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Caprese Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella

My husband loves Caprese salads, so this Caprese Pasta recipe was an easy sell. It has all the ingredients of his favorite “insalata Caprese”, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and ribbons of basil. What I love about this dish is that it is light fresh, easy, and versatile. It is just as good cold as it is hot!

A bowl of Caprese Pasta with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.

This recipe is perfect all year round. In the winter I serve this hot, as an entrée or a side dish for Easy Herb Roasted Chicken or fish. In the summer this makes a wonderful pasta salad to go with Lemon, Garlic and Herb Grilled Chicken, Balsamic Marinated Pork Tenderloin, or a nice juicy hamburger.

What is Caprese?

Tortellini, mozzarella balls, basil, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil.


How to make Caprese Pasta

  • Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, sauté the garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil.
  • Add halved tomatoes to the olive oil and cook for a couple of minutes. Add a cup of pasta water to the sauce and salt and pepper to taste.
  • When the pasta is done, drain it and toss the pasta in the sauce.
  • Add the mozzarella and basil and drizzle with some additional olive oil. Serve the pasta with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
  • If you want to serve this as a salad, leave it at room temperature for about an hour or refrigerate it for several hours and serve it cold. Toss well before serving it.
Tortellini in a Caprese sauce with basil leaves


The recipe is perfect as is, but you can easily add to it to suit your taste.

Grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, or Italian sausage make this a hearty entrée.

Drizzle a balsamic glaze on the pasta when you serve it, to give it a burst of flavor.

Mix in fried prosciutto or pancetta to add some salty notes to the dish.

Use any pasta shape that you have on hand. This is just as good with angel hair, spaghetti, rigatoni, ravioli, or orzo. Pick your favorite.

Want to make this gluten free? Serve it with zucchini noodles!

Try adding spinach and sundried tomatoes to the sauce. Sooo good!

There really are no limits to how versatile this recipe is.

Large bowl of Caprese pasta and basil.


Is Caprese healthy?

I am not a nutritionist, but I can tell you that through my research I have found that there are health benefits associated with each of the ingredients that make up a Caprese. Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and are a good source of potassium and vitamins A and K. They also contain antioxidants that help ward off cancer and keep your heart healthy. Basil contains essential oils which are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and magnesium and it is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Mozzarella is a relatively low-calorie cheese and is an excellent source of calcium. As with anything, it is good to eat it in moderation.

What is the difference between Bruschetta and Caprese?

Bruschetta is an antipasto dish of toasted bread topped with chopped tomato and basil. Caprese is a salad made of sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

Other pasta recipes you will love:

Italian Pasta Broccoli

Pasta with Vodka Sauce and Sausage

Bucatini Alla Carbonara

Pasta Rustica with Sausage

Zesty Italian Pasta Salad

Tomato Cauliflower Pasta Sauce

Tortellini Alfredo

A bowl of tortellini pasta with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil

Caprese Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella

Caprese Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella made with a light tomato, mozzarella and basil sauce is quick, delicious and can be served hot or cold.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 476 kcal


  • 1 lb. Tortellini or any pasta
  • 5 tbsp. Olive Oil divided
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • ½ tsp. Red Pepper Flakes optional
  • 3 cups Cherry Tomatoes halved
  • 8 oz. Mozzarella Fresh "ciliegine" balls or a larger cheese ball cubed
  • 4 tbsp. Basil Fresh, cut in ribbons
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste


  • Cook tortellini according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile heat 3 tbsp. of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the cherry tomatoes and cook about 2 minutes. Salt and pepper the sauce to taste.
  • When the pasta is done, reserve a cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta and add to the tomatoes. Mix well. Add pasta water if needed.
  • Transfer the tortellini to a large serving bowl, add the fresh mozzarella, basil and remaining olive oil. Serve with grated pecorino romano cheese.
  • If you want to serve this as a pasta salad, the pasta can be served at room temperature or covered and refrigerated for at least an hour. Toss well to distribute the sauce before serving.


Serving: 6servingsCalories: 476kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 21gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 581mgPotassium: 232mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1261IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 327mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Tortellini, Pasta, Tomatoes, Mozzarella, Basil, Easy
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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