If you’re pondering what to serve with Caprese salad, you’re in for a delightful culinary journey! This classic Italian salad, with its simple yet exquisite combination of ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil, complements a wide range of dishes.

What To Serve With Caprese Salad
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Whether you’re looking for a light lunch or planning an elaborate dinner, the versatility of Caprese salad makes it easy to incorporate into any meal. It pairs beautifully with grilled meats for a hearty meal, crusty bread for a fulfilling yet light option, or even various pastas if you’re in the mood for a more substantial Italian feast. It’s also perfect alongside seafood dishes, offering a fresh counterpoint to richer flavors.

Stay tuned as we explore delicious and creative ideas to accompany your Caprese salad, turning it into a meal that’s both satisfying and beautifully balanced!

Made with fresh basil, fresh mozzarella this simple classic Caprese Salad is the ultimate summertime food. Be sure to check out our traditional caprese salad recipe. 

Serve with Caprese salad

What Goes With Caprese Salad

Caprese salad, a classic Italian dish known for its simple and refreshing ingredients—ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar—is not only a staple of Italian cuisine but also a versatile side that pairs wonderfully with a variety of main courses. Here’s a guide to creating a harmonious meal by selecting the perfect accompaniments for your Caprese salad.

  • Grilled Meats: The freshness of Caprese salad makes it an ideal companion to grilled meats. Whether you’re serving up a juicy grilled chicken breast marinated in herbs, a robust steak seasoned with salt and pepper, or tender pork chops with a balsamic reduction, the lightness of the salad balances the richness of grilled meats beautifully. Each bite of meat can be followed by the refreshing taste of tomato and mozzarella, making for a delightful contrast.
  • Seafood: Seafood is another excellent pairing for Caprese salad. Grilled shrimp or a fillet of salmon, particularly when enhanced with lemon, complements the mild flavors of mozzarella and the bright notes of fresh basil and tomato. The combination is not only delicious but also light, perfect for a summer dinner or a special occasion.
  • Pasta Dishes: Italian meals often feature pasta, and pairing Caprese salad with pasta dishes can create a fulfilling meal. Opt for a simple spaghetti Aglio e Olio, which won’t overpower the salad, or a rich pesto pasta that mirrors the basil in the Caprese. Both choices weave together the flavors of Italy in a satisfying way.
  • Breads: A side of bread is almost a must with any Italian meal. Garlic bread, with its crisp exterior and buttery, garlicky flavor, or a piece of homemade focaccia topped with rosemary, provides a satisfying crunch that goes excellently with the soft textures of the salad.
  • Pizza: For a casual meal, serve Caprese salad with a complementary pizza. A Margherita pizza shares similar ingredients—tomato, basil, and mozzarella—and enhances the theme of the meal. Alternatively, a white pizza with a rich, garlic-infused olive oil base can provide a lovely depth of flavor alongside the salad.
  • Risotto: A creamy, comforting bowl of risotto makes an elegant entrée next to Caprese salad. Opt for a lemon risotto for a burst of citrus that cuts through the richness, or a tomato basil risotto that keeps the flavors consistent and pleasing.
  • Soups: Pairing Caprese salad with a bowl of soup can make for a comforting, light meal. A creamy tomato soup enhances the tomato flavors of the salad, while a classic minestrone provides a hearty vegetable-packed counterpart that is satisfying yet not overwhelming.
  • Wines: No Italian meal is complete without the right wine. A crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc complements the acidity and freshness of the tomatoes and basil in the salad. For red wine lovers, a glass of Chianti can bring out the deeper flavors in the mozzarella and stands up well to the accompanying dishes.

When selecting what to serve with Caprese salad, the key is to balance the lightness and freshness of the salad with other components of the meal. Consider the flavors and textures of what you are pairing to ensure each element complements the other, creating a harmonious and satisfying dining experience. Whether it’s a family dinner or a gathering with friends, these pairings with Caprese salad will surely enhance your meal and delight your guests.

What To Serve With Caprese Salad

How to Reheat Chicken Breast in Air Fryer

Air Fryer Grilled Chicken Breast

A succulent grilled chicken breast marinated with herbs and lemon pairs wonderfully with the freshness of a Caprese salad. The light and healthy nature of grilled chicken complements the creamy mozzarella and juicy tomatoes without overwhelming the delicate flavors. Opt for a simple marinade of olive oil, lemon zest, and a mix of herbs like rosemary and thyme to enhance the natural flavors. This dish is perfect for a summer meal, offering a protein-rich complement that’s both delicious and easy to prepare.

Pesto Pasta

Pesto pasta brings vibrant basil flavors that echo the fresh basil used in Caprese salad, creating a cohesive taste experience. Choose a traditional basil pesto tossed with al dente pasta, perhaps with a sprinkle of pine nuts for added texture. This dish adds a hearty element to the meal, making it more filling while still keeping the flavors fresh and bright. It’s a quick and easy option that can be served warm or cold, making it versatile for any occasion.

instant pot bbq pulled pork

Ninja Foodi Seafood Risotto

A creamy seafood risotto, enriched with flavors of the ocean, such as shrimp, scallops, and mussels, offers a luxurious complement to Caprese salad. The creamy texture of the risotto balances the crispness of the fresh salad ingredients. Infuse the risotto with a splash of white wine and finish with a dollop of butter for a rich taste that still feels appropriate alongside the lighter salad. This pairing is ideal for a more upscale meal or a special date night. This is such a great recipe to try in the summer months.

Pork loin

Air Fryer Garlic and Herb Roasted Pork Loin

Garlic and herb roasted pork loin is a robust dish that pairs beautifully with the simplicity of a Caprese salad. The pork should be roasted with a crust of garlic, herbs, and a touch of mustard to create a flavorful outer layer that complements the soft and mild flavors of tomato and mozzarella. This dish provides a hearty counterpart to Caprese without overpowering it, perfect for family dinners where a satisfying meal is needed. Serve it sliced with some of the roasting juices drizzled over the top for added flavor.

Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan

Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish that layers fried eggplant slices, marinara sauce, and plenty of melted cheese. Its rich and hearty nature makes it a substantial main dish to go along with the lightness of Caprese salad. The tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in the Eggplant Parmesan ties in nicely with the fresh tomatoes in the salad, while the crispy fried texture of the eggplant provides a delightful contrast. This vegetarian option is satisfying enough even for those who usually prefer meat.

Air Fryer Sockeye Salmon

Air Fryer Lemon Butter Salmon

Lemon butter salmon is an elegant dish that features a fillet of salmon pan-seared to perfection and finished with a rich lemon butter sauce. The fatty richness of the salmon is balanced by the zesty lemon, making it a perfect match for the freshness of Caprese salad. The simplicity of the cooking method preserves the delicate flavor of the salmon, ensuring that it doesn’t overwhelm the salad but rather complements its freshness. This pairing is excellent for a healthy dinner that feels special without requiring extensive preparation.

Instant Pot Quinoa

Instant Pot Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa Tabbouleh is a refreshing, herbaceous dish packed with parsley, mint, cucumber, and tomatoes, dressed in lemon juice and olive oil. This light and nutritious side dish echoes the freshness of the Caprese salad with its use of similar ingredients like tomatoes, enhancing the meal’s overall fresh flavor profile. Quinoa adds a protein-rich element to the meal, making this pairing especially suitable for a light lunch or as part of a health-conscious diet plan. It’s also a fantastic choice for those looking for gluten-free options.

Instant Pot Pasta Salad

Instant Pot Pasta Salad

Instant Pot pasta salad is a quick, versatile, and refreshing dish, perfect for picnics, potlucks, or as a light meal. Using an Instant Pot to cook the pasta allows for a perfectly al dente texture in a fraction of the time it usually takes, which is especially useful during busy days. You can mix in a variety of colorful vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers, along with your choice of dressing, ranging from a simple vinaigrette to a creamy Italian. Adding proteins such as diced ham, grilled chicken, or chickpeas can turn this salad into a more filling meal. The final touch of fresh herbs like basil or parsley adds a burst of freshness, making this dish both delightful to look at and delicious to eat. For an added twist, you can use a good quality buffalo mozzarella, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Air Fryer Teriyaki Steak Kabobs

Air Fryer Steak Kabobs

Air fryer steak kebabs offer a delicious, quick way to enjoy the rich flavors of grilled meat without firing up the grill. Marinate chunks of steak—sirloin or ribeye work wonderfully—in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, soy sauce, and your favorite herbs and spices to infuse them with flavor before cooking. Thread the marinated steak onto skewers, alternating with vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes, which will cook perfectly in the circulating heat of the air fryer. This method not only ensures a juicy, flavorful steak but also provides a beautifully charred exterior. Steak kebabs cooked in the air fryer are ideal for a low-mess, convenient, but simple meal that doesn’t skimp on taste, making them perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a casual gathering. Perfect for pairing alongside a simple recipe for the best caprese salad.

Air Fryer Roasted Vegetables

Air Fryer Roasted Vegetable Platter

A roasted vegetable platter with a selection of seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and carrots makes for a colorful and healthy addition to any meal featuring Caprese salad. The sweetness of the roasted vegetables complements the savory notes of the mozzarella and the acidity of the tomatoes. Drizzle the vegetables with a balsamic glaze to tie in with the balsamic element of the Caprese salad for a harmonious flavor profile. This side is not only delicious but also adds a visually appealing element to the table.

air fryer focaccia bread

Air Fryer Focaccia Bread

Freshly baked focaccia bread, flavored with rosemary and sea salt, offers a delightful texture and flavor contrast to the soft and fresh components of Caprese salad. The bread’s crispy crust and fluffy interior make it perfect for sopping up any leftover balsamic glaze or olive oil from the salad. This pairing enhances the simple caprese salad, adding a comforting carbohydrate that is especially welcome at larger gatherings or as part of a more substantial Italian feast.

Side Dishes for Steak

Air Fryer Balsamic Glazed Steak

Balsamic glazed steak brings a luxurious, savory depth to a meal with Caprese salad. The glaze, made from reduced balsamic vinegar, adds a sweet and tangy flavor that echoes the balsamic dressing of the salad. Choose a tender cut such as ribeye or sirloin, grill to your preferred doneness, and finish with the glaze for a meal that’s both indulgent and balanced. This dish is a great choice for an elegant dinner where each component is meant to shine on its own while complementing the overall flavor profile of the meal. Serve on top of the salad, and drizzle with a simple balsamic reduction.

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