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This easy to make One Pan Caprese Pasta is perfect as a light and fresh main course or as a delicious side dish to your favorite meal.

One Pan Caprese Pasta - This is so good!!!
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Why We Love It

This Caprese Pasta is light and fresh and has the savory flavors of the classic caprese appetizer you love, with sweet grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. The aroma of the basil and tomatoes as it’s cooking is just heavenly!

This beautiful dish is surprisingly easy to make, and I love that the colors feel like Christmas. It would make a great side dish for the holidays!

How to Make One Pan Caprese Pasta

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

  • Start by cooking some onion in a little olive oil.
  • Add dry pasta, fresh basil leaves, garlic and sliced grape tomatoes. I love the larger Rigatoni with this dish, but any smaller pasta will do.
  • Pour water or chicken broth over the pasta and give it a good stir.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn down the heat and cover it up, letting the pasta cook and absorb the flavors for about ten minutes.
  • Remove the cover and crank up the heat, letting the remaining liquid reduce down for about seven minutes or so, or until the pasta is tender.
  • Once the pasta is cooked just right, remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle on some cubed mozzarella cheese. You could certainly use shredded mozzarella, I just prefer to have these nice chunks of melted cheese throughout the pasta. The fresh cheese melts much better than the pre-shredded. You might want to remove those cooked basil leaves, too.
  • Cover the pan and let the pasta rest and the cheese melt for about 5-10 minutes. Top with a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar and chopped basil leaves.

Serving Ideas + Variations

This dish can be a side dish or a main event. As a side, you’ll get about 6-7 servings. I recommend serving with Oven Baked Chicken Breasts, Baked Pork Chops or even some nice Grilled Steaks.

This cheese and tomato pasta is also makes a lovely meatless meal. You’ll get about 4 meal size servings.


If you don’t have all of the ingredients, you can make a few variations.

Pasta – Any small cut pasta will work.

Protein – Try adding some chicken breast chunks. Saute the chicken first (don’t cook it all the way) and then add the pasta, tomatoes and water.

Cheese – Mozzarella is certainly traditional, but you could swap in a different cheese if you prefer.


Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. Keep in mind that the pasta will be best when fresh. Reheat at 50% power for about a minute. The cheese will solidify when cooled and may not melt properly the second time around.

One Pan Caprese Pasta

More One Pan Meals

A pan of pasta with cheese, tomatoes, and basil

One Pan Caprese Pasta

4.75 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 main dish servings


  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups dry pasta
  • 1 package of grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 5 fresh whole basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh diced Mozzarella (about 8 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • Chopped basil leaves for garnish
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  • Preheat a 12 inch skillet or saute pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft.
  • Add dry pasta, sliced tomatoes, fresh whole basil leaves, garlic, water, salt and pepper. Stir together to combine.
  • Bring pasta mixture to a boil. Continue to cook pasta over medium heat, stirring often, until pasta is cooked and the liquid is reduced; about ten minutes.
  • Top evenly with mozzarella cubes and cover the pan so the cheese can melt.
  • Sprinkle with Balsamic vinegar and chopped basil for garnish.

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. Heather says:

    I agree with another commenter. The fresh mozzarella cheese (mine was not skim and it was fresh from the deli) was very stringy and very hard to eat. I am guessing was supposed to NOT stir the dish after adding the cheese but my cheese wasnt melting as it shows in the photo. Stirring just made a humongous clumpy mess. I would say also because of this clumping it would not make good leftovers. The flavor of the dish was good we love caprese salads. Just wasnt pretty nor was it easy to dish up or eat. I think maybe revise to not stir the dish after adding cheese but I would think still be an issue when dishing it up. I think I would have to pass on making this dish again.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      The recipe doesn’t say to stir it. It says to cover and let it melt, then serve from there. If you stirred it, I expect it definitely made a clumpy mess.

  2. carol says:

    i’ve made this a few times now and it’s always a hit! the balsamic vinegar adds that sharp flavour that makes this dish stand out. also, no complains from me about only having to wash a single pan 😀

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Carol.

  3. Samantha says:

    I made this last night with my little sister. I used fresh basil from my vertical herb garden. The only problem was that the water didn’t evaporize so it was a little bit watery. But overall GREAT DISH!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Samantha!

  4. Rachel French says:

    My family adored this meal, even my picky kids!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thank you so much for the positive feedback.

  5. Susan Daniel says:

    I made this last night. It was fantastic! I was concerned the 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar would overpower the dish, but it was amazing! We used grape tomatoes from our garden. Will definitely be making this again! Thank you!

  6. Dave says:

    This was incredibly wonderful! I can’t wait to make it again! Simple, easy, quick, delicious. You can have it all.

  7. ski says:

    when i click the one pan link, nothing appears except an image w/ the heading one pot pasta and then when you click , it’s the same image on another page.

  8. Margo says:

    I am totally making this dish this weekend!
    Is that garlic in the “before” picture – or are they onions diced really tiny?

  9. Andrea says:

    I made this last night and the flavor was delicious! However… We did have a problem getting the cheese to be creamy. It ended up being stringy and was hard to eat. Any suggestions on how to get the cheese to melt a little better, or another cheese to use? I don’t want to change it too much because it was so tasty!

    1. Charlie says:

      Did you use part skim mozzarella? The fresh stuff or the kind that comes in a ball from the deli won’t stretch so much..

  10. Bridgett says:

    Yummy! We made this tonight, and it was great. It was almost too cheesy, but then we realized there’s no such thing as too cheesy.

  11. Sarah says:

    This looks delicious! About how much is each serving? 1 cup?

  12. Christine says:

    OMG! Looks absolutely fabulous! Will definately try this! Thanks for sharing!!!!

  13. Melanie @ Carmel Moments says:

    That looks amazing! I love everthing caprese. Even made a caprese pull apart bread this year. Mmmm.
    Tomatoes and mozzarella are such a great combo.

    Have a beautiful day Kristin!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks so much Melanie!

  14. Christine at Cook the Story says:

    There’s not a whole lot better than only having to wash ONE pan! This looks awesome!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks Christine!

  15. Megan @ Our Pinteresting Family says:

    Looks absolutely delicious!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thanks Megan!