Easy Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad: Quick Recipe for Summer

Transform Your Summer Gatherings with Our Simple Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad!

Looking for a quick and easy summer salad recipe? Try out our Simple Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad. With a tangy dressing and fresh herbs, this dish is perfect for any outdoor gathering or picnic. And you won’t believe the secret ingredient that takes it to the next level…

Balsamic vinegar has been made and used for centuries, originating from Italy and made from grapes that are aged in wooden barrels. The word “balsamic” comes from the Latin word “balsamum”, meaning restorative or healing. This vinegar has a sweet, slightly tangy flavor that pairs perfectly with fresh herbs like basil in this delicious pasta salad recipe.

Basil, also known as the “king of herbs,” has a long history in the Mediterranean, where it has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Its fragrant leaves are rich in essential oils, giving it a distinctive flavor and aroma.

In this recipe, the balsamic and basil work together to create a refreshing and satisfying summer pasta salad. The sweetness of the honey and the tanginess of the balsamic vinegar are balanced perfectly with the savory flavors of garlic and black pepper.

The addition of red onion and cherry tomatoes adds a fresh and vibrant touch to this dish. These ingredients have been used in cooking for centuries, and they remain just as popular today. Cherry tomatoes were first cultivated in South America and introduced to Europe in the 16th century. Today, they are ubiquitous in the kitchen and are widely recognized as a healthy and flavorful ingredient.

This pasta salad is simple to make but full of flavor. Its combination of ingredients is perfect for a weekend picnic or a weekday lunch. The recipe can be easily adapted to include additional ingredients like olives, cucumbers, or roasted bell peppers.

If you’re looking for a pasta salad recipe that’s easy to make, packed with flavor, and perfect for summer, then look no further than this delicious balsamic basil pasta salad!

Ask the Chef: Pro Tips for making Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad

Don’t Overcook the Pasta

Overcooked pasta will turn to mush in this recipe. Cook the pasta until it’s still firm to the bite, also known as al dente, then rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process and chill down the pasta.

Use Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar

For the best flavor, use good quality balsamic vinegar. Aged balsamic with a syrupy consistency is recommended, but if you don’t have that, use the best quality balsamic vinegar that you can find. You can also opt to reduce balsamic vinegar on the stovetop or in the oven to create a thicker, syrupy consistency.

Let the Salad Marinate

Allowing the salad to sit in the dressing for at least 30 minutes will allow all the flavors to meld together and absorb into the pasta and other ingredients. But don’t let it sit too long, or the pasta will start to absorb too much of the dressing and become soggy.

Personalize Your Salad

This recipe is adaptable to your personal taste. Feel free to add other ingredients you like, such as diced avocado, roasted bell peppers, or grilled chicken. You can also swap out mozzarella balls for feta or goat cheese.

Adjust Seasonings As Needed

Everyone’s taste preferences are different. If you prefer a sweeter dressing, add more honey. If you want a tangier flavor, add more vinegar. Taste the dressing and salad as you make it, and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Use Fresh Ingredients

Fresh ingredients like cherry tomatoes and basil will give your salad a much better taste and texture. If you don’t have fresh basil, consider using other fresh herbs you have on hand, such as thyme or parsley.

How Many Calories are in Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad?

Nutrition Facts

4 Servings per Recipe

Calories: 580

  • Total Fat: 38g
    • Saturated Fat: 9g
    • Unsaturated Fat: 29g
    • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 25mg
  • Sodium: 380mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 48g
    • Dietary Fiber: 3g
    • Total Sugars: 11g
    • Added Sugars: 7g
  • Protein: 12g

What Drinks Pair Best with Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad?

Wine pairing: A light, refreshing white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc would pair well with the Simple Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad Recipe. The acidity in the wine would complement the balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes, while the lightness of the wine would not overpower the dish.

Beer pairing: A light, crisp and refreshing beer like a Belgian Wit or a Hefeweizen would pair well with this Simple Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad Recipe.

Cocktail pairing: A refreshing and light pairing for Simple Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad would be a classic Gin and Tonic. The herbal notes in the gin would complement the fresh basil in the dish, while the effervescence from the tonic water would help balance out the acidity from the balsamic vinegar.

How to Make Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad

How to make Balsamic Basil Pasta Salad

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  • 8 oz. rotini pasta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella balls, halved


  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions and rinse with cold water.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, minced garlic, black pepper, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, chopped fresh basil, diced red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, and halved fresh mozzarella balls.
  4. Pour the balsamic dressing over the pasta salad and toss gently to coat.
  5. Cover and refrigerate the pasta salad for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  6. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
  7. Enjoy!

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