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An easy side, this Caprese Orzo Salad combines tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil with a yummy homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Make ahead!
Anytime I see it on the menu, I order a Caprese Salad. Such simple, well-combined flavors make a fantastic treat! Check out my Caprese Chicken recipe too!
This orzo pasta salad is SO easy, it uses fresh basil, cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. All of which you can prep while cooking the orzo!
I like to keep it in a large bowl in the fridge, and just grab 1/2 cup or so here and there as a snack. It can be a main dish or a side dish, depending on what you have going on that day!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Simple. Nothing crazy, and all ingredients you can find at your local grocery store.
- Make-ahead. There is NOTHING better than having this hang out in the fridge, or in your lunch bag. Simply dress the salad just before you want to eat, and you’re good!
What is Orzo?
A very small pasta shape, that looks similar to rice.
Additions & Substitutions
- You could use any kind of small pasta for this recipe. Ditalini, or salad shells go really well.
- Add some diced red onion for a little “bite”, or some garbanzo beans for protein if you are keeping this vegetarian.
- Use salt and pepper to taste. Depending on the time of year and what your tomatoes are like, you’ll use more or less.
The full list of ingredients and quantities is found in the printable recipe card below.
How to Caprese Pasta Salad
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The full list of ingredients, quantities and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.
Make the dressing
In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Taste test and add more honey or salt and pepper as needed.
Prepare the salad
Cook orzo according to directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside to cool. You want it to be cold so that when you mix the mozzarella in, it doesn’t melt.
Mix the cooled orzo, mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil in a large bowl.
Pour dressing over salad and mix well.
Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Some of our Favorite Salad Recipes
- Southwest Chicken Salad. Classic flavors made fabulous in this hearty Southwest Chicken Salad. Grilled Chicken makes this a wonderful main dish vs a side, this is a salad you’ll make over and over!
- Kale Salad. Simple ingredients and simple instructions (including how to massage kale) make this Kale Salad Recipe an absolute keeper!
- Roasted Beet Salad with Feta & Walnuts. A healthy roasted beet salad with feta and roasted walnuts, drizzled with a homemade vinaigrette. The beets are the star of the show!
Caprese Orzo Salad (Basil Tomato Mozzarella)
- 10 oz orzo pasta
- 1 cup fresh mozzarella (bocconcini pearls if you can find them, drained)
- 10 oz grape tomatoes ((or cherry tomatoes) halved)
- ½ cup fresh basil (chopped)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook orzo according to directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside to cool.
- Mix the cooled orzo, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil in a large bowl.
- Pour dressing over salad and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper if needed.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.