Simple Vegan Caprese Salad Recipe (with Pasta!)

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A delicious, summery Vegan Caprese Salad made with juicy tomatoes, creamy vegan mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar tossed into fresh pasta. This dish is ready in 15 minutes or less!

vegan caprese pasta salad in a white speckled bowl

What is Caprese Salad?

Caprese salad is a classic Italian dish with super simple ingredients including juicy tomatoes, thick slices of mozzarella, fragrant basil, and drizzled with olive oil balsamic vinegar, and a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Today, I decided to throw in some pasta for extra heartiness. 

What Makes This Recipe Great

Last week, I shared 5 salad recipes for #VeggiekinsSaladWeek including Caprese Stuffed Avocados and this week I’m kicking off #VeggiekinsPastaWeek with this Vegan Caprese Pasta Salad

As I mentioned last week, summertime is tomato peak season. Tomatoes are bursting with flavour and it’s the best time to enjoy, especially in fresh dishes like this. Alongside tomatoes, basil is also in season, so paired with vegan mozzarella and pasta of choice, you get the ultimate summer salad! 

The best part about this recipe is that it takes roughly 15 minutes or less to make, with little effort. The ingredients are simple, and the recipe plays up the natural summer flavors. I’ll also provide a method below to serve this dish warm.

To make it, you need only 6 main ingredients. This pasta dish is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.

For more vegan Italian recipes, try my homemade vegan pesto, this mushroom bolognese, or this vegan chopped Italian salad.

an overhead shot of a sumemr salad topped with basil

Ingredient Notes

  • Gluten free pasta of choice
  • Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Vegan mozzarella
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt + black pepper
  • Balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze to top (optional)
  • Garlic cloves (optional)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. To prepare in pasta salad form, toss cooked pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and enough olive oil to lightly coat the pasta in a large bowl. Toss to coat then season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette if desired and enjoy. 
  2. If you’d like to serve warm, sauté minced garlic cloves in a splash of olive oil until fragrant. Add tomatoes and allow to cook until slightly softened. You can smash them with the back of your spatula to release some of the tomato juices or leave them whole. Add pasta, basil, mozzarella and stir to combine. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste.
a vegan caprese salad in a white bowl

Secrets to Success

  • This Caprese Pasta Salad recipe is fairly loose, so you’ll see some ingredients are described with “handfuls” and “to taste”. It really is up to personal preference and it’s hard to mess up! I would recommend gauging portion size by the number of people enjoying it. For example, use 1 serving of pasta per person, and for each person, use a handful of cherry tomatoes as described in the recipe.
  • While you could make this recipe oil-free, I’d highly recommend using a drizzle of good olive oil. It will not only help to keep the cooked pasta from sticking together but also serves as the “dressing” if you will, given there is no other sauce in the recipe. Consider the warm option (see recipe below) if you’d prefer oil-free, and use crushed tomatoes to create a sauce. The pasta salad method will definitely end up a little dry without olive oil. Alternatively, you could potentially use balsamic vinaigrette as a sort of sauce to pull together the pasta salad.
  • For presentation purposes, I rolled my vegan mozzarella into little balls, however the shaping of your cheese is optional.

Storage Tips

I recommend enjoying pasta salad style on the same day. After storing in the fridge, pasta tends to dry out and become a lot firmer in texture.

If you have leftovers and want to store them, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat them within 1-2 days. Toss with additional olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve!

Recipe FAQs

What is Caprese salad made of? 

Traditional caprese salads are comprised of tomato slices, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil on a plate drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. In vegan caprese salad recipes, the mozzarella is substituted for vegan mozzarella alternatives making a fresh, delicious Italian salad made completely plant-based! In today’s recipe, we also added some pasta making it a heartier salad for summer picnics or gatherings. 

More Summer Salads

If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too.

Vegan Caprese Salad Recipe (with Pasta!)

Servings: 1 -2 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
A delicious, summery Vegan Caprese Salad made with juicy tomatoes, creamy vegan mozzarella, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar tossed into fresh pasta. This dish is ready in 15 minutes or less!

Ingredients 

  • 1 serving cooked pasta
  • handful cherry tomatoes roughly 1 cup
  • handful fresh basil roughly 1/4 loose cup chiffonaded
  • vegan mozzarella to taste I used miyokos mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil drizzle
  • optional
  • balsamic vinaigrette to taste
  • 2-3 fresh garlic cloves

Instructions 

  • To prepare in pasta salad form, toss cooked pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and enough olive oil to lightly coat pasta in a large mixing bowl. Toss to coat then season with salt and pepper to tase. Add balsamic vinaigrette if desired and enjoy.
  • If you'd like to serve warm, sauté minced garlic cloves in a splash of olive oil until fragrant. Add tomatoes and allow to cook until slightly softened. You can smash them with the back of your spatula to release some of the tomato juices or leave whole. Add pasta, basil, mozzarella and stir to combine. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

Secrets to Success

  • This Caprese Pasta Salad recipe is fairly loose, so you’ll see some ingredients are described with “handfuls” and “to taste”. It really is up to personal preference and it’s hard to mess up! I would recommend gauging portion size by the number of people enjoying it. For example, use 1 serving of pasta per person, and for each person, use a handful of cherry tomatoes as described in the recipe.
  • While you could make this recipe oil-free, I’d highly recommend using a drizzle of good olive oil. It will not only help to keep the cooked pasta from sticking together but also serves as the “dressing” if you will, given there is no other sauce in the recipe. Consider the warm option (see recipe below) if you’d prefer oil-free, and use crushed tomatoes to create a sauce. The pasta salad method will definitely end up a little dry without olive oil. Alternatively, you could potentially use balsamic vinaigrette as a sort of sauce to pull together the pasta salad.
  • For presentation purposes, I rolled my vegan mozzarella into little balls, however the shaping of your cheese is optional.

Storage Tips

I recommend enjoying pasta salad style on the same day. After storing in the fridge, pasta tends to dry out and become a lot firmer in texture.
If you have leftovers and want to store them, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat them within 1-2 days. Toss with additional olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve!

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe?Tag @veggiekins on Instagram and hashtag it with #veggiekins

This post may contain affiliate links. 

About Remy

Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.

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