Caprese Skewers

For your next party, make Caprese Skewers, a delicious and easy Italian appetizer. Layer balls of fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil on skewers for a stunning, hand-held appetizer.

caprese skewers on a silver platter

In the past, whenever someone asked me to bring an appetizer to a party, I always struggled a little bit.

What will travel well? What will people like? What’s not too difficult? What can I make ahead?

Then my mom brought out these Caprese skewers at a dinner at her house, and I was sold. This was going to be my new go-to appetizer recipe, and I hope it’ll be yours too.

Caprese skewers recipe

Easy to make and easy to eat, these Caprese skewers are always a hit at parties in the summer months. 

In general, skewers make great party foods because people can grab a whole serving by picking up just one stick to munch on. One of my favorites for summer grilling are these grilled veggie skewers.

Juicy cherry tomatoes, creamy mozzarella balls and fresh basil leaves are skewered together to create a fun appetizer. If you need to serve some finger food or are simply looking for impressive appetizers for your event, this Caprese appetizer is fresh, healthy and delicious. 

You can serve them standing on a plate of pesto and balsamic vinegar for dipping or lay them on their sides on a tray. I like to make mine ahead of time, and then add the sauces and drizzles to my serving platter just before serving.

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What is caprese?

traditional Caprese salad is a type of Italian salad made of fresh sliced tomato, sliced mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. Usually drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and dusted with salt and black pepper, this simple salad always makes an impression.

Caprese’s ingredients are often enjoyed on sandwiches and are the foundation of Margherita pizza as well. 

As little skewers, the classic Caprese salad becomes an easy appetizer that’s fun to make and eat. 

a hand holding a caprese skewer


Here are the simple ingredients to add to your grocery store shopping list if you plan to make these Caprese salad skewers:

Fresh mozzarella balls

Use small pearls of mozzarella called ciliegine. The ideal size is grape-sized balls of mozzarella. Sometimes they are labeled as perlini (usually smaller and pearl-sized) or bocconcini (usually larger and egg-sized).

If you can’t find mozzarella pearls, you can use a large ball of fresh mozzarella that you break or cut into evenly sized pieces.

If you have any leftover mozzarella, you can make this melon mozzarella salad — it’s one of my favorites in the summer!

Fresh basil

Use fresh basil from your herb garden, or you can buy it at the grocery store. It is usually sold in plastic clamshells in the produce section.

I like to use this herb stripper to easily remove the leaves from the stems.

Sweet basil and Genovese basil are most common in Italian cooking, but you could also use purple basil or Thai basil. Any of these varieties of aromatic basil would be delicious.

Cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are the juicy, miniature, bite-size tomatoes often seen in the summer, though I see them more and more year-round these days. Grape tomatoes are a little bigger than cherry tomatoes but will work just fine.

While red is classic, feel free to use any color tomato — in the summer, you can often find these small tomatoes in all kinds of pretty colors! I love yellow tomatoes and green tomatoes.


You can find pesto at most grocery stores. You can also make your own pesto at home. Try this 3-Ingredient Pesto.

Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar

A drizzle of good olive oil and balsamic reduction on the plate gives the bottom layer some extra flavor. If you prefer to lay the skewers on their side, you can add a drizzle of balsamic glaze over the top.

Wooden Skewers

I like these bamboo skewers for my Caprese kabobs, but you can use toothpicks for smaller portions. We can call these Caprese bites!  

pesto and a caprese appetizer on a silver platter

How to make Caprese skewers

You can make Caprese skewers in just a few minutes. These are the perfect appetizer — just wait until you see what an easy recipe this is!

If you wish to stand them on a plate, you’ll need to cut about a third of the tomatoes in half.

Skewer on a basil leaf first, then a mozzarella ball and then a tomato, then repeat with another layer, ending with a tomato half on the bottom if you wish for them to stand up. (Or a whole one if you will lay them on their sides.)

This is the ideal order from top to bottom:

  1. basil leaf
  2. mozzarella ball
  3. cherry tomato (whole)
  4. basil leaf
  5. mozzarella ball
  6. cherry tomato (half)

Store them in an airtight container until ready to serve. You can make them up to one day ahead.

Serve them on a plate of pesto or olive oil with balsamic drizzle for a dipping sauce or keep them plain and simple. It’s up to you!

If you like, sprinkle them with salt and pepper or even a pinch of Italian seasoning. 

Variations and substitutions

There are a number of ways you can make these Caprese skewers all your own.

Don’t like tomatoes? Use watermelon or bites of red peppers.

Don’t want to use mozzarella? You can use feta or goat cheese. A cheddar cheese cube would work too.

Don’t have basil? Use mint leaves.

caprese skewers on a tray of pesto

Easy Italian appetizers

If you love Caprese, you will love these easy Italian appetizers. 

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

a hand holding a caprese skewer

Caprese Skewers

Yield: 12 skewers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
These easy Caprese skewers make for a delicious and fun appetizer.
5 from 1 vote
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  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
  • 24 leaves fresh basil stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or pesto
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
  • pinch salt and pepper


  • On a skewer, place a basil leaf, a mozzarella ball, a cherry tomato, another basil leaf and another mozzarella ball.
  • If standing the skewers up, the last item should be half a tomato with the flat side facing down. If laying the skewers on their sides, the last item can be a whole cherry tomato or a half.
  • Store in an airtight container until ready to serve. Before serving, drizzle pesto or olive oil and balsamic vinegar on your serving platter. Add the skewers on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Don’t like tomatoes? Use watermelon or bites of red peppers.
No mozzarella? You can use feta or goat cheese. A cheddar cheese cube would work too.
Don’t have basil? Use mint leaves.

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nutrition information

Yield: 12 skewers

amount per serving:

Serving: 1skewer Calories: 66kcal Carbohydrates: 2g Protein: 4g Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 2g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 7mg Sodium: 18mg Potassium: 90mg Fiber: 0.3g Sugar: 1g Vitamin A: 246IU Vitamin C: 9mg Calcium: 74mg Iron: 0.3mg
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