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 (or balsamic glaze!) 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!
Caprese Salad Ingredients
- 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. Can’t find mozzarella in-store, try serving with burrata cheese for a delicious twist!
- FLAVORS: Once assembled, add torn fresh basil, salt & pepper, and olive oil or dressing.
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!
How to Make Caprese Salad
There are a lot of different ways to make a caprese salad.
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 Fresh Salad Recipes
- Greek Salad – make ahead
- Creamy Cucumber Salad – great for the summer
- Caesar Salad – my personal favorite
- Cucumber Avocado Salad – so fresh and delicious
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Great recipes would love to have them daily in my inbox. Looking forward to making this one
You’re in the right place Jenni; welcome! To receive emails with new recipes, you can click here to sign up to receive emails. Look forward to sending you recipes!
(I LOVE this one!)
Looking forward to making this
For the Caprese salad do you refrigerate it
I refrigerate leftovers if we have any.
That looks delicious!
I’ve been making Insalata Caprese for years, but mine also includes red onion and cucumbers. Now they have the little thin skinned cucumbers with hardly any seeds and less heartburn more people can eat them. All the rest is the same except I use the white Balsamic. I just don’t like the red.
Red onion sounds like a wonderful addition to this salad Shirley!
They all look good, keep up the good work
Hi Holly, when I saw the photo of this Caprese salad I clicked on immediately. In the photo I thought I saw sliced boiled eggs and thought “this looks interesting.”
Then I noticed that was mozzarella balls I spotted. Lol. I’m still going to make this. Maybe I will slice some eggs for it I love your site and recipes recipes.
Hard boiled eggs would be a tasty addition to this salad Kathy.I hope you love the recipe!
Look very good
I hope you love it if you ever get to make it Rebecca!