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During the summer when tomatoes are their freshest and basil is plentiful, tomato caprese salads are a must for me! This classic Italian salad only needs tomatoes, mozzarella and basil and it’s seasoned simply with salt and pepper with extra virgin olive oil. It’s fresh, simple and delightful!
Ingredients to make caprese salad
- Tomatoes: Make sure your tomatoes are perfectly ripe for the best flavor. I like to use plum tomatoes that have a nice sweetness to them.
- Mozzarella: Use fresh mozzarella slices for a wonderful rich and creamy bite. I like to use buffalo mozzarella which is richer and creamier. Sometimes they come pre-sliced, which is a bonus!
- Basil: Fresh basil leaves add a wonderful freshness to each bite and I love the color they add to the plate. It’s a must.
- Salt and pepper: Add to taste, but make sure to use coarse salt and black pepper.
- Oil: Use extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over the salad. It is much richer in flavor than regular olive oil and helps to meld all of the ingredients together.
How to make tomato caprese salad
Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella and arrange them on a serving platter alternating between the two.
Place the basil leaves between the tomato and mozzarella slices, and sprinkle more on top. When you’re ready to serve, season with salt and black pepper and drizzle the oil on top.
Tips to make a caprese salad
- Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella into evenly sized pieces so that you get even bites of everything. It really helps for best presentation too
- Use room temperature tomatoes. Warmer tomatoes are so much more flavorful than those straight out of the fridge. Take them out at least an hour before you plan to make this recipe.
- Use small basil leaves. They have a more intense flavor than the larger ones.
- Add balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze. While it’s not traditional to add balsamic vinegar based on the original Italian recipe, it’s very common to include it in the U.S. I prefer balsamic glaze or reduced balsamic vinegar for its sweeter taste.
Frequently asked questions
It’s best to make this salad when you want to serve it so that the tomatoes and mozzarella don’t dry out. If you want to get ahead of things, you can slice the tomatoes and cheese and plate them up a couple of hours ahead of time and keep it covered at room temperature. Add the basil, seasonings and oil just before serving.
The beauty of this Italian salad is it’s simplicity, but you can easily add other ingredients if you like. Avocado works really well as do kalamata olives, cucumbers and even pasta. You can also drizzle it with a balsamic reduction.
Slice up fresh mozzarella, grab the freshest ripest firm tomatoes, some garden picked basil and get ready for a mouth-watering salad appetizer. It’s the perfect summer recipe!
More similar salad recipes
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Avocado Pasta Salad
- Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes
- Avocado Caprese Salad
- Cucumber Lemon Orzo Salad
- Lebanese Cabbage Salad
- Apple Walnut Salad
- Peach Salad
- Strawberry Caprese Salad
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Caprese Salad recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
- 3 ripe tomatoes sliced ¼-inch thickness
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella sliced ¼-inch thickness
- One bunch fresh basil leaves
- Coarse salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Arrange the tomatoes and mozzarella slices on a large serving platter, alternating between them. Tuck the basil leaves between the tomato and mozzarella slices, and sprinkle more on top.
- Season the tomatoes and mozzarella slices with salt and black pepper to taste and then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil on top.
- Enjoy immediately.