Pesto Mozzarella Pasta with Tomatoes – a caprese flavoured pasta salad, packed with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil with a simple pesto dressing.
This Pesto Mozzarella Pasta with Tomatoes definitely should be on your pasta salad list this year! It’s Christmas time here in Australia, which means summer, and summer means salads. I had a friend ask me for pasta salad recipe recommendation for their Christmas table, so I just started rattling off a bunch of flavours I like to eat together and bam! My pesto mozzarella pasta salad recipe was born!
This salad has all the traditional caprese flavours of mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, just in the form of a pasta salad. I know, pasta makes everything better, right? Plus an added bonus is that you can put this pesto salad together in not much more time than it takes to cook the pasta.
What you will need to make pesto mozzarella pasta
- cherry tomatoes
- cherry bocconcini – mini mozzarella balls
- basil pesto
- pine nuts
- fresh basil leaves
- olive oil
Another great plus for this easy pasta salad is that it can be easily scaled up to feed a crowd at your next potluck or bbq (or Aussie Christmas!) which makes it a great dish to add to your list of summer side salads.
My top tips for making pesto mozzarella pasta
- This is an easy salad to make ahead – just keep all your components separate in the fridge in airtight containers in until you want to serve it, and let the pasta come to room temperature before then combining everything to serve.
- Stuck for an idea for a pasta salad without mayo? This is the salad for you!
- If you make your own basil pesto for this pasta salad recipe you won’t regret it! It really does take this pasta salad to the next level. You can find a basil pesto recipe here – but if you decide to go the store-bought route, don’t worry it’s still a great tasting salad!
- The timing for this recipe is for pre-made or store-bought pesto.
Other recipes that you make like
Tomato and Bocconcini Salad – a simple and fresh summer salad with bocconcini, tomatoes, fresh basil and mint.
Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich – my take on grilled cheese, caprese style!
Bruschetta Pasta – a fast pasta dish featuring basil and tomatoes.
Baked Mozzarella Chicken Breast with Pesto – super quick chicken dinner in 35 minutes.
Pesto Lamb Cutlets – our favourite dinner here at home!
I hope you enjoy my caprese take on a pesto mozzarella pasta salad, and if you are looking for me on Christmas day I will be the one in the kitchen eating the cherry bocconcini mozzarella balls straight out of the container.
Pesto Mozzarella Pasta with Tomatoes
- 250 g / 9oz dried pasta I used penne
- 250 g / 9oz cherry/mini tomatoes
- 200 g / 7oz cherry/pearl bocconcini
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 6 thin slices prosciutto
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Cook pasta (250g/9oz) according to manufacturers instructions, in generously salted water.
- When pasta is cooked, drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- In a large bowl, place drained pasta and olive oil (1 tbsp), mixing to combine well.
- While pasta is cooking, fry pine nuts (3 tbsp) in a small pan over low heat for 2-3 mins to toast lightly.
- Cut cherry tomatoes (250g/9oz) in half lengthways, and roughly tear each cherry bocconcini (200g/70z) in thirds.
- Grill/broil prosciutto slices (6) until crisp, drain on paper/kitchen towel then tear/chop roughly into bite-sized pieces.
- Add tomatoes, bocconcini, prosciutto, basil pesto (¼ cup), basil leaves (1 cup), & pine nuts to pasta & stir well to combine.
- This is an easy salad to make ahead - just keep all your components separate in the fridge in airtight containers in until you want to serve it, and let the pasta come to room temperature before then combining everything to serve.
- If you make your own basil pesto for this pasta salad recipe you won't regret it! It really does take this pasta salad to the next level. You can find a basil pesto recipe here - but if you decide to go the store-bought route, don't worry it's still a great tasting salad!
- Any leftover pesto I store in an airtight container in the fridge with a layer of oil floating on top to help it stay fresh.
- The timing for this recipe is for either pre-made or store-bought pesto.