Want to make the BEST summer side dish? Then make this tomato bocconcini salad! This caprese-style salad is made with juicy cherry tomatoes, soft and creamy bocconcini, and fresh basil leaves and is so good for you.
Quick and easy, this tomato bocconcini salad requires no cooking. Made with summer tomatoes, basil, bocconcini cheese, and a simple herb dressing, it can be ready in 10 minutes.
👛 Cost To Make
Estimated cost = $10.90 or $2.73 a serve
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- This tomato and bocconcini salad is perfect for lunch, dinner, or an appetizer.
- It is light, fresh, healthy, and quick to make.
- It is gluten-free and can be vegetarian if using bocconcini or mozzarella made with non-animal rennet.
🥘 Ingredients In This Recipe
The printable recipe further down the page has the complete list of ingredients, including quantities and step-by-step instructions.
Bocconcini cheese - we love cherry bocconcini because they are small, but you could also use fresh mozzarella and cut it into smaller pieces.
Tomatoes - we used a mix of yellow and red cherry and grape tomatoes just for looks, but you can stick with one variety and color.
Basil - use fresh basil leaves because it just lifts the flavors of this salad.
Salad dressing - we used a mix of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dried herbs, sugar, mustard, and garlic.
Caramelized balsamic vinegar - You can use store-bought balsamic glaze or make your own caramelized balsamic vinegar dressing.
🍳 Step By Step Instructions
Wash and slice the tomatoes in half, and place them into a serving bowl.
Wash and shake dry the basil leaves. Pull the leaves from the stems. If the leaves are too big, tear them in half and add them to the tomatoes.
Cut or break the bocconcini into smaller pieces and add these to the bowl.
Put all the salad dressing ingredients into a jar with a screw-top lid, shake well, pour it over the salad, and toss to mix and serve.
💭 Recipe Tips
This tomato bocconcini salad is best made just before serving. However, you can prepare each component two hours in advance and keep them separate until ready.
Here is how we would do it:
- Slice the tomatoes, place them into a serving bowl, lay the basil leaves on top of the tomatoes, and store them covered in the fridge until needed.
- Cut the bocconcini cheese into small pieces and keep them in another bowl in the fridge until needed.
- Then make the salad dressing about 30 minutes before serving.
- When ready to serve, add the bocconcini to the tomatoes and basil leaves, pour over the dressing, toss and serve.
Caramelized balsamic vinegar
If you choose to use the caramelized balsamic vinegar, drizzle it over the salad at the last minute, and don't mix it in, because it will turn the bocconcini a brownish color.
👪 Serving Size
This recipe makes about 750 grams (26.45 ounces) of salad and serves 4. A serving size is about 187 grams (6.59 ounces).
🍬 Calories Per Serve
A serving has about 227 calories.
🥗 Serving Suggestions
This salad is a great side dish for barbecued or grilled meats, roasts like chicken and beef, pizzas, pasta, and casseroles.
If you can't get bocconcini cheese for this recipe, you can substitute it with mozzarella. Mozzarella cheese is larger than bocconcini, so cut or tear it into smaller pieces before adding it to the salad.
If you can't get cherry tomatoes, use an equivalent weight of large ripe tomatoes and cut them into smaller pieces.
If you can't get fresh garlic or it does not agree with you, leave it out, or use ¼ teaspoon (or to taste) garlic powder.
Use mint - if you like the taste of fresh mint leaves, add a small handful or two to the salad along with the fresh basil leaves.
Refrigeration - If you have any leftovers, these can be stored in the fridge and eaten the next day. However, you may find that the salad has turned a little watery due to the water content of the tomatoes.
Freezing - Not suitable to freeze.
📝 Frequently Asked Questions
Bocconcini cheese is bite-sized buffalo mozzarella cheese. This fresh cheese is unmatured and has a light, buttery, and creamy flavor.
Traditionally bocconcini is made from buffalo milk, but now commonly made with cow's milk and is packaged in lightly salted water.
Because bocconcini and mozzarella are fresh cheeses, they don't have a long shelf life and should be consumed soon after opening.
Yes, you can prepare the ingredients and keep them separate up to 2 hours in advance. Store in the fridge and assemble the salad just before serving.
I do hope that you try this tomato bocconcini salad recipe. If you do, please come back and leave a comment below because I would love to know how you went.
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📋 Recipe Card
Tomato Bocconcini Salad
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove minced or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 200 grams (7 ounces) of bocconcini balls, or mozzarella
- 500 grams (17 ounces) of cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup basil leaves torn or roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic glaze or to taste
- Place the dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Cut the tomatoes in half. Tear or cut the mozzarella into pieces roughly the same size as the tomatoes, and add the bowl with the dressing and most of the basil leaves. Toss gently to combine.
- Transfer to large or individual serving bowls, drizzle with balsamic glaze, and sprinkle over the remaining basil leaves.
- Serve immediately.