Caprese Pasta Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes
This Caprese Pasta Salad is made with fresh mozzarella, basil, and deliciously juicy sun-dried tomatoes, then covered in a homemade herb dressing. Drizzle with a balsamic reduction and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for an amazing salad that will become your new favorite!
If you’re a fan of traditional caprese salad made with tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, and balsamic reduction, then you are going to LOVE this version. It has PASTA, y’all! And noodles are kinda like bacon. It just makes everything better. ????
This recipe has been on my mind for awhile now, and I was so happy to finally get the chance to make it this past week. Since it’s summertime, I love to make pasta salads to go along with whatever we are eating for dinner. I usually make my Easy Pasta Salad because it’s so simple to throw together and everyone gobbles it up without complaint.
And I sure do like when a meal doesn’t involve grumbling from the little people at my house!
I eat Caprese salad a lot because it is literally one of my favorite foods ever in the world. It’s so simple, and the flavors are so good. One of my favorite local restaurants here makes a Caprese sandwich with their homemade herbed focaccia bread and while I was stuffing it in my face last week (true story????) I kept thinking how delicious it would be as a pasta salad.
And then the thought came to me to use those uber delicious oil packed sun-dried tomatoes that are so good, and man I really patted myself on the back for that one. Because I have to tell you, they really take this caprese pasta salad over the edge!
Now when you make this, you’re going to scoop the sun-dried tomatoes out of the jar, but don’t discard that amazingly flavorful oil! You’re going to want to hold on to that liquid gold! Why, you ask? Because pasta salads tend to get a little dry after they’ve been in the refrigerator for a few hours, but if you’ve held on to your sun-dried tomato oil, you have the perfect tool to moisten that caprese pasta salad right back up!
Caprese Pasta Salad with Sun-dried Tomatoes
- 16 oz bowtie pasta
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped into small pieces
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped into ribbons
- 1 (8 oz) jar julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil with herbs
- 2 teaspoons + 3/4 cup Balsamic vinegar,, divided
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- fresh black pepper, to taste
- grated parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)
To make the pasta salad:
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
- In a large bowl, combine pasta, fresh mozzarella, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes with a small amount of oil from the jar. Save whatever oil is left in the jar to moisten the pasta salad later.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons of Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, dried basil and pepper to taste. Pour over the pasta and stir everything gently to coat. Cover the salad and place in the refrigerator to chill. Once you are ready to serve, drizzle with the balsamic reduction (recipe below) and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese if desired. If pasta salad gets dry after being in the refrigerator, use some of the leftover oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes to moisten it.
To make the Balsamic reduction:
- Pour 3/4 cup Balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan and place over low heat on the stove. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar reduces and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and drizzle over the salad immediately. Be careful not to let it cool for too long, or it will thicken and harden in the pan. Also, be sure to to turn on your vent fan on your stove while making the balsamic reduction as it creates a strong smell!
If you like this Caprese Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, then you might also like:
Bruschetta Tilapia with Balsamic Glaze
One of my favorite pasta salads. It’s ALWAYS a huge hit at family gatherings and work potlucks. I add some blanched asparagus for some crunch. The flavors are stellar!
Can’t wait to try these recipes, they look fabulous
Love this! I was confused why my balsamic wasn’t thickening or changing on low heat after 15 min. I ended up just googling how to thicken balsamic vinegar and you need to bring it to a boil first! Then reduce and simmer on low heat for 15 or 20 min. Also through in some artichoke hearts! Delish!
I love sun dried tomatoes! I need to try this recipe
Delicious. Couldn’t be better.
This doesn’t seem like a lot of dressing for all the ingredients. Are the amounts correct?
Caprese salad is one of my summertime favorites and I know my family is going to love this recipe. Gonna have to try your Caprese pizza too!
We love sundried tomatoes and make our own in the airfryer during tomato season I need to try this pasta salad recipe then, along with your others!
This is my kind of pasta salad. I just love tomatoes. Yum!
This is perfect to carry to work, it’s perfect for summer
There is so much flavor packed into this salad! It was delicious!
I unfortunately stirred in the balsamic reduction at the end and it changed the color to a very dark brown and doesn’t look as appealing as it did before I did that. It still tastes pretty good though so I’m debating about serving it to my guests!
This same thing happened to me too – it looks terrible. And the balsamic vinegar taste is pretty strong. I definitely wouldn’t serve it to any guests and I doubt i’ll make this again.
absolutely loved this recipe!!!!
This was so good and easy!
I make almost the same pasta salad, but add black olives! This is such a delicious dish that keeps well for days and makes people happy.
I love carese salads so I will definfitely give this a try.
This caprese pasta salad is so delicious and perfect any time of the year!
Great recipe, i tried it and it was so yummy. love the taste
This looks SO yummy, and I’m of the mindset that everything is better with a balsamic reduction! ????
I love pasta salads – it’s the ultimate summer dinner: quick, easy to make and healthy. This pasta salad looks and sounds so delicious and I’ll definitely try this recipe soon!
What lovely flavours and such a simple meal, I bet it tastes a million dollars!
Ahhh – this salad is so packed with flavor – and it has pasta! YUM!
This looks SO yummy, and I’m of the mindset that everything is better with a balsamic reduction! 🙂
Can I just eat this for every meal? YUMMM
I am a fan of anything pasta and am always on the lookout for pasta recipes. This caprese salad looks so delicious and your pictures do complete justice to it. Feel like sticking a fork in one and eating some!