Bite-Sized Caprese Appetizers

Tomato, basil, and mozzarella, drizzled with a garlic, oil, and vinegar. This Bite-Sized Caprese Appetizers recipe is hardly reinventing the wheel- if you haven’t eaten it, you’ve almost certainly seen it. But sometimes some things are so good and so seasonally perfect that you just need a little reminder. While caprese is traditionally served in layered slices, this little bite-sized version on skewers are perfect for a hand-held situation.  These make a great appetizer or party food and are especially a must if you grow cherry tomatoes and/or basil in a home garden!

caprese appetizers on a platter

Ingredient Notes

  • Skewers – Toothpicks work great here, or you can use a small skewer. Most stores carry extra long toothpicks with ornate tops and other small skewers on the condiment aisle.
  • Tomatoes – Cherry, grape, sun-gold, etc.- any variety of bite-sized tomato works great here, including the ones that come in a variety pack with multiple colors.
  • Basil – You may find fresh basil sold by the other refrigerated herbs, but it’s often sold as a living plant and stocked near the tomatoes as well. Traditional basil is what I usually use, but Thai basil would work as well.
  • Mozzarella – For this recipe you’re going to look for the small, fresh mozzarella balls. They are sometimes sold in little packs of 3 for snacking, or in a tub with liquid. You’ll find them in the deli section of the grocery store in 2 varieties. One will be packed in only water, and another will be “marinated”, packed in olive oil and herbs (as seen in photo below). Either version works great here!

How to Make Bite-Sized Caprese Appetizers

  1. Take a toothpick and skewer a tomato.
  2. Then add a basil leaf.
  3. And then a mozzarella ball. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
  1. Combine balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh garlic.
  2. Drizzle the dressing over the appetizers and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
tomato, cheese, and basil

Variation

These are also fantastic with the addition of salami. Simply fold a slice of salami in quarters (or half depending on the size) and layer it in your skewer. The salty bite complements the cheese and tomato really well and makes it a little more hearty!

salami caprese bite on platter

Serving Suggestions

Planning a party? Here are some other great appetizers that would complement these Caprese bites, as well as some other options with a similar flavor profile:

FAQs

  • How far in advance can I make these appetizers? These come together so quickly that they usually aren’t hard to make close to serving time, but if you’ve got your hands full with more complicated dishes these can definitely be prepped up to 24 hours in advance. For best results, store assembled skewers in a single layer on a paper towel-lined tray to catch any moisture from the tomatoes, and covered in plastic wrap. Drizzle dressing and salt and pepper on right before serving.
  • How long can these appetizers sit out for guests? As a general rule, cheese can be safely left out of the refrigerator for up to two hours, but the texture of the mozzarella might decline the longer it’s left out. If you are serving these outside on a warm day, consider laying the tray on a bed of ice to keep them cool. And honestly, they are so tasty that they probably won’t be sitting there very long, anyway!

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, and then come back and give this recipe a rating!

tomato caprese bite

Bite-Sized Caprese Appetizers

5 from 1 vote
Tomato, basil, and mozzarella, drizzled with a garlic, oil, and vinegar. An excellent, easy appetizer for any occasion requiring finger food.
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings24 appetizers

Ingredients

  • 24 grape tomatoes
  • 24 fresh mini mozzarella balls plain or marinated
  • 24 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 toothpicks or skewers

Instructions

  • Place a tomato, basil leaf, and mozzarella ball on each toothpick. Place on a serving plate or tray.
  • Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and garlic and drizzle over the appetizers. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • To eat, bite everything off the toothpick all at once.

Nutrition

Serving: 24g
Course: Appetizers
Keyword: appetizers, basil, caprese, garden herbs, garden tomatoes, tomatoes
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Great for make ahead simply wrap them well in plastic and set aside the dressing for when you serve, then drizzle. Delicious, Easy, Quick, Healthy and colorful. You can’t go wrong.

  2. Making these this weekend for a friends 50th birthday celebration 🙂 Easy, quick, and healthy! How can you go wrong?

  3. YUM! I love the fresh herbs in this one. My kids love a similar appetizer we do using string cheese cut into cubes, grape tomatoes, and green olives. Will have to try this with the basil though! Either way, these are festive for the holidays, but fresh & light for summer.

  4. Made these the other day for a work party; everyone loved them! Said these little cuties are the perfect bite. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. I just moved to the south from Ohio with my husband! It’s so hot and humid here while back home temps are in the mid 70s and low 50s at night… seriously?! We leased an apt and I was wondering if you (or anyone reading this) has experience with growing fresh herbs in pots indoors? I use them often but I have no idea how to do this. Or if it’s possible. Any advice would help 🙂

  6. The caprese looks delicious and so easy to do! They are the perfect accompaniment to almost any meal and they are not messy, they are easy to eat and perfect for any occasion. We grow our own basil and have another great recipe to use it for. I like the idea shared by Katie about cutting the tomatoes in half – brilliant!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Regards,

    Rosana Santos Calambichis, President
    BIGCHEFOnline.com

  7. I love these! Can’t wait to make them. I have to tell you I was at Gygi’s in SLC on Saturday picking up some flavored syrups for the Italian sodas you guys posted last week. I really wanted to try the Tiger’s blood, but I couldn’t find any coconut syrup. I finally asked the manager (I think) and he told me they couldn’t keep it in stock. They had just unloaded a pallet and it was already gone. He said “everybody’s making those Dirty Cokes!” It made me laugh cause I knew exactly what he was talking about. And now I really want to try the Dirty Coke…as soon as I can get my hands on some coconut syrup…

  8. This looks amazing and just in time for party planning for my daughter’s birthday party. These are okay to leave out on the table for a couple of hours, right?

    1. 5 stars
      Yes, I’ve made them and you could leave out for a while. I use the balsamic glaze raspberry flavor instead making the olive oil concoction. Just drizzle olive over them the glaze

  9. I just made these on Friday, minus the dressing. I made my own fresh mozzarella, which to me makes all the difference. 🙂 Good stuff, Maynard!

  10. If you cut the tomatoes in half and put them on the end, you can make all of the items on the toothpick stand up (ie mozzarella, basil, half tomato with cut side down on the table). We love this as an app works great every time!

  11. I’ve actually never seen these before…but I don’t get out much. 😉 I love fresh mozzarella and garden tomatoes, so I would love to give these a try. The gorgeous bright colors remind me of the Italian flag!

  12. I love that you specified how they are to be eaten. As if we needed to be told to eat them in one delicious bite. 😉

  13. costco also has mozzarella balls that are already seasoned that would be tasty here too- but then you wouldn’t be using the fab OBB recipe.

  14. We LOVE the tiny mozzarella balls that come in a round package. They’re about the size of a marble. YUM!

  15. I could eat a whole plate of these as a meal — so bright and yummy. Love them!!