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Craving a fresh, flavorful salad that’s both simple and delightful? Look no further than this single serving Caprese Salad recipe. Combining ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and fresh basil, this salad is a testament to the beauty of simplicity in cooking. It’s a dish that comes together in minutes, perfect for a quick lunch or as a light side.

Pair this Caprese Salad with a range of tasty choices: try it with a slice of fresh, crusty French Bread, alongside juicy Baked Chicken Thighs or tender Baked Cod, serve it with a side of Buttered Noodles, or enjoy it with a warm, comforting bowl of Chicken Tortellini Soup. Each pairing brings out the flavors in unique and delightful ways.

Why You’ll Love This Caprese Salad Recipe

  • It’s Refreshingly Simple: With just a handful of ingredients, this salad is the epitome of simplicity. It’s simple and fuss-free, making it perfect for a quick lunch or a light dinner.
  • Bursting with Fresh Flavors: Every bite is a delightful mix of ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and aromatic basil, all coming together to create a symphony of fresh, vibrant flavors.
  • Incredibly Versatile: Whether you’re having it as a standalone dish or pairing it with something heartier, this salad adapts beautifully to any meal setting.
  • Quick to Assemble: You’ll love how fast and easy it is to put this salad together. It’s ideal for those days when you want something delicious without spending much time in the kitchen.
  • A Healthy Choice: Not only is this salad delicious, but it’s also good for you. It’s packed with nutrients from fresh vegetables and cheese, making it a guilt-free indulgence.
  • Customizable: Feel free to add your personal touch with additional ingredients or substitutions, making it a recipe that truly caters to your taste.

Check out our other Single Serving Salad ideas!

Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this simple Caprese Salad recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

  • Tomatoes: The quality of tomatoes is crucial in a Caprese salad. Opt for ripe, flavorful tomatoes as they are a central ingredient. A large Roma tomato is an ideal size for a single serving, but feel free to choose the best variety available to you, like heirloom, vine-ripened, or sweet cherry tomatoes. This salad is especially delightful in summer when tomatoes are at their peak.
  • Mozzarella Cheese: Select high-quality mozzarella for the best results. Fresh mozzarella, especially the soft balls packed in water, is perfect for this salad. Slice them thickly with a sharp knife for a classic look, or tear them for a more rustic feel. Bocconcini, or mini mozzarella balls, are also a great choice.
  • Basil: Fresh basil leaves are essential. Scatter them throughout the salad or layer them between the tomato and mozzarella slices for a burst of herby freshness.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the preferred choice due to its quality and rich flavor. It’s the least processed form, retaining more of the true olive taste and its nutrients. However, if you prefer a lighter taste, light olive oil is a suitable alternative.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: These are optional but recommended for enhancing the flavors. A light sprinkle can elevate the overall taste of the salad.

Recipe Variation: Caprese Salad With Balsamic Glaze

While a traditional Insalata Caprese doesn’t typically include a balsamic reduction, adding it can bring a delightful sweet and tangy flavor to the dish. Balsamic glaze is a thickened form of balsamic vinegar, reduced to a darker color with an intensely concentrated flavor. Remember, a small amount of this glaze can significantly enhance your salad.

Making Balsamic Glaze:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar into a 1-quart saucepan.
  2. Heat until it reaches a low boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  3. Cook for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon. The glaze will continue to thicken as it cools.

You’ll end up with more balsamic glaze than needed for this recipe. Store the extra glaze in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. It’s versatile and can be used on various dishes like salads, drizzled over vanilla ice cream, pepperoni pizza, baked chicken, or steak.

a caprese salad with balsamic glaze on a white plate next to two whole tomatoes
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More Recipe Variations

  • Peach Caprese Salad: Slice a small peach and layer it with the tomatoes and mozzarella for a sweet addition.
  • Avocado Caprese Salad: Add slices of avocado for a creamy, rich texture.
  • Caprese Salad with Mint: Use fresh mint along with basil for a refreshing twist.
  • Pesto Caprese Salad: Top your salad with a spoonful of pesto and toasted pine nuts for extra flavor and crunch.

How To Make A Caprese Salad

  1. On a large plate, arrange slices of tomatoes and mozzarella in alternating layers, placing a basil leaf between each slice for added flavor.
  2. Gently drizzle olive oil over the salad and season with salt and pepper according to your taste preference.

Expert Tips

  • Prioritize Quality Ingredients: The secret to a great Caprese Salad lies in its ingredients. Use the freshest tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil you can find. For olive oil, a high-quality extra-virgin variety is key. Personally, I often use California Olive Ranch olive oil for its rich flavor.
  • Serve Fresh: Caprese Salad is at its best when served within an hour or two of preparation. This ensures the ingredients retain their freshness and full flavor.
  • Burrata as an Alternative: For a creamy twist, use Burrata cheese instead of fresh mozzarella. Burrata is a semi-soft Italian cheese with a creamy center. When serving, place a Burrata ball at the center of your plate, surrounded by tomato slices. Slice into the Burrata and let its creamy interior blend with the tomatoes for a luxurious texture.
  • Adding Protein: For a more substantial meal, consider adding cooked chicken to create a Chicken Caprese Salad. This addition makes the salad a complete and satisfying dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I select the best tomatoes for this recipe?

To find top-quality tomatoes, consider homegrown options, farmer’s markets, roadside stands, or your local supermarket. Here are some tips to ensure you pick the best ones:
Color: Choose tomatoes with a rich, uniform color. Avoid those with blemishes, bruises, or wrinkled skin.
Weight: Good tomatoes typically feel heavier than they look, indicating juiciness and ripeness.
Aroma: Sniff the tomato; it should emit a sweet, earthy fragrance, a sign of freshness and flavor.

Can I make Caprese Salad ahead of time?

It’s best enjoyed fresh. The moisture from the mozzarella can make the tomatoes soggy.

a small caprese salad topped with fresh basil on a white plate

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this Caprese salad or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

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Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Caprese Salad For One

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Whip up a fresh, easy single serving Caprese Salad! Perfect for a light meal, this recipe combines ripe tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Quick & tasty!

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 medium ripe tomato , sliced
  • 3-4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced ¼-inch thick)
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Save this Recipe!
Get this recipe sent to your inbox, plus get weekly recipes from us – all for free.

Instructions 

  • On a large plate, arrange slices of tomatoes and mozzarella in alternating layers, placing a basil leaf between each slice for added flavor.
  • Gently drizzle olive oil over the salad and season with salt and pepper according to your taste preference.

Notes

  • Prioritize Quality Ingredients: The secret to a great Caprese Salad lies in its ingredients. Use the freshest tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil you can find. For olive oil, a high-quality extra-virgin variety is key. Personally, I often use California Olive Ranch olive oil for its rich flavor.
  • Serve Fresh: Caprese Salad is at its best when served within an hour or two of preparation. This ensures the ingredients retain their freshness and full flavor.
  • Burrata as an Alternative: For a creamy twist, use Burrata cheese instead of fresh mozzarella. Burrata is a semi-soft Italian cheese with a creamy center. When serving, place a Burrata ball at the center of your plate, surrounded by tomato slices. Slice into the Burrata and let its creamy interior blend with the tomatoes for a luxurious texture.
  • Adding Protein: For a more substantial meal, consider adding cooked chicken to create a Chicken Caprese Salad. This addition makes the salad a complete and satisfying dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 161kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 17mg, Sodium: 136mg, Potassium: 314mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 1274IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 123mg, Iron: 1mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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I’m Joanie and I’m incredibly happy you’re here! Our aim is to inspire individuals with access to single serving recipes, education, and a supportive community that will enable them to enjoy the preparation of a meal that will nourish both body and soul.

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