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close up of caprese pasta salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing..
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5 from 5 votes

Bacon Caprese Pasta Salad

Try this Caprese Pasta Salad recipe for a hearty and satisfying twist on the classic. Whole-grain bow-tie pasta is combined with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella pearls, and basil leaves to make a healthy side dish. With the addition of tangy balsamic dressing, it’s the perfect option for backyard barbecues, potlucks, and more!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories405.5 kcal
Cost $ 0.50 per person


  • 1 medium pot , to cook the pasta
  • 1 Mason jar , to make the dressing
  • 1 large bowl , for the salad


For the Caprese pasta salad:

  • 16 oz whole grain bow tie pasta or use a low-carb pasta. If you are sensitive to gluten, substitute your favorite gluten-free pasta instead.
  • 15 cherry tomatoes halved. You can also use sun-dried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or any type of tomato you have available.
  • 17.5 fresh mozzarella pearls If you can’t find fresh mozzarella pearls, or perline, try Bocconcini, panela, or even cubed feta (just go easy on the added salt).
  • 12 fresh basil leaves either whole or finely sliced into strips. Use sweet basil for the best flavor. If you don’t have basil, try fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley.

For the balsamic dressing:

  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil You can technically use avocado oil but the flavor won’t be quite the same.
  • 1.5 tablespoon balsamic vinegar I recommend using balsamic vinegar with a D.O.P. designation for a sweet and balanced taste.
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning Use store-bought or make your own basic Italian seasoning mix with dried basil, oregano, rosemary, and marjoram.
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes OPTIONAL (for a kick). Or cayenne pepper.


  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente according to the instructions in the package. Drain!
  • Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients for the balsamic dressing in a mason jar, or whisk them all in a bowl until homogeneous. Let it sit while the pasta cooks!
  • Place pasta in a large bowl and mix with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella pearls, and basil leaves.
  • Pour the dressing little by little over the salad while tossing gently until coat it evenly. TIP: Use just enough of the dressing to coat the pasta; otherwise it will become soggy!
  • Cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before serving. Serves 4 (main dish) up to 8 (side dish).

Recipe Notes

If you end up with leftover caprese pasta salad, follow these simple storage instructions:
  • Fridge: Transfer the salad to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. 
  • Freezer: I don’t recommend freezing pasta salad since the texture of the fresh ingredients will change too much once thawed. It’s best to consume it within a few days.
  • Prep ahead: You can make the balsamic dressing ahead of time and keep it refrigerated. You can also make the pasta ahead of time, toss it in olive oil, and keep it in the fridge for about 2 days before serving. When you’re ready to eat, toss the pasta and additional vegetables with the dressing.


Calories: 405.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 44.4g | Protein: 19.6g | Fat: 19.2g | Saturated Fat: 5.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3.9g | Cholesterol: 22.1mg | Sodium: 52.4mg | Potassium: 197.4mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1.2g | Vitamin A: 188.6IU | Vitamin C: 7.4mg | Calcium: 247.8mg | Iron: 2.4mg

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Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.

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