This easy spinach Caprese salad is loaded with fresh veggies and topped with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Packed with lots of flavor and healthy ingredients, this salad is the perfect side dish!
Spinach is such an easy base for a salad because it pairs well with almost anything! This salad has a bed of spinach, topped with tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella, and vinaigrette. It is very light and fresh and is perfect for warm weather!
This recipe is also allergy friendly. It’s gluten-free, vegan, and can be made dairy free by replacing the mozzarella balls with non-dairy cheese.
What is a Caprese Salad?
A Caprese salad is a traditional Italian salad. It typically consists of basil, sliced tomatoes, and sliced mozzarella. Caprese salads are usually topped with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Adding spinach to the Caprese salad creates more of a traditional “green” salad. The salad is served with a balsamic glaze, which pulls all flavors together. This salad is often known as a mozzarella spinach salad or a caprese salad with spinach.
Reasons this Works
- The salad is full of flavor! The fresh basil, mozzarella and balsamic all provide an Italian flavor to this salad.
- The salad is healthy! Spinach is loaded with vitamins and minerals. The tomatoes are also full of nutrition!
- This salad is easy to prep ahead of time. Combine all ingredients and pour the balsamic over the top right before serving.
- This is an easy meal prep option. Add some protein (such as grilled chicken) and you have a complete meal!
- Spinach: cut the stems off all the spinach for best results
- Mozzarella Cheese Pearls: you can use any type of mozzarella cheese, however I prefer the cheese pearls because they are already cut into a ball flavor.
- Fresh Basil: this adds a fresh and light flavor to the salad. I strongly recommend fresh basil and not dried basil.
- Tomatoes: I used cherry tomatoes, you can use any type of tomato and slice it into small pieces.
Step By Step Instructions
Prep the veggies: cut the stems off all spinach leaves. Chop the cherry tomatoes in half. Wash the basil and cut it into small pieces.
Assemble the salad: Place the spinach in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Make the dressing: combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic. Pour over the top of the salad right before serving.
- Switch up the dressing. This salad tastes great with the balsamic, but would also be delicious with this honey-lime vinaigrette.
- Replace the cheese: I love mozzarella balls because they provide a deep savory flavor to the salad. You could also use feta cheese, blue cheese, or shredded cheddar cheese.
- Make it a complete meal by adding protein. Grilled chicken, salmon, steak, shrimp or hard-boiled eggs are all great options!
- Add some extra crunch: top the salad with sliced almonds or crushed pecans.
- Swap out the spinach with a different lettuce. Use kale or arugula. Here's a post on a list of substitues for arugula- any of these lettuce options would work!
I recommend serving this as a side salad to the main entrée, such as a protein or pasta. This salad has Italian flavors, so it pairs nicely with Italian dishes, such as Enchiladas or Chicken Alfredo. It also pairs well with any other cuisine. Here are some of my favorite dishes to pair it with:
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs
- Air Fryer Salmon
- Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Air Fryer Tilapia with Herbs and Spices
Spinach Caprese Salad
- 5 ounces fresh spinach
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes chopped in half
- 1 cup mozzarella balls
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoon garlic chopped
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Add the spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil to a large bowl. Mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, prepare the balsamic dressing. Mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic until combined.
- Pour over the salad right before serving and mix well.
- Tip: Wait to add the balsamic dressing until right before serving. This prevents the salad from getting soggy.