Fresh, light, and satisfying – the perfect summer salad

This simple chicken Caprese pasta salad is great as a main meal or as an accompaniment.

  • SERVES: 4
  • PREP TIME: 10 mins
  • COOK TIME:  10 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy

Caprese salad – the original

This simple chicken Caprese pasta salad finds its roots in the original Caprese salad.

So, I thought it was well-worthwhile giving a little background to this.

As well as including the original salad since it’s so simple and really tasty.

Caprese salad – the origin

One food story goes, that it was invented by a patriotic bricklayer.

He made his sandwiches with tomato, mozzarella and basil to represent the Italian flag.

But the other story suggests it was invented at the Quisisana hotel in Capri.

In homage to an Italian poet, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who launched Futurism.

And who thought that some pasta dishes were too over-thought.

So, this is where the inspiration came from and the dish came out carb-free at the Quisisana hotel

And since then, its popularity has never been faulted.

Keeping it simple

As usual, the Italians know how to take 3 simple ingredients and make something fabulous.

But it always comes down to the quality and seasonality of the produce.

This colourful salad is only made up of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.

With ingredients coming from the region of Campania.

Which is where the famous island of Capri sits... and where it all started.

The tomatoes used are large heirloom shaped.

Perfect for slicing and beautifully sweet and tasty.

All thanks to the incredible, sunny climate.

And the richness of the volcanic soil, thanks to Mt Vesuvius.

Then you have buffalo mozzarella made from buffalo milk, from the Campania region around Naples.

Freshly grown basil.

And dressed with extra-virgin oil, not just any old olive oil.

Simple chicken Caprese pasta salad

The original Caprese salad recipe

The original version is also the perfect summer salad to add to your repertoire.

And as for the simple chicken Caprese pasta salad that I’ve test-run.

Well, you’ll love it because it’s still a simple dish.

But you can enjoy it as a meal on its own.

So, you now have a wonderful choice.

Have the chicken Caprese pasta salad as a midweek meal or a Saturday lunch.

And the Caprese salad for when you next BBQ as a lovely side dish.

  • SERVES: 4
  • PREP TIME: 15 mins
  • DIFFICULTY: easy


  • 5 ripe and firm tomatoes
  • 2 balls of buffalo mozzarella
  • basil
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt


  1. Cut the tomatoes into 1 cm slices.
  2. Sprinkle some salt over the slices and let sit for a few minutes to drain the excess water.  
  3. Cut the mozzarellas into 1 cm slices.
  4. Make the Caprese salad by alternating the tomato and mozzarella slices directly on the plates.
  5. Finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a few basil leaves.

For some more ideas on summer salads, visit here.

References: EatandwalkItaly

Recipe inspired by HalfBakedHarvest

Chicken caprese with pasta

Course Drinks, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword caprese salad, chicken, chicken caprese, chicken salad, pasta salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people
Cost £


Balsamic dressing

  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh (if you can), oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper for seasoning

Chicken caprese salad

  • 500 g skinless, chicken breast or thigh
  • 500 g short pasta
  • 150 g buffalo mozzarella
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 ccup fresh basil, torn


  • For the dressing: Mix all ingredients in a glass jar and shake or whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a bowl toss the chicken with 1/3 of the dressing and let it marinate for 10 mins (or overnight).
    In a pan on medium-high heat cook the chicken – approx. 10 mins. Set aside and when you can handle the chicken, cut into strips.
  • In a large pot of salted water cook your pasta, according to the packets directions. Drain.
    Add the pasta, chicken, mozzarella and tomatoes to a large salad bowl and pour over the remaining dressing and toss well to combine.
    Serve warm or cold.


Recipe inspired by HalfBakedHarvest