought one I’ve ever had! We love it so much and you can freeze portions of it if you can’t get to it fast enough, but it also lasts awhile in the fridge.
- Grape tomatoes- These are super easy to add in and just chop in half. You can use any size tomato and chop it in or use these ones.
- Mozzarella pearls- These little mozzarella pearls are the best! They’re so cute and so convenient because you can throw them straight into this pesto caprese pasta salad. You can also always buy a mozzarella ball and chop it up and add it in.
- Fresh basil- The fresh basil is optional but a nice touch and adds color and flavor to this meal! It will be especially wonderful when basil is in season!
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Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad
- 8 oz cavatappi pasta you can use any shape!
- ⅔ cup pesto
- 8 oz mozzarella pearls
- 8-12 oz grape tomatoes
- fresh basil optional
- sea salt to taste
- Bring a medium pot with sea salt to a rolling boil. Add in your pasta and cook according to the package.
- Cool your pasta and then add in pesto, chopped grape tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and sea salt to taste.
- Garnish with fresh basil. Store in the fridge & enjoy cold! We served this with a side of grilled chicken for an easy dinner, but a great easy lunch option as well!