Appetizer | December 10, 2018

Caprese Appetizer

This is a show stopping appetizer/salad for ANY MEAL! I mean, they’re so dang delicious I could eat them as a meal and be perfectly satisfied. There is little else I love more than a caprese salad! We’re turning a caprese salad into the best, easiest most incredibly tasting caprese appetizer for you!
fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil layered with balsamic dressing

Ingredients you need for any caprese salad or caprese appetizer.

First of all here is what you need:
1. Fresh mozzarella– yes. YES! it has to be FRESH. This IS key for any caprese salad. *Unless you are making a chopped caprese salad or caprese skewers you will want to use the fresh mozzarella LOG.
2. Ripe Red Tomatoes– I highly recommend either heirloom tomatoes or vine ripened. You want a tomato rich in flavor.
3. Fresh Basil– You’ll need med to med-large leaves. If you live near a Trader Joes they always have plastic cartons of fresh basil, and basil plants. Most stores sell basil plants and leaves by the produce.
4. Balsamic Dressing– we are using BRIANNAS  Balsamic Dressing for this caprese appetizer. I love it because it gives the salad a delicious balsamic flavor and tang without over powering the other ingredients.

heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil with a bottle of balsamic dressing

How to make the best caprese salad for your appetizer!

You’ll want to prep by slicing your tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick, wash your basil and you are ready to layer!

TIP: I like to sandwich the mozzarella between the tomato and basil so it can soak in the flavors of each.

tomato, mozzarella and basil layered on a platter

What dressing is used on Caprese Salad?

Traditionally some sort of a balsamic dressing is paired with caprese salads. For instance a balsamic vinegar  or reduction sauce. I love using BRIANNAS Creamy Balsamic Dressing. It’s tangy but not TOO tangy as a balsamic vinegar may comes, and it’s not too thick where the balsamic reduction can over power the delicate flavors and texture of the mozzarella and tomato.

hand holding a bottle of balsamic dressing

Drizzle or brush the Creamy Balsamic dressing over top of the tomatoes and mozzarella. 

dressing drizzling over salad

Top the salad with fresh cracked pepper and sea salt!

caprese salali with salt and pepper on top

Can I make Caprese salad the night before?

You can most definitely make caprese salad a few hours, or the morning of your party. You will need to cover it so it is air tight and refrigerate it the entire time.  However I don’t recommend making caprese salad the night before, because the salad is made with fresh mozzarella- which has  very high water content. It does not save too well. The other ingredients become milky and a little slimy. So stick to making it just a few hours before.

caprese salad sideways



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5 from 2 votes
caprese salad sideways
caprese salad appetizer
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins

The best, easiest delicious flavors come together for this caprese salad! Perfect for an appetizer. Creamy mozzarella, fresh basil ripe tomatoes with the best dressing! 

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caprese salad, Caprese salad appetizer
Servings: 15
Calories: 46 kcal
Author: Desarae
  • 1 package fresh mozzarella log
  • 15-20 Fresh Basil Leaves about
  • 3-4 large Tomatoes RIPE, and sliced thin
  • BRIANNAS Creamy Balsamic Dressing
  • fresh cracked pepper and sea salt
  1. Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. About 15 slices.

  2. Separate mozzarella (this should be pre-sliced)

  3. Wash and separate leaves
  4. Layer from bottom to top, tomato, cheese, and basil leaf.
  5. drizzle or brush creamy balsamic dressing over top of tomatoes and cheese.

    top with with fresh pepper and sea salt

Recipe Notes

You can typically find the fresh mozzarella logs in the specialty cheese isle by the deli in grocery stores. At Wholesale stores like costco and sams they come 2 to a pack and are the best deal! 

Nutrition Facts
caprese salad appetizer
Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)
Calories 46 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 94mg4%
Potassium 24mg1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Vitamin C 0.8mg1%
Calcium 77mg8%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

3 thoughts on “Caprese Appetizer

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  1. 5 stars
    Awesome way to make caprise salad! This is also a great approach to creating bruschetta, both of which to my family and me are best in the most simple form, as you so well describe here. Either one could easily be the appetizer or main course on hot summer days. There are no additional ingredients needed, as using slices of mozzarella topped with a garden’s sliced heirloom tomatoes and basil leaves, with salt and pepper, stacked atop the slices of crusty bread grilled with a little olive oil in a cast iron skillet, (to which some like to add a bit of finely chopped garlic), brings all of the beautiful fresh flavors together.
    I look forward to trying the dressing you recommend, as it will surely further enhance a classic recipe.
    Hoping all may enjoy their backyard or farmers’ market summer bounty, and stay safe and well!