This tomato bocconcini salad ticks all the boxes. Quick 15 minutes, no cooking involved, and refreshingly delicious. Showcasing all the fresh produce of summer with bocconcini cheese, tomatoes, basil, strawberries and avocado mingled with a punchy caper vinaigrette.
Why You’ll Love our Tomato Bocconcini Salad
I love bocconcini. If left unattended, my daughter and I could eat a whole pot of bocconcini cheese by itself. The creamy bite-sized morsels are just perfect for snacking.
Bocconcini is also an easy addition to fresh summer salads. We love recipes with bocconcini. There is something so delicious about the creaminess of the bocconcini cheese matched with the sweet fruit like our Strawberry Bocconcini Salad recipe or Yellow Watermelon Salad. You could also create your own salad platter with these baby bocconcini balls.
During the summer months when tomatoes are in abundance, I love the pairing of juicy tomato and bocconcini cheese. There is a reason why the classic Italian Caprese salad of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil is such a popular salad.
For this bocconcini salad recipe, I decided to add a little something extra to the classic Caprese salad combination. I tossed in some strawberries along with avocado and red onions and mingled them with a flavoursome caper vinaigrette.
This tomato bocconcini salad is definitely a hit with the family. The salty and tangy caper vinaigrette adds a whole new level of interest.
And if you are just looking for a light lunch, whip this salad up in less than 20 minutes and topple over a couple of slices of warm toast.
What is Bocconcini Cheese?
You may know it as bocconcini, baby mozzarella balls or cherry mozzarella.
Essentially, they are bite sized buffalo mozzarella cheese. Shaped in small balls, bocconcini translates to “little mouthfuls” in Italian.
They are similar to buffalo mozzarella, and the taste is slightly milder but still buttery and deliciously creamy. It is an unripened cheese and is generally served fresh.
Bocconcini was once made from water buffalo milk, but these days, most of the bocconcini cheese we purchase is made from cow’s milk.
Flavour/Texture: Fresh, creamy and juicy flavours all in one bite. The tangy and salty caper vinaigrette adds depth and offsets the sweetness of the tomato bocconcini salad.
Ease: There is no cooking involved so very simple indeed! A few chopping actions are all you need for the tomato bocconcini salad.
Time: I would allow 15 minutes for this bocconcini recipe. It depends on how quickly you can chop!
These are the main ingredients you need for tomato bocconcini salad:
Bocconcini: I love baby or cherry bocconcini because they are the perfect size for salads. Otherwise, buffalo mozzarella will also be suitable. Just cut into smaller pieces.
Tomatoes: For this recipe, I was able to buy a punnet of medley baby tomatoes which included red cherry tomatoes, yellow grape tomatoes and baby green tomatoes.
It was fantastic to have the range of colours in the salad. The green tomatoes added a touch of tartness and crunch to the overall flavour.
However, using any variety of cherry tomatoes will work perfectly in this salad.
Strawberries: Making the most of the summer season, the sweetness of strawberries pairs well with tomatoes and bocconcini. Plus, they look so pretty in the salad!
Avocado: Choose a ripe but not soft avocado. The creaminess goes well with tomatoes and strawberries.
Basil: I love the aromatic flavour and lush green colour of fresh basil that adds to the salad.
Capers: I use capers not only in the salad dressing but also scattered within the salad. I love the tart, briny flavours of capers against this salad with bocconcini.
Variations and Substitutions
Other cheese: Buffalo mozzarella is a good substitute if you can’t find baby bocconcini balls. Cut the large ball up into smaller pieces. You can also try fior di latte like our sugar snap pea salad, or even grilled halloumi will work with this combination of ingredients.
Strawberries: If you have friends who don’t like fruit in salads or strawberries are not quite in season, you can omit them from the bocconcini salad recipe.
Alternative dressing: Classic Caprese salad with tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil will generally use balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You can substitute the caper vinaigrette for our balsamic vinaigrette.
Substitute for capers: If you don’t have capers, you can substitute the capers for anchovies in the vinaigrette. I would use 2 anchovies and finely chop them to add to the vinaigrette. Anchovies will be saltier, so you may need to adjust the apple cider vinegar and leave out any additional salt.
Other caper substitutes include green olives, marinated artichoke hearts or baby cornichons for the caper vinaigrette. All options provide the acidity the dressing needs but varying levels of salt. Again finely chop and add to vinaigrette.
Step by step instructions for how to make Tomato Bocconcini Salad with Caper Vinaigrette:
How to Make The Salad
Slice cherry tomatoes into half.
Wash and cut strawberries into quarters or halves, depending on the size of your strawberries.
Peel and cut avocado into cubes.
Remove basil from the stem to yield ½ cup.
Peel and cut the red onion in half. Then thinly slice the red onion into half moons.
Drain bocconcini and set aside for assembly.
How To Make Caper Vinaigrette
Finely chop capers and place in a small mixing bowl.
Add crushed garlic, apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to the mixing bowl and stir well to combine everything together.
Taste and then season with salt and pepper.
You may not need much salt as the capers can be quite salty. Adjust accordingly.
How to Assemble the Salad
Using a shallow serving plate, layer cherry tomatoes, avocado and cut strawberries.
Then scatter bocconcini cheese, capers, sliced red onion and basil leaves on top.
To serve, dress with caper vinaigrette and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
How to Make This Salad Perfectly (Expert Tips)
Fresh ingredients: As there is no cooking in this recipe, you want to make sure you have the freshest ingredients. As I mentioned before, if strawberries are not in season, it is best to omit them than to have not fully ripe strawberries in the salad.
Toss together when ready to serve: As much as you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time, including the caper vinaigrette, it’s best to toss the salad together when ready to serve.
I only drizzle the caper vinaigrette on top as I love letting the creamy white bocconcini mozzarella balls shine through.
Great Mains for This Salad
This tomato bocconcini salad with caper vinaigrette deserves a delicious main. Here’s what you can serve:
Jalapeno popper stuffed chicken, how good does that sound? Spicy and cheesy, it would go so well with a nice and fresh salad.
Frequently Asked Questions
Capers are a pantry staple for us; we love adding capers to our salads, pastas and sauces.
Capers are the flower buds of a caper bush. It is native to Mediterranean countries and, therefore, is often found in their cuisine. The caper bush also produces a fruit called caper berries.
We use capers in various cooking methods.
Yes, you can pre-cut the ingredients and make caper vinaigrette ahead of time. Store in fridge and only dress the tomato bocconcini salad at the time of serving.
This salad is best consumed on the day.
If you have any caper vinaigrette leftover, you can store it in an air tight container for another couple of days. You can use it with other leafy green salads or pasta salads.
This tomato bocconcini salad recipe with caper vinaigrette is a colourful vegetarian salad perfect for the summer months. Using simple everyday ingredients that explode in flavour. Plus it can be easily doubled to serve a crowd. We love it for brunch, lunch or dinner.
More No Cook Salad Recipes:
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Tomato Bocconcini Salad with Caper Vinaigrette
- 250 g cherry tomatoes, medley
- 250 g strawberries
- 1 avocado
- ½ cup basil, leaves
- ½ red onion
- 200 g bocconcini
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Wash and slice cherry tomatoes into half.
- Wash and cut strawberries into quarters or halves, depending on the size of your strawberries.
- Peel and cut avocado into cubes.
- Remove basil from the stem to yield ½ cup.
- Thinly slice the red onion into half moons.
- Drain bocconcini from brine and set aside for assembly.
- Finely chop capers and place in a small mixing bowl.
- Crush and finely mince one garlic clove and add to the mixing bowl.
- Add apple cider vinegar and extra virgin olive oil and stir well to combine the capers, garlic, vinegar and oil together.
- Taste and then season with salt and pepper.
- Using a shallow serving plate, layer cherry tomatoes, avocado and cut strawberries.
- Then scatter bocconcini cheese, capers, sliced red onion and basil leaves on top.
- To serve, dress with caper vinaigrette and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Use the freshest of ingredients for this salad.
- Buffalo mozzarella is a good substitute if you can’t find bocconcini cheese. Cut the large ball up into smaller pieces.
- You can substitute the caper vinaigrette for our balsamic vinaigrette.
- If you don’t have capers, you could substitute the capers for anchovies in the vinaigrette. I would probably use 4 anchovies and finely chop them to add to the vinaigrette. Anchovies will be saltier, so you may need to adjust the apple cider vinegar and leave out any additional salt.
- You can prep ahead of time but only dress and toss salad when ready to serve.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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