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If you are looking for a new pasta salad to serve up, this no mayo strawberry caprese salad will leave you wanting more! Super flavorful and made with fresh ingredients, this summer salad is perfect for potlucks, picnics and cookouts.
Ingredients to make this caprese salad
- Strawberries: The strawberries play the key sweet roll in this recipe to replace summertime tomatoes. Look for plump and juicy strawberries and cut them in half or in quarters if they are too big.
- Pasta: I used cavatappi pasta, but you can use whatever you have to hand. Macaroni or bow tie will both work well. Opt for short cut pasta so it’s easier to eat it like a salad.
- Mozzarella balls: I used small mozzarella balls, also known as bocconcini. They are nice and creamy and balance out the sweetness from the strawberries.
- Basil: Basil and strawberries work so well together and they add a wonderful freshness to each bite.
- Olive oil: I like to drizzle over a little extra virgin oil for moistness and flavor. You can use normal olive oil if you don’t have EVOO. Feel free to add balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, which is very popular on caprese salads.
- Salt and pepper: For seasoning. Add to taste.
How to make strawberry caprese salad
- Cook the pasta al dente.
- Add the strawberries and mozzarella.
- Drizzle the olive oil on top and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Toss to combine.
- Sprinkle with torn or cut basil leaves.
Tips for making caprese with strawberries
- Keep the strawberries separate if you don’t plan to serve immediately. The moisture from the mozzarella and olive oil will soften the strawberries, so they won’t look as fresh or be as firm otherwise.
- Don’t over cook the pasta. It should be cooked al dente (with bite) as it will continue to cook after it is drained. Get all my top tips for How to Cook Pasta.
- Toss the salad together while the pasta is still warm. This will help the flavors to develop and blend together for a more tasty dish.
- Keep everything bite sized. This helps to get a taste of all the ingredients together in one bite, which is why I also recommend using a short cut pasta.
Frequently asked questions
This pasta salad is a great accompaniment to grilled meats, fish or vegetarian dishes. It’s perfect for summer so a great side to serve at a cookout. Try serving it alongside:
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Ground Chicken Burgers
Air Fryer Salmon
I think this salad is pretty perfect as it is, but you can easily make it your own. Try adding in some chopped avocado, or make it a fuller meal by adding in some shredded chicken. You could also use balsamic vinegar or pomegranate molasses along with the olive oil if you like.
More caprese salads to try
More summer salads
- Lebanese Cabbage Salad
- Green Goddess Salad
- Cucumber Lemon Orzo Salad
- Classic Greek Salad
- Vegetarian Cobb Salad Jars
- Shirazi Salad
- Peach Salad
- Mexican Chopped Salad
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Strawberry Caprese Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Strawberry Caprese Salad
- 8 ounces cavatappi or pasta of choice
- 10 ounces strawberries trimmed and halved
- 8 ounces mini mozzarella cheese balls
- ½ cup fresh basil
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar optional
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; cook the pasta according to package instructions al dente; drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
- Add the strawberries and mozzarella. Drizzle the olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Carefully toss to coat the ingredients with the dressing. Sprinkle with basil leaves.