Caprese Salad Recipe

5 from 17 votes

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Nothing beats a Caprese Salad Recipe. Fresh, flavorful and delicious made with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, sweet basil, and a homemade garlic balsamic dressing! It’s truly the perfect salad all year long. Delicious served with Spaghetti and Meatballs and Garlic Bread. Yum!

Caprese Salad

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. This Italian salad is delicious on its own, but particularly good with my homemade garlic balsamic dressing. SO so tasty!

But First, What is Caprese Salad?

A 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. It’s extremely popular and for good reason. One bite and you’ll understand the juicy sweet tomatoes paired with the herby basil and the creamy mozzarella is AMAZING.

Main Ingredients Needed

There are three main ingredients needed for a traditional Caprese Salad. While I include a few more for the overall recipe, these are the main ones that you’re going to want to find. Remember: since this recipe is only made up of a handful of ingredients, try to use the best quality ingredients you can find.

  • Fresh Mozzarella. This mozzarella cheese is the kind that is softer, creamier, and packed in saltwater. I use Bocconcini which are the mini mozzarella balls, but the slices of mozzarella work just fine as well, cut into cubes.
  • Fresh Tomatoes. I love using sweet grape tomatoes because regardless of the time of year, these always taste sweet and the quality is good. I hate a grainy tomato in the winter, so always gravitate towards the grape or cherry tomatoes most of the time. If you can find some ripe heirloom tomatoes, by all means, use those. But in case you can’t find those or don’t want to spend the money, the grape tomatoes work great!
  • Fresh Basil. Herby and delicious, this is the last ingredient needed for a classic Caprese Salad. There is no real substitute for this. But the nice thing about fresh basil is it’s becoming more and more readily available at grocery stores around the country which means it’s getting more and more affordable to buy.

For the Garlic Balsamic Dressing

Honorable mentions for my recipe include balsamic vinegar, pepper, olive oil, garlic and a few extra lettuce greens to fill the salad out more and make it go a little further. If you’re feeding a crowd, this is a great way to stretch a dollar. Of course, the addition of lettuce is totally optional.

Make it a Meal!

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

caprese salad laid out in a white dish

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.

Assembling the Salad

Place baby greens onto a serving platter. Top with bocconcini (mini mozzarellas), tomatoes, basil, and pepper.

When plating, try putting blocks of color together instead of spreading everything out evenly over the top to make it look pretty. That’s what I did in these photos and it makes for a beautiful presentation.

Making the Balsamic Dressing

I LOVE a good garlicky dressing and this one does not disappoint. While balsamic vinegar is a traditional topping for this salad, the garlic isn’t. But I’m not one to shy away from making the classics a tiny bit more flavorful and garlic seemed like an obvious choice.

Measure out garlic, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper into a small jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake it up to emulsify, then drizzle it over the salad. Again, makes for a great presentation!

Caprese Salad in a white serving dish

Can This Be Made Ahead of Time?

Yes! Absolutely you can make this ahead. Just be sure to store the dressing separately and as much moisture is removed from the fresh mozzarella as possible. Moisture tends to ruin the integrity of the other ingredients, so making sure there isn’t much is key. This Caprese Salad will last up to 3 days in the fridge. Right before serving, top with dressing.

This salad tastes best when freshly made and assembled. Plus it’s super quick to throw together.

Other Italian Favorites!

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

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, caprese sald recipe

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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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  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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  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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