This Pepperoni Caprese Pasta Salad is made with curly cavatappi pasta, pepperoni, fresh cherry tomatoes, herbaceous basil, fresh mozzarella and a tangy Italian vinaigrette dressing. It is the perfect quick and easy spring and summer salad. Perfect for summer barbecues. Best of all, it can be ready in only 15 minutes.
- Pasta - For this Pepperoni Caprese Pasta Salad recipe, I used cavatappi noodles. However, you can use any pasta you prefer. Below, I have listed some of my favorite pastas for pasta salad. (More salad recipes)
- Fresh Mozzarella - I use mini marinated mozzarella balls for this recipe, but you can cut up regular fresh mozzarella or even use shredded mozzarella
- Italian Dressing - Any Italian vinaigrette will work here. I also love it with this Balsamic Shallot Vinaigrette.
- Cherry Tomatoes - I love cherry tomatoes for their bright, sweet flavor, but any type of tomato will work here.
STEP 1: Cook the pasta to al dente as per the directions on the box. Drain and let cool.
STEP 2: Transfer the cooled pasta to a large mixing bowl.
STEP 3: Add the red onions, tomatoes, basil, pepperoni and mozzarella.
STEP 4: Pour over the Italian dressing and toss until all ingredients are well mixed and the dressing is evenly distributed.
Recipe Tips and Variations
- Storage - Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Make Ahead - This is an excellent recipe to make ahead of time. Have a barbecue on Saturday? Go ahead and make it on Friday evening. It gives the flavors even more time to come together.
- Change up the Cheese - You can use just about any cheese here. Some of my favorites are shaved parmesan, grated Romano, sharp white cheddar, smoked mozzarella and gouda.
- Add Fruit - Add fresh strawberries in place of the pepperoni and mix in some of this Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette. You won't be disappointed.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make a low carb variation of this caprese pasta salad, simply swap out the pasta for roasted cauliflower, zucchini noodles, cucumber noodles, or even coleslaw mix.
Any type of pasta that has pockets or folds to catch the dressing and ingredients will work great. It helps to make sure each bite has flavor. Penne, elbow macaroni, farfalle, fusilli, rotini are all great choices.