Caprese Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing

5 from 17 votes

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Nothing beats a Caprese Salad Recipe made with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, sweet basil, and a homemade garlic balsamic dressing! The perfect salad all year long.

There are very few {healthy} foods I love much more than brownies. And cookies. And fries. But one thing that actually makes my heart go pitter patter is a really good salad. More specifically, this Caprese salad.

Caprese Salad

What is Caprese Salad?

Caprese Salad is a simple Italian salad made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, salt, and olive oil. Like the Italian flag, this salad features the white, red and green colors.

Caprese Salad Recipe

I like to make my version of this salad very similar to the classic version, but use Bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls), sweet grape tomatoes, add coarse ground black pepper and make a balsamic-garlic dressing. I also added in a few extra greens to fill the salad out more and make it go a little further…slash so I didn’t just eat all the fresh mozzarella on its own….by myself. If you’re feeding a crowd, this is a great way to stretch a dollar. Of course, the addition of lettuce is totally optional.

Plus you could add this with a protein to make it a meal. Chicken Parmesan would be super tasty with this salad recipe.

How to Make Caprese Salad

How to Make Caprese Salad

This Caprese Salad could not be any easier to make. Follow these quick and simple steps to make your tasty salad.

  1. Place baby greens onto a serving platter. Top with bocconcini, tomatoes, basil, and pepper.
  2. To serve, try putting blocks of color together instead of spreading everything out evenly over the top to make it look pretty. That’s just my personal preference.

How to Make Caprese Salad Dressing

I LOVE a good garlicky dressing and this one does not disappoint. It’s not the most traditional thing to drizzle over a Caprese salad, but man is it delicious. It’s like creamy, herby, sweet and spicy health food.

  1. Measure out garlic, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper into a small jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Shake it all up to incorporate the dressing, then drizzle it over the salad.

Just a small FYI, this dressing is for drizzling over your salad, not for mixing in.

Caprese Salad Recipe

Can this be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes! But just so you know, the salad tastes best when freshly made and assembled. Plus it’s super quick to throw together. However, you could probably make it then store it in the fridge the day before and still be fine. But make sure not to store the dressing and salad together. You can make the dressing ahead of time and store in an airtight container. Right before serving drizzle on the dressing and enjoy!

More Italian Salads!

Anyways, the moral of this blog post is…

1. I like this salad recipe slightly more than fries.

2. I like to eat copious amounts of fresh mozzarella.

And there you have it. Printable recipe card is below, make sure to save/pin/print this one out. Enjoy!

5 from 17 votes

Easy Caprese Salad

Nothing beats a Caprese Salad made with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, sweet basil and a homemade garlic balsamic dressing! The perfect salad all year long.
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins


  • 1 plastic container of washed baby greens any kind {about 6 cups}
  • 1 lb. Bocconcini drained, patted dry and halved {baby mozzarella balls}
  • 1 lb. grape tomatoes washed and halved
  • 12 large basil leaves chopped
  • cracked black pepper to taste

for the dressing-

  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 4 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Place baby greens onto a serving platter. Top with bocconcini, tomatoes, basil, and pepper.
  • Measure all ingredients for dressing into a small jar with tight-fitting lid. Shake and drizzle over salad. Serve immediately.



Calories: 539kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 147mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1010IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 424mg | Iron: 0.6mg
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: caprese salad, italian salad, side salad
Polaroid photo of granola bars

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Recipe Rating

79 Responses
  1. Ashton

    I LOVE caprese too! I would totally pick anything caprese over anything sweet (but shhhh! Don’t tell people that… it’s bad for business 😉 ). This look delish! Pinned 🙂

  2. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    Oh my goodness, Lauren, you’re making me wish summer would just hurry the heck up already! This is such a gorgeous caprese!

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    […] Ginger Dressing, The Clever Carrot 29. Broccoli Cran-Apple Salad, Little Family Adventure 30. Caprese Salad, Lauren’s Latest 31. Avocado and Tomato Salad, Laylita 32. Strawberry Quinoa Salad, Damn […]

  5. Bevie Bracikowski

    I am so glad that I found you; although my husband thinks that I hired someone else to cook for us!

    I am looking for a recipe I had but lost…I am hoping you can help me and soon. It is pineapple cuts made in a large cookie sheet pan. It has a cream cheese crust and is not dry at all. The filling has instant vanilla pudding and canned pineapple in it…………however, it is quite versital as to what other ingredients can go in it.
    Thanks so much!

    Bevie B

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    […] Remember how I promised healthy, gluten-free foods starting on the blog? I do. Since I’ve been gone the past two week I haven’t been able to make anything (ok, I made one healthy gluten/dairy-free dessert, but couldn’t take photos… hold onto your plates I will have the delicious recipe tomorrow!). Anyway, one of my favorite bloggers, Lauren Brennan, had this recipe on her blog a while ago. Can you say delicious? Hop on over to her blog, find the recipe here […]

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    […] found this great Garlic Balsamic Dressing recipe on Lauren’s Latest blog which I pinned from Pinterest, and it is delicious! Try this, you won’t be […]

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    […] you know me a little bit, you know I am a big fan of Caprese Salad and I want to try this garlic balsamic dressing so […]

  10. Heidi

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was delicious! A hit for husband and myself but also two foody toddlers. A must make folks!

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    […] for the dressing: 1 clove garlic, grated 4 teaspoons dijon mustard 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 7 tablespoons olive oil salt & pepper, to taste Source: laurenslatest […]

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  14. t m harris

    5 stars
    Made this for a party of picky eaters and it was so very well received. Looked beautiful and tasted fantastic. The dressing was really delicious. Thank you for sharing this!

  15. mary beth at MBZ Interiors

    Hi, thanks for this recipe. Going to baby shower today and making it now. Just wanted to suggest that when writing a recipe tablespoon should be indicated with a capital T (Tablespoon, Tsp. and teaspoon, tsp.) (just an fyi) Thanks again

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  17. Helen

    Love this recipe, making it tonight! Adding a few oven fried chicken tenders on the side and calling it a meal! (Will serve some mashed potatoes to the hubby so he is sure to get full.) Thanks for sharing!!

  18. Andi Leubitz

    5 stars
    I love this salad! It looks beautiful, fresh and delicious. The colors are incredible. Can’t wait to make it tonight for dinner!

  19. Susan

    We love caprese salad too, and here is how to make it even better: dress it with good balsamic vinegar (not the cheap stuff), and pesto. Out of this world!

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  21. LeAnna

    5 stars
    This is my very favorite caprese salad recipes. I usually make it without the greens, but the dressing is a must. Then if there are any leftovers, we pick out the mozzarella the next day. 🙂 I will pick a caprese salad over just about any kind of salad.

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