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These Caprese Skewers are full of the same simple, fresh ingredients you’d expect from a full size caprese salad, like tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella cheese and basil, but in easy appetizer form.
Caprese Skewers are perfect for a classic brunch, spring luncheon or bridal shower. Of course their colors make them perfect for the holidays, too.
Always a crowd pleaser, this Caprese Skewers recipe can be whipped up in just a few minutes for an easy yet impressive snack. The prep time is under 10 minutes, with a 30 minute hands off marinade time for a total time of about 40 minutes!
Table of Contents
Ingredients Needed for Caprese Skewers
- Basil leaves – choose the smaller leaves, or tear larger pieces in half. You just need a little on each skewer.
- Cherry tomatoes – Grape tomatoes also work. If you can find them, the colorful ones look beautiful on the skewers.
- Fresh Mozzarella Balls – Also known as bocconcini, these are usually found in the deli section. If they are packed in water, you’ll need to drain them and pat them dry.
- Marinade – Olive oil, dried basil, garlic, salt and pepper to marinate the Mozzarella. Italian seasoning adds great flavor as well.
- Balsamic glaze – to drizzle over the skewers before serving.
How to Make Caprese Skewers
- Marinate the Mozzarella. Mix the olive oil, dried basil and minced garlic together in a small bowl. Toss the mini Mozzarella balls in the marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
- Wash the basil leaves gently. If your basil leaves are too big, tear them in half. Lay on a flat surface and pat dry with paper towels. While you’re at it, wash the tomatoes, too.
- Assemble the skewers. Thread the tomatoes, cheese and basil leaves onto the skewers. I like the 6-inch size for appetizers, because they are supposed to just be a small bite.
How to Make Balsamic Glaze
Balsamic glaze is commonly found in most grocery stores, but if you can’t find it or just don’t have it, you can make your own using balsamic vinegar. The glaze is thicker and has a strong flavor, making it perfect for drizzling over pasta, veggies, or caprese.
Simmer a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to keep from scorching, and let it simmer until it reduces by half and the consistency becomes thick and sticky. Let cool, then drizzle the balsamic reduction over the skewers.
These colorful caprese salad skewers look so pretty arranged on a platter or wood board you don’t even need a garnish. If you have any marinade leftover you can drizzle it over the tomatoes and cheese. Add a few turns of fresh cracked black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for the perfect finish.
Add a couple of dips on the side, like a creamy balsamic vinaigrette, more of the olive oil marinade, or even a lovely jarred or homemade pesto sauce.
Make Ahead and Storage
These are best prepared right before serving. You can store leftovers for a couple of days in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap. The basil may wilt a little but the tomatoes and cheese will still be good.
- If the Mozzarella balls are packed in water, drain and pat them dry before marinating.
- To save time, you can also buy pre-marinated mozzarella from the deli section of the grocery store.
- Don’t want to use fresh basil leaves? Replace them with baby spinach leaves.
- Don’t cut the basil with a knife or it will bruise. Tear them into smaller pieces if needed.
- Choose tomatoes that are about the same size as the Mozzarella balls.
- Instead of tomatoes, add some melon balls and some prosciutto along with the basil and cheese.
More Easy to Make Finger Foods
- 24 Basil leaves
- 1 pint Cherry tomatoes
- 8 ounces Mozzarella balls/pearls bocconcini
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Balsamic glaze
- Jarred pesto for dipping
- In a medium sized bowl, combine olive oil, dried basil and chopped garlic. Toss the mozzarella balls in the olive oil mixture and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. *NOTE: If Mozzarella balls are packed in water, drain and pat them dry before marinating. You can also buy pre-marinated mozzarella from the deli section of the grocery store.
- Wash and (gently) dry basil leaves and tomatoes. Thread the skewers in any order you like, depending on their length. For larger basil leaves, rip (don’t cut) them in half.
- Arrange skewers on a serving platter and season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with the remaining marinade from the mozzarella and balsamic glaze, if desired. Serve with pesto on the side for dipping.