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No salad is more representative of summer than the classic Caprese. But sometimes, we need to mix things up! This collection of Caprese re-inventions by some of our favorite bloggers shows you just how creative you can be with the simplest of ingredients. Vijay, Recipe Hunter

Vijay Nathan, NoshOnIt Recipe Hunter and Chef


7 Variations on the Classic Caprese Salad

Different ways to Caprese

7 Variations on the Classic Caprese Salad


There’s no salad that screams more of summer than the classic Caprese. While the combination of ingredients is simple, using the freshest and best items you can buy can turn something rather basic into a truly special dish. Traditionally made with a combination of sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar, we wanted to go outside of the box to discover how some of our favorite bloggers are re-inventing the classic Caprese. So tell us in the comments, how do you caprese?

1. Keep It Classic

Sometimes there’s no reason to mess with perfection. In this classic recipe, Willow layers slices of ripe tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and basil leaves then tops it with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Simple and delicious. (Recipe and Photo: Will Cook for Friends)

Classic Caprese Salad from Will Cook for Friends

2. Turn It Bite-Sized

Want to turn your Caprese into a finger food for a summer party? Instead of large tomatoes, Rachel cuts cherry tomatoes in half and uses them as “buns” for either side of these Caprese Sliders with mozzarella and basil sandwiched in between. (Recipe and Photo: The Pescetarian and the Pig)

Caprese Sliders from The Pescetarian and the Pig

3. Tomatoes, out. Strawberries, in.

For a sweeter variation, swap out tomatoes in favor of sweet summer strawberries in this Strawberry Caprese Salad. Topped with walnuts for crunch and bocconcini (small balls of mozzarella) to complement the shape of the strawberries, this simple twist is a surprisingly refreshing combination. (Recipe and Photo: Delicious Happens on NoshOnIt)

Strawberry Caprese Salad from Delicious Happens on NoshOnIt

4. Stack It, Fry It, Glaze It

In these Fried Mozzarella, Basil, and Nectarine Stacks with Balsamic Glaze, Tieghan re-invents every element of the classic Caprese. Instead of tomatoes, she uses rounds of late-summer nectarines. To add crunch, she lightly breads and pan-fries the mozzarella to make fritters. And to add an extra level of intensity, she reduces balsamic vinegar with brown sugar, turning the liquid into a flavor-packed glaze. Stack them up for a show-stopping appetizer. (Recipe and Photo: Half Baked Harvest)

Fried Mozzarella, Basil and Nectarine Stacks with Balsamic Glaze from Half Baked Harvest

5. Make It Pasta Night

Adding the components of a Caprese to pasta turns a salad into a filling yet fresh summer dinner. In this Caprese Pasta Salad, Kate lightly sautés cherry tomatoes until they burst, creating a natural sauce for the pasta. Tossed with basil, mozzarella, and a splash of vinegar, this pasta salad would be delicious warm for dinner tonight, at room temperature for a picnic or potluck, and even cold for lunch tomorrow.  (Recipe and Photo: Cookie and Kate)

Caprese Pasta Salad from Cookie and Kate

6. Sandwich It

Think of this as a grown-up version of your favorite grilled cheese sandwich with tomato. For this Caprese Grilled Cheese, Sylvia sandwiches fresh mozzarella and tomatoes between two slices of hearty bread and adds a zesty arugula and basil pesto as a spread. (Recipe and photo: Feasting at Home)

Caprese Grilled Cheese with Arugula from Feasting at Home

7. Skip Delivery and Make Your Own Pizza

Instead of tomato sauce, Courtney creates a Caprese Pizza by layering slices of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella on top of a homemade pizza crust (or just use store bought dough for convenience). After it comes out of the oven, tear leaves of basil over top and drizzle it with a balsamic reduction for a pizza-fied version of the classic salad. (Recipe and Photo: NeighborFood)

Caprese Pizza from NeighborFood

What other ideas have you seen for transforming the Caprese salad? Let us know in the comments!