Caprese Skewers are a crowd-pleasing bite-sized appetizer recipe that can easily be made ahead of time. Fresh mozzarella balls are layered with cherry tomatoes and basil on small sticks, then drizzled with a balsamic glaze for a low-carb snack. Serve these quick salad kabobs for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or any time you have friends and family over!
One of the lighter dishes we like to serve at holiday gatherings is Caprese Skewers! Not only is this appetizer SUPER simple to make, but it is also absolutely irresistible.
These caprese salad skewers bring me back to the wonderful backpacking trip Cohl and I took to Europe over five years ago. You have never had a REAL caprese salad until you have had one at a streetside cafe in Rome, Italy. The fresh mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes are hard to beat.
But since most of us do not have access to tomatoes straight off the vine or mozzarella that has been freshly pulled, the ingredients found at your local grocery store will work just great, too!
And did I mention how awesomely Christmas-ey these appetizers are?!
The vibrant red, green, and white already found in mother nature! You won’t want to throw another Christmas shindig without these cuties on the table.
The simple ingredients you need to make this caprese skewer recipe include:
- Mozzarella Cheese. Try to find small balls or pearls. They will be in the refrigerated section with the other cheeses. If you are unable to find the pearls, a block of mozzarella cut into cubes will work, too!
- Cherry Tomatoes. The small and round cherry tomatoes are best, but grape tomatoes taste great as well.
- Fresh Basil Leaves. This herb adds tons of flavor. Use similarly sized basil leaves for the best results.
- Balsamic glaze. You can make your own with a balsamic vinegar and a quick simmer or purchase it at the grocery store.
How to Make Caprese Salad Skewers
The basic steps for making caprese skewers are simple to follow. Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts.
Prepare the Skewers
Remove any extra pieces of wood from your 4½-inch wooden skewers to avoid splinters in the food.
If you cannot find the wooden skewers pictured you can use regular-sized toothpicks, instead.
Build the Kabobs
Layer one fresh mozzarella ball, one basil leaf, and one cherry tomato and repeat until the skewer is full.
If you are using standard toothpicks you may only have room for one repetition of mozzarella, basil, and tomato.
Drizzle and Serve
These caprese skewers are best presented on a large white, silver, or gold serving platter to show off their natural red, white, and green colors.
Just before setting the caprese bites out for your guests drizzle them with a bit of balsamic reduction, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt.
If you don’t want to pour the sauce directly on the skewers you can simply pour it in a small bowl for individual dipping or drizzling.
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: Fully assemble the skewers up to 24 hours in advance and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator or on a serving platter covered with plastic wrap. Avoid drizzling the balsamic glaze until serving.
- To Store: Without the glaze they will keep sealed in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Once the sauce has been added they will stay good for up to 24 hours.
- To Freeze: It is not recommended to freeze caprese salad skewers as the texture will change.
Bruschetta is similar to a really chunky salsa. It is made with chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil and is served atop a baguette slice. Caprese is a salad made with slices of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil. It is often topped with a balsamic glaze, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
The smallest size of mozzarella is called perlini, or pearl. Ciliegine is slightly bigger and is about the size of a cherry. Bocconcini are the biggest of the bite-sized cheese balls.
Caprese is considered a healthy salad as long as you are not avoiding dairy. The dish is low in calories as well as saturated fat, yet packs in good vitamins and minerals. See the recipe card for more nutritional information.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Use what you have. If you can’t find mini skewers then toothpicks are a great alternative.
- Go homemade. Simmering your own balsamic glaze in a small saucepan is easy and tastes amazing.
- Keep it small. Find the tiniest mozzarella balls you can. However, if you come up empty-handed simply dice a larger ball of cheese into bite-sized pieces.
- Not too soon. Don’t build the skewers more than 24 hours in advance so the basil does not wilt.
- Hold the sauce. Wait to drizzle the glaze until just before serving for the best results.
More Appetizer Recipes
Whether it’s a big holiday party or a fun night in with just a few guests, these appetizers will keep everybody happy:
Caprese Skewers are a crowd-pleasing bite-sized appetizer recipe that can easily be made ahead of time. Serve these quick salad kabobs for Christmas, New Year's Eve, or any time you have friends and family over!
- 16 oz. cherry tomatoes
- 8 oz. mozzarella pearls
- 3 oz. basil
- 4 ½-inch toothpicks or skewers
- Balsamic glaze
Alternatively add a cherry tomato, mozzarella pearl, and basil leaf onto a 4 ½-inch toothpick or skewer. Repeat this process until skewer is full.
Store caprese skewers in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before serving.
After plating the caprese skewers, drizzle with balsamic glaze. Enjoy!
- Nutrition facts are calculated with balsamic glaze.
- You can also buy balsamic glaze online or at your grocery store.
- To Store: Without the glaze they will keep sealed in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days. Once the sauce has been added they will stay good for up to 48 hours.
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