Caprese Salad Recipe with Balsamic Dressing

5 from 20 votes

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

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 as an appetizer to Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs and Garlic Bread. Yum!

Caprese Salad

But First, What is Caprese Salad?

A Caprese Salad (pronounced kuh·pray·zay) 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.

Only 3 Main Ingredients

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 and bonus: it’s super easy to grow yourself!

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!

You could add this salad 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

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!

Follow these quick and simple steps to make your tasty salad.

Assembling the Salad

Place bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls) and tomatoes on a serving platter, arranging them in blocks of color. Sprinkle the fresh basil all over. Season with freshly cracked black pepper.

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 black 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 Caprese Salad 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!

Caprese Salad
PrintPrint Pin ItPin It
5 from 20 votes

Easy Caprese Salad Recipe

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

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls) drained and patted dry
  • 1 lb grape tomatoes washed and halved
  • 12 large basil leaves chiffonade
  • black pepper freshly cracked, to taste

for the dressing-

  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 7 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Place bocconcini (mini mozzarella balls) and tomatoes on a serving platter, arranging them in blocks of color. Sprinkle the fresh basil all over. Season with freshly cracked black 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

Share a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




82 Responses
  1. 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.

  2. 13 Amazing Salads for Spring you Should Eat Right Now

    […] 10. Caprese Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing from Lauren’s Lately […]

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!!

  6. 22 Salad Recipes You'll Want to Try -- Tatertots and Jello

    […] Caprese Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing @ Lauren’s Latest […]

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. How to: Plan a Pretty Picnic » Mint & Lovely Studios

    […] Sandwich Caprese Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing Fresh fruit – we chose farm fresh peaches, but you can use whatever is in season Chocolate […]

  10. Caprese Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing | Yummy Food Ideas

    […] Read full preparation method Categories: Salads Tags: salad recipes […]

  11. Three healthy salads for runners - Sportstazion

    […] 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 […]

  12. 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!

  13. June Link Love - theinbetweenismine -

    […] 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 […]

  14. Caprese Salad | A Foodie AffairA Foodie Affair

    […] 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 […]

  15. Watermelon Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze | Lauren's Latest

    […] to post a perfect light and summery recipe for you all today. We all know and love the traditional Caprese salad, yes? Well, this is like the tomato-hater version made with {say it with […]

  16. Guest Post: Caprese Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing

    […] 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 […]

  17. 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

  18. The Produce Mom® – 50 Salad Recipes

    […] 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 […]

  19. Foodie Friday: 25 Awesome Salad Recipes | Former Fitness Flunky

    […] Salad from Damn Delicious Southwestern Black Bean Salad with Citrus Dressing from The Garden Grazer Caprese Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing from Lauren’s Latest Shrimp, Avocado and Roasted Corn Salad from Gimme Some Oven Cucumber […]

  20. 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!

  21. 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 🙂

“logos”