This Caprese salad recipe is easy and elegant!

A delicious salad with slices of tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and creamy mozzarella cheese under a drizzle of oil and balsamic.

It’s the perfect appetizer or side that can be served all year round.

caprese salad on a white serving plate

An Italian Favorite

With the colors of the Italian flag, Insalata Caprese (ka-pray-zee) as delicious as it is beautiful. This salad originates from the island of Capri and is made with ripe, juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves.

Caprese Salad Ingredients

Tomatoes Use any variety of ripe and juicy tomatoes. The key to the best caprese salad is ripe and flavorful tomatoes.

Thick slices of heirloom tomatoes, beefsteak, or meaty Romas make perfect slicing tomatoes, while halved cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes work better in a Caprese pasta salad.

Mozzarella CheeseFor this recipe, use fresh mozzarella cheese or bocconcini, which is different than a pizza mozzarella. It is soft and creamy with a delicious mild flavor. If you can’t find fresh mozza, burrata cheese.

Fresh Basil – Fresh basil leaves are key to this salad. Cut them into ribbons (aka chiffonade) or tear the whole leaves into pieces. Fresh basil doesn’t last very long, so I prefer to buy a basil plant at the grocery store. It doesn’t cost much more but it lasts longer and is great on everything from pasta, salads, and sandwiches.

Seasonings Extra virgin olive oil and some flaky salt and pepper are all that’s needed. While it’s not traditional, balsamic vinegar is delicious on this salad, or try balsamic glaze or reduction for a sweeter flavor. You can also drizzle with homemade Italian dressing or basil pesto. Add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and some fresh black pepper.

How to Make Caprese Salad

  1. Slice tomatoes and cheese and arrange them on a serving platter.
  2. Drizzle with oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange basil leaves around the salad and serve immediately.
Caprese Salad with tomatoes and basil being drizzled with olive oil.


Showcase in-season fruits and produce for a new spin on a traditional Caprese salad.

  • Add strawberries, peaches, or avocados to a Caprese platter
  • Layer with thin slices of Italian deli meat like prosciutto, mortadella, or soppressata
  • Turn leftovers into a Caprese sandwich with salad greens on a baguette. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap (the flavors will blend!) and enjoy a fancy workday lunch!

Prep Ahead

Arrange tomatoes and cheese on a platter, cover with plastic wrap, and store in the fridge up to a day before. Drizzle with oil, vinegar, and seasonings just before serving.

How to Store Caprese Salad

Keep leftover Caprese salad covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve as is, or chop it up and serve it with crostini or over thick pieces of garlic bread for a bruschetta appetizer, or baked over chicken.

More Summer Salads

Summer is the perfect time for fresh salads when produce is in peak season. Fire up the bbq and pair this caprese or any of the salads below with anything from a juicy steak to a skewer of shrimp!

Did you love this Caprese Salad? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

plated Caprese Salad
5 from 18 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Caprese Salad

Caprese salad is made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, and a simple drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, creating a colorful and delicious dish.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 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


  • Using a serrated knife, slice the tomatoes into ½-inch thick slices. 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.


Keep leftover Caprese salad in the fridge for up to 3 days in a covered container. 
5 from 18 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 124 | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 93mg | Potassium: 279mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1120IU | Vitamin C: 15.8mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 0.4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Appetizer, Party Food, Salad
Cuisine American, Italian
Caprese Salad on a plate with a title
Caprese Salad with dressing and a title
Caprese Salad on a plate with writing
Caprese Salad on a plate and close up with a title


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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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    1. 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!)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. Hard boiled eggs would be a tasty addition to this salad Kathy.I hope you love the recipe!