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Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe – A classic pasta updated with a bright pesto dressing, sundried tomatoes, and bacon. A perfect quick and easy side dish!
Delicious warm or cold, this pesto caprese pasta salad is definitely a winner! Ready in less than 30 minutes and made with a handful of ingredients, it will quickly become a go-to favorite!
How to Make Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad Recipe
A combination of flavors and textures are added to this pasta salad recipe to make sure that every single bite is packed with flavor! To make it, you’ll only need a few things:
- Pasta – your favorite of farfalle (bowtie), penne, or spiral. I used whole wheat in the recipe photographed.
- Sun-dried tomatoes – Sun-dried tomatoes pack a subtle but powerful punch of sweet, earthy tomatoes in this pasta dish.
- Bacon – Cooked and crumbled bacon adds so much flavor and texture to this pasta salad!
- Red Onion – Diced red onion adds a sweet crunch to the salad. I love it diced and raw in the salad and I also love to add it to the skillet with the bacon for the last few minutes to soften it just a bit.
- Mozzarella – Creamy mozzarella balls (or pearls) are delicious add to the salad and marinate in the pesto as it cools.
- Pesto – Fresh basil pesto brings the entire pasta salad together, coating every single bite with its bright flavor.
- Fresh basil – Right before serving, I love to tear basil leaves to stir into the salad so that the aroma and taste of fresh basil is throughout the salad.
The freshness of homemade pesto added to the pasta salad brings the entire salad together and makes it incredibly flavorful.
How to Make this Pasta Salad Ahead
This pasta salad keeps well in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Simply allow to cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Can I Make This Pasta Salad Vegetarian and/ or Vegan?
To make this pasta salad recipe vegetarian, simply omit the bacon called for in the recipe. To make it vegan, omit the bacon and the mozzarella.
Here’s my Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad recipe. I hope you love it!
Pesto Caprese Pasta Salad
- 1 (16-ounce) package uncooked pasta farfalle, penne, or spiral
- 1 (6.7-ounce) package sun-dried tomatoes drained from oil
- 5 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 medium red onion diced
- 1 (8-ounce) package mozzarella balls
- 1 1/2 cups pesto
- 1 teaspoon Stone House Seasoning
- 1 bunch fresh basil torn into pieces
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and place into a large mixing bowl. Add sun-dried tomatoes, bacon, red onion, mozzarella balls, pesto, and Stone House Seasoning. Stir well to combine.
- When ready to serve, tear fresh basil leaves into pieces and stir into the pasta salad.
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This is a delicious and easy salad. I used about half as much pesto, and the salad was nice and flavorful, without the extra calories. : )
Thanks so much, Jocelyn!