Caprese Bites make the BEST EVER festive finger food for entertaining! A tomato basil mozzarella appetizer that can be plated with savory dips to skewer with prosciutto. Melon and Prosciutto Skewers, Coconut prawns, Crab cakes, Baked Brie with garlic, Cranberry Brie, Cottage Cheese Dip or our Caprese Bites which of these appetizers will rock your boat?
Mini sliced tomatoes, seeds scooped out, toasted crushed pine nuts and basil pesto scooped into base, stuffed with a mozzarella ball, HELLO FESTIVE FINGER FOOD!
The combination of tomato, mozarella and balsamic work so well together!
Much like we did for our Grazing Platter, we then take it a step further and plate the caprese bites with additional antipasto bites and savory dips for superb entertaining!
This caprese bites recipe is easy to follow and quick to prepare!
Perfect for summer, entertaining, BBQ's, dinner on a hot night, these Italian appetizers will be gobbled up quickly!
The bites are vegetarian and you can pop some prosciutto on the platter to serve as a appetizer recipe that you can prepare ahead of time and serve as the guests come in the door! This way you have every guest covered!
Caprese bites with pesto
Tomato and basil pesto is a great tasty combination that pairs well together. Caprese is an Italian appetizer that combines tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil leaves. You can also season with salt and pepper to bring out the flavour.
For our caprese bites, we scoop out our tomato seeds and line the base of the tomato with crushed toasted pine nuts and basil pesto. We want our guests to delight in every mouthful of these appetizers and it is easy to bring the ingredients together to do just that.
Tomato, mozarella, balsamic, and a cocktail in hand, you will think all of your Christmases have come at once!
What ingredients are used for caprese bites?
The ingredients we need for these bites are shown in the photograph below. They are easy to find and simple to use.
As you can see we have:
- mozzarella balls
- basil pesto
- basil leaves
- balsamic vinegar
- pine nuts
The mini mozzarella balls (also known as bocconcini balls) are made from a combination of cow's milk and water buffalo and are a perfect pairing with the cherry tomato mozzarella and balsamic.
How do you make caprese bites?
To make our caprese bites, we bring the combination of tomato, basil pesto and mozarella together.
This is the process to follow to make caprese bites:
- slice your tomatoes in half (shown in photo 1)
- use a teaspoon to remove the seeds (shown in photo 2)
- toast your pine nuts, let cool then place in a ziplock bag (shown in photo 3)
- crush your toasted nuts (shown in photo 4)
- spoon crushed nuts into base of tomato (shown in photo 5)
- followed by basil pesto (shown in photo 6 )
- push bocconcini into tomatoes (shown in photo 7)
- slice cucumber (shown in photo 8)
- place bowl of balsamic vinegar on platter (shown in photo 9)
- add some savory dips (shown in photo 10)
- scatter some basil leaves (shown in photo 11)
- spread your cucumber around the platter (shown in photo 12)
- add some crackers (shown in photo 13)
- place caprese bites on platter (shown in photo 14)
- sprinkle with toasted crushed pine nuts (shown in photo 15)
If you put some antipasto bites on your platter with savory dips, guests will be able to graze and choose whichever combination of ingredients appeals to them.
Tomato Mozzarella Basil Appetizer
Of the steps listed above, there are 4 to focus on which really bring your caprese bites together. These steps are shown in the photo below.
As you can see we, start by preparing our tomatoes:
- slice your tomatoes in half (shown in photo 1)
- scoop crushed pine nuts into tomato (shown in photo 2)
- spoon some basil pesto into the tomatoes (shown in photo 3)
- stuff each tomato with 1 bocconcini (shown in photo 4)
You can pop these on a plate as they are, but I like to serve them on a platter with savory dips and antipasto bites, go for:
- other cheese like cheddar
- additional mozzarella balls
- basil leaves
- balsamic vinegar
You will be suprised how good a slice of cucumber, cheese and basil leaf with a touch of savory dip will taste!
It is also a good idea to have some skewers or toothpicks handy so that the caprese and antipasto bites are easily edible.
People can grab and eat or skewer away! A piece of prosciutto, bocconcini balls, a little balsamic, yum, this is delicious!
Caprese bites quick info:
About the recipe:
- go for 'bigger' mini tomatoes, I used 'cocktail truss tomatoes'
- the mozarella just needs to be drained (don't rinse)
- balsamic vinegar to serve
- this is a vegetarian appetizer recipe
FAQs about caprese bites
- this is a no bake appetizer
- the seeds will come out easily with a teaspoon
- bocconcini balls will be in the fridge section with the cheeses
- the ingredients can be prepped the day ahead and brought together on the day
- turn this appetizer into a platter for festive finger food!
Your quick questions answered:
- store bought basil pesto is fine
- the toasted pine nuts are optional (toast in the microwave to save time!)
- you can cut the mozzarella balls in half if you prefer
- the bocconcini has a mild taste to it
- This is an EASY recipe
In my experience, it is handy to have these pointers in mind as you work:
- the tomatoes will be easier to prep than you think, you can scoop the entire seeds out in one go per tomato by rotating the spoon around inside the flesh
- place the cooled toasted pine nuts in a zip lock bag and use the back of a spoon to crush
- use teaspoons for the nuts and pesto when stuffing the tomatoes
- don't drizzle or dress your caprese bites, let people do that for themselves
Festive finger food is fun, it is creative and colourful. For further inspiration have a look at these recipes:
- Grazing Platter (perfect for a crowd)
- Melon and Prosciutto Skewers (no bake appetizer)
- Baked Brie with Garlic (this is INSANELY delicious!!)
- Coconut Prawns (shrimp for my American friends)
- Mini Quiches 12 ways (both vego and non vego options)
- Honey Soy Chicken Wings (family favourite recipe)
- Chili Lime Chicken Wings (oven baked recipe)
- Baked Chicken Meatballs (with homemade satay sauce)
- Baked Stuffed Mushrooms
- Spinach Cob Loaf (dip in a bread bowl)
It makes for easy entertaining to serve the caprese bites on a platter like in the photo above.
Serving platter ideas:
- herbs add a festive touch
- provide an alternate cheese on the platter
- antipasto bites
- savory dips
Your guests will be able to 'grab' from the platter as the like. Having multiple platter ingredients means that you can cater to different taste preferences at the same time!
- Large white platter
- Dip bowls
Caprese Bites ingredients
- 750 grams tomatoes Note 1
- 200 grams bocconcini Note 2
- 150 grams basil peso Note 3
- ⅓ cup pine nuts optional
- ⅓ cup balsamic vinegar Note 4, to serve
- crackers to serve
- savory dip Note 5
- basil leaves to serve
- cucumber to serve
Caprese Bites Instructions
- Slice tomatoes in half and use a teaspoon to scoop out and discard seeds
- Toast pine nuts for 2-3 mins in a non stick pan or in the microwave (optional) let cool, then transfer to a zip lock bag and use the back of a spoon to crush
- Use a teaspoon to scoop crushed nuts into the base of each tomato
- Then scoop a little basil pesto on top of the nuts
- Push a mozzarella ball into each tomato
- Serve as is with crush pine nuts and balsamic vinegar or on a large platter with savory dips, antipasto bites like prosciutto, additional cheese, cucumber, basil leaves and crackers
- Note 1 I use 'Cocktail Truss Tomatoes', as they are a bit bigger than a regular cherry tomato so they are easy to stuff. I don't recommend grape tomatoes or roma tomatoes for this recipe as their shape makes them harder to stuff.
- Note 2 this will be in the fridge section in the cheese area in a small tube with liquid (brine). You can discard the brine as we only need the cheese (no need to rinse as we don't want to loose any flavour)
- Note 3 I use store bought basil pesto dip for my recipe, it is from the fridge section and makes for an easy recipe when you are not making the pesto from scratch!
- Note 4 I recommend the straight balsamic vinegar for this recipe, not the glaze, as it is easy to drizzle with a teaspoon and is the best flavour combination with the basil, tomato and mozzarella
Please note this recipe was published on 7th November 2019 and updated on 18th November 2019
Entertaining in the holiday season can be fun! It pays to be organised which is why having a few appetizers recipes up your sleeve will set you ahead of the game.
Think festive, colourful, popular Italian appetizer and antipasto bites which you can nail for your table. Bomb diggity starter with bubbles = I'm in!! It is too early to start now? Haha!
I want you guys to rock your table with these caprese bites and a platter is the way to do it, give me a shout if you have any questions!
P.S. Here is a grazing platter recipe (with free shopping list), if you are cooking for a crowd and have lots of mouths to feed!
If entertaining is your jam, then here are some more recipes to bring pep to your step: