One Pot Caprese Pasta is the perfect 20 minute healthy dinner and full of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, garlic, basil, and balsamic vinegar.
Caprese Pasta takes all the amazing flavors of a Caprese salad - fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and balsamic vinegar, and combines them in a delicious, twenty minute pasta dish!
My absolute favorite way to eat summer tomatoes is in a classic Caprese salad and while I am more than happy to make that my meal, everyone else isn't as psyched about a salad for dinner. Luckily I started seeing versions of this delicious one-pot Caprese pasta dish (I think it originated with Martha Stewart) all over the internet and it worked to satisfy my Caprese cravings and everyone's else needs for a "real" meal.
It has all the traditional ingredients - tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, and balsamic - with the simple addition of pasta. It is easy to make, quick, and a meal my whole family looks forward to.
The very best part of this meal - it's all made in one pot in under 20 minutes. You start by quickly sauteing the garlic, tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper flakes until the garlic and spices are nice and fragrant. Then you add the pasta, vegetable broth, and basil and let everything cook together for about 12 minutes.
The starches from the pasta combine with the vegetable broth to create a delicious sauce that is filled with the flavors of garlic and tomatoes. Then everything is finished with fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. It's worth it to splurge for a really good vinegar in this recipe if you love balsamic to make sure the flavor really shines through.
Recipe Ideas Caprese Pasta
- Need protein? My favorite way to add protein to this dish is with lean turkey or chicken sausage. Just slice it and throw it into the pan a few minutes before adding the tomatoes. Let it get nice and brown on the outside and then add the tomatoes.
- More veggies? If you crave more veggies, spinach is a great option for this pasta dish. Just add it when you add the vegetable broth and it will cook along with the other ingredients. You could also add some sliced zucchini or broccoli.
- If you don't have vegetable broth on hand, chicken broth works really well in this recipe as well. I just don't recommend using water since the broth does add a lot of flavor to the pasta and sauce.
- Although I think fresh mozzarella is a must in a Caprese salad, you could substitute shredded mozzarella or even another cheese like soft goat cheese or feta.
- You can use any pasta shape when making this meal. Rotini, ziti, penne, and any smaller pasta shape all turn out great.
- Kick up the dish even more with a few spoonfuls of pesto. Traditional basil pesto and sundried tomato pesto are my go-to options.
Can I add protein?
Absolutely! The easiest way to add protein is to simple grab some rotisserie or grilled chicken and add it right to the finished dish. Qucik and easy. Another option we love starts with some sliced chicken or turkey sausage. Brown it in the pan before adding the tomatoes. It adds flavor and protein. Two more ideas - cooked shrimp or canned white beans. Add some pesto with the white beans for even more flavor.
Looking for more healthy pasta dishes?
- One Pot Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Broccoli Pasta
- Lemon and Broccoli Pasta with Shrimp
- Creamy Tomato, Mushroom, and Spinach Pasta
- Sausage, Spinach, and Cherry Tomato Pasta Arrabiata
- More healthy pasta recipes
Here are some of the tools and products I used when cooking this recipe:
- High quality balsamic vinegar: Since the balsamic vinegar is one of the main flavors in this recipe, it's really important to choose a high quality one that will pack in the flavor and bring the right amount of sweetness and tartness. This doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune though. Personally I usually buy the Whole Foods 365 Aged Balsamic Vinegar and also enjoy this one and this one.
- For this recipe, I usually look for Bocconcini, the small fresh mozzarella balls, since they are the perfect size for this type of dish.
- High fiber pasta: For a healthier pasta option, I usually try to use a high fiber pasta like this one or this one. They usually have 2-3 times the amount of fiber and more protein. You could also use a whole wheat pasta.
One Pot Caprese Pasta
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- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (adjust to taste, this is spicy)
- 8 oz. high fiber pasta (or whole wheat)
- 2.5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup basil, torn or chopped
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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