This Keto Caprese Salad is the perfect simple salad for when tomatoes are at the height of the season. Fresh juicy tomatoes play well with creamy fresh mozzarella. A splash of balsamic vinegar brings everything together with a zippy, refreshing punch. While it tips its hat to a classic Caprese Salad, I've made this Caprese salad keto by adding avocado, which helps to balance out the macros. Give it a try, and you will be hooked.
I don't know about you, but Caprese Salad is always a welcome addition to my table.
I love it so much, I've been known to make it with cherry or grape tomatoes in the winter when decent tomatoes are hard to find. This time of year, when summer produce is starting to make its appearance, it is something I eat several times a week.
It is without question the unchallenged champion of easy lunches in my book. I will never get tired of the color, flavor, and vibrancy this low carb caprese salad adds to the table.
- Tomatoes: Use vine-ripened or heirloom tomatoes when tomatoes are at their height of season. Other times of year, smaller tomatoes such as plum tomatoes or even cherry tomatoes are a nice alternative.
- Cheese: Fresh mozzarella is a must.
- Avocado: Optional but definitely recommended! Avocado adds a creamy texture and flavor that takes this caprese salad over the top. Plus, it helps tip the scales of the macros for this recipe, keeping this caprese keto friendly.
- Basil: I like to use either fresh basil leaves or basil microgreens when possible. However, dried herbs can be used in a pinch.
- Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar: These two ingredients are key for adding flavor and depth to this salad. This is the time to pull out the good stuff!
- Maldon Sea Salt or salt of choice: For me, nothing completes a dish quite like Maldon Sea Salt. It provides just the right amount of crunch and flavor to this caprese salad.
- Fresh ground black pepper: A pinch of freshly ground black pepper is all you need for this recipe - any more will overpower the other flavors.
Step by Step
First, start by layering the tomatoes, mozzarella, and avocado on a serving platter or individual plates.
Next add the basil leaves.
Then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy your keto tomato mozzarella salad!
Tips for Making Keto Avocado Caprese Salad:
- Try salting the tomatoes before adding them to the salad. It intensifies their meatiness and helps to draw out their juices.
- If you can find - or grow - basil microgreens, they are fabulous in this recipe. They have an intense flavor and are more nutrient-dense than regular basil.
- If you are using basil, make sure you put it in water and store it at room temperature. It turns brown when exposed to cold.
Variations for This Recipe:
- Add grilled zucchini slices or eggplant slices for a heartier dish that will keep this caprese salad keto friendly.
- Use garlic oil in place of the extra-virgin olive oil.
- Use burrata (the creamiest of all cheeses!) in place of fresh mozzarella.
- Use cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella balls (bocconcini).
- For a lower carb option, use a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Balsamic Vinegar OK for a Keto Diet?
Balsamic vinegar is something you need to be careful with on a keto diet. Provided it is a pure product, you can enjoy it in moderation. (As in this recipe, about ½ teaspoon per serving.) . Most balsamic vinegar is fake, and many have added sugars. Make sure you read the label before buying. You can read more about purchasing quality balsamic vinegar here and here.
Are Tomatoes OK for a Keto Diet?
Tomatoes are a great addition to a keto diet. They are low in net carbs and provide an excellent source of Vitamin C and other antioxidants. Tomatoes are also high in lycopene, which helps protect against certain diseases. Eating tomatoes in moderation will not kick you out of ketosis but should be eaten within your daily carb limit.
Can This Recipe Be Made Ahead of Time?
This is a recipe that I recommend throwing together at the last minute. Tomatoes get mealy when they are stored in the refrigerator, and avocado turns brown too quickly. If you are entertaining, you can slice the cheese ahead of time - or make things super easy and buy pre-sliced mozzarella. Tomatoes can be sliced and kept covered at room temperature for an hour or two.
More Keto Salad Recipes to Try
- For a light dinner or hearty lunch, don’t miss this keto recipe for Caesar Salad. One bite and you will fall in love!
- This keto Asian salad with chicken is the perfect way to mix your meal plan up.
- Keto Big Mac salad has all your favorite flavors in a delicious bowl.
- Even the kids will love this keto taco salad.
Keto Caprese Salad
- 2 large tomatoes heirloom if you can find them
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 avocado sliced; optional
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves or basil microgreens
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Maldon Sea Salt or salt of choice
- Fresh ground black pepper
- On a serving platter or plates, layer the tomato, mozzarella, avocado, and basil
- Drizzle with olive oil and then balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.