Roasted Grape Tomato Salad is festive and EASY! The twist to the classic Caprese flavor combination in this recipe is to caramelize the tomatoes so they are sweet before drizzling the balsamic reduction over everything!
Looking for an impressive and easy side dish to serve with chicken, beef or just about any dinner…from a holiday party to a casual barbecue?
You can’t go wrong with the Italian-inspired combination of tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar, which is also known as a “Caprese salad.”
It works with any type of tomato. But, I’ve become partial to grape tomatoes because they are almost always available and comparatively inexpensive. Not a huge fan of this tomato variety?
Roast them to bring out the delicious flavor and you’ll find yourself adding them to dishes for color and a pop of juicy tomato all the time.
Below we break down the key ingredients and TIPS you don’t want to miss.
Grape Tomatoes vs Cherry Tomatoes
Either one can be roasted and are perfect for grape tomato salad.
But, ever wonder what the difference is?
- Grape tomatoes are shaped like their namesake and are usually half the size of cherry tomatoes.
- Grape tomatoes also have slightly thicker skin and tend to be a little less sweet than cherry tomatoes…which is why we roasted them for this grape tomato salad.
How to Roast Grape Tomatoes
Roast grape tomatoes in the oven OR in an air fryer if you have one!
Cut the tomatoes in half in either direction. If you happen to come across any tomatoes with green seeds inside, scrape out the seeds since they won’t be tasty.
Green insides mean they were probably picked before they were ripe. Larger tomatoes generally ripen from the inside out. But grape and cherry tomatoes sometimes turn red on the outside before they’re completely ripened.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss tomatoes with olive oil and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the skin starts to shrivel, turning halfway through.
How to Chiffonade Basil with Scissors
Cut fresh basil leaves into strips. Our go-to method is to stack 4-5 leaves, roll them and then cut with scissors. Of course, a knife can be used too.
Types of Mozzarella Cheese
The best type of mozzarella cheese for Tomato Caprese Salad depends upon you! Here are some options:
- Traditional (and my first choice!): Buffalo mozzarella (aka mozzarella di bufala) or bocconcini.
- Vegan: Choose a dairy-free, plant-based mozzarella-flavored option.
- In a pinch or on a budget: Block mozzarella cheese or even shredded mozzarella.
- Make your own! The Kitchn has instructions to make homemade fresh mozzarella.
Cut mozzarella into small cubes, about 1/2 to 1 inch in size.
How to Make a Balsamic Reduction
Balsamic glaze or syrup can be purchased in the grocery store. However, it is very easy to make!
Bring twice the desired amount of balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Reduce the temperature and simmer until the amount is reduced by half and is a nice syrupy consistency. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
Since this recipe calls for a very small amount of syrup, you’ll want to start with at least 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar. Store excess syrup in the refrigerator to make things like Watermelon Salad or to drizzle on Roasted Asparagus.
FAQ about Roasted Grape Tomato Salad
- Do you have to roast the tomatoes? Absolutely not! Just toss all the ingredients together and you’re done!
- Do you have to cut the tomatoes in half? No! Cutting allows you to remove seeds if desired.
- Can the salad be assembled ahead of time? I think it’s best to serve it within an hour or two of the preparation time.
The serving size for this Roasted Grape Tomato Caprese Salad is small. Double or triple the recipe if you’re serving a crowd or want to use it as a topping for pasta or chicken. And….yes, that’s delicious too!
More Simple Salad Recipes
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Roasted Grape Tomato Caprese Salad
- 1 Pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ounces mozzarella cheese cut into small cubes (1/2 to 1 inch in size)
- 8-10 basil leaves cut into thin strips
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic syrup or glaze
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut tomatoes in half or leave whole.
- Mix tomatoes with olive oil.
- Place tomatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Roast for about 20 minutes or until the tomatoes just begin to pucker or burst, flipping halfway through.
- Remove tomatoes to a serving dish.
- Layer cubed mozzarella and fresh basil strips on top of the tomatoes.
- Drizzle balsamic glaze over the top and enjoy!
- You can make this recipe without roasting the tomatoes!
- You can also make this recipe with any type of tomato.
- Cut tomatoes in half in either direction or leave whole.
- Remove the seeds or discard tomatoes with green insides which indicates that they are not fully ripened.
- Tomatoes may be roasted in an air fryer.
- To make a Balsamic Glaze:
- Bring twice the desired amount of balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Reduce the temperature and simmer until the amount is reduced by half and is a nice syrupy consistency. Cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn. Start with 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar and use the leftover glaze for other uses. Store in the refrigerator.
- Serving sizes are small. Double or triple the recipe as needed.