This tomato mozzarella pasta salad with parmesan balsamic vinaigrette is super light and refreshing, and it’s perfect for the hot weather.
Read on this post of Apronese to see the recipe for pasta salad with mozzarella and tomatoes.
Options for Salad Dressing
You can totally skip the parmesan if you want to keep the salad vegetarian.
If you can’t have or don’t want mayo, this dressing is still good when you leave the mayo out.
If balsamic vinegar isn’t your favorite, you can also try a dressing like this tomato basil vinaigrette.
You can also use a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette or even Italian dressing, if that’s what you have.
What Kind of Mozzarella Cheese to Use?
Fresh mozzarella is the best for this salad. But if you can’t find a good deal on fresh mozzarella, whole milk mozzarella in block or stick form will also work.
For the cheese sticks, just dice up mozzarella sticks to use in this salad.
If you can’t find grape tomatoes for a good price, dice a regular tomato instead (about 1.5 cups diced tomatoes).
Red onions also work well with these flavors if you have some to use up. So do bell peppers or cucumbers.
Recipe for Pasta Salad with Mozzarella and Tomatoes
This pasta salad with homemade parmesan balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect light and fresh summer meal.
Prep Time: 10 mins / Cook Time: 15 mins / Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 6 (about 1.5 cups each)
- 8 oz. bowtie pasta ($0.67)
- salt for pasta water ($0.02)
- 3 cups fresh spinach ($1.20)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes ($2.50)
- 8 oz. mozzarella ($2.60)
Parmesan Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup olive oil ($0.55)
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar ($0.41)
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise ($0.17)
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan ($0.22)
- 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard ($0.09)
- 1 clove garlic, minced ($0.08)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil ($0.05)
- 1/4 tsp salt ($0.01)
- Freshly cracked pepper ($0.02)
- Fill a pot with water and add two large pinches of salt. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender. Drain the pasta in a colander, give it a brief rinse with cool water, and let it drain well while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- While waiting for the pasta to cook, prepare the rest of the salad. Start with the Parmesan Balsamic Vinaigrette. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar or blender. Either blend until combined or shake your jar until the ingredients are well combined. Set the dressing aside until needed.
- Roughly chop the spinach and slice the grape tomatoes in half. Dice the mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Add the spinach, tomatoes, and mozzarella to a large bowl. Once the pasta is well drained and mostly cool, add it to the bowl with the mozzarella and vegetables. Make sure the pasta is no longer hot, so it doesn’t wilt the spinach or melt the cheese.
- Toss the ingredients to combine. If serving the salad later, store it like this without dressing. If serving immediately, add half of the dressing and toss to coat. Add more dressing as desired.
Serving: 1.5 Cups ・ Calories: 429.18 kcal ・ Carbohydrates: 36.62 g ・ Protein: 15.67 g ・ Fat: 24.6 g ・ Sodium: 567.75 mg ・ Fiber: 3.03 g
The nutritional values shown here are only estimates. Please see our nutrition disclaimer.
How to Make Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad – Step-by-step Photos
Step 1: Begin by cooking 8 oz. bowtie pasta. You can prepare everything else for the salad in the time it takes the pasta to cook.
Fill a pot with water, add two large pinches of salt, place a lid on top, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until the pasta is tender.
Drain the pasta in a colander, rinse briefly with cool water, then let it drain very well.
Step 2: Make the parmesan balsamic vinaigrette. Add all the ingredients for the dressing to either a blender or jar (1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 tbsp grated parmesan, 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 clove of garlic (minced), 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp salt, and some freshly cracked pepper).
Blend the ingredients until emulsified, or shake your jar until the ingredients are combined.
Step 3: Roughly chop about 3 cups of fresh spinach.
Step 4: Slice one pint of grape tomatoes in half.
Step 5: Dice 8 oz. fresh mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes.
Step 6: Add the spinach, tomatoes, and mozzarella to a large bowl.
Step 7: Once the pasta is well-drained and mostly cool, add it to the bowl. Make sure the pasta is not hot so you don’t wilt the spinach or melt the cheese.
Toss the salad to combine the ingredients.
Step 8: If you’re planning to eat the salad later, store it at this point, without dressing, in a resealable container. The salad will stay good this way for 3-4 days.
But if you plan to serve it now, add about half of the dressing and toss the salad again to coat it in the dressing. Add more dressing as desired.
This tomato mozzarella pasta salad will be held up really well in the refrigerator (undressed). This makes it a great meal prep or refrigerator salad for the week.