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{Today I am partnering with Andy Boy, I used their Broccoli Rabe in this easy summer pasta salad that I know you will all love!}

Well, happy Father’s Day!!

Avocado Caprese Pasta with Grilled Broccoli Rabe | @hbharvest

I cannot even believe it’s already June 19th, and that according to the 2016 calendar, tomorrow it will officially, officially be summer. Like whoa, time sure is flying, huh?

Seeing as today is all about dads, I hope you are able to get together with yours. Whether it’s time spent outside… a boat ride, a trip to the beach, an art show, a bike ride, a BBQ, a walk, or simply just sitting outside in the shade of a great tree… whatever you do, I hope it’s something fun! And I most definitely hope your day comes to a close gathered around a table with your dad, eating good food. Which is why I knew this caprese pasta salad was kind of the perfect recipe to share with you all today.

Avocado Caprese Pasta with Grilled Broccoli Rabe | @hbharvest

Summer is all about a few simple things to me. Warm weather, sunshine, tomatoes, fresh berries, fresh stone fruits, pasta salads, anything grilled and obviously all the ice cream I can get my hands on. When thinking about summer recipes I pretty much always try to incorporate at least one or more fresh vegetables and or fruits into the recipe. I think this pasta salad has at least four… garden tomatoes, garden basil, perfectly ripe avocados and broccoli rabe!!

And guys, when I say garden tomatoes and basil, I really just mean farmers market, cause as I said last week, the summer garden is simply not happening up here this year. ☹

Avocado Caprese Pasta with Grilled Broccoli Rabe | @hbharvest

OK, so before we dive deeper into this avocado caprese pasta, I just have to give one big shout out to MY dad, because again it is Father’s Day, and well, today is HIS day…whether he likes it or not (strangely both of my parents really hate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day).

Yes, they are odd.

Anyway, my dad is the greatest and if you guys have read my blog for any amount of time than you already know this. He’s been my right hand guy for the last year+ helping me with anything and everything I could ever need. Dishes, crazy early morning airport pick-ups, grocery runs, pseudo personal therapist (he’ll actually listen to me complain), prop hunter, floor washer and basically everything in between. Not to mention the twenty-two years he’s put into raising me…and putting up with me (my preteen years were not my finest).

Anyway, point is, that my dad’s the best, and I’m pretty excited (and lucky) I get to call him dad every single day. It’s actually kind of funny that I am sharing this pasta recipe today because oddly this has been one of his favorite recipes of the year. He has always loved pasta salads and I cannot remember a summer without a pasta salad night at least once week. Yep, he used to do um up good!

BUT I cannot lie, this pasta may just nudge his out by a smidge, because well… avocado + buffalo mozzarella (or burrata), oh yeah!! For some reason, dad didn’t use much avocado in his cooking while I was growing up. And the mozzarella we ate was always pre shredded and bland as ever, so this is definitely a little bit of an upgrade!

All right, so here is how this pasta goes. You only need a handful of ingredients: basil pesto, broccoli rabe, tomatoes, basil, avocados, pasta and mozzarella. Oh and salt + pepper.

Super simple, yet super yummy and satisfying.

Avocado Caprese Pasta with Grilled Broccoli Rabe | @hbharvest

I love the mix of raw produce to grilled produce, so I kept my tomatoes raw and then grilled the broccoli rabe for a nice texture plus flavor boost. It’s perfection and it really makes this a great summer salad for picnics, easy lunches and dinners!

And that’s that guys! I hope you all enjoy your day with dad, eat plenty of good food and then follow it up with yummy ice cream! Got to love a good Sunday!

Avocado Caprese Pasta with Grilled Broccoli Rabe | @hbharvest

Avocado Caprese Pasta with Grilled Broccoli Rabe.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 782 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.


  • 1 pound short cut pasta
  • 1 large bunch broccoli rabe
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup homemade or store bought pesto
  • 8 ounces buffalo mozzarella or fresh mozzarella balls
  • 1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1-2 heirloom tomatoes quartered or sliced
  • 2 ripe avocados sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh prosciutto
  • white balsamic vinegar for drizzling
  • olive oil for drizzling

Homemade Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh arugula
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashews (almonds pistachios, walnuts or pine nuts work too)
  • 1/3 cup fresh parmesan cheese grated
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat a grill, grill pan or skillet to medium high heat. Toss the broccoli rabe with olive oil, salt + pepper making sure all the broccoli rabe is evenly coated in olive oil. Place the broccoli rabe on the hot grill and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until the broccoli rabe is lightly charred. Remove from the heat and place on a plate. Chop into 1 inch pieces.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain.
  • Add the hot pasta to a large serving bowl and toss with the pesto, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil and grilled broccoli rabe until well combined. Add the larger heirloom tomatoes and gently toss once more. Arrange the avocado and prosciutto on top. Sprinkle the pasta with salt + pepper to taste.
  • Divide the pasta among bowls or plates, serve with balsamic and olive oil. EAT!

Homemade Pesto

  • Finely chop the basil and arugula, add it to a medium size bowl. Chop the cashews and finely mince or grate the garlic, add them to the bowl with the basil and arugula. Add the parmesan and a pinch of salt + pepper. Pour in the olive oil. Using a fork mix well and then sort of mash all the ingredients together with the fork. If desired add more olive oil until your desired consistency is reached.
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Avocado Caprese Pasta with Grilled Broccoli Rabe | @hbharvest

Oh, and clearly my dad makes for the best model to show off all my recipes! Thanks dad!

{This post is sponsored by Andy Boy . Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Half Baked Harvest cooking!!  }

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  1. Hi, Tieghan, love the idea of this salad (making my mouth water this afternoon). I almost never have a crowd of six, so I’m wondering how you would store the leftovers. Do you think it would be as a cold pasta salad for leftovers?

  2. I’m always looking for a fresh pasta salad without all the gloppy mayo, and this one really stands out. I love the different veggies and the idea of using both avocado and mozzarella. I’ve always roasted broccoli rabe, never grilled it, but it sounds yummy. We’ll definitely give this a try at our next BBQ.

  3. Thank you so much for this recipe. Made it tonight for family Father’s Day party and it was a huge hit – loved by everyone.

  4. This looks delicious! And absolutely perfect for summer! We celebrated my dad last night, since I am working today. We went out for his favorite pizza, took a nice long walk around a gorgeous lake, came home and laughed like crazy while playing a card game, then ate his favorite cake that my mom made for him.

    I’m curious about your grilling setup. I know you’ve pictured your Staub grilling pan before. Do you have an actual grill you use outside too? Any preference on gas or charcoal? I ask cause we’re in the market for a new grill. Thanks!

    1. Hi Susan! I mostly use the grill pan just because it is easier when cooking all day long, but for summer parties and things I prefer a gas grill…BUT charcoal give the best flavor. it is just harder to manage the temps. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!

  5. Oh my gosh! Again, I just love all the fresh ingredients! So perfect for summer! And my “garden” vegetables comes from the farmer’s market too. Unless I can steal some from my dad’s or grandma’s garden…

  6. Happy Father’s Day! I didn’t really know that there was an official day of summer either! Amazing! Anyways, I love broccoli rabe that has been freshly grilled and pairing it with an amazing dish like this!

  7. Beautiful photos, as always! I love that you included your dad as model for the day! Happy summer! 🙂

  8. Another great pasta recipe–I have most of the ingredients to make this so I might try.
    Sad to say I never have all the ingredients for any recipe but I have the important ones!

  9. Could pasta salad even be prettier or more full of flavor! This looks really great, T. Can’t wait to try it.