Change up your usual side dish, and bring this caprese pasta salad to your next summer bar-b-cue.
If you are looking forward to summer barbecues, raise your hand. Can you see me, raising my hand?!?! I love summer barbecues and can’t wait to try some new recipes. Summer barbecues for us usually mean swimming and family. If we are going to be outside, there needs to be water and good food. What makes summer barbecues so much fun is everyone pitching in with the menu. Lots of yummy side dishes and desserts can always be found at our family get togethers. One of my favorite side dishes to bring is pasta salad.
I love a classic pasta salad dish, but I love trying new recipes and combinations. You can really put anything with pasta and make it taste good. This summer my new favorite is this caprese pasta salad. I love the combination of tomato, basil and mozarella and the sweet tang from the balsamic dressing. It’s really a great combination of flavor and a fun way to change up a classic barbecue side dish.
Plus this pasta salad is really easy to make! I always chop up my ingredients as my pasta cooks so it goes really fast. I also like to make pasta salads the day before because I think the longer they sit in the fridge the better the flavor. It just gives it time for everything to work together.
- 1 box penne pasta
- 1 small container grape tomatoes
- 12 sticks mozzarella string cheese
- 12 leaves fresh basil
- 1 bottle balsamic vinaigrette dressing
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- In a large pot boil pasta according to package instructions.
- Slice grape tomatoes in half and place in large bowl.
- Slice mozzarella cheese sticks and place in bowl with tomatoes.
- Roll basil leaves together and thinly slice and add to bowl.
- Drain pasta and let cool for a few minutes.
- Add semi cooled pasta to bowl with other ingredients.
- Add 1/2 bottle balsamic vinaigrette dressing, salt, pepper and sugar.
- Gently toss ingredients together.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge until ready to serve.
- Right before service, add more dressing if it looks too dry.
You could sign up to bring pasta salads for every summer barbecue you attend and never bring the same one. There are just so many options when it comes to pasta salad.
Try this red, white and blue cheese pasta salad for the 4th of July.
Or for a totally different flavor, whip up some of this greek pasta salad.
You just can’t go wrong. Everyone will love it!