Authentic Insalata Caprese is the perfect  Italian dish. A simple Italian salad combines juicy tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella cheese, tender young leaves of basil, and olive oil.

The first mention of Insalata Caprese dates back to the roaring ’20s in Italy on the Hotel Quisisana. A patriotic mason wanted to make a dish that was a proper tribute to Italy that visually incorporated the tricolor of the Italian flag into the presentation of the salad. 


Authentic Insalata CapreseAfter the initial positive response, the Authentic Insalata Caprese was desired by many but failed to become mainstream until the late King Farouk, in the 1950s, asked for a light afternoon snack and was served a Caprese sandwich. The rest is history!

Visitors from other regions began to flock to the area, and Caprese salad soon became a staple of Capri food and culture. Over time, the recipe was refined and improved by adding bufala mozzarella instead of the traditional vaccine mozzarella.



Authentic Insalata CapreseAuthentic Insalata Caprese has evolved to include a few leaves of wild arugula and a pinch of dried oregano, both local ingredients; everywhere else in Italy, it’s simple; made from tomato, mozzarella, basil, extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil, and maybe a pinch of kosher salt and freely cracked peppercorns are added.




Authentic Insalata Caprese


Tips to make Authentic Insalata Caprese

  1. Don’t use the same humdrum red tomatoes. Look for selecting different tomatoes and shapes to add different textures and tastes to your Authentic Insalata Caprese. When choosing from a farmer’s market, look for those tomatoes that feel heavy. They will usually be the juiciest.

  2. Most people will take tomatoes from the refrigerator, slice them into quite thick slices, and plop them unceremoniously on a platter with thick slices of inferior fresh mozzarella cheese. That’s a big NO. Tomatoes should never be refrigerated. It makes them very bland, watery and robs them of their delicious flavor. It is best to keep them at room temperature for quality flavor.

  3. The cheese for authentic Insalata Caprese has to be fresh, quality mozzarella. It’s the only cheese able to add that delicious white touch that a true Insalata Caprese has. Not all fresh mozzarella cheeses are made equal. It’s essential to choose the one that adds the most incredible taste and texture to your salad.

  4. The basil you use should be small young, tender leaves. The flavor is much more intense. The sweet “Genovese” variety is best for this salad, although if you have problems finding it, the standard, larger-leaved version will do, too. There’s nothing like plucking your basil leaves to add to your homegrown tomatoes for your deliciously Authentic Insalata Caprese.



Authentic Insalata Caprese



Suggested Equipment for Authentic Insalata Caprese

  • Cutting board

  • Sharp kitchen knife

  • Serving Platter



Authentic Insalata Caprese



Shopping List

  • Four large organic tomatoes sliced 

  • Sixteen- ounces of fresh mozzarella sliced 

  • Ten to twelve young tender, organic basil leaves

  • Kosher salt optional but recommended

  • Black pepper optional but recommended

  • Four tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive oil + more if desired




Authentic Insalata Caprese

Authentic Insalata Caprese

Heidy McCallum
Authentic Insalata Caprese is the perfect  Italian dish. A simple Italian salad combining juicy tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella cheese, tender young leaves of basil, and olive oil.
4.95 from 18 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 497 kcal


  • Cutting Board
  • Sharp knife
  • Serving platter


  • 4 large Tomatoes sliced
  • 16 ounces Fresh mozzarella  sliced
  • 10-12 Basil leaves
  • Kosher salt optional
  • Black pepper optional
  • 4 tablespoons Extra-virgin Olive oil + more if desired


  • Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each on a large, shallow serving dish. 
  • Drizzle the Authentic Insalata Caprese with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve the Authentic Insalata Caprese immediately.


Although attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and how ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on nutritional information.


Calories: 497kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 27gFat: 40gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 720mgPotassium: 521mgFiber: 2gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 2346IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 593mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Caprese Salad, Italian Salad
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



If you enjoyed this recipe, here are a few other suggestions.

  •  Mussels in Tomato Sauce make a perfect flavorful starter to a meal or appetizer. Pair the Mussels with pasta, seafood, salad, and a glass of wine for an ideal swanky meal, or serve it as a party appetizer to impress your seafood-loving guests.
  • Goat Cheese Tomatoes and Prosciutto on Ciabatta Bread How can you go wrong with exquisite flavors like Goat Cheese, Heirloom vine-ripened tomatoes, Prosciutto, peppery Arugula, fresh basil, garlic, and warm balsamic? It’s a little slice of heaven if you ask me.
  • Shrimp and Tomatoes are the perfect starter or an appetizer to serve all year long, including the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays. This Shrimp and Tomatoes recipe goes perfectly well with slices of crusty bread or artesian-style crackers and a glass of your favorite wine.


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  1. 4 stars
    I had actually never made anything like this before running into your recipe on Pinterest, and I am excited to make this Authentic Insalata Caprese again! the recipe was super delicious. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    This salad is the best example of simplicity at its best. This Authentic Insalata Caprese was Such a simple recipe with unique flavors. I can’t wait to harvest some more of my young basil leaves from my garden to make this again.

  3. 5 stars
    We love Caprese salad, and this Authentic Insalata Caprese is not just delicious but also beautiful! I love how easy and fresh it is! Saving to make the recipe again!

  4. 5 stars
    Salads are all I crave on these hot summer days. This Insalata Caprese was not only *authentic tasting* but so delicious and refreshing.

  5. 5 stars
    This Insalata Caprese has Some of my favorite flavors here. There is something about the combination of tomatoes with that fresh basil and mozzarella. Thanks for sharing another delicious recipe that we will be making again.

  6. 5 stars
    It takes 10 minutes to put together, and in the end you have a delicious bowl of Insalata Caprese! This was really good, definitely my favorite salad!

  7. 5 stars
    This is such a great: Authentic Insalata Caprese idea! It’s the best I have ever tasted. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Gunjan. Like all Italian food, the simpler, the better–Some people make it with balsamic vinegar, and it’s just not classic to traditional and ruins the cheese flavor. This recipe lets all the delicate flavors flow through.

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing your authentic Insalata Caprese! It was beneficial for me! Looking forward to more ideas from you to serve my family.

  9. 5 stars
    Who can resist the delicious combination of fresh mozzarella cheese with juicy tomatoes and fresh basil? This was one of the most delicious and easiest recipes. Gorgeous pictures.

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