Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad is a bright and fresh summer appetizer, bursting with juicy seasonal tomatoes, soft and creamy mozzarella balls, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, simple seasoning, and freshly sliced basil.
Enjoy this tomato salad as a delicious side dish or a light lunch with crusty gluten free bread and crackers!
A fresh salad that will go with any barbeque meat or seafood!
There is a skip-to-recipe button in the top left corner along with a clickable table of contents list (just below) that will quickly take you to the part you are more interested in. Enjoy!
Table Of Contents
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
- Mini Mozzarella balls (Bocconcini) - These fresh mozzarella balls can be added to the salad whole or cut in half when using the larger variety. Slice them with a cheese knife or use your fingers for a more rustic look. Fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed, could be used instead if cheese balls cannot be sourced.
- Tomatoes - Depending on the size of the ripe tomatoes used, you can either cut them into quarters or in half. Grape tomatoes, sweet cherry tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes are great for this mozzarella salad recipe. I also recommend those tips on handling and storing tomatoes correctly for juicy and ripe flavor. Also, when buying tomatoes, it is best to purchase tomatoes with stems on as it indicates more ''life'' in them rather than when they are removed. Plus it helps to retain the incredible aroma and flavor!
- Balsamic vinegar - This is the popular choice for this simple Italian salad but you could also use balsamic reduction or red wine vinegar.
- Lemon juice - While you could use bottled lemon juice, I prefer to use the juice from a freshly squeezed lemon for the best flavor. The lemon juice will help cut some of the acidity from the tomatoes.
- Olive oil - Using olive oil of the highest quality will make a huge difference to the taste of this fresh Caprese salad. There are some easy key factors to look into when purchasing olive oil.
- Fresh basil - Slice the fresh basil into finely cut ribbons. Choose large basil leaves of the same size to easily make basil chiffonade.
In a large bowl add all the salad dressing ingredients.
Slice the tomatoes into quarters, add the mozzarella balls and toss all in the dressing.
Season generously with salt and pepper and stir in the basil chiffonade.
Basil should go in last, right before serving as it will wilt and get brown after a while.
- Buy your tomatoes directly from a farmer's market to get the best tomatoes during tomato season.
- Always check your tomatoes for any marks, bruises, or blemishes. Use tomatoes immediately if their skin has split since purchasing them.
- You can cut your juicy tomatoes in half or in quarters. It’s best to cut larger tomatoes into wedges and small tomatoes in half.
- Using the best quality olive oil will really add to the flavor of this salad. Something like Italian Nocellara extra virgin olive oil is great although you can use whatever quality brand that you enjoy the most.
- To intensify the flavors in this simple salad, allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. If you do, only add the basil just before serving as it will wilt and turn brown quickly.
- You can certainly use this delicious tomato mozzarella salad as a base for adding other ingredients such as nuts, seeds, red onion, and shredded chicken.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
To Store: This salad is best when served right away. You can refrigerate it for up to 2 days, however, the flavor is not the freshest on the second day.
Make ahead: Dressing can be made in advance for 1-2 days but for best results, other ingredients should be cut and combined right before serving.
Serve this salad as a part of shared appetizers or as a side dish for your favorite main course:
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You can use cherry tomatoes as a smaller tomato type for this salad. Brandywine tomatoes are larger and would therefore need to be cut down in size but they are one of the most flavorful tomatoes for salads. Consider adding extra color to this salad by using bright yellow heirloom tomatoes, or a combination of cherry and heirloom tomatoes.
If you can’t source mozzarella balls, go ahead and add cubed mozzarella cheese from a block of mozzarella cheese. This will create the same flavors even if it makes the salad look a little different.
The ingredients for this tomato basil mozzarella salad and a classic Italian Caprese salad are basically the same. The difference is merely the way the salads are presented.
In a classic Caprese salad, the tomatoes are usually sliced and added to a flat serving dish with crumbled mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, seasoning, and balsamic dressing.
This is a preparation technique used to cut leafy green vegetables and herbs. It’s essentially cutting the fresh basil leaves into finely sliced pieces. To do this, stack the basil leaves, roll them into a cigar shape, and then slice them into thin ribbons using a sharp knife.
Easy Side Salad Recipes
Try the delightful Mozzarella Tomato Basil Appetizer for your next summer gathering. This crowd-pleasing dish is perfect for BBQs, parties, and potlucks. It's a staple in our recipe collection and we love making it.
Be sure to check out our other mouthwatering salads for more inspiration.
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I hope you'll enjoy this tomato basil mozzarella salad recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations!
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Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad
- 8 oz mini mozzarella balls (whole or cut in half ( I used medium-mini size and cut them in half into bite size pieces))
- 2 cups tomatoes in season (cut into quarters or half depending on size.)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (good quality makes a huge difference)
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil (chiffonade)
- In a large bowl add all the salad dressing ingredients.
- Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella balls and toss in the dressing.
- Season generously with salt and pepper and stir in the basil chiffonade.
- Basil should go in last, right before serving as it will wilt and get brown after a while.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)