If pasta, chickpeas, tomatoes, mozzarella, and pesto are staple ingredients in your house, then you already have the ingredients for this Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad. This is a quick lunch, dinner, or a make-ahead salad to go for those busy nights when you’re on the road at dinnertime.
Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad Versatility
There are so many ways to make a meal like this fit dietary needs. I use plain semolina (aka white) pasta, but if you’re looking for more fiber in your day, use whole wheat or bean pasta. If you’re not good with either of those, you could swap out completely and add chicken and pine nuts.
If you don’t have them on hand, you can swap out the chickpeas for another type, such as navy or cannellini beans. I think the best recipes are the ones that can be modified slightly and still taste delicious. This is one of those. The fiber from the beans is one of the reasons I don’t mind using white pasta.
There is also the potential to add more nutrition. I’ve stirred in fresh baby spinach and added sundried tomatoes to this salad; both are great options.
Time Saver Meal
This pasta comes together so fast. While the pasta cooks, you can prepare everything else. I even toasted up some baguette slices at that time. It also holds up well. I don’t add any extra salt, so the tomatoes don’t lose their shape significantly.
Try this Caprese Pesto Pasta Salad the next time you need a quick meal and experiment with ways to make it your own.Print
8 ounces (1/2 box) rotini pasta, cooked completely in salted boiling water
2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1.5 cups diced fresh mozzarella
1, 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
Optional: extra pesto, drizzle of olive oil
Boil pasta according to package directions, add 1/2 tablespoon salt when the water boils.
While the pasta is cooking, drain chickpeas, slice tomatoes in half, and cube the mozzarella and place in bowl.
Drain pasta and add to salad – run cold water over it if you do not want it warm. Add to the bowl.
Spoon pesto over the top and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and parsley.
Toss and serve.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 10