Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

One of the things I need to constantly remind myself of (and relearn and relearn) is the art of NOT adding one more thing to a recipe.  It’s often so tempting—there’s that jar of artichoke hearts!  There’s that leftover tapenade! It’s not that these ingredients wouldn’t be welcome in the dish…it’s that the dish is just perfectly awesome without them.

There is no better time to re-establish this important rule of cooking than the middle of August.  Tomatoes.  Corn.  Basil.  Hard stop.

Simplest Tomato, Corn, Basil and Mozzarella Pasta Salad / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

And so, I fought the urge to throw another half dozen ingredients into this pasta salad, contenting myself with some fresh mozzarella and a light balsamic olive oil dressing. And oh, my dears, if this tomato mozzarella basil pasta salad isn’t summertime eating at its finest, I don’t know what is.

The best ingredients of summer all come together is a beautiful pasta salad recipe.

Tweet This
Tomatoes from my garden

Ripe Tomatoes

Make sure your tomatoes are ripe, ripe, ripe for this salad to be at its best. You can used any color, or mix of colors that you would like.

These tomatoes all exploded in my garden at the same time (and please note—this was an extremely rare thing—one of the few years I planted a garden, and one of the fewer years that anything happened with the garden.

This is usually what my garden looks like by the end of the summer.

garden of weeds

This is a real thing.  That is an actual photo of my garden a few years ago. If anyone has been feeling badly about their brown thumb, I am here to make you feel better.

What Type of Pasta to Use in Pasta Salad

You can use any chunky pasta shape you like—I used large elbows in these photos.  It’s also good to note that this would be fantastic with couscous or another whole grain instead of pasta.  If the grain is very dense, like farro, use a smaller amount—you don’t want to overwhelm the vegetables.

Simplest Tomato, Corn, Basil and Mozzarella Pasta Salad / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Roasted Garlic in Pasta Salad

The only thing that takes more than two seconds in this recipe is roasting the garlic, which you can and should do ahead of time.  Roasting garlic at home is so SO simple, and you can do two or three or more heads at once, and it will last for several days in the fridge. 

It adds a sweet, mild, smoky garlic flavor to anything it graces, from soups to stews to sauces to dressings to this salad. If you want to just add a 1/2 teaspoon of finely minced gsrlicd, or maybe 1/2 a minced onion instead, go for it.

Simplest Tomato, Corn, Basil and Mozzarella Pasta Salad / Photo by Cheyenne Cohen / Katie Workman /

Other Pasta Salad Recipes to Try:

Other End of Summer Dishes to Make:

Like this recipe? Pin it to your favorite board on Pinterest.

Pin This

Tomato Mozzarella Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is late summertime eating at its finest.
Yield: 8 People
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Diet: Vegetarian


  • 1 pound dried pasta any chunky shape
  • 4 ears fresh corn shucked
  • 6 cups cubed ripe tomatoes
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella diced
  • ½ cup slivered fresh basil leaves
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic see Cooking Tip, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Generously salt the water and return to a boil.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  During the last two minutes of cooking add the ears of corn.  When you drain the pasta, take out the ears of corn and let cool.  Quickly rinse the pasta in cool water to stop the cooking, drain well, and turn into a serving bowl.
  • Remove the corn from the cobs with a knife or a corn stripper.  Add the corn, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil to the pasta.
  • In a small container combine the olive oil, roasted garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and shake to combine.  Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss well to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings (be generous with the salt).  Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 550kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 377mg | Potassium: 648mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1529IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 318mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

Made this recipe? Post a photo of your delicious creation on Instagram with our hashtag #dinnersolved


  1. Oh my! I made this with roasted shallots due to garlic opposition in my house. It was incredible! We’re all counting down the days until our tomatoes are ripe and we can eat this on repeat.

  2. I wanted to try this and saw the link for how to roast the garlic but didn’t see which step of the recipe to add it, do you mix it into the dressing or add with the tomatoes, corn and basil? I’m sure either will be good! Thanks!

  3. Katie, when using a tablet (because that’s where my recipes live), those things “on the side” simply disappear. Like they never happened. Only ads exist on the right. I have looked for those extras in several of your recipes, but (sigh) they just aren’t happening. Maybe it is time for a tablet app, or a mobile version? I have a large tablet, too, so it isn’t a size issue. My Samsung Galaxy is 10.5″ wide. I’d double check for you using my PC but I have to replace the mother board.

    1. I am looking into this! some of the notes fell off when we just migrated to the new deign. stay tuned and so sorry!

    1. Hi, Jana,
      Look on the side of the recipe, and you’ll see directions for roasting the garlic cloves!

Rate & Comment

Recipe Rating