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Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad is a light and fresh salad that can be served as an appetizer or side dish. It’s made with juicy, sweet red tomatoes, creamy mozzarella pearls and is served with a tangy balsamic glaze for a versatile flavor combination!

Caprese salad is a tomato and mozzarella cheese salad that originated in Capri, Italy. It is light and refreshing with a simple flavor combination of juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and tangy balsamic vinegar.

This salad is traditionally served using large sliced tomatoes and sliced mozzarella. This twist on the classic recipe uses juicy cherry tomatoes and mozzarella pearls to create an option that can be served easily and enjoyed.

Caprese salad is always a great option as an appetizer alongside crackers and sliced Italian bread for parties and special occasions, especially in the summer months as it’s very light.

It is also delicious on top of a bed of greens to turn it into a healthy green salad. Serve caprese salad alongside your favorite entree to make a full well-rounded meal that tastes fresh and satisfying!

White platter filled with caprese salad.

How To Make Caprese Salad

  1. In a large bowl add the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese pearls.
  2. Pour in the olive oil and add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Give it a toss with tongs or a wooden spoon to make sure everything is fully coated and seasoned.
  3. Ladle the salad on a large serving dish, then top with freshly chopped basil. Add balsamic glaze on the side or drizzle it on top for flavor.
Collage showing how to make caprese salad.

Recipe Tips

  1. If you can’t find mozzarella pearls, you can use fresh sliced mozzarella cheese instead. Cut into bite-sized cubes that are roughly the same size as the tomatoes. This would consist of two 8 ounce fresh mozzarella balls or a 16-ounce log.
  2. You can leave the tomatoes whole or slice them in half to create more volume and more surface to add flavor.
  3. If you don’t have a large serving dish, this Caprese salad can also be served in small individual bowls.
  4. You can add more or less garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste depending on how much of each flavor you prefer.
  5. The balsamic glaze can be served on the side for dipping or drizzled on top of the finished salad.
  6. Caprese salad can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Just allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes for olive oil to warm up. Then toss to coat again. 

Variations

  • Substitute the cherry tomatoes with any other type of tomatoes such as Roma or heirloom.
  • If you don’t like mozzarella cheese, you can use another type of soft cheese such as blue cheese, feta, or ricotta.
  • You could also add some cooked chicken or ham to this salad for extra protein.
  • The balsamic glaze can be substituted with a thicker balsamic vinegar like Modena.
  • Change up the shape and arrange it in a circle like a wreath for holiday gatherings.
Cherry tomato and mozzarella on a fork.

Storing and Freezing

Storing: Keep the Caprese salad in a sealed container with a thin layer of olive oil to keep it from drying out. Store this Caprese salad recipe for up to three days in the fridge.

Freezing: Because this salad uses fresh ingredients and fresh cheese, it will not freeze and thaw well. Therefore, freezing is not recommended.

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White square dish filled caprese salad and wheat crackers.

Caprese Salad

5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 260kcal

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Ingredients

  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese fresh, pearls
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil for garnish
  • balsamic glaze for dipping

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes and mozzarella cheese pearls.
    2 pints cherry tomatoes
    16 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • Add the olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Toss to combine.
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    ½ teaspoon garlic powder
    ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
    ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Place mixture on a serving dish, and garnish with fresh basil. Serve with a balsamic glaze.
  • See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 cup. Actual calories will vary.
 
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
 
*Photos courtesy of Krista Gent Photography.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 260kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 265mg | Potassium: 350mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 775IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 291mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating