Heirloom Tomato Basil Mozzarella Caprese Salad

Favorite SummerVegetarianMozzarellaTomato

Heirloom tomato, basil, Mozzarella caprese salad made with beautiful, ripe heirloom tomatoes. Classic Italian Caprese salad recipe.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Summer is tomato and basil season, and there is nothing better than heirloom tomatoes with fresh basil from the garden and fresh mozzarella cheese.

What are “heirloom tomatoes”?

Heirloom tomatoes are what tomatoes used to be before all of the variety and flavor were bred out of them so they could be more easily transported in trucks to supermarkets.

You can find them at farmers’ markets and at Whole Foods, or you can grow your own. They come in many shades of red, yellow, orange, and green, and are somewhat oddly shaped compared to everyday beefsteak tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomatoes on Simply Recipes

Heirloom Tomato Basil Mozzarella Caprese Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 tomato serves 1 to 2 people


  • Heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • Fresh basil, leaves carefully chopped as not to bruise
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Special equipment:


Assemble the salad with slices of tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella slices.

Sprinkle extra virgin olive oil over the salad.

Add a dash of vinegar and a very light sprinkling of salt and pepper.

For a completely different flavor, you can substitute the mozzarella with thin slices of Parmesan.

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Heirloom tomato seeds

Heirloom Tomato Basil Mozzarella Caprese Salad

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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18 Comments / Reviews

No ImageHeirloom Tomato Basil Mozzarella Caprese Salad

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Alex

    Classic, simple, yet so delicious.


  2. Niketa

    I tried this recipe with pan fried halloumi …..and some crumbled feta too….all soo soo good.

  3. signaturetaste56

    There’s a variation on this classic Caprese salad that can be used as an appetizer. Instead of slices of a whole tomato, you use cherry tomatoes, bite-size blocks of cheese, and basil leaves doubled over, all served on a skewer similar to a kabob skewer. It’s great for parties, etc.

  4. Julane

    I live in northern California & while it’s hard to grow heirlooms here our great farmer’s markets and Whole Foods keep me in supply.
    I have made this salad for years. If you have a really good olive oil this is the time to use it as all the flavors will be enhanced. I sometimes use fresh lemon juice instead of balsamic for a change, which gives a nice fresh flavor. Of course, the other great way to use the three primo ingredients is to cut up the tomatoes, lots of basil, garlic, mozzerella, olive oil, basalmic vinegar and mix it up with hot pasta. The best summer dish hands down!

  5. Denise

    Whenever I make this, everyone goes nuts over it! You’d think I was Julia Child or something – lol! Thanks Elise! :)


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Heirloom Tomato Basil Mozzarella Caprese SaladHeirloom Tomato Basil Mozzarella Caprese Salad