Caprese Salad Recipe

Caprese Salad

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 plates
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
218 Calories
20g Fat
3g Carbs
7g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 218
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 268mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 7g
Calcium 183mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Caprese is the name for a simple Italian salad made of sliced tomatoes, sliced mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil leaves. The colors are meant to represent the red, white, and green of the Italian flag. The salad is typically served with olive oil and some kind of vinegar.

We created a delicious balsamic vinegar glaze that is a little sweet and of course tangy. The flavors combine perfectly with the sweet tomatoes and creamy mozzarella cheese.

Caprese salad is traditionally a very unfussy salad, so all of the ingredients need to be the highest quality to make the flavors shine.

Make sure to use tomatoes that are in season and are juicy, ripe, and flavorful. We love using heirloom tomatoes since they are so beautifully imperfect and almost always have amazing flavor. But you can substitute any of your favorite tomatoes or whatever looks good at the store.


  • For the Salad:
  • 2 to 4 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 8 to 12 basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • For the Balsamic Glaze:
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make caprese salad with balsamic glaze

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Cut the large tomatoes into approximately 1/4-inch slices. Use a serrated knife for the cleanest cuts.

    Sliced tomatoes on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Cut the fresh mozzarella cheese into 1/4 inch slices.

    Sliced fresh mozzarella on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Salt the sliced tomatoes generously with kosher salt and set aside.

    A plate of salted sliced tomatoes

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook on medium low heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir occasionally as it cooks and don't leave it unattended because it can easily scorch.

    A pot of balsamic vinegar and sugar being whisked

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Layer a salted tomato, then one to two basil leaves, followed by a slice of mozzarella.

    A slice of tomato with basil and mozzarella on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Keep layering these ingredients until you have filled up your platter. Drizzle with the olive oil, and more salt and pepper.

    A plate of tomato, mozzarella, and basil topped with olive oil

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar glaze over the top of the salad and serve immediately.

    A Caprese salad topped with balsamic vinegar glaze

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Recipe Variations

  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice for extra tang.
  • While it will no longer be a classic Caprese, try topping the salad with homemade pesto instead of the balsamic glaze.
  • You can use cherry tomatoes and small cherry-sized mozzarella balls for a Caprese salad in a bowl.
  • Replace the mozzarella cheese with burrata, a form of mozzarella cheese that is soft on the inside with an firmer outer coating. But don't try to slice it before serving as it will not make for a pretty presentation. The inside is quite soft and should be kept intact until eating. Just serve the ball of burrata in the center of a ring of tomatoes and basil leaves.

Recipe Tips

  • For the best tasting mozzarella cheese, try to find one that is packed in water. This has the best flavor and the softest texture. Any fresh mozzarella cheese is fine, but the water packed is ideal.
  • Use in season tomatoes for the best flavor.
  • Use fresh basil, dried is not a good substitute.