Beef caprese pasta salad is absolutely addicting. Cheesy, beefy with fresh tomatoes basil and
spinach. Perfect for your summer outdoor events!
I am seriously in love with this caprese pasta salad with chunks of ground beef patties. Yes, ground beef patties, you heard me right. You’re probably thinking what the heck. Just hear me out. I figured if one can add in chicken, shrimp, ham etc to salad then beef should be great too!
Try it. Thank me later!
I just knew ground beef would taste amazing in caprese pasta salad. It’s so good room temperature and even great cold. I actually couldn’t wait to eat it the next day for breakfast! Yup! I’m breaking all the norms but that’s just how I am.
I still can’t believe I disliked pasta salad as a kid all the way up until my adult years. My dislike for pasta salad changed to loving pasta salad after a catering company served it at an old company I worked for. I’ll never forget that pasta. It was the best. Now I can’t get enough of it.
Show up with this meaty pasta salad at your next picnic, BBQ or next summer outdoor event and everyone will be fighting for seconds then asking for the recipe but you don’t need to go to any type of outdoor event to enjoy this salad. Enjoy it any time you want! I was so excited to make this caprese salad with ground beef.
I’m going to fill you in on how to make this super flavorful caprese salad but first here are some tips to make this recipe a winner!
- This caprese salad can be made in advance. I personally think it tastes better the next day or let it sit in the fridge for about 4 hours since that will give the salad a chance to meld and marinate which will make the salad even more flavorful.
- If you are going to make this recipe in advance, make sure to cook your pasta al dente. You definitely don’t want to overcook it because if your making it in advance you’ll have a mushy pasta. Nobody likes must pasta.
- Feel free to use any pasta they all work great but you know the pasta with those little nooks and crannies like, fusilli farfalle, rotini and penne? Those are cool to use. Why? Because they sop up all that delicious salad dressing. Obviously spaghetti worst perfectly too. There definitely will not be any dressing at the bottom of your salad bowl if you choose to use spaghetti plus I’m sure you have some in your pantry.
- Optional meat substitutes: grilled or sautéed chicken breast cut into thin bite size pieces, bacon, sautéed Italian sausages sliced thin, ham or salami cut into bite sized pieces.
- You can use mozzarella pearls or a 16 oz package of whole mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2 inch cubes. They’re both delicious! My teen actually thinks the block of mozzarella cheese tastes better. I kinda think so too! It think it has more flavor than the mozzarella pearls.
- 2 tbs fresh basil add more if needed
- 16 oz mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2 cubes or 3 cups of fresh mozzarella pearls cut in half you can also keep them whole if you like
- 4 handfuls of grape tomatoes sliced or halved.
- 4 handfuls of yellow cherry tomatoes
- 2 handfuls of spinach add more if you like
- 2 cups of a good quality Italian dressing I used Zesty Italian dressing and added a tbs of crushed red pepper
- salt for taste
- pepper for taste
- 16 oz box of spaghetti or your choice of pasta
- 12 ounces ground beef made into 8 patties or shaped into a loaf
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Shape ground beef into 8 patties or pat the beef into a loaf. Season beef patties or loaf with salt and pepper. Place patties in a pan bake for 20 minutes or until done.
Add the first 6 ingredients into a bowl mix well. Once the pasta and beef has cooled off and the beef has been cut into bite size pieces, add both to the same bowl with the Italian dressing and other ingredients. Add salt and pepper for taste.
Mix well making sure to coat all pasta with the dressing. Serve or if you want to make this recipe in advance. Place the caprese pasta salad into the fridge for 4 to 24 hours.
If you make this beef caprese pasta salad, snap a photo and hashtag #whiskitrealgud on Instagram!! I would love to see it!
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