Balsamic Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad
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Balsamic Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad

Tossing sweet, garlicky balsamic-and-basil roasted tomatoes with pasta and fresh mozzarella is a fun spin on a classic Caprese salad that’s perfect for picnic season!

I go to monthly potlucks with a group of moms and kids that I met a few years ago, and I’m always trying to think up something new and exciting to bring.

It can be tricky because I don’t want to make something that the kids won’t touch, but I also don’t want to make something totally boring. So I thought that wagon wheel pasta was a surefire way to keep kids and grown-ups alike interested in my contribution!

Balsamic Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad

This pasta salad takes the flavors of a classic Caprese salad and mixes them with the balsamic roasted tomato sauce from one of my favorite pasta recipes for a bold, flavorful addition to any picnic spread.

I was planning to use bocconcini and cut them in half, but then I saw the most adorable little perlini mozzarella, and decided to go with that instead. Cooling the pasta salad down before adding the mozzarella in helps ensure that these little bites of cheese don’t melt before heading into the refrigerator.

Balsamic Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad

I had a few partial boxes of pasta on hand, so I did some math to add them to the boiling water in stages to make sure they’d all be cooked al dente.

I actually really liked the contrast between the wagon wheels and the 2 types of shells. It’s a great way to use up those odd amounts of pasta that most people have hanging around the kitchen!

This pasta salad was a HUGE hit, and it made a ton! I sprinkled a little more fresh basil on at the end, just to brighten it up a bit. I’ll definitely be making this one again and again.

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Overhead view of balsamic roasted tomato Caprese pasta salad.

Balsamic Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Ashley Covelli
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stovetop/Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian


Tossing sweet, garlicky balsamic-and-basil roasted tomatoes with pasta and fresh mozzarella is a fun spin on a classic Caprese salad that’s perfect for picnic season!


  • 2 pounds grape or cherry tomatoes, preferably multi-colored
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound dry pasta (I used a mix of shells and wagon wheels)
  • 8 ounces fresh perlini mozzarella, drained*


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper in a 9×13 (3 quart) baking dish and toss to combine. Bake for 20 minutes, stir, and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the tomatoes are nice and soft and melt when pressed gently with a spoon.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain well. If the pasta is finished before the tomato sauce is ready, drizzle in a little olive oil and stir so the pasta doesn’t stick. Place in a large bowl.
  3. Once the tomatoes are finished, mix them into the drained pasta and allow to cool to just above room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once cool, mix in the drained mozzarella and refrigerate until ready to serve.


*You can substitute bocconcini, halved, or a big piece of mozzarella, diced, if you can’t find perlini.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 339
  • Sugar: 6.1 g
  • Sodium: 299.2 mg
  • Fat: 8.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.4 g
  • Fiber: 3.7 g
  • Protein: 17.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 5.1 mg

Keywords: cold pasta salad, roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


  • Sandra Shaffer

    Perfect to bring to a potluck! Love that you combined two shells. I want to look for those wagon wheels. I don’t see them in the stores often!

    • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

      Thanks! The wagon wheels are so fun! They always make me think of arts & crafts time as a kid 🙂

  • Tea & Biscuits blog

    That’s a lovely looking salad! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the wagon wheel pasta before, I’ll need to look for that 🙂

    • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

      Thank you! The wagon wheels definitely made it more fun to eat, but any pasta shapes would work just fine.

  • Kacey @ The Cookie Writer

    This seriously looks and sounds amazing! I am a caprese lover so there is no going wrong here!

  • My Wife Makes

    Delicious! This Balsamic Roasted Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad (what a mouthful of a name!) looks FANTASTIC! Thanks for sharing this wonderful creation with the world. 🙂

    • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

      Thanks! And I know… the name was a bit much BUT I felt like it needed all those words to adequately describe its deliciousness 😉

  • Kim Beaulieu

    This is absolutely awesome. My hooligan loves when I mix pasta too. She has certain ones she likes for certain things. I think it looks cool plus adds extra oomph to any dish.

  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    I love how this is kind of a potpourri of different pastas. Definitely makes eating it more fun!

  • Dawn @ The Kitchen and a Latte

    This sounds so good! I never realized there were so many different kinds of mozzarella but I haven’t bought it fresh much either. I usually buy the block – shame on me I know haha! I Googled the difference and found there were 9 kinds of mozzarella. Learn something new everyday 🙂

    I am always looking for new ways to make salads for the summer and this is a definite try.

    • Ashley

      Fresh mozzarella is so luscious! If you ever to come across burrata cheese – it’s fresh mozzarella filled with creamier mozzarella (think ricotta for texture) and it is incredible! You can definitely use whatever mozzarella you have in this recipe. I’d just avoid shredded as it’d probably fall apart in the mix here. Let me know what you think of it if/when you give it a try, Dawn!

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