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Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze

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In this jazzed up Caprese salad, a balsamic glaze adds a pop of tangy-sweet flavor to every bite.

Spoon on a plate with caprese salad.

I love Caprese salads but sometimes they can be a little bland. The classic recipe calls for just a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of salt and pepper to flavor the salad, so as not to mask the delicate flavor of the mozzarella, but I like to add just a bit more oomph. I start by sprinkling the tomatoes with a pinch of sugar, which brings out their natural sweetness. (I know this may seem like cheating but don’t feel guilty – even fancy restaurants use this trick.) Then, I drizzle a dark and syrupy balsamic glaze over top, which not only looks gorgeous but also adds a pop of tangy-sweet flavor to every bite.

What you’ll need to make caprese salad

ingredients for caprese salad

If you’re a lazy summer cook like I am, you’ll be happy to know that the recipe calls for a store-bought balsamic glaze. Feel free to make your own but it’s really not necessary: store-bought tastes delicious, you only need a tablespoon or two, and the bottle will keep forever in your pantry.

Step-by-Step Instructions

seasoning the tomatoes

Begin by sprinkling the tomatoes with sugar and half of the salt. Let them sit for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves, then arrange them on a platter, alternating with the mozzarella. Sprinkle the salad with the remaining salt and freshly ground black pepper.

arranging the tomato slices and mozzarella on a platter

Drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil, followed by the same amount of the balsamic glaze. Try to use a light hand with the glaze; a little goes a long way and too much will drown out all of the other fresh flavors. As for the basil, many Caprese salads call for whole basil leaves; I find them a bit too strong unless they are small, but feel free use them if you like.

Caprese salad with balsamic glaze on a plate.

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Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze

In this jazzed up Caprese salad, a balsamic glaze adds a pop of tangy-sweet flavor to every bite.

Servings: 4-6 servings
Total Time: 15 Minutes


  • 3 heirloom or vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into ¼-inch slices (pre-sliced is fine)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Balsamic glaze (store-bought), for drizzling
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil, plus more whole sprigs to garnish the platter


  1. Arrange the tomato slices on a cutting board. Sprinkle with sugar and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and let sit for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on a serving platter, alternating with the sliced mozzarella. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over top, followed by an equal amount of the balsamic glaze (it's fine to just eyeball it). Scatter the roughly chopped basil over top. Garnish the platter with sprigs of fresh basil, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 264
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Saturated fat: 10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Sodium: 672 mg
  • Cholesterol: 60 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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  • Absolutely fantastic. New family favorite.

    • — Sarah Hibbing on December 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! Firstly, one of my ideas of culinary heaven is a backyard grown tomato, a little sea salt, fresh basil, EVO, and a wonderful slice of goat cheese or any good soft fresh cheese. So, of course, this recipe checked all the boxes for me. Plus, it’s so fast, easy, fresh and oh, so delicious! Thanks again for another wonderful recipe!

    • — Elaine McReynolds on September 1, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is another winner and easy to accomplish. The secret of sugar and salt on the tomatoes for a bit of time followed with the additional salt and glaze is truly delicious. I think a voyage to the island of Capri is in order now. Grazie mille.

    • — Keith Taylor on July 8, 2023
    • Reply
  • Have made in the summer and so delicious! Could I substitute roasted red peppers for Thanksgiving appetizer?

    • — Judy on November 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Judy – I think that would work.

      • — Jenn on November 22, 2022
      • Reply
  • Do you think I could make these as skewers?

    • — Thessaly Karas
    • Reply
    • Hi Thessaly, You’d need to tweak the ingredients a bit (maybe using cherry tomatoes and mozzarella balls) but I think it should work. Please LMK how they come out if you try it!

  • I’m not a fan of Balsamic Vinegar because it’s sweet—Is there another dressing to use for a Caprese Salad like using Lemon and Garlic with the Mozzarella and Basil?

    Thank you,

    • Hi Jan, You could give this Italian dressing a try. Another option is the dressing that accompanies this salad. Hope that helps and you enjoy whatever you try!

  • This is a favorite salad later in the summer months as we grow several varieties of Heritage tomatoes. I usually make my own balsamic glaze, one less condiment bottle hanging around that way. This is a perfect summer salad.

  • Why would anyone put sugar on Heirloom tomatoes??? They’re already sweet on their own! This is a ridiculous recipe!

    • Why did you post such a rude comment? If you don’t like the recipe simply don’t make it or say you didn’t care for it, but there is no need to post an insulting review.

      • — Linda on May 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • hi Jen, I’m making a cold beef tenderloin with your Caprese salad. would you please suggest another side dish. Thank you

    • Reply
    • I think those would pair beautifully with this focaccia. Hope you enjoy if you make it!

  • I was wondering if you have a recipe for balsamic glaze? I only have the balsamic vinegar, and not where I can buy any soon.


    • Sure, Beth, you could use the glaze from this recipe. Hope you enjoy!

  • Oh. My. Goodness, Jenn!! This is yet another killer recipe of yours and was SO super easy to throw together. I bought some homemade mozzarella from a farmer’s market here in Richmond (VA) on Saturday and today picked up just a basic vine ripened tomato at the grocery store and balsamic glaze at Trader Joe’s. (I followed the cheese guy’s suggestion of letting the mozzarella slices come to room temp before assembling.) It was gone in like 3 minutes and we all declared it utterly amazing — thanks so much for another winner!

  • Love the balsamic glaze on this! I could eat it by itself…

  • This is a must make this summer! So refreshing and easy!

    • — Kacey Chadwick
    • Reply
  • My husband is a huge fan of caprese salad. I never thought to use a balsamic glaze when I make it for him, but the new twist was a hit. Thank you for such a simple, yet tasty recipe.

  • This salad was easy and absolutely delicious. My whole family loved it and I have some picky eaters in my family. I will definitely be saving this website and trying more of the recipes posted here in the future.

    • — Kristin Petrie
    • Reply
  • While this is sensational in itself,…..I added 2 or 3 things that made it even tighter. I used a easy squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a fresh easy squeeze of lime, pinch of sugar,….mix it , and mix well, everything saturated,…..and it taste like a breath of fresh air,….(grin). Enjoy,…..

  • Looking forward to making this with our home grown tomatoes to take to a church gathering. I would have loved it if you had included a recipe for a balsamic reduction…just in case someone wanted to make their own…which I do. (I have been visiting an amazing shop, Olive My Heart which carries lots of wonderful infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars some of which are even yummy on ice cream!

  • This recipe was so easy to make! My whole family including my hard to please brother-in-law 😉 loved it! A nice change from a typical salad and can be made any time of the year.

  • This is one of the best, most simple foods on the planet. Easy to prep, especially now that there are places selling precut fresh mozzarella. I like to add a bit of garlic powder or onion powder in with the salt and pepper to give it a little bit of a different flavor.

    Top notch food!

  • Such a simple and delicious recipe. You just cannot go wrong with this recipe!

    • — Anthony Ivers-Read
    • Reply
  • A 5 star perfect recipe!!

  • Hello. Smash hit at the 4th of July bbq. Presented guests with option of red and white balsamic from Trader Joe’s.
    Maraming Salamat (Thank you in Tagalog) for this recipe and all the feedback suggestions.

  • Jen, any tips for cutting the mozzarella into presentable slices? Mine are often a mess and look more like hacking than pretty, uniform slices.

    • Ha! The best thing is a sharp knife — but the Belgioioso brand now comes pre-sliced in a log. So easy!

    • Use unflavored dental floss to cut mozzarella logs.

  • I like this recipe

  • This salad is perfect for summer dishes. It’s fresh and light enough to not weigh you down! I had NEVER thought of adding sugar until trying this recipe, it makes a huge difference!

  • Sugar and salt made a world of difference. This was bursting with flavor!

  • I made this salad and loved it. With the August crop of fresh native tomatoes, this one is one to make TONIGHT. I have balsamic glaze from William Sonoma (i found it a couple times at their outlet store) but you can even sprinkle the dish with good balsamic vinegar w/o reducing it and it will be tasty!!

  • Jenn, I always learn something when I read your recipes because you are so good to share your culinary training tips. Thank you. Have made caprese salad many times, but never thought to sprinkle a little sugar over the tomatoes. It does make a difference. Your take on caprese salad is wonderful.

  • On the fourth store, I finally found balsamic glaze for this recipe. Now, having struggled to locate it, how else can I use it?

    • Hi Jess, It keeps for a long time so don’t stress about using it up quickly. That said, it is so delicious on simply grilled chicken, steak or salmon 🙂

  • Made this for a dinner party this past weekend and loved the addition of the sugar/salt mixture. It made it so easy to buy the basalmic mixture.

  • Hi. Is there any way to make the balsamic glaze at home? Thank’s.

  • Regards. If I do not get the balsamic glaze at the supermarket, I can do? How it’s made?

  • This is a fantastic salad! The touch of sugar is a great suggestion, as it really brings the flavors in the tomatoes to life. I used a variety of Heirloom tomatoes to add not only color to the dish but to add to the flavors in the salad. I did add one ingredient, I finished the salad with a dash of Tony Chachere’s original Creole Seasoning. This salad is now a family favorite. Delicious

  • Ah Caprese Salad,a reminder of my summer tomatoe garden ..Thank You !
    Delicious as well as healthy ….

    • — Marlena Ceselli
    • Reply

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