This Tomato Basil Salad is reminiscent of a caprese salad with a few extra goodies, a refreshing version that is easier to eat and serve than its predecessor! With a 4 ingredient dressing, the hardest part making this recipe is the chopping. Perfect to serve in a pinch or even to impress at a dinner party.
I’m always on the hunt for drool-worthy salads. If you claim salads are boring, I truly believe it’s just because you haven’t tried the right ones! A great salad doesn’t need to come with a laundry list of ingredients, either. Just a few simple, fresh pieces that create something so much better than the sum of its parts.
Today I’ve been inspired by caprese. I love the combination of acidic tomato, herbaceous basil, fresh mozzarella, all topped with olive oil and that bite of balsamic. The only issue I have with my beloved caprese is that it simply isn’t easy to serve a group. This version is made much easier allowing you to toss all the ingredients together and reward yourself with the same combination of flavor. Win-win!
Keep scrolling down to the recipe card for a list of FULL ingredient amounts and instructions or click the “Jump to Recipe” button at the top of the page!
- Cherry tomatoes – Or grape tomatoes. You can use other varieties like Roma, cocktail, or heirloom tomatoes cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Shallots – Can’t find any? A regular onion can be used instead.
- Bocconcini – These are small bite-sized balls of fresh mozzarella. You can use a large ball of fresh mozza cut into pieces.
- Basil leaves – Use as much or little as you like. Make sure you have fresh basil!
- Olive oil – Extra virgin works best for salads.
- Balsamic vinegar – You can also use a balsamic glaze. Keep in mind that a glaze will add some sweetness.
- Salt & pepper – Season to taste.
How to make tomato basil salad
- Prep: Add the tomatoes, shallots, bocconcini, and half the basil to a large serving bowl. Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a separate small bowl.
- Toss: Pour the dressing over the salad in the serving bowl. Toss everything well to coat in the dressing. Sprinkle the remaining basil over the salad and serve.
Best oils for salad
A good quality extra virgin olive oil is perfect for a recipe like this. EVOO will retains a stronger olive flavor than regular olive oil and will compliment the fresh flavors of any salad well. Avocado oil would also be fantastic.
If you’d prefer a more mild flavored oil, any of these will work: Grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, walnut, and flaxseed oils.
What else can I add to tomato basil salad?
Since this salad is made with a very basic dressing, there are really no bounds to the veggies you can add. You can serve each portion over a bed of lettuce, spinach, arugula, or spring mix, as well! Not sure what you want to add? Use this list as inspiration:
- Bell peppers
How to store leftover salad
Unlike other types of salad, this will actually keep well for 2-3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. In fact, those ingredients marinating in the dressing may taste even better! The only issue to be wary of is moisture being drawn from the tomatoes and collecting at the bottom of the container.
If you want to make this recipe ahead, I’d still suggest leaving the dressing separate and tossing right before serving just to mitigate the excess moisture from the tomatoes. If you like the idea of marinating the ingredients in the dressing, you can do so with the onion, bocconcini, and basil.
Looking for more simple salads?
- Caprese Salad
- Mini Caprese Salad Bites
- Chickpea Tomato Salad
- Avocado Tomato Salad
- Quinoa Salad
- Tabbouleh Salad
- Cobb Salad
- Black Bean Corn Avocado Salad
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Tomato Basil Salad
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- ⅓ cup shallots sliced thin
- 1 cup bocconcini
- 20 basil leaves chopped chiffonade*
- ¼ cup olive oil extra virgin
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp salt or to taste
- ½ tsp pepper or to taste
- Add the tomatoes, shallots, bocconcini, and half the basil too a large serving bowl. Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in a separate small bowl.
- Pour the dressing into into the serving bowl. Toss everything well to coat in the dressing. Sprinkle the remaining basil over the salad and serve.
- *To chop your basil chiffonade, lay the leaves over top of each other, starting with the largest leaves on the bottom. You may have to do this in batches. Starting from the side of the leaves, roll them tightly. Chop the leaves, from the tip, creating 1/4″ slices. Gently fluff the slices with your fingers to separate them.
- Unlike other types of salad, this will actually keep well for 2-3 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. In fact, those ingredients marinating in the dressing may taste even better! The only issue to be wary of is moisture being drawn from the tomatoes and collecting at the bottom of the container.