This Caprese Pasta Salad recipe is super quick and easy to make ahead of time and always a crowd favorite!
This weekend, my small group from church decided to head outta town for an impromptu little Memorial Day campout.
Although, I should probably say that “campout” was a generous term. ;)
As it turned out, my friend’s parents’ house where we were staying actually had enough bedrooms and couches for the dozen of us who preferred to sleep indoors, so I didn’t have to snuggle up with the insect kingdom. We also nixed cooking by campfire and instead made use of their amazing big kitchen, cooking up a big dinner spread together complete with burgers and hot dogs and grilled veggies and (this!) pasta salad and old-school potato chips and dips and local craft beers galore. Which was followed, the next morning, by a fabulously long and lazy homemade breakfast together the next morning, where we sat around the dining table in the morning sunlight chatting about everything from friendship to the best oysters in KC to the Enneagram to The Bachelorette.
Granted, we did build a big campfire that we sat around late at night. And we did spend plenty of time outside paddle-boating around the lake, riding four-wheelers around, and star-gazing with this amazing app. So maybe it could still count as campout-ish. But hey, whatever you call it, it was just one of those deeply good, restorative weekends all around. So thankful to have had the chance to get outta town, and soak up some wide open spaces (and wide-open free time) with good friends. Good for my little soul.
Also good? This yummy little impromptu caprese pasta salad that I whipped up to bring with me. My friends gave it two thumbs up, so I thought I’d share it with you guys today as well.
This Caprese Pasta Salad recipe is super quick and easy to make ahead of time and always a crowd favorite.
8 ounces uncooked pasta (any shape will do)
1 dry pint (10 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved (I used a mix of red and yellow)
8 ounces pearl mini mozzarella balls*
1/3 cup julienned fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta in a strainer and rinse under cold water for about 1 minute, gently tossing the pasta until it is no longer hot.
Toss the pasta salad. Transfer the pasta to a large mixing bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper and toss until evenly combined.
Season. Taste and season with extra balsamic, salt and/or pepper, if needed.
Serve. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Mozzarella: Alternatively, you can buy a large 8-ounce ball of fresh mozzarella and dice it into small pieces.
Recipe edit: This recipe was edited to include less pasta and a simpler balsamic dressing in 2022.