5-Ingredient Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad

This Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad is made simple with just five ingredients, and tossed in a delicious balsamic reduction.

5 Ingredient Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #easy #recipe #vegetarian

I feel like I should forewarn you that this may turn into the Summer Of Pasta Salads here on the blog.

I am apparently obsessed with them lately, especially once the lightbulb went off and I realized (far too late in life) that the words pasta salad do not need to be linked with mayonnaise.


I keep trying to be an adult and learn to like mayo.  But it is just not my thing.

This came up in conversation twice in the last month with friends and everyone was discussing what foods they still no longer like as an adult.  I was aghast when some close friends proudly declared that they don’t like shrimp (ah!), mushrooms (yum!), and soft cheese (MY LIFE).  But when it was my turn and I confessed that I don’t like mayo, it was my turn to hear all of the gasps.  Eh, everyone substitutes Greek yogurt for it nowadays anyway, right??

Well, this pasta salad has mayo nowhere in sight.  And when I posted it on Instagram last week, everyone still seemed pretty excited about it.  So let’s get to it!

5 Ingredient Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #easy #recipe #vegetarian

Clearly I’m also still on the 5-ingredient bandwagon lately.  It’s too fun of a challenge to pass up!  And I have to say that I think this recipe maximizes the heck out of all five.

I couldn’t decide whether to call it Strawberry Balsamic Pasta Salad or Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad.  But basically it’s a “caprese” recipe where you substitute in strawberries for tomatoes.  So that makes the five ingredients:

  • pasta
  • fresh strawberries
  • fresh mozzarella
  • fresh basil
  • balsamic reduction

5 Ingredient Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #easy #recipe #vegetarian

As you can see, I substituted in one of my favorite DeLallo products — their heavenly balsamic glaze — instead of reducing my own balsamic.  But you can also easily make it for yourself on the stove while your pasta water comes to a boil.

5 Ingredient Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #easy #recipe #vegetarian

And the process itself is simple.  Just cook your noodles, then drain and immediately rinse them in cold water to halt the cooking.  Then toss the noodles with the berries, chopped basil and diced mozzarella.  And drizzle with as much reduced balsamic as you’d like.

5 Ingredient Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #easy #recipe #vegetarian

I was initially going to toss the salad in the balsamic, and then my friend Maria suggested I just drizzle it instead.  That’s what good foodie friends are for — look how pretty it is!

Anyway, this is a stellar dish for any summer grill-out or tailgaiting or even just a lovely dinner inside at home.  And if you’re not feeling the chilled vibe, this pasta also works well served warm.  (Just know that your mozzarella will melt if tossed with hot pasta.)

And the best news?  NO MAYO IN SIGHT.  :)


5 Ingredient Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #easy #recipe #vegetarian

5-Ingredient Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad

This 5-Ingredient Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad is quick and easy to make, and a delicious sweet and savory addition to any meal.


  • 1 pound dry pasta (I used farfalle)
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic glaze (I used DeLallo, but see instructions below for a homemade alternative)


Cook pasta in a large pot of generously-salted boiling water al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the pasta from cooking.

Toss the pasta with the strawberries, mozzarella and basil. Pour half of the pasta into a serving bowl, and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Then pour the remaining half of the pasta on top, and drizzle with the balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with extra basil if desired. Also, if the pasta seems to dry, you can toss it with a tablespoon of olive oil.

*To make balsamic glaze homemade, whisk together 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes or until reduced by half. Give it a taste. If you think it needs sweetening, stir in a few teaspoons of sugar or honey.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

5 Ingredient Strawberry Caprese Pasta Salad | gimmesomeoven.com #easy #recipe #vegetarian

Leave a Comment:


  1. Chelsea @ Gal on a Mission — May 21, 2014 @ 7:49 am (#)

    I do not like Mayo either – glad I’m not the only one! Yuck. By the way, this pasta salad looks a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Love the colors. :)

  2. Erin | The Law Student's Wife — May 21, 2014 @ 8:23 am (#)

    My fave summer flavors are totally having a party in this bowl! Love that glaze too.

  3. Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain — May 21, 2014 @ 8:40 am (#)

    So much color! And I agree with Maria, the drizzle is the perfect touch! Also, I am so proud of you and can’t wait to get my mitts on the cookbook!

  4. Julie — May 21, 2014 @ 9:35 am (#)

    What a fantastic idea. I may have to make this for a party this weekend.

  5. Catherine McCord — May 21, 2014 @ 1:04 pm (#)

    Only 5 ingredients! Weeknight secret weapon salad!

  6. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl — May 21, 2014 @ 1:33 pm (#)

    1) This is gorgeous. 2) I don’t like mayo either. 3) I hope your cookbook is titled “5 Ingredient Recipes” because I love them all.

  7. Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files — May 21, 2014 @ 4:31 pm (#)

    I am LOVE this for many reasons! One being that their is no mayo and section the strawberry caprese conconcation! Yum!

  8. Laura | Baking Outside the Box — May 21, 2014 @ 6:19 pm (#)

    This looks so summery and light. What a great thing at a picnic. I love the idea of the balsamic glaze. Gotta go get some Moz, cuz I already have the other ingredients! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  9. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 21, 2014 @ 8:01 pm (#)

    This is THE perfect summer salad. Love it!

  10. Beth — May 21, 2014 @ 8:55 pm (#)

    1. Mayo is an abomination. 2. Balsamic reduction is heaven on earth.
    I am going to turn into this salad this summer!!!!!!(You know, cuz you are what you eat!)

  11. BamaCarol — May 21, 2014 @ 9:01 pm (#)

    OOOOOhhhh, love this and I think this holiday weekend is the perfect time to try it out on my family. You see, I do not like raw tomatoes. There, I’ve said it. So caprese salad before did not have any kind of temptation for me. But this? I looooove strawberries and fresh basil. Seriously, this may be my contribution to the church picnic next weekend. Thanks!

  12. Anna (Hidden Ponies) — May 21, 2014 @ 11:52 pm (#)

    This is beautiful, Ali! I’m still trying as an adult to learn to like tomatoes, so this is exactly up my caprese alley :) Pinned – need to make this for my next BBQ!

  13. Terri @ that's some good cookin' — May 22, 2014 @ 1:58 am (#)

    What a fun idea to use strawberries instead of tomatoes. Plus, I didn’t know that Delallo made a balsamic glaze. I have definitely got to get some of that!

  14. Amanda — May 22, 2014 @ 9:54 am (#)

    Beautiful salad! Definitely want this :)

  15. Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 22, 2014 @ 2:04 pm (#)

    So gorgeous, love the balsamic drizzle (and I refuse to eat mayo, so bring on the mayo-less salads!).

  16. Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainer — May 23, 2014 @ 9:06 am (#)

    LOVE this recipe, Ali. So pretty, bright, cheery. Happy weekend!

  17. Kiley- Rooks to Cooks — May 26, 2014 @ 9:45 am (#)

    I love that this only takes 5 ingredients, and yet comes out so pretty! I can also agree about the mayo thing, I have never been a fan of pasta salads because of it, but this recipe may make me convert! :)

  18. marla — June 14, 2014 @ 11:12 am (#)

    Oh my gosh I am looking for a pasta salad for a old fashion bridal pin up party. I found beautiful black and white striped bow tie pasta,this is going to be perfect. I am so glad I clicked on your pin.

  19. Kay — August 23, 2014 @ 1:27 pm (#)

    Great recipe and beautiful photos! This is on the menu for Sunday Brunch. Thank you:)

  20. Gen — May 10, 2015 @ 10:29 am (#)

    How did you cut the fresh mozzarella? I used the dental floss trick, but dicing an entire ball that way got tedious and the cuts were a little wonky.

    • Ali — May 11th, 2015 @ 10:13 am

      I just used a chef’s knife. The more chilled the mozzarella, the easier it is to cut, for sure. :)

  21. Rachel — May 23, 2015 @ 3:12 pm (#)

    How early can I make this? I want to make it for a potluck of salads and sandwiches tomorrow. Can I precook pasta and refrigerate and then toss it all when ready to go if pre-prepared?


    • Ali — May 25th, 2015 @ 8:23 am

      Hey Rachel! Sure, you can pre cook the pasta, I’d just slightly undercook it, then drain and toss it with a little oil. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Reheat by dropping the noodles into boiling water for a minute or two, until heated through. Hope that helps, and that you enjoy the recipe! : )

  22. Samantha — May 28, 2016 @ 11:27 am (#)

    How many servings does this make? I’m looking to do this for a party soon and hoping it’ll serve enough people. Thank you it looks really yummy!!! NO MAYO!!!!! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 13th, 2016 @ 8:36 am

      Hi Samantha! We apologize for just now getting to your comment. This makes 4-6 servings (the serving amount is listed at the top left of the recipe). We hope you enjoy!

  23. Nina — March 11, 2017 @ 1:38 pm (#)

    How long will this last in fridge? I want it as a side to eat through the week.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 12th, 2017 @ 8:49 am

      Hi Nina! We think a few days — the strawberries release so much moisture that this will likely be too soggy beyond that. We hope you enjoy!


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