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!
- 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
- Take a toothpick and skewer a tomato.
- Then add a basil leaf.
- And then a mozzarella ball. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
- Combine balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, and fresh garlic.
- Drizzle the dressing over the appetizers and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.
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!
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:
- Italian Tortellini Skewers with Pesto Drizzle
- Pastry Wrapped Asparagus with Prosciutto
- Spinach and Feta Spanakopita
- Peach-Basil Caprese Salad
- Grilled Caprese Zucchini
- 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!
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Tomato, basil, and mozzarella, drizzled with a garlic, oil, and vinegar. An excellent, easy appetizer for any occasion requiring finger food.
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
freshly ground black pepper
24 toothpicks or skewers
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.
- Serving Size: 24
Keywords: Appetizers, tomatoes, basil, garden tomatoes, garden herbs, Caprese