This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dairy MAX. All opinions are 100% mine.
Caprese Salad Skewers are easy appetizers to serve that are always a crowd pleaser.
It’s one of those appetizer/snack recipes that makes everyone think, “That’s so fancy!” even though I probably whipped it up in 10 minutes (the 10 minutes right before everyone showed up, of course). That’s the great part, though. Right? I love easy recipes that take 10 minutes to prepare and also look like they were made by a chef! *High fives all around!*
Caprese Salad Skewers are made with fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of salt. All the flavors mingle together to make one perfect bite. Caprese salad was one of those dishes that actually caused me to re-evaluate my life. Sounds a bit dramatic, but let me explain.
There was life before trying Caprese Salad and life after trying Caprese Salad.
Have you ever learned you were living under a rock? It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered my love for Caprese Salad. I didn’t even know how to pronounce the dish. When I did finally try it I fell in love. It’s one of those foods that looks unassuming, but once you try it you are hooked!
This recipe for Caprese Salad Skewers stays true to the original Caprese salad, but the skewers make it easier to serve as an appetizer or a snack.
My kids and I love to eat these Caprese Salad Skewers for lunch or as a mid-afternoon snack. Just make sure to take the skewers out and cut up the tomatoes before serving to anyone under five. I am glad my kids like them because they are so healthy and fresh.
The most important thing when making Caprese Salad Skewers is to use quality ingredients. I can’t stress this enough because every element plays an important role for flavor. Using fresh ingredients will definitely make a difference you can taste.
Let’s talk about the cheese. I like to talk about cheese because I like to eat cheese. “They” say you are what you eat, so I am pretty sure I might be half cheese now. I especially love fresh mozzarella like what I use to make these skewers.
If you have never tried fresh mozzarella then you need to try it at least once. Fresh mozzarella cheese has a mild salty flavor that slowly melts in your mouth when you eat it. The reason it works so well in a Caprese salad is because the mellow flavor takes on the taste of the other ingredients. It’s like a little sponge soaking in all the yummy flavors together and it’s definitely my favorite part of Caprese salad.
Of course I love all dairy. If there is a dish with dairy in it I will probably love it. From gooey cheeses to fresh whole milk; I love eating/drinking dairy foods. Supporting local dairy farms through buying local dairy from the grocery store is something I like to do regularly.
Dairy farm families are the source of the naturally good dairy products we all love.
Every time you purchase a dairy product, you’re helping to support local dairy farmers and their families. Plus, I love that dairy products like yogurt, cheese and milk are a part of nutritious meals for my family.
Tips for making the BEST Caprese Salad Skewers:
- Use only fresh sweet Italian basil. Sweet basil is a bit different than other basil types and works best in this dish. I have sweet, purple and Thai basil growing in my garden and can attest to the basil varieties all being different in flavor. Thai basil has a slight licorice taste to it that works great in a lot of Asian dishes (hello Pho), but not for most Italian dishes. Most grocers sell the sweet kind, but just check the label to make sure. Did you know you can grow basil in your windowsill? It takes some TLC, but if you want year round Caprese salad skewers… this is the way to go!
- Use regular wooden skewers that have been cut back to a smaller size. Toothpicks are “okay” for these, but real wooden skewers are the best. I like that the wooden skewers have a pointed edge on one end because it doesn’t tear up the ingredients too much. They also have enough texture on them that holds everything on. I just cut my skewers down to around five inches long to keep them appetizer sized.
- Use fresh mozzarella “pearls” when you can find them. The smaller size of the mozzarella pearls works best because you won’t need to cut to fit onto the skewers. If you can’t find the pearls then use a mozzarella ball or log and cut it into small sized chunks.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil only. This dish is meant to be drizzled with olive oil as part of the dressing and so the flavor of the oil will stand out. Use the freshest extra virgin olive oil you can find for the best results. Trust me on this!
- Make a balsamic vinegar reduction or do what I do and use a store bought balsamic glaze. I love the balsamic vinegar glazes and it just makes life easier. If you want to go REALLY fancy then you can make your own reduction.
- Lastly, use small grape tomatoes or smaller cherry tomatoes. The smaller the better when you can find them. Well, unless we are talking about my “last of the season” teeny tiny garden variety cherry tomatoes… those are actually too small.
I hope you enjoy this easy recipe that will make your next get-together or mid-day snack look “fancy”!
If you enjoy this Easy Caprese Appetizer please give it a five star review in the comments!
Caprese Salad Skewers · Easy Caprese Appetizer
- 24 grape or smaller cherry tomatoes rinsed and dried (cut to quarter size for small kids under 5)
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella pearls or fresh mozzarella cut into chunks
- 24 fresh basil leaves rinsed and dried
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic glaze I just drizzle mine from the bottle
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil drizzled from the bottle is fine
- 1 dash salt kosher or ground sea salt is best
- To assemble the skewers; pick a pattern and add each ingredient one by one onto the skewer. If you want them like the picture start with a piece of basil folded in half (you don't need to fold if it's an extra small leaf). Place the basil onto the sharp end of the skewer and push it to the top.
- Next, add a piece of the fresh mozzarella in the same way. Then add a tomato. Repeat this pattern one more time for a completed skewer. Assemble the rest of the skewers this way and place them on your serving platter.
- You can refrigerate your skewers at this point for up to 4 hours. Just cover them up loosely with some plastic wrap.
- When you are ready to serve; drizzle the balsamic glaze and olive oil on top of the skewers. Then add a sprinkling (just a little) to the tops of the skewers. Now they are ready to enjoy.