Cheesy Caprese Pasta Salad

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Cheesy Caprese Pasta Salad is a spectacular summer salad with fun corkscrew shaped pasta, oodles of cheese and a deep tomato flavor that will blow your mind. This simple recipe only has 6 ingredients but they sure pack a wallop of flavor!


Cheesy Caprese Pasta Salad has become a go to favorite around here. With only 20 minutes to whip this up and 6 ingredients it is destined to become your favorite too.

Cheesy Caprese Pasta Salad

A few years ago I found myself the morning of a potluck with nothing to bring. I had forgotten about the event and skipped grocery shopping the night before in lieu of some ‘me time.’ So needless to say ‘Mother Elick’s’ cupboards were bare.

I quickly thought of a pasta salad. Everyone loves summer salads and I always have pasta in the pantry. So I grabbed some pantry staples and some fresh vegetables and cheese and tossed together this incredible new favorite.

Who was it that said “necessity is the mother of invention”? Plato? So true! I do my best creation when I am up against a wall. Pantry recipe development (my mom used to call it ‘making do with what you have’) is my favorite kind.

Cheesy Caprese Pasta Salad is perfect for a potluck. It is scrumptious served hot, cold or somewhere in between. Adults and kids alike devoured this pasta dish and getting a lot of recipe requests at a potluck is always a great sign!

Starting with a fun corkscrew shaped pasta with oodles of Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese is a great indication that this is going to be fabulous. But, I tell you the contrast of deep tomato flavor from the sun-dried tomato pesto against the fresh tomato crunch helps make this a dish that we will enjoy again and again.

So what are you waiting for?


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Bowl of Cheesy Caprese Pasta

Cheesy Caprese Pasta Salad

Donna Elick
Cheesy Caprese Pasta Salad is a spectacular summer salad with fun corkscrew shaped pasta, oodles of cheese and a deep tomato flavor that will blow your mind. This simple recipe only has 6 ingredients but they sure pack a wallop of flavor!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Italian
Method Stovetop
Servings 8


  • 1 pound dried Cellentani pasta, corkscrew
  • 6.5 ounce jar sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • handful kosher salt, for pasta water


  • Cook pasta according to package directions, be sure to salt the water very well. It should taste like the ocean. Once pasta is cooked, drain and allow to cool. Return to pan.
  • Meanwhile, prep ingredients. Cut mozzarella into bite sized chunks. Slice tomatoes in half (really quick with this kitchen hack). Stack basil leaves; roll them up into a long log. Slice them across the roll with a sharp chef’s knife, this is called a chiffonade.
  • Add pesto and Parmesan and stir until combined. Add all remaining ingredients to the pasta. Stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve or serve immediately.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Donna’s Notes

For a lovely presentation you can reserve some of the Parmesan and basil and sprinkle over the top as you serve.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 392cal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 596mg | Sugar: 5g | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 332mg | Iron: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

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Check out some of our favorite kitchen hacks:  Click on the image or the bold recipe title and it will open each one in a new tab.

Kitchen Hack: The Easiest Way to Slice Cherry Tomatoes – Kitchen tips like this one help to keep things simple in my kitchen. Whether it is slicing cherry tomatoes, grapes, olives or cherries this easy kitchen hack is going to save you a lot of prep time in your kitchen.

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Kitchen Hack: How to Store Celery – Are you tired of buying celery only to end up using 2 stalks and throwing it away? I was too. Using this simple kitchen tip, I can keep it fresh for 3-4 weeks! No more wasted celery.
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  1. 5 stars
    Yes it is a great summer salad, too bad I won’t share it with anyone LOL I do share the recipe a lot after a taste is given 🙂

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