Caprese Pasta Salad… Fresh, Easy, Quick, and Yummy!

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There are a few things I am very well known for with my friends family and today I am sharing one of those things… Pasta salad! What were you thinking it would be? OK, yes I am known to be a bit outspoken, enthusiastic, very honest and I like to have FUN, but today I am talking about PASTA SALAD!

An awesome blend of fresh ingredients to create this amazing Caprese Pasta Salad!

Usually when I make pasta salad it is for a crowd. Last month I made it 3 times. A ginormous batch for a wedding, a large party and for a shower. I decided to change up my traditional recipe a bit which is pretty wonderful and came up with what I call a…

Fresh Caprese Pasta Salad

An awesome blend of fresh ingredients to create this amazing  pasta salad!

 

An awesome blend of fresh ingredients to create this amazing  pasta salad!

I love this because its just a few simple ingredients and you can even pick and choose your favorites to create the perfect salad for just you!

First I want to share a tip with you about pasta salad. And this is the best tip ever. Really! At least I have been told that by anyone I’ve ever shown it to. So here goes!

BEST PASTA SALAD TIP EVER

After your pasta is cooked al dente {soft, yet firm} run it under cold water and ice cubes in a colander. Put pasta in large bowl and season as follows per 16 oz of pasta: Drizzle pasta with 1-2 Tbls of olive oil, 1 tsp garlic salt and 2 Tbls finely chopped fresh parsley or 1 Tbl finely crushed imitation parsley. Toss and taste. You will surely taste again. It will be pretty yummy at this point! This is your base.

Another tip: I love the Mozzarella pearls I use in this salad. they are not always easy to find but if you know what you are looking for that helps. They are in the cold case by fresh packaged cheeses. They are packed in an airtight plastic wrapped ball. After opening it breaks into small balls! Here is an example of what they are: (Mozzarella Pearls)

The best tip to pre-season your pasta for pasta salad!!

The best tip to pre-season your pasta for pasta salad!!

 Now for my complete Fresh Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe. My prep photos are from a huge batch I made for a wedding. I will adjust it to a 16 oz. pasta salad.

Just LOOK at these ingredients. Yum!

An awesome blend of fresh ingredients to create this amazing pasta salad! Toss it together and you have quick, easy, fresh and totally YUM!

Toss it together and you have quick, easy, fresh and totally YUM!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Caprese Pasta Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This salad is so easy to make. It's fresh, its yummy and it's great any time of year!
Author:
Recipe type: salad
Serves: 10-16 side dish
Ingredients
  • 16 oz pasta of choice (I like bowtie)
  • 8 oz small red grape or cherry tomatoes sliced in half (in large batches I mix yellow grape tomatoes also)
  • 1 cup peppers-your choice cut in slivers (I use 2 colors) -optional
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella pearls (packed in an airtight plastic wrapped ball. After opening it breaks into balls.) Can use fresh mozzarella cut up also
  • 1 can of med black olives
  • 1-3 cups of spinach -optional
  • ¼-1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • olive oil
  • garlic salt
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • ½ -1 cup of your favorite italian dressing
  • These work great on any pasta salad:
  • Berensteins Light Fantastic Cheese Fantastico
  • Kens Steakhouse Greek
  • Girards Greek Feta
Instructions
  1. After your pasta is cooked al dente {soft, yet firm} run it under cold water and ice cubes in a colander. Put pasta in large bowl and season as follows per 16 oz of pasta: Drizzle pasta with 1-2 Tbs of olive oil, 1 tsp garlic salt and 2 Tbs finely chopped fresh parsley or 1 Tbs finely crushed imitation parsley. Toss and taste. It should already have a great flavor to begin the next process!
  2. NOW: Toss pasta, vegetables, cheese, ¼ cup of parsley and olives together. Add in your dressing slowly to preferred consistency, keeping it light. Salt & pepper to taste. Chill until serving. Best to chill for at least an hour or two to blend flavors!
  3. Before serving: Toss in some more dressing if necessary, some spinach if desired, or serve over a bed of spinach.

Ok so now its time to devour this deliciousness!

An awesome blend of fresh ingredients to create this amazing  pasta salad!

I really want this now! I never thought I’d get sick of it but after making several gallons of it last month I kind of did haha but after this post I’m craving it again… and I bet you are too. Right? Here it is without the spinach. Still very yummy!

An awesome blend of fresh ingredients to create this amazing  pasta salad!

I love the versatility of this salad. You can add or delete ingredients to your liking. It is also great any time of year and is a suitable side dish that will go with many options! It will be a great summer {or any season} go to salad. :)

 For a wrap up of some  Green Salad Recipes Packed with Protein and Veggies from pinterest see this post:

A round-up of 12 Green Salad recipes loaded with protein and veggies. YuMmmm!

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Jillene

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Comments

  1. This looks great. I can’t wait to try!!

  2. Thanks Rachel! I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Amy Martin says:

    This is my go to salad, i learned from YOU! I am craving it right now too! I love the addition of spinach or on a bed of spinach, i will definitely try that next time! I also separate the mozzarella balls and put in a bowl then drizzle with olive oil, salt, cracked pepper and italian seasoning! It flavors it so well and keeps the fresh cheese from breaking apart!! Your tip of seasoning the pasta before tossing truly makes a huge difference!!

    • Amy, you got me on the pearls! Thanks! Once i started making the caprese its my favorite. I thought I was sick of it after making 3 huge batches in a month but now seeing this photo almost daily makes me want it so bad!

  4. This looks so fresh and tasty
    Lisa at Mabey She Made It recently posted…Do Tell Tuesday #36My Profile

  5. This is great Jillene! I can easily substitute gluten free pasta. Yum! I’m excited to try this one!
    Mrs Major Hoff recently posted…Quick Day Trip To San Antonio, fun non-traditional touristy tripMy Profile

  6. Great flavors..cant wait to try it!
    Steph @ Crafting in the Rain recently posted…Do Tell Tuesday #36 and Instagram Link UpMy Profile

  7. I love Caprese anything, and am definitely going to try this. Pinned it for later. Yum!
    Gretchen @ Three Little Monkeys Studio recently posted…Last Days of Summer Crafternoon With BeadosMy Profile

  8. Oh lordy, this looks so delicious. I could go for some right now!
    Cori @ Let’s Eat Grandpa recently posted…Back to School Teacher’s MugMy Profile

  9. Yum! This looks so good!
    Heidi @ Happiness is Homemade recently posted…Inspire Me Wednesday #33My Profile

  10. This looks amazing! We live on caprese dishes in the summer!
    Albion recently posted…Felt Fascinator DIYMy Profile

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