Perfect for Summer | Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Pasta Salad | Once Upon a Recipe

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had an incredible weekend. I am still enjoying mine, as we were granted a long one here in Canada for the civic holiday. And the weather is absolutely glorious, so I can’t wait to get outside and soak up some summer sun. The fact that we’re already into August is mind-boggling to me!

With that said, here is a quick and easy pasta salad recipe that would be perfect for any summer BBQ or gathering with friends and family. I’ve made it no less than 4 times over the past couple of months. It is so simple due to its short ingredient list, it comes together in no time, and can easily feed a crowd. Leftovers taste pretty spectacular too.

Caprese Pasta Salad | Once Upon a Recipe

The recipe comes from Annie’s Eats, and is one of many gems that I’ve found on Annie’s blog. I barely changed a thing, except for upping the garlic a wee bit (I can’t help myself). If you’re not a fan of intense garlic flavor, what’s wrong with you? simply reduce the number of cloves. Adios!

Caprese Pasta Salad | Once Upon a Recipe

Caprese Pasta Salad (from Annie’s Eats)

Serves 10-12 people as a side dish. This recipe also doubles and triples nicely if you’re feeding a large crowd.

1 lb. pasta shapes of your choice
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 TBSP. balsamic vinegar
1 lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
1 lb. fresh mozzarella (ie. mini bocconcini)
½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse well with cold water. In the meantime, add the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes to a small skillet. Over medium-low heat, allow the oil to infuse with the flavors for about 5-10 minutes. Be careful that the garlic doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Combine the cooked pasta, olive oil mixture, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Caprese Pasta Salad | Once Upon a Recipe


  1. YUM! I LOVE caprese salads, so I am sure that they are fabulous in the pasta salad form :).

  2. Oh! It looks delicious! 🙂

  3. oh yum!!!! I wish you lived over here – I would love to meet for a wine, a girl chat and a bit bowl of this (yes… I totally eat pasta these days!!) Hope you continue having a fab summer gorgeous girl! xxxx

    • Oh, how I would love that my friend! Maybe one day I’ll make it over your way, like I planned. And if I do, there will be copious amounts of wine, girl chatting, and pasta! I hope you’re having a lovely summer! xo

  4. I love pasta salads like this! This sounds so perfect for summer – with all those classic caprese flavors. I need to try this soon!

  5. Pasta salad is a favorite summer dinner, and I’m loving those mozzarella balls! Yum!

  6. This is making my mouth water nom nom! I love simple fresh pasta dishes and this one looks perfect!

  7. I love pastas and this one looks so light,delicious and fresh!!! 🙂

  8. Yes!!! Caprese pasta salad is so amazing! I love this recipe and the addition of garlic. I am a huge garlic lover and I feel that just adds so much to this recipe! Can’t wait to make this for my next BBQ.

  9. I saw this on your Instagram! It looks so good!

  10. Yummy in my tummy! Caprese in general is awesome, I can only imagine how life changing it is in a pasta salad.

  11. Considering how much I love caprese, I can’t believe I’ve never tried this! Your photos are mouthwatering – wish I had a bowl right about now 🙂

  12. Yum! My mouth literally watered when I saw this post.

  13. I love these flavors. This is so perfect to say goodbye to summer!

  14. I made this salad for a potluck and it was delicious; just the way we like it! I did add strips of pepperoni, which we love. Thanks for this recipe!


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