Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.
This vegan caprese salad is made using fresh plant based ingredients and is delicious when served as a side dish or an easy entree.
Why You'll Love this Vegan Pasta Salad
- Plant-Based/Vegan: This recipe is made with 100% plant-based ingredients making it fully vegan.
- Only 4 Ingredients: I love that this recipe only calls for 4 ingredients! Technically it's a few more if you make your own balsamic dressing, but you can skip an entire step and a bunch of ingredients if you choose to use a pre-made dressing.
- Quick & Easy: It takes just 15 quick minutes to make this easy caprese pasta.
- Perfect Summer Pasta Salad: This dish is filled with summer's best flavors. Though you can make this recipe all year long, using fresh summer ingredients makes the flavors pop!
If you're looking for more plant-based summer recipes, try my Vegan Pasta Salad or my Mango Popsicles next.
Tomatoes: I used cherry tomatoes for this recipe because they are naturally sweet and bite-sized.
I love this tomato guide which discusses the different types of tomatoes.
Basil: Always, always, choose fresh basil. It's a major player when it comes to flavor in this recipe. It truly brings the dish to life so don't skip over this one.
Pasta: I opted for bowties for this particular pasta dish, but you can use any that you have on hand.
Balsamic Dressing: We make a homemade dressing in this recipe but if you're looking to skip a step you can use a pre-made balsamic salad dressing.
See recipe card below for full ingredients and quantities.
Step by Step Instructions
This caprese pasta is so easy to make and comes together in just 15 minutes.
Start by boiling some water and making your pasta of choice according to the package instructions. Once fully cooked, strain the pasta and set it aside to cool.
Time Saving Tip: If you want your water to boil faster, cover it with a lid to trap the heat!
Next, I recommend making the balsamic salad dressing. The sooner you make it, the more time it will have to allow the flavors to meld. This gives you the best, most flavorful dressing. Once the dressing is made, set it aside.
Wash the tomatoes and basil and then cut and chop them according to your preference so you have bite-sized tomatoes.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss until everything is well mixed and coated in the dressing.
For best results, make this one day in advance so the flavors have time to meld.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is caprese pasta salad? This is a plant-based spin on classic caprese pasta salad. It would typically include mozzarella along with the pasta, basil, and tomatoes.
You can absolutely add some plant based mozzarella to your pasta if you have some that you love.
Can I make it spicy? Yes! Add ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper to the dressing to add a little heat.
Do you serve caprese pasta hot or cold? My personal preference is to serve this pasta chilled, but I bet it would be delicious slightly heated up.
Can I add anything extra to this pasta salad? Absolutely! My top recommendations are listed below:
- Pesto (you can use this in place of the balsamic dressing)
- Chopped nuts
- Plant-based mozzarella or feta
- Baby spinach
How to Serve and Store
You can store this delicious vegan pasta salad in the fridge in a covered container for up to 4 days.
This caprese salad with cherry tomatoes can be served as a side dish or as an entree.
It was originally intended to be served cold but can also be lightly heated and served warm.
You can also toss this pasta salad in with salad greens and a little extra dressing to make it a true salad.
If you enjoyed this vegan pasta salad recipe, try some of my other vegan pasta recipes next:
Caprese Pasta Salad
- ½ pound pasta
- 2 cups tomatoes
- 1 cup basil
- ¼ cup balsamic salad dressing See below for dressing ingredients
Balsamic Salad Dressing
- ¼ cup tahini
- 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- Start by cooking the pasta according to package instructions. After cooking, drain, and set aside to cool.
- Mix all ingredients for the balsamic salad dressing and set aside.
- Wash the fresh ingredients and then slice the tomatoes and roughly chop the basil.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss until well combined and coated in the dressing.
Hi Kelsey - great recipe! How long does this last in the fridge?
Hi Julia, thank you so much!! This pasta salad lasts in the fridge in a covered container for up to four days.