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Caprese Canapé Recipe

Have I got a tasty but healthy game day treat for you all today!  And did I mention it’s a snap to put together?  It’s a caprese canapé recipe!  It’s the perfect snack for game day or any other time.

Caprese Canapes

Caprese is traditionally a simple Italian salad from the Campania region of Italy.  It is composed of tomato, mozzarella, basil and olive oil.  It’s traditionally serve anti-pasta style before a meal and on a larger platter-type dish. It’s simple and incredibly delicious.  I took this concept and translated it into a canapé.

So some of you might wonder what a canapé is.  A canapé is a type of hors d’oeuvre.  It’s usually very stylish and ornate looking item.  It can also typically be eaten in one bite.  This recipe here is not a true canapé in the most traditional sense, but since it does meet many of the criteria, I took some poetic license.

While I made this version with cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes would work well too.  The size might actually make them a little easier to eat.

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella

In regards to mozzarella… This is most critical ingredient.  Be sure to use a good quality mozzarella ball.   BelGioioso makes a very tasty mini mozzarella ball that should be found at most grocery stores. It is very creamy and full of milk fat (woo-hoo).  If you can’t find them at your local store, you can easily substitute whole milk mozzarella cut into small cubes.  Just try not to use the grocery store grade of mozzarella.  However, if you’re truly in a bind, it would probably be the best thing that could happen to that mozzarella.   As we always talk about here, the quality of ingredients you put into your food will determine the quality of the final dish.

So obviously all the ingredients are important here because this dish is so simple.  Be sure to use a good quality white balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Brands you buy at the grocery store will work just fine but splurge a little if you can.

Caprese Bites

Finally, our beloved basil leaves.  I’m just such a huge fan of basil.  It is so fragrant and tasty. My local Rouses supermarket actually sells these large 3 oz containers of fresh basil (yields about a cup of leaves).  I had bought that for another dish and used the little tiny basil leaves for these canapés.  I liked how the full basil leaves looked instead of torn leaves.  Do whichever you prefer or are able to do with the basil that you’re able to get at the grocery store.

Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella

The process for this dish is simple.  Prepare the basil, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes.  Set the mozzarella and tomatoes to marinate for an hour.  You really want to take this step because the marinade (oil, vinegar and salt) needs time to soak into the ingredients and infuse them with flavor.  The basil must remain separate until you’re ready to assemble or it will become mushy and hard to work with.  And unattractive.

Caprese Canapes

In regards to how durable this dish is.  I wouldn’t marinate the tomato and mozzarella more than 12 hours before serving.  The quality of the tomatoes will begin to suffer at that point.  Once you assemble the canapé, it’s best to eat within a few hours or the basil will start to wilt. It’s really one of those dishes best eaten in the few hours after it’s made.

Alrighty, now that you want a little caprese bite oh so badly, on to the recipe!

Yield: approx. 30 portions

Caprese Canapé Recipe

This caprese canapé recipe is a bite-sized version of the classic caprese salad. A simple recipe made of fresh tomato, basil, mozzarella and seasonings.


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup mini mozzarella pearls
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons white balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons light good-quality olive oil
  • 30 small basil leaves
  • Toothpicks


  1. Combine the tomatoes and mozzarella in a bowl with the salt, vinegar and oil. Stir well and set to refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Once ready, assemble the canapés using a tomato bottom, mozzarella ball, basil leaf and tomato top.
  3. Arrange on a platter for serving. If not serving immediately, place in the fridge loosely wrapped with plastic wrap until ready to serve. Best when eaten the same day they are prepared.

Total time includes one hour of chill time for the snacks.

Prep:10 minutes

Total:1 hour, 10 minutes

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