This chopped spinach caprese salad is a perfect dish to impress your friends and family! It's super easy to make, but the flavor profile is so impressive! Packed with spinach, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette.
What is Caprese Salad?
A caprese salad is a traditional Italian salad. It typically contains fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, and is seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil. There are many variations to the typical caprese salad, like adding balsamic vinegar, pesto, or serving it on top of green leafy vegetables.
- Baby spinach: This leafy green makes such a good base for all the other ingredients.
- Cherry tomatoes: Rather than using large tomatoes, cherry tomatoes are easier to grab with a fork when you're trying to get that perfect caprese bite!
- Fresh mozzarella: Since the spinach and cherry tomatoes are chopped and in smaller pieces, I feel like pearl-sized fresh mozzarella is the perfect size fresh mozzarella to use in this salad.
- Fresh basil: This delicious herb is better fresh than dried, and imparts a fresh flavor into the salad.
- Easy balsamic dressing: Balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, and salt combine to make this easy and delicious balsamic dressing that ties the whole salad together.
How to Make Spinach Caprese Salad
First, chop all your veggies and herbs. To chop the baby spinach, I actually used kitchen scissors instead of chopping with a knife. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Chiffonade the basil: layer the leaves on top of each other, roll tightly, and slice through, resulting in long strands. Mince the garlic. Combine the baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil in a large bowl.
Make the easy balsamic dressing. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, and salt in a small bowl. Once well-combined, pour the dressing over the salad. Mix the salad and dressing to incorporate the dressing into the salad. Serve and enjoy!
Variations and Substitutions
- Make it vegan: Swap the mozzarella for a "vegan" mozzarella instead.
- Make it gluten-free: This salad is already gluten-free, so no changes are needed.
- Add a protein source: To make this dish more filling, add your favorite protein source. Grilled chicken or shrimp would be wonderful in this salad!
- Switch up the leafy greens! Not a fan of spinach? Use arugula or chopped kale instead. If using kale, massage the chopped kale with the balsamic dressing to break it up and make it easier to digest. Then add the remaining ingredients.
- Add more fun toppings! You can really get creative with the toppings you add to this spinach caprese salad. Add some chopped olives, pine nuts, walnuts, or even cucumbers. The world (or salad) is your oyster!
What to Serve with Spinach Caprese Salad
This is the perfect side salad to enjoy with your family or friends. It is super easy to make, yet the flavor profile makes it so impressive. To make a complete dinner, pair this chopped caprese salad with these lentil stuffed peppers with orzo & feta. More in a pizza or pasta mood? Then try it with this easy and quick margherita flatbread pizza or this creamy hummus pasta.
If you made this recipe, I’d love to see your creation! Don’t forget to snap a picture and tag me @thebalancedbite on Instagram. Follow along on Pinterest and Facebook for more healthy & tasty recipes!
More Healthy Salad Recipes:
- Peach Avocado Salad
- Shrimp Taco Salad Bowl
- Quinoa Black Bean Avocado Salad
- Mediterranean Shrimp Salad
- Chickpea Avocado Salad
- Cucumber Strawberry Salad
- Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt (No Mayo)
- 5 ounces baby spinach, chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella (pearl-sized)
- 6 basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Layer spinach, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil in a large bowl.
- Make the balsamic dressing: Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic cloves, and salt in a small bowl. Add more salt if needed.
- Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Serve and enjoy!
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