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Pasta Caprese Salad

Pasta Caprese SaladToday’s recipe is not what I originally wanted to share with you.  I’m so anxious for the fall season to get here, that once September arrived, I planned to post something more fall-ish (even though it’s not technically fall until September 22nd).

But, the hot weather here in Mississippi makes it hard to think about cool fall recipes, so I am sneaking in one more summer dish.  This pasta salad was inspired by the menu at Corner Bakery.  Although I’ve never had it there and I’m not sure it’s still on the menu, I saw it listed one day and thought it sounded like a light meal I could quickly make at home.

We had this for dinner, then lunch again the next day.

It’s not your typical pasta salad that’s drenched with a heavy mayo-based dressing, but instead it is lightened up a bit with a lemon garlic sauce.  I’m really glad to add this to our summer menu, and sad to wait again until next year to make it since fall is right around the corner.  I mean, somewhat sad.

Pasta Caprese Salad

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings, or 6 servings as a main dish

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Pasta Caprese Salad

Dressed with a light lemon garlic sauce, this pasta salad serves well as a light lunch or dinner, or a great dish to pass at a potluck.

    For the pasta salad:
  • 10 oz Cavatappi pasta
  • 1 medium zucchini, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 8 oz fresh Mozzarella, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • Small handful of basil leaves, sliced
  • For the dressing:
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic (pressed) plus 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or 3 cloves garlic) - I like using garlic powder in dressings
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoons mayonnaise or Greek yogurt

Cook the pasta to al dente in a large pot of salted boiling water, about 10-11 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and toss with the zucchini, tomatoes, Mozzarella and basil.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss into the pasta and serve immediately or chill then serve.

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  1. Love how easy this is! It sounds so tasty too :)

  2. YUM! Looks really good. Adding this to my “to try” file. We might be able to get away with making this once before the season is over.

  3. Diane Hutchings says:

    I make something similar to that-so yummy!! I am crazy about fresh mozzarella!

  4. There are lots of great produce in China – but tomatoes aren’t one of them. I don’t know why, but they taste nothing like tomatoes back home! I’m really missing things like this caprese salad! It looks delicious and the dressing sounds fabulous!

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