Caprese salad is an easy salad recipe that is not only elegant, but super delicious! This caprese salad recipe pulls just a few ingredients together, but packs a flavorful punch! The best part? All the ingredients are available year-round!
Juicy ripe red tomatoes, creamy white mozzarella and fresh green basil – all the colors of Italy.
What is Caprese Salad?
Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, and a simple drizzle of olive oil are all it takes to make this colorful salad. The key here is sourcing the freshest ingredients available. Cherry tomatoes or bright red Roma’s are the perfect size for this salad, as well as a soft, creamy mozzarella, also known as mozzarella fresca (or bocconcini).
Drizzle with olive oil, a generous sprinkle of salt & freshly ground pepper and a few torn and a few torn basil leaves and voila! The perfect salad any time of year!
With a slice of garlic rubbed crusty bread and a glass of vino, this caprese salad is the perfect starter to go along with our favorite Easy Chicken Parmesan!
How to Make Caprese Salad
There are a lot of different ways to make a caprese salad.
- TOMATOES: Since this is the base of your salad, find the ripest juiciest tomatoes you can. Any variety will work. Garden fresh or farmers markets are of course the best!
- CHEESE: Caprese salad is made with fresh mozzarella (not the kind you put on pizza). Bocconcini or Fresh Mozzarella is found in the dairy area of most grocery stores.
- FLAVORS: Once assembled, add torn fresh basil, salt & pepper and olive oil or dressing.
We like to layer slices of tomato with equal sized slices of mozzarella cheese and whole basil leaves for an individual caprese salad, just like you see in fancy Italian restaurants. Just drizzle some balsamic vinaigrette over the top and serve!
A quick addition of your favorite pasta will transform this recipe into a caprese pasta salad. Loaded with flavor and delicious, toss some fresh basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and whatever pasta you like…how about rotini or penne? Mix it up because this salad hits all the right notes and is definitely a crowd pleaser!
More Recipes You’ll Love
- Greek Salad – make ahead
- Garden Fresh Bruschetta– just add crostinis
- Creamy Cucumber Salad – great for the summer
- Caesar Salad – my personal favorite
- Cucumber Avocado Salad – so fresh and delicious
Caprese Salad Dressing
If your tomatoes are home-grown, let those flavors shine and go light on the dressing! But a bright, tangy dressing will perk up even tomatoes that aren’t in season!
I most often use a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and not much more.
If you prefer a bit more tang, try making a homemade Homemade Italian vinaigrette to drizzle overtop. Or combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, some Dijon, garlic and salt and pepper! Ciao!
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes any variety
- ½ cup fresh mozzarella cocktail size
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- balsamic vinegar optional
- Slice tomatoes (or cut them in half depending on size). Slice cheese into ¼" slices.
- Arrange tomatoes and cheese on a plate or platter.
- Drizzle with olive oil (and balsamic vinegar if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately.