caprese salad pin
caprese salad pin

Oh, Caprese Salad… let me count the ways! Nothing screams summer to me more than perfectly ripe, juicy, colorful tomatoes, and this fresh and flavorful Caprese salad is loaded with them! Creamy mozzarella cheese and sweet and spicy basil round out this easy salad, and I drizzled it with some balsamic glaze to bring it all together. It’s truly summer on a plate!

overhead view of a serving of caprese salad on a white plate with balsamic glaze.overhead view of a serving of caprese salad on a white plate with balsamic glaze.

This Caprese Salad is the perfect way to honor the summer season because of its simplicity. No one wants to turn an oven on in this heat! This recipe is super easy to prepare, surprisingly elegant, bright, and fresh. It’s a crowd-pleaser! I like to tear the mozzarella because I like how the olive oil and balsamic glaze cling to more of the surface area better.

What is Caprese Salad?

Caprese salad is a classic Italian salad made from fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, and, of course, fresh basil to represent the colors of the Italian flag. It’s not your typical salad in that it doesn’t have any lettuce, but allow me to widen your horizons on what a salad can be. Dressed in our favorite easy homemade balsamic glaze, this simple salad is ridiculously fresh and flavorful.

Here’s what you’ll need to make a Caprese salad:

  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese: You’re looking for a ball of fresh, soft mozzarella cheese, not a block of low moisture!
  • Fresh Basil Leaves: Keep them whole for a punch of fresh and herbal flavor.
  • Fresh Tomatoes: You can use any variety of tomatoes for this recipe, but I love how flavorful and colorful cherry tomatoes are. If you want to go as budget-friendly as possible, Roma tomatoes always seem to be the best price!
  • Olive Oil: Use high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: Adds a sweet and tart flavor to the salad.
  • Brown Sugar: Helps turn the vinegar into a thick, sweet glaze.
  • Salt and Pepper: Enhance the natural flavors of the cheese and tomatoes.

What Else Can I Add?

This Caprese salad is so delicious with a bit of kale pesto drizzled over top or some walnuts for crunch. In the heat of deep summer, I like to add some thinly sliced peaches, too, for a little extra sweetness!

caprese salad on a white serving plate.caprese salad on a white serving plate.
caprese salad pin
caprese salad pin


Caprese Salad

Nothing screams summer more than Caprese salad made with juicy, ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella cheese, and sweet and spicy basil!

overhead view of a serving of caprese salad on a white plate with balsamic glaze.overhead view of a serving of caprese salad on a white plate with balsamic glaze.

  • 8 oz. ball of fresh mozzarella, torn ($4.26)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, whole ($1.78)
  • 3 cups tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces* ($6.37)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.34)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar ($1.08)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar ($0.08)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.01)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.01)
  • Halve or quarter the tomatoes (depending on their size), pick the basil, and tear the mozzarella.

  • Drizzle with olive oil and set aside.

  • Combine balsamic and brown sugar in a skillet and whisk to combine.

  • Bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced in volume by about half. This should take around ten minutes, but the total time can vary depending on your cookware and burner. You’ll know it’s done when the simmering bubbles linger on the surface of the vinegar instead of immediately popping.

  • Remove the glaze from the heat and allow it to cool. It will thicken considerably more as it cools. Test the glaze with a spoon, if it leaves a lingering residue that clings to your spoon, it’s done! If it isn’t to your desired thickness, you can simmer the glaze again to further reduce.

  • Drizzle balsamic glaze over caprese salad. Season with a crank or two of salt and pepper and enjoy!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


* I used a variety of cherry tomatoes and heirloom slicer tomatoes that I picked up from the farmers market and picked from my garden, but any variety of tomatoes will do.

Serving: 1cupCalories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 9gFat: 13gSodium: 295mgFiber: 1g

Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.

overhead view of a serving of caprese salad on a white plate.overhead view of a serving of caprese salad on a white plate.

how to make Caprese Salad – step by step photos

torn mozzarella, basil leaves, and halved tomatoes on a cutting board.torn mozzarella, basil leaves, and halved tomatoes on a cutting board.

Halve or quarter 3 cups of tomatoes (depending on their size), pick 1/2 cup of basil, and tear 8 oz. of mozzarella.

pouring olive oil over caprese salad on a white serving plate.pouring olive oil over caprese salad on a white serving plate.

Drizzle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and set aside.

pouring balsamic vinegar over brown sugar in a saucepan.pouring balsamic vinegar over brown sugar in a saucepan.

Combine 1/2 cup balsamic and 2 Tbsp brown sugar in a skillet and whisk to combine.

whisking balsamic glaze in a saucepan with a whisk.whisking balsamic glaze in a saucepan with a whisk.

Bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced in volume by about half. This should take around ten minutes, but the total time can vary depending on your cookware and burner. You’ll know it’s done when the simmering bubbles linger on the surface of the vinegar instead of immediately popping.

thickened balsamic glaze on a spoon.thickened balsamic glaze on a spoon.

Remove the glaze from the heat and allow it to cool. It will thicken considerably more as it cools. Test the glaze with a spoon, if it leaves a lingering residue that clings to your spoon, it’s done! If it isn’t to your desired thickness, you can simmer the glaze again to further reduce.

drizzling balsamic glaze over caprese salad on a white serving plate with a spoon.drizzling balsamic glaze over caprese salad on a white serving plate with a spoon.

Drizzle balsamic glaze over caprese salad. Season with a crank or two of salt and pepper and enjoy!

a forkful of caprese salad.a forkful of caprese salad.

This super simple Caprese salad is going to be your favorite Summer salad recipe!