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For the ultimate in summer flavors, you are going to love this fresh and healthy Caprese Zoodles Salad. Adding zucchini noodles to the combination of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil is a simple way to put a new twist on this classic salad. Enjoy it as a side dish or a light lunch!
Easy Caprese Zoodles Salad
One of my favorite things enjoy in the summer is Caprese Salad. When those sweet, juicy tomatoes are in season, there isn’t much better than a thick slice paired with creamy fresh mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. Add a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and it’s simple perfection.
But why not give things a twist? Especially because when those tomatoes are in abundance, so is zucchini. So I took out the spiralizer, made a heaping pile of zucchini noodles, and tossed it with everything I love from the classic Caprese salad.
What kind of spiralizer should I use?
You have several options depending on your needs, storage space, and budget.
- Without buying any special gadgets, you can work very carefully with a knife to slice your zucchini lengthwise into thin slices, then cut those slices into thin strips.
- The cheapest option is a julienne peeler, which you can get for about $10. This looks like a basic potato peeler, but it has small blades that cut the zucchini into long, straight matchsticks. It is small and easy with little to clean, but you don’t get those long spiral shapes.
- For just a few dollars more, you can get a handheld spiralizer which gives you those twisty and twirly zoodles. These are compact and easy to use and clean but will take a little more work if you a spiralizing a lot of veggies.
- The next step is a tabletop spiralizer, which is what I usually use. These make it easy to go through a ton of veggies in no time, and they often have multiple blades for different sizes and shapes. They are larger and there are more pieces to clean.
- If you really want to go all out, you can get a spiralizer attachment for your KitchenAid Mixer. This is definitely heavy-duty but it’s pricier, at over $100.
Other than the classic ingredients in a Caprese salad, all you’ll need is a couple of zucchini to make Caprese Zoodles Salad. Let’s gather what you need and get started.
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Zucchini: You’ll need two medium ones cut into zucchini noodles. You can peel it before spiralizing, if you like.
- Grape or cherry tomatoes: Cut these in half.
- Fresh mozzarella: You can use the small balls, called bocconcini or ciliegine, and cut them in half or quarters. Or if you can’t find those, just use a regular sized ball of fresh mozzarella and cut it into small cubes.
- Fresh basil: Finely minced. You ca also use a few leaves for garnish.
How to Make Caprese Zoodles Salad
It’s really so simple!
Make the dressing: Whisk the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set it aside.
Spiralize the zucchini: Cut the zucchini into zoodles using your preferred method, as discussed above. Place it in a larger bowl.
Toss the salad: Add the tomatoes and mozzarella to the zucchini, pour the dressing over the top, and toss everything together with tongs. Sprinkle with the basil and enjoy right away, or let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to let the zucchini tenderize a bit!
How to Store this Zoodles Salad
While zoodles salads are best enjoyed the day you make them, you can store Caprese Zoodles Salad tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 or 3 days. The zucchini will give off moisture so you may want to drain off some of the liquid.
Tips for Success
Got picky eaters? If the kiddos might not like to see the dark green or don’t like the texture of the thick zucchini skin, try peeling the zucchini before spiralizing it.
Want fewer dirty dishes? You can just pour the dressing ingredients over top of the vegetables. But it does distribute more evenly if you stir the dressing together separately.
Make it a Meal
This Zucchini Caprese Salad is a light and lovely side with so many delicious meals, especially those with Italian flavors.
- Steak: You can’t go wrong if you pair this salad with Honey Balsamic Marinated Flat Iron Steak.
- Chicken: It’s a match made in heaven with Prosciutto-Wrapped Pesto Chicken Tenders that you can make in the oven or air fryer.
- Meatless: Enjoy the complementary flavors with Caprese Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters.
- Pizza: Have a light side with your hearty Gluten Free Supreme Pizza.
Caprese Zoodles Salad
- In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Using a vegetable spiral cutter (spiralizer), cut the zucchini into zucchini noodles. Place it in a large bowl and add the tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella.
- Pour the dressing over the top and toss with tongs until combined and evenly coated. Sprinkle with the basil. Enjoy right away or cover and store in the refrigrator for up to 2 or 3 days.