Light, flavorful and so easy to make, this cherry tomato caprese salad is a favorite summer side dish. The fresh basil and mozzarella take it way over the top!

With the beastly hot weather in my neck of the woods, tasty summer salads seem like the perfect solution to dinnertime…or anytime…woes.

I adore the classic caprese ingredients – tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil.

And this delicious salad combines them perfectly with a splash of tart balsamic vinegar.

Mozzarella balls, sliced cherry tomatoes, and spinach drizzled in oil in a white bowl.

The flavors of this salad are intensified by simmering down the tomato juice, garlic and vinegar and whisking together a quick vinaigrette.

That might seem like an unnecessary step, but there is a reason this cherry tomato caprese salad is so highly prized at BBQ’s, potlucks, luncheons (and ok, just for those times when I want to make it and dig in all by my lonesome).

It’s in a class all its own with the tart tomato flavor and other fresh ingredients.

Fresh mozz, I’m looking at you.

After I got over the hesitancy to dig into something so pretty, this was definitely a hard one to stop eating.

Light, flavorful and so very fresh, this is a perfect side dish for so many meals!

If your garden (or ahem, your neighbor’s garden) has a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes and basil, this tomato caprese salad should skyrocket to the top of your what-to-make-next list!

Top view of a white bowl with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella balls, and spinach drizzled in oil.

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Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad

4.50 stars (126 ratings)


  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and patted dry
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil


  • In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt together. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes so that the tomatoes give up some of their juices.
  • Transfer the tomatoes and any accumulated liquid to a salad spinner and spin to remove the seeds and the liquid. Then pour the accumulated seeds and liquid into a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds, reserving the liquid. (I don’t have a salad spinner, so I dumped the all of the tomatoes and juices into a fine mesh strainer set over a liquid measuring cup and pressed on the tomatoes lightly to give up more of their juices. I picked out a few of the seeds but didn’t worry so much about eliminating all of them.)
  • Return the tomatoes to the original bowl and pour the tomato liquid into a small saucepan (you should have between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of liquid).
  • To the small saucepan, add the vinegar and garlic. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture is reduced to about 3 tablespoons. This will take about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then whisk in the olive oil.
  • Add the mozzarella cheese, basil and cooled dressing to the bowl with the tomatoes and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 283kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 383mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 8g

Recipe Source: from Cook’s Country Aug/Sept 2009