Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad is one of my favorite cold pasta salad dishes! Grilled chicken and colorful vegetables are tossed with pasta to create a tasty meal that is perfect for any occasion.
- Make-Ahead: This pasta salad can be made up to four days in advance! If you leave the chicken out you can make it last five to seven days!
- Easy to Customize: While I like it as written, you can also toss in different cheeses, more vegetables, or swap the protein for shrimp!
- Dinner OR Side: Looking for a quick tasty side? Leave out the chicken. Want a more filling dinner? Load in the protein!
I am all about the EASY light recipes. This caprese pasta salad recipe falls smack dab into that category and is one of our go-to dinner ideas. It is packed with grilled chicken and tomatoes and reminds me so much of a simple caprese. Best of all? My nine year old approves. Even when we add extra vegetables!
The best part is how simple the ingredient list is. Make it as written or get creative with your favorite mix-ins! Ideal for potlucks, picnics, and basic meal prep. Basically, you cannot go wrong with this recipe.
Caprese Chicken Pasta Ingredients
This is an amazing summer recipe, especially if you grow your own garden. Tomatoes are in season May through October and add a delightful pop of color and flavor. Fire up the grill and use grilled chicken. There is so much flexibility in this dish. Here is what you need:
- Salad Supreme seasoning: I truly feel like this is an underrated seasoning blend. A go-to for pasta salads and vegetables with a blend of paprika, celery and garlic. You can even try this on top of dinner rolls before baking for an INSANE upgrade.
- Italian dressing: I grew up with Wishbone. It’s a staple for our pasta salads and is incredibly nostalgic. Although lately I’ve learned that Newmans, Kens and even Olive Garden provide a delicious alternative.
- Tomatoes: I lean towards cherry or grape tomatoes that are sliced in half or quartered. However, I’m no tomato snob. I’ll use whatever I find in the store that looks ripe.
- Mozzarella: Pro tip, shredded cheese is great but nothing beats big chunks of cheese. Take a few string cheese sticks and cut it into smaller dime sized bites. So dang delicious and a treat when paired with the tomato.
- Basil: Fresh basil ties in the classic flavor of caprese. It also adds a freshness that takes this from good to great.
- Pasta: As for pasta, there are a few types that will make a batter salad. I really like to stick with Farfalle (bowtie) or corkscrew shaped short pasta.
- Grilled Chicken: Optional, but a delicious addition and great way to make the dish more filling thanks to the added protein. You can make your own OR find grilled chicken in the freezer section of most grocers.
How To Make Caprese Pasta
The goal was for a caprese style pasta. I cubed some fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, chopped fresh basil and tossed that with the chicken and rotini pasta. The simplicity of ingredients still makes for a flavor packed meal the entire family will love.
- PREP: Cook the pasta according to the package directions, strain, and allow to cool completely. Combine the salad seasoning and dressing in a measuring cup. Whisk to combine.
- MIX: In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, mozzarella, chicken, and pasta. Drizzle the dressing over the top and mix to combine. Sprinkle with chopped basil.
- CHILL: Refrigerate 4 hours or up to overnight. Add additional dressing if needed.
- Airtight Container: Planning to travel with this recipe? Test out this set of bowls with lids (affiliate). Perfect sized and one of my most-used kitchen items!
- Silicone Spatulas: I am beyond obsessed with my set of silicone spatulas (affiliate). Perfect for mixing and can be used on hot or cold dishes.
- Cutting Boards: This recipe chops a lot of ingredients (think fresh veggies). Having a good set of knives (affiliate) and cutting boards (affiliate) can make things go by much quicker!
The best way to keep the leftover pasta fresh is to keep in stored in an airtight container inside the refrigerator.
This pasta salad can be made up to four days in advance! If you leave the chicken out you can make it last five to seven days!
One of the reasons I really love this recipe is that it is so versatile. You can add or take out any ingredient and will still have an amazing pasta recipe. We plan on trying a caprese pasta salad with tortellini Here are a few ideas of what you could add to the dish:
For this caprese style pasta salad I recommend sticking with an Italian style dressing. You can pick your favorite and measure out 1 cup. Whisk in some salad seasoning and drizzle over your prepared ingredients.
Another tip is to keep a little extra dressing on hand. The flavors of all of the ingredients need time to blend together. The pasta could soak up some of the dressing so don’t be worried about adding another 1/2 a cup or so.
Easy Chicken Caprese Pasta Salad
- 2 Tablespoons Salad Supreme seasoning
- 1 cup Italian style salad dressing plus more as needed
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese cubes
- 2 cups grilled chicken cubed
- 1/2 lb pasta cooked and cooled
- fresh basil optional
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, strain, and allow to cool completely.
- Combine the salad seasoning and dressing in a measuring cup. Whisk to combine.
- In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, mozzarella, chicken, and pasta. Drizzle the dressing over the top and mix to combine. Sprinkle with chopped basil.
- Refrigerate 4 hours or up to overnight. Add additional dressing if needed.