These Tomato Pesto Caprese Skewers are the perfect appetizer for game day, a holiday party, or just for treating yourself to a fancy summertime snack! Caprese salad skewers are easy and impressive.
I love these Caprese salad skewers because they are a perfect light appetizer or snack and are especially good when game watching. I am a big promoter of Jersey tomatoes but when they are no longer in season I go with either grape or cherry tomatoes. They are sweet even if I do not buy them local. This is my "go-to" winter tomato to add to salads too.
While my husband and son concentrate on the football games in the fall, I watch casually but my main attention is to the food. Because who doesn't love food while watching football?
You probably already know that I love appetizers. I especially like them when they can be eaten in little bites. These Tomato Pesto Caprese Skewer Bites are the perfect thing to have at game day. They are light, fresh and so easy to make. This Caprese appetizer is the closest thing to a late bite of summer especially if you love tomatoes with pesto as much as I do.
These little bites only take a few minutes to pull together so they can be made right before needed. I am never embarrassed to use store bought pesto sauce, especially not in the winter.
Tomato Pesto Caprese Skewers - FAQ
Picking the best tomatoes?
- Perfect tomatoes look plump and juicy, and their skins are smooth.
- The skin should be free of bump or bruises, but some cracking near the stem is perfectly normal.
- Ripe tomatoes have a lovely fragrance to them. If there’s no aroma whatsoever, this could mean the tomato was picked before it was ready and won’t ever ripen properly.
- Planning on using the tomatoes right away? Try to pick ones that are soft to the touch. But if you aren't planning to make your Caprese skewer bites for a couple of days, aim for tomatoes that are a bit firmer.
- Experiment with different colored tomatoes. I love heirloom cherry tomatoes and they make the skewers look so pretty.
Can I make Caprese skewers in advance?
- These can be made a few hours in advance but I do not recommend making them the day before because the tomatoes change texture once they are refrigerated overnite.
- If you do have leftovers, place them in a ziploc bag or an airtight plastic container and place in the fridge. If you do eat the leftovers the next day, they are perfect to use in a pasta salad or other salad with dressing.
Tomato Caprese Variations
- Because it's fairly simple to assemble these Caprese appetizer bites, it's super easy to slide on some other ingredients.
- If the pesto isn't enough basil for you, of course you can throw on some fresh basil leaves as well. Mint would also make a refreshing and fragrant flavor addition.
- For some extra sweetness, use peach slices alongside the tomatoes when they are in season.
- Olives could be a great addition and add a nice salty touch to these Caprese salad skewers.
- Pine nuts are one of the key ingredients in pesto, but if you're looking for more of their floral, nutty flavor, try crushing some up and sprinkling them on top after drizzling with olive oil or the balsamic glaze.
More Grape and Cherry Tomato Recipes
- Pan Roasted Swordfish with Cherry Tomatoes and Capers
- Rainbow Greek Chicken Salad
- Pinwheel Antipasto Skewers
- Heirloom Tomato and Chick Pea Salad Recipe
- Blistered Tomato Toast with Pesto and Arugula from Swirls of Flavor
Caprese Salad Skewers are such a fun and flavorful appetizer.
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Tomato Pesto Caprese Bites
- 1 pint grape tomatoes about 24 to 26,
- 4 to 6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese cut in cubes
- 2 TBS prepared pesto sauce
- 24 toothpicks
- balsamic drizzle or olive oil for garnish
- fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Cut grape tomatoes in half the long way.
- Cube the mozzarella cheese into bite size pieces to fit in the center of the tomatoes.
- Put the cheese in a bowl and mix with the pesto sauce.
- Thread a tomato half, one piece of cheese, and another tomato half onto the toothpicks. Place toothpicks in a shallow serving dish. Garnish the plate with balsamic drizzle or extra virgin olive oil. Basil leaves can be sprinkled over the dish or threaded onto the skewers.
First Published January 2013; Updated November 2020 and June 2021