Get dinner on the table quickly with this Spinach Caprese Salad! Made with tomatoes, mozzarella and pasta, it's a simple yet flavorful dish that everyone will love. Don't forget the balsamic dressing – it makes all the difference!
During the summer months we eat a lot of salads for dinner. Most of the time we keep it simple and just eat mixed greens topped with grilled chicken.
But every so often I get the urge to change it up. I love adding this strawberry spinach salad with chicken, this spinach apple salad, or this spinach Caprese salad to our salad rotations. They are my favorite ways to use up a jar of honey balsamic dressing.
Why Make This Spinach Salad
You are going to enjoy the light and healthy flavors that are packed into this easy spinach salad. Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic dressing are a delightful combo.
This salad takes the traditional Caprese salad to a whole new level by adding juicy grilled chicken and pasta noodles. Adding the additional ingredients makes it a complete meal that will keep you full longer.
Made with fresh ingredients and healthy protein, this salad is the perfect dish to make for summer picnics or potlucks.
This spinach caprese salad recipe is easy to make in minutes. Save time by prepping some of the ingredients the night before and storing them in containers in the refrigerator.
- Spinach - Use baby spinach leaves as they are smaller, more tender, and have a mild, sweet taste.
- Cheese - The mini mozzarella pearls are great for this salad because they are easy to eat. You can also buy a block of cheese and cut it into small bite sized pieces.
- Tomatoes - Look for bright red cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes to add a pop of color to the salad. Make sure to cut them in half, so they are easier to eat.
- Chicken - Any type of cooked chicken will work. We loving using leftover grilled chicken, but these parmesan chicken tenders would be great too.
- Pasta - This is totally optional, but we love adding pasta to stretch the salad more. Any small noodle will work, but we prefer the mini farfalle noodles.
- Balsamic Dressing - Choose your favorite store bought brand or make this homemade balsamic dressing recipe.
How to Make Spinach Caprese Salad
Grab a big bowl and toss in the spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella, and pasta. Drizzle on the dressing, give it a gentle mix, and voila! You've got yourself a refreshing caprese salad that's perfect for a light lunch, a side dish, or even a picnic.
- Cook the pasta and chicken. Boil and drain the pasta noodles according to the package directions. Cook and chop the chicken.
- Prep the vegetables. Wash and dry the spinach leaves; cut the tomatoes in half.
- Assemble the ingredients. Place the spinach in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cheese, drained pasta, and chopped chicken and mix well.
- Add dressing and serve. Pour the dressing on the salad right before serving. Toss until everything is coated. Serve with a balsamic glaze.
This salad is best served the day it is made. If you have leftovers, keep them in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
If you want to make it ahead of time, wait to add the vinaigrette dressing until right before you serve it.
Tips and Tricks
- More Caprese flavor. Add ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves to the spinach leaves.
- Use a rotisserie chicken. If you are short on time, stop by the store and pick up an already cooked chicken.
- Add other veggies. Change up the salad by adding red onions, avocado slices, hard boiled eggs, or bacon.
- Try other greens. A spring mix or arugula would be delicious too.
- Want a crunch? Mix in nuts or croutons for a satisfying crunch.
Balsamic vinegar is 100% vinegar. It is dark brown and has a tangy flavor that is slightly sweet. Balsamic dressing is a mixture made from oil, vinegar, sugar, and spices
Yes, any type of soft cheese would work with these ingredients. I recommend trying feta, cotija, blue cheese, or burrata cheese.
More Summer Salads
- Broccoli Apple Salad
- Asian Chicken Salad
- Black Bean Taco Salad
- Mexican Street Corn Chicken Salad
- Cranberry Zucchini Slaw
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*This post was first published July 2017. It was updated and republished May 2023.