August 30, 2021

Cherry Caprese Pasta Salad

Cherry Caprese Pasta Salad for all your summer potluck needs.
Serves 4

Cherry Caprese Pasta Salad! Sweet and savory pasta salad. Vegetarian and easily vegan. 

Cherry Caprese Pasta

Summer might be my favorite produce season; I practically turn into a fruitatarian from May until September eating my body weight in fresh picked berries, melons, stone fruits and sweet juicy cherries. We’re lucky enough to live close to a few pick-your-own farms which means I take Vander almost weekly to grab more peaches and berries. I’m so glad that both my kids have the same affinity for fruit as I do. Vander and Emery would rather eat fruit than most things this time of year, exactly like their mama. 

It was after a large cherry haul that I came up with this simple salad recipe. I love the addition of fruit in my pastas or any savory meal for that matter. My rainbow berry salad is one of my favorite lunches this time of year, as is my savory peach salad. Therefore, I knew that sweet cherries would pair perfectly in this pasta salad along with whole grain rotini, juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh picked basil and mozzarella cubes. For a dairy-free version, sub in vegan mozzarella or omit all together. 

Cherry Caprese Pasta

I (politely) roll my eyes at those who say that fruit is bad for you; a classic misunderstanding fueled by terrible magazine headlines and ill-informed social media stars. Yes, fruit contains fructose– it also contains fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. In fact, there is something called the fruit obesity paradox which is the concept that those who eat more fruit tend to weigh less– the opposite of any obnoxious, incorrect ‘fruit will make you fat’ fears. The micronutrients in fruits alter obesity pathways and the fiber content of fruit helps with overall satiety. 

Additionally, cherries contain a potent flavonoid called anthocyanin, which have been shown to interfere with pathways that can help in the prevention of heart disease. The polyphenols in cherries also appear to minimize or prevent oxidative stress, a risk factor in development of chronic diseases like arthritis and hypertension. Consuming cherries was found to decrease plasma concentrations of 8 biomarkers associated with inflammatory diseases. 

I know you don’t need reasons to eat more fruit, but it can’t hurt to be reminded that fruit is incredibly nourishing for you and there’s really no need to limit consumption. I know I don’t! 

Cherry Caprese Pasta

More Summer Pasta Salad Recipes:

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad
Summer Pasta Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
Chopped Italian Pasta Salad
Roasted Beet Pasta Salad
Summer Ramen Noodle Salad

If you try this recipe, let me know! Come back to rate it and leave a comment. Your feedback helps other readers and seeing you make my recipes makes my day! 

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Cherry Caprese Pasta Salad

Cherry Caprese Pasta Salad

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish, healthy, pasta, side
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Cherry Caprese Pasta Salad for all your summer potluck needs. Fresh cherries, tomatoes, whole grain pasta, basil and mozzarella balls. 


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish, healthy, pasta, side
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish, healthy, pasta, side
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup halved sweet cherries
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cooked and cooled whole grain short pasta
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped mozzarella, regular or dairy free

Instructions

  1. Toss together the cherries, tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper together. Let marinate for 5 minutes, then toss with cooked pasta, basil and mozzarella.
  2. Season to taste, as desired and serve.

Notes

For vegan version, I like Miyokos mozzarella, you can cube and roll into little balls for a more “authentic” look.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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  1. This recipe sounds lovely – I am not one to turn up my nose just because I see an ingredient I am not expecting 😉
    That said, I know I am tired when my brain goes “Squirrel!” and goes off on a chase like mine just did! LOL
    What set me off is the vegan mozzarella! Due to my cow milk allergy I always have vegan shreds of different types in the fridge, but Googling Miyokos sent me down a rabbit hole of recipes for homemade mozz as well as ways to use it….typical LOL

    So here I am, an hour later to say I am adding cherries to my next shopping trip, and whether I use the shreds I have, or hit Target for Miyokos, or try one of the many homemade cheezes I found, I am looking forward to making this 😉