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Best Caprese Recipes

Best Caprese Recipes

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Top Rated Caprese Recipes

Caprese is a popular Italian salad made with sliced tomato, creamy mozzarella, fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil. Put those ingredients between two pieces of white bread and you’ll have yourself a caprese grilled cheese.

This chicken burger recipe is full of all the best parts of summer—fresh basil, ripe tomatoes and grilled food stuffed with creamy mozzarella.Recipe courtesy of Perdue

Caprese salad is about as classic and simple as a dish can get, which is why presenting it in a less-than-expected way can add an extra special touch. Layering the essential elements — fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil — on toothpicks looks great and also makes it easy for your guests to grab the perfect bite.Click here to see more Tasty Tomato Recipes.

This bite-sized appetizer is the perfect start to a classic Italian meal. They're great for entertaining or bringing to a potluck. The ingredients are simple, and they come together with ease. Whether you're hosting a dinner for two or 20, these tiny treats will satisfy all tastes.

Top your burger with mozzarella, pesto, and tomatoes, and serve it all on fluffy focaccia rolls.This recipe is courtesy of Taste and Tell.

This appetizer recipe prepares eight mini ground beef sliders topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and balsamic all over sliced polenta (boiled cornmeal.)This recipe is courtesy of Beef - It's What's For Dinner.

A few weeks ago, I would have described green tomatoes as unripe anomalies — complete strangers to my kitchen. After developing this recipe, however, I now consider them to be deliberately firm and slightly sweet friends of mine. A simple and refreshing take on Caprese salad, this dish is the perfect introduction to those little green flavor machines. Combined with bright orange cantaloupe and fresh mozzarella at its base, the recipe takes hold of several savory and sweet components and takes your palate for a ride.See all salad recipes.Click here to see Green Tomatoes for Everyone.

Heirloom Caprese Salad

This summer is the summer of heirloom tomatoes. Ripe, juicy heirloom tomatoes in all shades of red, yellow and orange. My friends have gifted me a few from their gardens this summer, and they’re so perfect when sliced and sprinkled with a little olive oil and flaky salt.

I couldn’t walk by the overflowing bins at Whole Foods one more time without stocking up and making something big and bold out of those gorgeous tomatoes. What better than a classic Caprese salad, made with the simplest of ingredients?

Traditional Caprese salads are made with slices of tomato, mozzarella, sprinkled generously with basil, salt and pepper, finished with a drizzle of olive oil.

Caprese salad (insalata Caprese) literally means “salad of Capri.” Capri is an Italian island in the Mediterranean. I can’t confirm that it actually originated there, but it is Italian and it is delicious.

A well-made Caprese salad will make a statement at your summer parties, but it’s easy and simple enough to enjoy on a regular weeknight.

Caprese Sandwich Ingredients

Just remember—the better the bread and the tomatoes, the better the sandwich! Here’s what you’ll need:


French baguette is perfect for this sandwich, or you can use any high-quality bread you have at home already.

Homemade Creamy Basil Sauce

You’re going to fall in love with this sauce! It’s easy to whip together in the food processor, or by hand if you’d rather. You’ll need mayonnaise, fresh basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Leftover sauce makes a lovely veggie dip.

Thick Balsamic Vinegar

Tangy balsamic vinegar provides some irresistible contrast to the creaminess of the sauce and the mozzarella. We need to use a thick balsamic vinegar here (the regular runny kind will make your sandwich wet).

I love Napa Valley Naturals’ Grand Reserve Balsamic Vinegar—make sure you get the bottle with “25 stars” on it. It’s under $10 and typically available at Natural Grocers and other well-stocked grocery stores. Or, buy balsamic glaze (DeLallo makes one) or make your own balsamic glaze by gently simmering runny vinegar on the stovetop until it is reduced by half.


Arugula offers a light crunch and fresh, peppery flavor. I love it, but you can skip it if you don’t.


Use one ball of mozzarella, which is different from the part-skim block of mozzarella that you buy for pizza. For best flavor, opt for a mozzarella ball that is packed in water, rather than vacuum-sealed.

Ripe Tomatoes

Specifically, look for medium-sized, juicy, red tomatoes. They will really shine in this sandwich.

These Caprese Skewers Are the Best Healthy Summer Appetizer

Rachel Linder/ Eat This, Not That!

You can't be fully ready for summer until you get your hands on one of these Caprese Skewers. Inspired by Weelicious, this appetizer combines some of our summer favorites: tomato, mozzarella, and of course all of the in-season fruits. There are so many things we love about this recipe—it's incredibly healthy, super delicious, and did we mention it can be prepped and ready in under ten minutes? Yes, it's really that easy.

Another aspect of this dish that we love is that it can be totally customizable to your liking. Not a fan of cantaloupe? Switch it out for pineapple or honeydew or any other fruit or veggie you love. There is no such thing as a bad addition—anything goes!

And if looking for more recipes perfect for the season, be sure to check out 50 Amazing Summer Recipes You Have to Try.

Makes 10 servings


4.5 oz high quality dark chocolate, melted

4.5 oz (1 cup) powdered sugar

4.5 oz unsalted butter, softened

3 eggs (eggs yolks separated from the egg whites)

2 tbsp quality dark liquor &ndash Grand Marnier, Rum or Whiskey

1 tbsp of dark cocoa powder (optional)

Cocoa Powder or Confectioners&rsquo sugar for decoration

More Caprese Sandwich Ingredients to Try

This can be a super simple sandwich and be delicious all on its own, but if you’re jonesing for a little somethin’ extra, try adding these ingredients to your sandy:

  • Slather the bread with homemade basil pesto
  • Add a swath of kalamata olive spread for briny bites
  • Pepperoncini give this sandwich a puckery punch
  • Or, instead of balsamic glaze, use regular balsamic vinegar instead

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 4 portobello mushrooms (about 14 ounces), stems and gills removed (see Tip)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup fresh mozzarella pearls, drained and patted dry
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons best-quality balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine 2 tablespoons oil, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Using a silicone brush, coat mushrooms all over with the oil mixture. Place on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until the mushrooms are mostly soft, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon oil together in a medium bowl. Once the mushrooms have softened, remove from the oven and fill with the tomato mixture. Bake until the cheese is fully melted and the tomatoes have wilted, about 12 to 15 minutes more. Drizzle each mushroom with 1/2 teaspoon vinegar and serve.

Tip: To prepare portobello mushroom caps, gently twist off the stems of whole portobellos. Using a spoon, scrape off the brown gills from the underside of the mushroom caps. If you prefer, purchase portobello mushroom caps, rather than whole mushrooms.

Rule #1: Get Excellent Tomatoes

This is the hardest step, but not that hard if it's the height of tomato season, toward the end of summer.

If you've got a farmers market nearby (or, even better, a neighbor or backyard with tomato vines), hit it up. Look for the juiciest, plumpest tomatoes you can find. A good tomato should feel like a heavy, dense water balloon ready to burst, with no hints of greenness around the stem end (unless, of course, it's a green variety). If you've got one particular breed of heirloom or standard tomato you like, by all means, use just that one. I prefer to use a mix, picking from varieties that are meant for slicing and eating as opposed to saucing varieties. (Talk to the farmer if you don't know which are which.) I also like to include some cherry tomatoes in the mix, which tend to be sweeter than their meatier cousins.

Really good supermarkets will occasionally have decent tomatoes during the summer, but chances are they won't. Tomatoes that are shipped long distances on trucks are almost all picked before they're ripe in order to withstand the bumps and jostles they receive during shipment. This means inferior flavor down the line.

If you refrigerate your tomatoes (and if you have ripe tomatoes that you aren't eating right away, you definitely should, despite what anyone says), make sure to take them out of the refrigerator at least long enough to take the chill off before you make your salad. An hour will suffice four hours is better.

What if you want to make a Caprese salad during the winter or spring? That's easy. Don't. You don't go skiing in the summer, you don't go apple-picking in the spring, and you don't make a Caprese salad any time of year other than during tomato season. The first step on the road to self-improvement is self-respect, and trust me, you'll respect yourself more in the morning if you don't fall asleep with a gut full of mealy tomatoes and that insipid, watery flavor on your lips.

What Is It

Essentially a Torta Caprese is a flourless almond and chocolate cake. As you know I’ve been on this tear to find the most authentic versions of recipes out there, and since I’ve made a ton of savory dishes, I figured it was time to make something sweet because I think the French Silk Pie was my last dessert.

While doing my research I learned that this classic cake really has an undocumented history. No one can actually pinpoint when the torta Caprese was invented although they say it came from a baker in the 1920’s who lived on the island of Capri and ran out of flour or forget to put flour in it his chocolate cake came out with a torta Caprese. Not sure I’m buying that one but ok.

Now, if I had to guess it probably did come from somewhere near the island of Capri because other names for this are a Capri cake or a Caprese cake. Caprese, Capri, got it?

In addition to this theory, the almond is an absolute staple in both Italy and Sicily so I actually think this Torta Caprese was made with intention because it is way too good to have been created on a whim. Now I’m not saying that this can’t happen, but to me, it seems unlikely.

What is the Best Cheese for Caprese Salad?

The only cheese to use in Caprese is mozzarella, but not all mozzarella is created equally. This is not the recipe to use a block of cheese or a bag of shredded cheese. Instead, reach for the mozzarella pearls in saltwater brine (not olive oil) or the ball of fresh mozzarella. These are going to be the most flavorful, tender, and will slice beautifully for this recipe.

To save time in preparing this recipe, I grab the pearls since they are already bite-sized. No need to slice. I can simply drain and add to the salad. There are a lot of options, some of which are marinated in olive oil or a pesto blend. I reach for the cocktail mozzarella pearls that are in saltwater instead.

Reviews & Comments

I’m not a fan of Balsamic Vinegar because it’s sweet—Is there another dressing to use for a Caprese Salad like using Lemon and Garlic with the Mozzarella and Basil?

Hi Jan, You could give this Italian dressing a try. Another option is the dressing that accompanies this salad. Hope that helps and you enjoy whatever you try!

This is a favorite salad later in the summer months as we grow several varieties of Heritage tomatoes. I usually make my own balsamic glaze, one less condiment bottle hanging around that way. This is a perfect summer salad.

Why would anyone put sugar on Heirloom tomatoes. They’re already sweet on their own! This is a ridiculous recipe!

hi Jen, I’m making a cold beef tenderloin with your Caprese salad. would you please suggest another side dish. Thank you

I think those would pair beautifully with this focaccia. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

I was wondering if you have a recipe for balsamic glaze? I only have the balsamic vinegar, and not where I can buy any soon.

Sure, Beth, you could use the glaze from this recipe. Hope you enjoy!

Oh. My. Goodness, Jenn!! This is yet another killer recipe of yours and was SO super easy to throw together. I bought some homemade mozzarella from a farmer’s market here in Richmond (VA) on Saturday and today picked up just a basic vine ripened tomato at the grocery store and balsamic glaze at Trader Joe’s. (I followed the cheese guy’s suggestion of letting the mozzarella slices come to room temp before assembling.) It was gone in like 3 minutes and we all declared it utterly amazing — thanks so much for another winner!