Avocado Caprese Pasta Salad

07.08.2017

Avocado Caprese Pasta Salad will be one of the tastiest pasta salads you’ve tried! It’s packed with mini pasta, fresh mozzarella pears, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh avocados and a tasty balsamic glaze. In other words lots of fresh exciting flavors here!

Avocado Caprese Pasta Salad in large white serving bowl

Fresh Caprese Pasta Salad

You can never have to many summer pasta salad recipes! Especially when they are as good as this Avocado Caprese Pasta Salad!

The classic Caprese combo — tomato, basil, fresh mozzarella and balsamic vinegar — is one of my favorite summer flavor blends. All those fresh flavors together paired with that tangy and slightly sweet balsamic vinegar or glaze just makes my heart sing.

And so I decided to mix those flavors into an Italian pasta salad, and why not add avocado? Because when you add avocado to the Caprese combination, things just get that much better!

And I know I find myself saying this way too often, but what better to serve this with than grilled chicken? A perfect summer meal!

Caprese Pasta Salad Ingredients

For this Italian pasta salad, you’ll need:

  • Mini penne pasta
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • Pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Avocados
  • Mozzarella pearls
  • Balsamic vinegar

italian pasta salad in white serving bowl

How to Make Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Cook pasta and drain
  • Make pesto in a food processor.
  • In a bowl, toss together cooked pasta, tomatoes and pesto.
  • Add avocados, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar and toss lightly.

Can I Use Store-Bought Pesto?

If you’d prefer not to make a homemade pesto, you can use a store-bought pesto (it just won’t be quite as good and the coloring is kind of blah to me). I would probably go with 1/4 cup plus a few tablespoons of olive oil (then don’t leave out the basil ribbons).

Can I Use Another Type of Pasta?

Yes, you can use any short, sturdy pasta for this recipe. Bow-tie, normal penne, and macaroni should all work here!

Tips for the Best Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Because this summer pasta salad uses fresh tomatoes and avocado, you can’t make it too far in advance. The tomatoes will start to get soggy and the avocado will turn brown.
  • If you can’t find mozzarella pearls, you can cut up a large ball of fresh mozzarella.
  • Fresh basil is a must in this recipe, dried cannot be substituted.

close up of Avocado Caprese Pasta Salad in white bowl

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Print

Avocado Caprese Pasta Salad

This will be one of the tastiest pasta salads you've tried! It's packed with mini pasta, fresh mozzarella pears, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh avocados and a tasty balsamic glaze. In other words lots of fresh exciting flavors here!

Servings: 7 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

Pasta salad

  • 10 oz. (2 3/4 cups) mini penne pasta shells
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 small avocados, diced (they should be fairly firm but ripe)
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, then more for serving to taste (use white balsamic vinegar for better coloring if desired)

Pesto

  • 1 cup (18g) slightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp finely shredded parmesan, plus more for serving if desired
  • 1 Tbsp pine nuts or chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to directions on package. Drain and let cool completely.
  2. In a food processor pulse 1 cup basil leaves, parmesan, pine nuts, and garlic until minced. Pour in olive oil and process until everything is finely minced. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add pasta and tomatoes to a salad bowl. Pour basil (pesto) mixture over pasta and tomatoes and toss to evenly coat.

  4. Add in avocados, mozzarella, basil (set some aside to garnish over top if desired), and pour in balsamic vinegar and toss just lightly. 

  5. Serve immediately with more balsamic vinegar and parmesan if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • If you can't find mozzarella pearls, you can cut up a large ball of fresh mozzarella. 
  • Fresh basil is a must in this recipe, dried cannot be substituted. 
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Avocado Caprese Pasta Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 406 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 26mg9%
Sodium 234mg10%
Potassium 468mg13%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 14g28%
Vitamin A 1075IU22%
Vitamin C 13.8mg17%
Calcium 207mg21%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Caprese Pasta Salad
Calories: 406 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

6 comments

  • Anne Marie Benoit: I speak French and I love your recettes is it possible in French? Merci November 17, 2018 at 5:02am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry unfortunately I don’t speak french so I wouldn’t be able to properly convert it for you, I wish I could! November 17, 2018 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Kirti Yadav: Avocado and pasta together! that too in salad. Well u just cant demand for anything more. Amazing dish July 26, 2017 at 11:45am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Kirti! July 26, 2017 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci: You’re so right, avocado is perfect here! I love anything caprese so this is my kind of summery salad! :) July 9, 2017 at 11:57pm Reply

  • Medha @ Whisk & Shout: Avocado is the thing caprese was missing! Love the delicious and hearty pasta salad :) Such a summer meal! July 9, 2017 at 9:07am Reply

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