This caprese pasta salad makes a simple dinner, served warm with a protein, or a great lunch salad to make on prep day and eat all week. It’s also perfect for summer picnic season.
Caprese Pasta Salad: Hot or Cold!
Eat it hot now, cold later, or hot later! The choice is yours. It’s great as a prep day salad, and you can add a little extra olive oil or pesto to moisten (sorry) it back up. We love it with grilled chicken sausage on top, but you could also use chicken breast or even shrimp!
I used a new-to-me kind of pasta made with red lentils! It wasn’t bad, but I think traditional pasta would have been even better. Use whole wheat or whatever your family likes!
Roasted tomatoes + zucchini
I learned this trick from Plenty’s Della: roast tomatoes cut-size up so they retain their juices. There is nothing sweeter than a roasted tomato!
I used pesto from a jar because I like shortcuts, but if you have fresh basil to make your own, ALL THE BETTER!
We live on caprese salads in the summertime, and a good fresh mozzarella is key! I love the little balls and quartered them for this recipe. Note they will melt if you reheat it, so if you’re planning to serve this hot for dinner, leave them out until it’s time to eat.
How to make it
Prep Veggies, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast.
2. Cook pasta till al dente, drain
3. Toss in veggies, pesto, spinach, fresh basil, and mozzarella
Caprese Pasta Salad
- 1 8 ounce box rotini or other small pasta shape
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 zucchini finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup mozzarella balls quartered
- 1 big handful fresh spinach chopped
- 1/3 cup pesto
- Fresh basil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place halved tomatoes (cut size up) and zucchini on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, until tender.
- Cook pasta according to directions and drain.
- Toss pasta, tomatoes, zucchini, pesto, and spinach together. Gently toss in mozzarella.
- Serve warm or chill for lunches.