Pull out the spiralizer and make a refreshing Zucchini Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinegar. With cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and zoodles, it’s a twist on a classic caprese salad. Just a few ingredients and you’ll have a healthy delicious salad to add to any meal.
This is the perfect salad for a cook-out and a great way to use up any extra zucchini you have on hand.
Everyone loves a caprese salad with cherry tomatoes and mozzarella, drizzled with sweet balsamic. Make this all time classic into a great side dish by making a zucchini pasta salad with balsamic vinegar that combines zoodles with other fresh veggies and herbs to create a zucchini caprese salad.
It’s simple and fresh and a great way to enjoy fresh summer produce.
Do you love using a spiralizer for zucchini? It’s so much fun and while it doesn’t taste like pasta, it’s a fun way to eat your veggies. You might even get the kids to eat zoodles!
It seems like summer struggled to get here with lots of cooler days and low humidity and then July 4th came and with it the hot and humid days of summer in the Carolinas. It’s so humid you just feel like you’re melting when you go outside.
For those kind of days you need this caprese salad with cherry tomatoes. It’s a light and simple salad that comes together quickly. This corn and cucumber salad also does the trick with it’s crunchy veggies and a light yogurt dressing.
If you’ve got extra zucchini around you can use it instead of pasta for shrimp scampi. Or grate it and make some mini quiches for a weekend brunch.
Why you’ll love it
- You get to have fun making zoodles
- All the flavor of a caprese salad but it’s packed with veggies
- You can throw it together in 10 minutes
- No exact measurements are required
- It’s healthy – low carb, gluten free, keto – it checks all the boxes and is still delicious
What you’ll need
- Spiralizer – this can be an inexpensive kitchen gadget or you can go all out if you’re really into spiralizing. I have a simple one that’s less than $10 that works great for zucchini made by GEFU. It doesn’t take up much room and is easy to use.
- Zucchini – you want to use fresh, for crisp and not limp noodles. Also my spiralizer doesn’t work very well if the zucchini is large, choose smaller squash for this recipe. You can also use yellow summer squash.
- Cherry tomatoes – the sweeter the better. Whole tomatoes are too juicy for this salad and will fall apart.
- Fresh Mozzarella – this is the soft mozzarella that comes in a large ball or mini balls. Both will work for a zucchini salad. The block cheese doesn’t absorb the balasamic dressing as well but you could use it if you can’t find fresh.
- Fresh basil – this really brightens the salad
- Balsamic vinegar – you don’t want to use the expensive kind because you are mixing it with olive oil and lemon juice and it will be diluted. I like Colavita for this salad.
How do you make zoodles
- The easiest way to make zucchini noodles is with a spiralizer. I have a small hand held one that I love made by GEFU, but if you are going to be spiralizing a lot you might want to invest in a countertop one. If you don’t have a spiralizer, then you can use a peeler or just cut it in small strips. Or you can pick it up already spiralized at most groceries.
- If using a hand held spiralizer, cut off the tip of the zucchini and place the squash in the spiralizer, turn the zucchini with your hand, holding the spiralizer still. That’s all there is to it.
How to make zucchini pasta salad with cherry tomatoes
Spiralize the zucchini and place it in a bowl with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and a little garlic salt. Or you can shake it all together in a jar.
Pour it over the salad and serve.
Pro tip: I’ll make this even in the middle of winter with hot house zucchini and cherry tomatoes. It’s not as good as fresh from the farmer’s market, but it’s still a great healthy salad.
Sometimes you just need a quick and easy salad to throw together, one that doesn’t take any thought or precise measurements. A salad with balsamic vinegar that you can throw in some zucchini to go along with is great for those kind of nights.
Stop by the farmer’s market and pick up everything you need for this refreshing zucchini salad! While you’re at it, grab some fresh broccoli and make a broccoli salad that’s slightly sweetened with honey.
What else can you do with zucchini noodles
If not making a salad, they are great just lightly cooked with olive oil and garlic. However, you’ll need to get some of the liquid out first or you’ll just have a watery mess.
To do this place the zoodles in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for about 30 minutes while the salt draws out some of the water, then gently squeeze the remaining water out. Now just sauté for 3-4 minutes with your favorite seasoning for a healthy and low carb meal.
FAQs and tips
Once you have added the dressing, it will stay fresh for about eight hours. The zucchini absorbs the dressing and will start to get soggy depending on how fresh it was when you started.
Fresh mozzarella is soft white cheese with a high water content made in balls and stored in water. Due to the high water content, it only stays fresh for a few days. It’s got a creamy taste that is great with tomatoes. The blocks of mozzarella have a lower water content and thus a longer shelf life.
Zoodles are spiralized zucchini noodles.
MORE fresh and healthy salads
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Zucchini Salad with Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 zucchini about 4 cups noodles
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese cut into cubes
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- Spiral zucchini and place in large bowl with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
- In a small bowl whisk together, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and seasonings. Toss together and serve.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can use a large ball of fresh mozzarella or the mini balls but you won’t get a caprese salad if you use regular mozzarella.
- Don’t want to make your own zoodles, sprialized vegetables they are available in the produce section of most groceries.
- Use the freshest squash you can find for crisp noodles.
- If making in advance, wait to pour dressing over it until ready to serve.
- If you don’t want it tinged brown from the balsamic vinegar, you can use red wine vinegar but it’s not as flavorful.
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