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Mum’s Amazing Caprese Salad Recipe

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Creamy, fresh and aromatic – my Mum’s super easy caprese salad recipe is exactly what you need for any kind of gathering! Best enjoyed fresh, this beautiful Summer salad couldn’t be any quicker to make if you tried. Read on for the full recipe and my Mum’s helpful tips!

2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop, there is a bowl of lettuce, a plate of sliced beetroot, a blue linen napkin, 3 whole tomatoes and 2 forks in the background.

With Summer right round the corner (although with the recent weather you wouldn’t think it!) it’s the perfect time to start thinking of lighter, fresher recipes to enjoy in the hotter days to come. And this would be ideal with a bowl of apple and beetroot salad!

Side view of 2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop, there's also a blue linen napkin, 2 forks and 2 tomatoes in the background.

Picture this… a picnic hamper or a garden table filled with glorious dishes like potato salad, homemade tzatziki and my Gran’s ham and cheese quiche!! There are few things that make me happier than this!

2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop there's also a blue linen napkin and 2 forks in the background.

Add this beautifully delicate and creamy caprese salad into the mix and your guests will never want to leave! Added bonus? It only takes about 15 minutes to make. Yes really! Perfect for whipping up in a hurry when you have people round.

Close up of 2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop there's also a blue linen napkin and 2 forks in the background.

Is caprese salad unhealthy?

I wouldn’t say it’s unhealthy no. There’s plenty of fresh tomato and basil in there which is super healthy! Yes, copious amounts of mozzarella probably isn’t very good for you but copious amounts of anything isn’t good for you! Everything in moderation and you’ll be fine : )

A close up of 2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop there's also a blue linen napkin and 2 tomatoes in the background.

What do you eat caprese salad with?

The honest answer to this is anything! Think of it like a regular salad. It’s perfect to put on a buffet table, as a side at bbq’s, with some chicken as a dinner… you can literally eat caprese salad with anything!

2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop, there is a bowl of lettuce, a plate of sliced beetroot, a blue linen napkin, 3 whole tomatoes and 2 forks in the background.

What you need to know

Here’s the part where I share all my Mum’s caprese salad making wisdom with you! Trust me, it’s worth a read! Especially the recipe tips part…

Close up of 2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop there's also a blue linen napkin and 2 forks in the background.

Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to know about the ingredients according to my Mum.

  • Mozzarella – A good quality mozzarella is essential. Mum recommends Galbani mozzarella maxi 250g which can be bought at most Tesco stores in the UK.
  • Tomatoes – Try to pick nice ripe tomatoes that are roughly the same size as your mozzarella. This makes it look nicer on the plate.
  • Salt – I like to use sea salt for this but Himalayan pink salt would be great if you have that too!
  • Basil – It’s easier if your basil leaves are nice and big, similar to the size of your tomatoes and mozzarella. If that’s not possible, just use 2 leaves or tear them to size.
  • Olive Oil – A good quality olive oil can add so much flavour to this dish!
  • Balsamic Vinegar – Obviously a nice quality balsamic is great, but they can be expensive. It will still taste great with cheaper versions, don’t worry!
  • Balsamic Glaze – This is optional but I think it makes it look so pretty!! Mum finds hers pre-made at Sainsbury’s supermarket but I’m sure you could find one elsewhere too.
2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop, there is a bowl of lettuce, a plate of sliced beetroot, a blue linen napkin, 3 whole tomatoes and 2 forks in the background.

How to make caprese salad: simplified

  1. Cut the mozzarella into thin slices.
  2. Cut the tomato into thin slices and salt both sides.
  3. Lay each ingredient on top of each other on a serving plate in this order: tomato, basil, mozzarella.
  4. Continue until everything is used then drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar then a balsamic glaze.
  6. Serve immediately.
Side view of 2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop.

Recipe tips

Here are all my Mum’s helpful tips to ensure you get this caprese salad perfect first time!

  • Take your time when slicing your ingredients. This can help dramatically with the overall presentation.
  • A lot of people don’t, but adding a small amount of salt to each side of the tomato slices can really boost the flavour.
  • If your basil leaves aren’t big enough to use just one, simply use more leaves each time or tear them to size.
  • Using a good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar can change the flavour of this dish. Buy the best you can afford.
  • Because of the added salt, the juices get going pretty quickly so this is best served immediately. Although leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for 1-2 days more if needs be.
  • You can easily dress this in circles or lines. Just base it on what serving plate you have.
  • Put your thumb over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar when drizzling to minimise huge spills. A little goes a long way!
  • Drizzle with the balsamic glaze just before serving for best results.
  • This pairs very well with pork slices called mortadella. (Italian cooked pork with pistachios.)
2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop there's also a blue linen napkin and 2 forks in the background.

Caprese Salad – Step by Step Picture Recipe

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

Ingredients

Here is what you will need to serve 2 – 3 as a side.

  • 250g | 8.8 oz (drained weight) Whole Mozzarella
  • 2 x Medium Ripe Tomatoes
  • Sea Salt
  • Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • Balsamic Vinegar, for drizzling
  • Balsamic Glaze, for drizzling (optional)

Essential equipment

  • Chopping Board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Serving Plate

Caprese salad instructions

First get as much moisture out of the mozzarella (250g | 8.8 oz drained weight) as possible, I gently squeeze then dry with kitchen paper, then cut into thin slices on a chopping board with a sharp knife.

Mozzarella being sliced with a sharp knife on a white chopping board

Next up, the tomatoes! (2 x Medium Ripe) Thinly slice these too.

a Tomato being thinly sliced with a sharp knife on a chopping board.

Then lay the slices out around the chopping board and salt each one on both sides sparingly. You don’t need loads!

Tomato slices being sprinkled with salt on a white chopping board.

That’s all the prep done, now time for layering! First, lay a slice of salted tomato on your chosen serving plate.

A slice of tomato on a green plate.

Next, lay basil over the top. If yours are small you can use 2 or 3 leaves or if they’re too big – tear them to size.

A slice of tomato topped with a basil leaf on a green plate.

Then lay a slice of mozzarella on top. You want to layer it so you can just see the tops of each ingredient as you go. Don’t stack them directly on top of each other – you’re not building a tower!

A slice of tomato topped with a basil leaf and slice of mozzarella on a green plate.

Keep going with this pattern until all the ingredients are used up.

Slices of tomato, basil and mozzarella in a layered circle on a green plate.

So pretty! Now place your thumb over the top of the olive oil to make the pourer smaller. (This avoids bucket loads pouring over your beautiful caprese salad!) Drizzle a little over the whole salad – you don’t need lots, just a little to add some flavour.

Slices of tomato, basil and mozzarella in a layered circle on a green plate with olive oil drizzled over the top.

Time for the next hit of flavour – the balsamic vinegar! Place your thumb over the hole again then drizzle a small amount over the entire dish. As with the olive oil, you don’t need a lot.

Slices of tomato, basil and mozzarella in a layered circle on a green plate with olive oil and balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top.

Finally it’s time to add a little balsamic glaze over the top. This is entirely optional but makes it look pretty and adds a little more flavour. I like to drizzle mine in a zig-zag.

Slices of tomato, basil and mozzarella in a layered circle on a green plate with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a balsamic glaze drizzled over the top.

And that’s it! You’re ready to serve your super delicious caprese salad. Enjoy!

Store any uneaten caprese salad covered in the fridge and consume within 1-2 days.

Close up of 2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop.

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Side view of 2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop, there's also a blue linen napkin, 2 forks and 2 tomatoes in the background.

Have you made this recipe?

Have you made my Mum’s gorgeous caprese salad? I’d love to know if you have! Send me your pics, comments and questions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com.

2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop, there is a bowl of lettuce, a plate of sliced beetroot, a blue linen napkin, 3 whole tomatoes and 2 forks in the background.

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You need the right equipment! Check out my favourite Top products for hassle free cooking. (Affiliate link)

2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop there's also a blue linen napkin and 2 forks in the background.

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2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop, there is a bowl of lettuce, a plate of sliced beetroot, a blue linen napkin, 3 whole tomatoes and 2 forks in the background.
2 stacked green plates with a caprese salad drizzled with a balsamic glaze on top. Set on a purple backdrop there's also a blue linen napkin and 2 forks in the background.

Mum's Amazing Caprese Salad - Printable Recipe

Yield: 3
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Creamy, fresh and aromatic – my Mum’s super easy caprese salad recipe is exactly what you need for any kind of gathering! Best enjoyed fresh, this beautiful Summer salad couldn’t be any quicker to make if you tried.

Ingredients

  • 250g | 8.8 oz (drained weight) Whole Mozzarella
  • 2 x Medium Ripe Tomatoes
  • Sea Salt
  • Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Olive Oil, for drizzling
  • Balsamic Vinegar, for drizzling
  • Balsamic Glaze, for drizzling (optional)

Essential equipment

  • Chopping Board
  • Sharp Knife
  • Serving Plate

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice the mozzarella on a chopping board using a sharp knife.
  1. Thinly slice the tomatoes then sparingly salt each slice on both sides.
  2. Lay a tomato slice on a serving plate, top with a fresh basil leaf then a slice of mozzarella. Continue until all ingredients are used up. Lay them so you can see the tops of each ingredient as you go - not in a tower directly on top of each other.
  3. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
  4. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar.
  5. Finally, drizzle with a balsamic glaze then serve immediately.

Notes

Store any uneaten caprese salad covered in the fridge and consume within 1-2 days.

See the main post for a more detailed, step by step picture recipe.

Be sure to read the 'What you need to know' section (especially the 'Recipe tips' part!) for lots of helpful information before you begin making this recipe.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 292Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 723mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 20g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

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