Check out my recipe for Caprese Salad!
One of my favorite salads of all time is the classic Caprese Salad! No, seriously....if we go out to eat and it's on the menu...I'm ordering it. A traditional Caprese salad is such a simple salad but oh so delicious. It looks a bit fancy but is super easy to make at home. The key to making a great salad is using super-fresh ingredients. The fresher the ingredients, the better it tastes!
Caprese or Caprese salad is traditionally an Italian dish made up of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. The name itself comes from where it all started, Capri Italy. And, as you can see just by looking at it, this salad is the color of Italy; red, white, and green!
Tips for making the perfect Caprese Salad:
Caprese is made from fresh mozzarella, freshly sliced tomatoes, and fresh basil. The fresher the ingredients, the better it will taste.
Yes! Since this salad is made from fresh ingredients, it is a healthy option for lunch, dinner, or just a snack.
Fresh mozzarella is used in Caprese. Be sure to buy fresh mozzarella that comes in water. The pre-packaged mozzarella cheese is not the same thing. Do not buy shredded mozzarella. For Caprese, I prefer to buy the fresh mozzarella logs but you can also buy different sized mozzarella balls if you prefer.
Fresh basil is usually sold in the grocery store next to the tomatoes. Normally, the fresh basil is not in the refrigerated section with the other fresh herbs. If fresh basil is refrigerated, the leaves will start to turn brown very quickly. Store on the counter instead of in the refrigerator. If you plan on eating a lot of basil, do yourself a favor and buy a small basil plant to keep in your kitchen. Fresh basil anytime!!
We like to serve Caprese as an appetizer along with olives and bread and then follow it up with our favorite pasta dish. You can turn Caprese Salad into a whole meal by placing it on a bed of arugula or by adding chicken or steak to the salad.
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Ingredient substitutions and tips for making the perfect Caprese Salad:
The full ingredient list is found at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
Mozzarella-Use fresh mozzarella. The fresh mozzarella usually is sold in water to keep it soft and moist. Do not use prepackaged slicing mozzarella or shredded mozzarella. You can buy pre-sliced or whole mozzarella. The pre-sliced is quick and easy to use but if you want thick slices of cheese, buy the entire log and slice it yourself.
Tomatoes-Any type of tomatoes will work for this recipe. I usually buy tomatoes that are about the same size as the mozzarella so there is an even cheese to tomato ratio. But, you can change it up and use cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, beefsteak, or Roma tomatoes.
Basil-Fresh basil. You cannot use dried basil for this recipe. You can buy just fresh basil leaves or your own little basil plant.
Olive Oil- Extra-virgin olive oil
Balsamic Glaze-If you don't have a balsamic glaze, you can make it yourself or use regular balsamic vinegar. If you use just the vinegar, use it sparingly as it does have a stronger flavor than the glaze.
Salt-Freshly ground coarse sea salt is best.
Pepper-Freshly ground black pepper is best for this recipe.
Olives- Whole Sicilian olives or kalamata olives add a nice flavor as a garnish but can be omitted if desired.
Directions for making the perfect Caprese Salad:
1. On a large serving platter, alternate single layers of mozzarella, slices of tomatoes, and basil. I like to place everything on the plate in a circle so that the pattern continues to repeat all the way around the plate.
2. Drizzle Olive Oil and balsamic glazes lightly across the top.
3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
4. Garnish with olives.
5. Serve chilled and enjoy!
Pin Caprese Salad recipe for later!!
Caprese SaladRate this Recipe Print Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1 Pound (453 ⅗ g) Mozzarella (Fresh- sliced about ¼ inch thick)
- 1 Pound (453 ⅗ g) Tomatoes (About 2 large or 3 small tomatoes-sliced about ¼ inch thick)
- 1 Bunch (1 Bunch) Basil (Fresh-about 20 leaves-based on size)
- 1 Tablespoon (1 Tablespoon) Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
- 1 Tablespoon (1 Tablespoon) Balsamic Glaze
- Pinch (Pinch) Salt (Freshly ground)
- Pinch (Pinch) Pepper (Freshly ground)
- 10 (10) Olives (Sicilian green and Kalamata olives to garnish)
- On a large serving platter, alternate single layers of mozzarella, slices of tomatoes, and basil. I like to place everything on the plate in a circle so that the pattern continues to repeat all the way around the plate.
- Drizzle Olive Oil and balsamic glazes lightly across the top.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.
- Garnish with olives.
- Serve chilled and enjoy!
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only.
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