Got a party, potluck, holiday, or book club meeting on the calendar? Trust me when I tell you that Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle are going to be the hit of your get together!
Mini mozzarella cheese balls are skewered with fragrant basil leaves and juicy cherry tomatoes then drizzled with tangy-sweet balsamic reduction to create this perfectly poppable appetizer. They will FLY off the platter.
You know I am a dip girl through and through, but it’s sometimes nice to have a light and healthy option when you’re entertaining, or have been asked to bring a dish to share. These one-bite skewers definitely check the box!
Watch How to Make Them!
Easy, Healthy Appetizer Recipe
If you’re a long time IGE reader you may recognize these babies. I first created this healthy appetizer “recipe” (if you can call it that with a straight face – they really are so easy!) in 2012 and they’ve been a smash hit ever since. We needed a photo upgrade though, which is why I’m re-sharing today.
Over the years you’ve loved making platters of Caprese salad on a stick as a gorgeous addition to a holiday food table, while others (hi, me, I’m others) make them over, and over, and over again in the summertime. Especially as cherry tomato plants take off. I am not exaggerating when I tell you my Mom recently dropped a 5lb bag of cherry tomatoes on my porch and ran. I will be eating them until Halloween!
These fresh, healthy, easy, and elegant bites also pair extremely well with a cold glass of vino and a great friend or two. Just saying. ;)
Caprese Skewer Ingredients
- Cherry Tomatoes: I very much prefer cherry over grape tomatoes for these skewers, especially in the summertime, because they’re so so sweet. That said, if you’re assembling them in the dead of winter, and grape tomatoes look best at that time, then go for grape.
- Ciliegine Mozzarella Cheese: These are the “cherry” size mozzarella cheese balls, and I like the BelGioso brand. If you can’t find them, buy a ball of fresh mozzarella and chop it into pieces that are the same size as the cherry tomatoes. Look for either option at the specialty cheese counter in your grocery store.
- Fresh Basil: Snag a handful off your plant, or buy a clamshell from the store. If the leaves are large, simply fold them in half or into quarters before skewering.
- Salt and Pepper: I sprinkle the skewers with salt and pepper just before serving to make the flavor of each ingredient pop.
- Balsamic Vinegar: My favorite part of the Caprese Skewers is the luscious, sweet and sticky balsamic reduction that’s drizzled on top. Balsamic reduction is just boiled vinegar. It’s super easy to make, though I will say using store bought balsamic reduction is very easy and convenient too! I’ll share a couple options below.
Can I Make These Ahead of Time?
This is the most common question I get about Caprese Skewers! Feel free to assemble the skewers up to 12 hours ahead of time then store in an airtight container in the fridge. Save the salt, pepper, and balsamic reduction drizzle for just before serving.
If you make/refrigerate the skewers too far ahead of time the basil can wilt.
Either way, these Caprese Skewers take minutes to put together, and if you’ve got kids, they’re fun and easy for them to assemble too. Now let’s get to work!
How to Make Caprese Skewers
Step 1: Make the balsamic reduction. Again, you can buy pre-made balsamic reduction at the store (Trader Joe’s has one, and I also really like Alessi brand balsamic reduction) but it’s a cinch to make at home.
Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan over high heat then bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium then simmer until the vinegar has reached a thin maple syrup consistency. It will continue to thicken as it cools, FYI.
The best way to tell if it’s done is to scrape a spatula down the center of the pan. If you can see the bottom for a second or two, you’re set! Pour the balsamic reduction into a small serving bowl then set aside.
Step 2: Assemble the Caprese Skewers. Start by threading a mini mozzarella cheese ball onto a toothpick. If it’s for a group of friends or the holidays, I’ll pick up some pretty, specialty toothpicks, but regular ol’ toothpicks are just fine too.
Next add a fresh basil leaf, folded in half or into quarters if large, followed by a cherry tomato.
So cute, right?!
Continue to build your skewers using the rest of the ingredients.
Step 3: Season the skewers. When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle the skewers with salt and pepper. If you’ve got fancy maldon finishing salt flakes – totally go with that.
Step 4: Drizzle with balsamic reduction. I usually go light handed with the balsamic reduction so it doesn’t look sloppy on the platter, but then always include a small bowl of it with a serving spoon on the side so people can add more because it REALLY makes the skewers!
That’s all she wrote! Whether you’re trying this recipe for the first time or the 10th, I hope you love each and every bite of these fresh and flavor-packed Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle! Enjoy!
More Quick & Easy Appetizers
- Herb and Garlic Marinated Olives
- Fig & Prosciutto Goat Cheese Dip
- Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Dip
- The Best Fruit Dip
- Marinated Vegetable Salad
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Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle
Caprese Skewers with Balsamic Drizzle are a quick and healthy, fresh and fabulous appetizer recipe! Easy to assemble, and perfectly poppable.
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- 10oz cherry tomatoes
- 8oz Ciliegine mozzarella cheese (also called "cherry" size), I like Belgioso
- .8oz clamshell fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper
- For the balsamic drizzle: Add balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan over high heat then bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium then simmer until vinegar is the consistency of thin maple syrup, 20 minutes. You'll know it's done when you can see the bottom of the pan for a second or two after scraping a spatula across. Pour balsamic reduction into a small bowl then set aside to cool. Alternatively you could use store bought balsamic reduction (see notes).
- Thread a cheese ball onto a toothpick, followed by a basil leaf - fold in half or into quarters if large. Finish with a cherry tomato then place onto a serving platter. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Just before serving, sprinkle skewers with salt and pepper then drizzle with cooled balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.
- Leave a comment and star rating if you loved the recipe! Thank you for considering!
- Feel free to use store bought balsamic reduction to save time! I like Alessi brand.
This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.
Recipe photos by Ashley McLaughlin