Bursting with amazing flavors, this refreshing Garlic Bread Caprese Salad is a perfect light lunch or side dish!
Tomato, mozzarella and basil are quite possibly one of the best flavor combinations out there! Add seasoned toasted garlic sourdough bread and balsamic glaze and BAM, a beautiful salad is born.
Panzanella salad and caprese salad are both popular Italian dishes, but they are different from each other. Panzanella salad features bread as a key ingredient, while Caprese salad focuses on tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil. I decided to combine the two, and it was a match made in heaven! It's an excellent way to celebrate the fresh flavors of spring and summer.
Table of Contents
What You’ll Need
Ingredient Amounts Listed in the Recipe Card Below
- Sourdough Bread
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Garlic
- Balsamic Glaze
- Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Fresh Basil
Tools You’ll Need
- Large Skillet
- Large Bowl
- Garlic Press (optional)
- Chef's Knife
- Serrated Knife
Why You’ll like this Recipe
- It's colors and flavors are super vibrant!
- The savory crispiness of the sourdough garlic bread compliments the caprese ingredients PERFECTLY!
- It can be customized to your liking and served as a main dish, appetizer or side dish!
- It's light and refreshing, making it an perfect choice for warm weather at barbecues, picnics, or outdoor get-togethers.
How to Make this Recipe
- Add olive oil to a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot, add bread cubes, and stir to coat well. When the bread begins to brown, after 4-6 minutes, add garlic and stir well. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat, and allow the bread cubes to cool completely.
- To a large bowl, add tomatoes, mozzarella, sliced basil, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Stir until combined well.
- Fold the cooled garlic bread cubes into the salad and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the basil leaves and balsamic glaze drizzle.
Tips and Substitutions
- Any crusty Italian bread like ciabatta or a baguette, whole-grain, or multigrain bread can be used in this dish.
- You can add other vegetables to customize the dish. Consider including sliced cucumbers, bell peppers, radishes, or even grilled vegetables like zucchini or eggplant.
- If you want to add some freshness and extra nutrients, mix in some leafy greens such as arugula, baby spinach, or mixed salad greens.
- While fresh mozzarella is traditional, you can try different cheeses like crumbled feta cheese, goat cheese, or shaved Parmesan.
- To make the salad more substantial, add protein sources like grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, tofu, chickpeas, or even sliced hard-boiled eggs.
- This salad is best enjoyed fresh because the bread gets soggy when stored for too long. However, if you have leftovers, store the bread separately from the other ingredients and refrigerate in an air-tight container. If the bread becomes slightly stale, you can revive it by briefly toasting it in the oven or in a skillet.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What type of mozzarella should I use in this dish?
- You can use any type of fresh mozzarella, such as the classic mozzarella di bufala, mozzarella fior di latte (cow's milk mozzarella), or even small mozzarella balls (bocconcini).
- Can I make a Garlic Bread Caprese Salad ahead of time?
- It is best to assemble this salad shortly before serving to maintain the freshness of the ingredients. The bread can become too soggy if left in contact with the other ingredients for an extended period. However, you can prepare the individual components in advance.
- Can I add other ingredients to this salad?
- You can certainly customize it to your taste. Some popular additions include sliced red onions, olives or roasted bell peppers.
- Is this salad gluten-free?
- You can make a gluten-free variation by using gluten-free bread or substituting the bread with gluten-free croutons or another gluten-free alternative.
- Can I serve this salad as a main course?
- Yes! While we typically serve it as an appetizer or side dish, it can also be served as a main course with the compliment of a protein like grilled chicken, shrimp or cooked beans.
More Recipes Like This
- Shrimp Caprese
- Sangria Salmon Caprese Pasta
- Crockpot Tomato Basil Chicken
- Sun-dried Tomato Caper Pasta
Garlic Bread Caprese Salad
- 2 cups sourdough bread cubes
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt & Black Pepper to taste
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tbsp balsamic glaze or balsamic glaze with fig
- 1 pint sweet cherry tomatoes halved
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella dice-sized cubed
- ⅔ oz fresh basil divided
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Add olive oil to a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the bread, and stir to coat all the pieces well.
- When the bread begins to brown, after 4-6 minutes, add garlic and stir well. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat, and allow the bread cubes to cool completely.
- Reserve a few gathered basil leaves for garnish. Chiffonade (thinly slice) the remaining basil.
- To a large bowl, add tomatoes, mozzarella, sliced basil, olive oil and ⅛-1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Stir until combined well.
- Fold the cooled garlic bread cubes into the salad and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Garnish with the reserved basil leaves and balsamic glaze drizzle.