This Avocado Caprese Salad recipe with arugula is the perfect mix of ripe summer tomato, tender fresh mozzarella, rich balsamic vinegar, and fragrant basil. Avocado adds an unexpected but downright delicious creaminess to this classic summer salad.
Avocado Caprese Salad
Avocado Caprese Salad is the star of my summer tomato bender. This recipe is on my menu on repeat.
My cherry tomato plants are going crazy and I stopped by the Farmer's Market to get a few "big ugly tomatoes" a.k.a. heirloom tomatoes. I love the funny colored, lumpy heirloom ones that are big enough to have a one slice tomato sandwich. There is nothing like mid and late summer to bring perfect tomatoes to the menu. Ripe summer tomatoes will always be one of my favorite foods and now that the twins love them too, I can't keep enough around.
I can't stop finding ways to use them and Caprese salads are at the top of the list. I mean can you beat the combination of fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil?
This salad brings everything up to an entirely different level by adding creamy green avocado slices to the mix. It really is the best of summer in a bowl. PLUS you'll love that this vegetarian meal is also keto, low carb, and gluten-free.Perfect for summer! Avocado Caprese Salad. Click To Tweet
Why You'll Love this Avocado Caprese Salad...
Caprese has been one of my favorite foods since my trip to Italy many years ago. It's hard to mess with the perfection of the classic Caprese BUT I dare say this combination with ripe avocados making it an Avocado Caprese Salad is downright dreamy.
The combination of fresh sliced tomato, creamy fresh mozzarella cheese, smooth fresh avocado, fragrant just picked basil and peppery arugula is perfection on a plate. This really is SUMMER on a plate.
Serve this salad as shown for a delicious vegetarian salad OR add some protein like chicken breast, fish, or shrimp to make it a well-rounded meal.
What is Caprese salad?
If you aren't familiar with Caprese salad it's an Italian style salad that uses a base of fresh mozzarella, ripe tomato, and olive oil. It was invented in the 1950's and is very popular today. This isn't a classic Caprese, but a fun modern, and American twist.
Is caprese salad unhealthy?
Classic Caprese salad is actually a really healthy meal or snack! The combination of fresh tomato and basil is full of antioxidants. You can overdo it with the number of calories in the cheese and avocado, so do be mindful of your portions if you are concerned about that.
- Tomatoes: I used plum tomatoes for my Avocado Caprese Salad, but you can use any type of fresh summer tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes will even work!
- Fresh Mozzarella: You'll need fresh mozzarella found in the specialty cheese department to get the right flavor for this Avocado Caprese Salad. It's softer than a traditional mozzarella block.
- Avocado: Fresh sliced avocado is the perfect unexpected addition to this caprese! They are filled with healthy fats, magnesium, potassium and are an all around superfood making them a lovely addition to this salad.
- Basil Leaves: You'll need fresh basil for this salad. If you don't grow your own, look for it in the produce section of your grocery store next to the salad greens.
- Arugula: To make this dish a well rounded salad I put it on a bed of arugula. The peppery leaves are the perfect addition.
- Lemon: I lightly dress the arugula greens in olive oil and lemon.
- Olive Oil: Make sure to use a good, high end extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. I linked to one of my favorites.
- Balsamic Glaze: I love a nice balsamic glaze to bring out all of the flavors! Make your own balsamic reduction OR just buy this one. It's delicious.
Caprese with Balsamic Reduction?
Caprese isn't traditionally made with a balsamic reduction OR glaze BUT since this is an untraditional recipe anyway, I decided to add it. I LOVE the rich flavor it adds to Caprese. You will adore it on this Avocado Caprese Salad.
How to Make a Caprese Salad:
- Toss your arugula in lemon and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Make a bed of greens on two plates.
- Slice your fresh mozzarella, tomato, and avocado.
- Slice your fresh basil leaves and leave some whole for garnish.
- Carefully line up your mozzarella, tomato, and avocado on the bed or arugula.
- Drizzle with balsamic glaze and finish with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
How do I pit an avocado?
If you aren't familiar with cutting fresh avocado, they do have a pit! Take a large sharp knife and cut it length-wise around the pit. You should be able to carefully pull it apart. To get out of the pit use your knife and very carefully use a firm chop to secure the pit on the knife. Wiggle it back and forth until it comes out. Use a spoon to remove the avocado from the skin.
How do I store Avocado Caprese Salad?
I feel like tomatoes are the best right after they are cut and avocado will turn brown if you let it sit SO this salad is best enjoyed when made. However, if you really want to store it, it will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Add the lemon, olive oil, and balsamic glaze just before serving.
Can I make this ahead of time?
You could assemble the salad and cut the cheese and tomato but I would wait to cut the avocado until time to serve it.
- Make it Vegan: You can make this a Vegan Avocado Caprese Salad by leaving off the fresh mozzarella. The avocado can take its place.
- Make it Bite-Sized: Make this a bite-size salad by using pearl-sized round fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and chopped avocado.
- Mix up the Greens: You can mix up the greens with this salad. Use your favorite like kale or romaine hearts.
Serve this with:Perfect for summer! Avocado Caprese Salad. Click To Tweet
More Variations on Caprese Salad to Love:
- Strawberry Caprese Salad
- Grilled Peach Caprese Salad
- Blueberry Caprese Salad
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Caprese Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
- Caprese Crustless Quiche
- Caprese Wheat Berry Salad
Avocado Caprese Salad
- Toss the arugula in the olive oil and squeeze of fresh lemon. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with the fresh mozzarella, avocado and tomato. Drizzle the balsamic glaze.
- Cut the basil in a chiffonade and sprinkle on top.
- Finish with a dash of salt and pepper.
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