Easy Salmon Caprese Recipe: Fresh, Flavorful Twist on a Classic

We’ve all heard of the classic Caprese salad, a simple yet delicious Italian dish that celebrates the colors of the Italian flag with ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. But have you ever thought of giving it a twist? That’s where our Salmon Caprese comes into play. It’s a creative spin on the traditional, adding a rich, omega-3-packed layer that transforms it into a heartier meal.

Imagine the tender, flaky texture of perfectly cooked salmon, paired with the creamy mozzarella, vibrant tomatoes, and the fresh punch of basil, all drizzled with a balsamic glaze that ties every flavor together beautifully. It’s not just a dish; it’s a culinary journey that brings the essence of Italian summer to your table, no matter the season.

We’re excited to share this recipe with you. It’s a testament to how a few quality ingredients, when combined thoughtfully, can create a dish that’s both simple and spectacular. Let’s dive in and discover how to bring this Salmon Caprese to life in your kitchen.


Embarking on this culinary journey, we’ve gathered fresh, quality ingredients that promise to transform your meal into an Italian summer dream. From omega-3 rich salmon to creamy mozzarella, every component plays a crucial role in creating our Salmon Caprese.

For the Salmon

  • 4 salmon fillets (6 ounces each), skin on
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

For the Caprese Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
  • Additional olive oil for drizzling

Required Tools and Equipment

Embarking on this culinary journey to create the delightful Salmon Caprese, you’ll need the right set of tools and equipment. Having everything you need on hand before you get started makes the cooking process smooth and enjoyable. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Knife and Cutting Board: Essential for slicing the tomatoes, chopping the basil, and if necessary, preparing the salmon fillets.
  • Mixing Bowls: You’ll need at least one for mixing the seasoning and olive oil that will coat the salmon.
  • Baking Sheet: A sturdy baking sheet will serve as the cooking platform for your salmon fillets.
  • Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat: To line the baking sheet, ensuring your salmon doesn’t stick and makes for an easier cleanup.
  • Measuring Spoons: Precision is key, especially for the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  • Spoon or Brush: For drizzling and evenly spreading the olive oil and balsamic glaze over the ingredients.
  • Oven: The primary cooking appliance for baking the salmon to perfection.
  • Serving Platter: To beautifully assemble and present your Salmon Caprese.

Having these tools and equipment at the ready not only streamlines your preparation but also ensures that every layer of this dish, from the perfectly cooked salmon to the drizzled balsamic glaze, comes together harmoniously. It’s remarkable how the right equipment can enhance your cooking experience, allowing the fresh flavors of this dish to shine through. So, let’s gather our tools and dive into the creation of this exquisite fusion of flavors that promises to transport us straight to the heart of Italian summer.

Preparation Steps

After gathering our tools and equipment, let’s dive into the heart of making this succulent Salmon Caprese. We’ll marinate the salmon to perfection, then prepare our Caprese ingredients for a mouth-watering combination.

Marinating the Salmon

To begin, you’ll need:

  • 4 salmon fillets (about 6 oz each)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  1. First, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and chopped basil to create the marinade.
  2. Place the salmon fillets in a shallow dish or a resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the salmon, ensuring each fillet is evenly coated.
  3. Let the salmon marinate in the refrigerator. We find that 30 minutes is the sweet spot, but if you’re pressed for time, 15 minutes will do just fine.
  4. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) towards the end of the marinating process.

Prepping the Caprese Ingredients

While the salmon marinates, get your Caprese salad components ready:

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic glaze for drizzling
  1. Start by slicing the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. You want them to be about the same thickness for a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.
  2. On a large platter, alternate slices of tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves. It’s like painting with colors and textures, aiming for an eye-catching arrangement.
  3. Season the Caprese salad lightly with salt and pepper. This will enhance the natural flavors of the tomatoes and cheese.
  4. Finally, set the platter aside. You’ll add the baked salmon right before serving and finish everything off with a generous drizzle of balsamic glaze.

We’re now ready to move on to baking the salmon and assembling our dish, ensuring those flavors meld beautifully on the plate.

Cooking Instructions

Now that we’ve prepped our ingredients, let’s dive into the cooking process. We’ll start by perfectly cooking the salmon before assembling our vibrant Caprese salad.

Cooking the Salmon

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  2. Place the marinated salmon fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Ensure there’s enough space between each fillet to allow even cooking.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. The exact time might vary depending on the thickness of your salmon. You’re aiming for an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) or until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.
  4. Once cooked, remove the salmon from the oven and let it rest for a couple of minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, making your salmon moist and flavorful.

Assembling and Finishing the Salmon Caprese

  1. While the salmon is cooking, arrange the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese on a large platter. Overlap them for a more appealing presentation and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes and mozzarella slices. This not only adds flavor but also helps to meld the tastes together.
  3. Add the fresh basil leaves between the layers of tomato and mozzarella. The basil infuses an aromatic freshness that’s quintessential to Caprese salad.
  4. Once the salmon is cooked and has rested, gently place the fillets on top of the arranged tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
  5. Finally, drizzle the balsamic glaze over the entire dish. The glaze adds a sweet and tangy finish that beautifully complements the rich flavors of the salmon and the freshness of the Caprese salad.

And there you have it! With the salmon beautifully cooked and the Caprese salad artfully assembled, you’re ready to serve a dish that’s sure to impress any crowd with its delightful medley of flavors.

Assembling the Salmon Caprese

After ensuring our salmon has absorbed the lovely flavors of the marinade and the Caprese salad components are sliced and ready, we transition to the most exciting part: assembling the Salmon Caprese. This process is where the magic happens, blending colors, textures, and flavors into a dish that’s as beautiful to look at as it is delicious to eat. Follow these steps to create an unforgettable culinary experience.

Layering the Caprese Salad

  1. Begin by selecting a large, attractive platter. This will serve as the canvas for our edible artwork.
  2. Arrange the sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese in an alternating pattern around the edge of the platter. Imagine creating a colorful frame that will encase our baked salmon.
  3. Drizzle a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil over the tomatoes and mozzarella. This not only adds flavor but also helps bring out the vibrant colors of the ingredients.
  4. Sprinkle salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. These seasonings will enhance the natural flavors of the tomatoes and cheese.

Adding the Salmon

  1. Once the Caprese salad base is set, carefully place the baked salmon in the center of the platter. Our goal is for the salmon to be the star of the show, complemented by the Caprese salad.
  2. If the salmon is in larger pieces, consider flaking it gently over the salad for a more integrated appearance. Alternatively, keeping it in a few large pieces can make for a more impressive presentation.

Garnishing the Salmon Caprese

  1. Tear fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them liberally over the entire platter. The basil not only adds a fresh aroma but also introduces a pop of green that makes the dish visually stunning.
  2. Finally, drizzle balsamic glaze in a zigzag pattern over the salmon and Caprese salad. The glaze adds a sweet and tangy finish that ties all the components together beautifully.

Serving Suggestions

After crafting our Salmon Caprese, with its layers of juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and perfectly baked salmon, all finished with a drizzle of rich balsamic glaze, the next step is serving this delightful dish. We believe in making every meal an occasion, and how we serve this dish can truly elevate the dining experience. Here are our top suggestions to turn this meal into a feast for the senses.

On a Large Platter

Serving Salmon Caprese on a large, elegant platter not only showcases the beauty of this dish but also makes it inviting. Arrange the salmon and Caprese salad enticingly so that each spoonful can include a bit of everything. The contrast of colors and textures on a wide surface makes the dish visually appealing, ensuring that it becomes the centerpiece of your dining table.

Accompanied with Fresh Bread

Offering slices of fresh, crusty bread alongside Salmon Caprese allows guests to soak up every bit of flavor. Whether it’s a slice of sourdough or a rustic baguette, bread acts as the perfect vessel to enjoy the juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, and that delightful balsamic glaze.

Paired with Wine

A meal as special as Salmon Caprese deserves a fine wine pairing. We recommend a chilled glass of Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. These wines, with their balanced acidity and fruit-forward notes, complement the rich flavors of the salmon and the freshness of the Caprese salad, enhancing the overall dining experience.

Over a Bed of Greens

For those looking for a lighter serving option, placing your Salmon Caprese over a bed of mixed greens makes for a refreshing and nutritious meal. The greens not only add a layer of crunch but also a pop of color, making the dish as beautiful as it is delicious.

With Roasted Vegetables

To make this meal even heartier, consider serving it with a side of roasted vegetables. Seasonal veggies like asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers roasted with a touch of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper can add a wonderful texture and complement the flavors of the Salmon Caprese beautifully.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Upon marrying the robust flavors of tender salmon with the classic Caprese elements, we’ve uncovered a dish not only bursting with color but also convenience. Let’s explore how to assemble the Salmon Caprese ahead of time, ensuring every bite is as fresh and invigorating as the last.

Prepping the Ingredients

  1. Salmon: You can cook the salmon up to a day in advance. Let it cool after cooking, then cover and refrigerate. Before serving, gently bring it to room temperature to best enjoy its flavors.
  2. Mozzarella and Tomatoes: Slice both the mozzarella and tomatoes ahead of time. Store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. They’ll hold up well for a day.
  3. Basil: It’s best when fresh, but you can rinse and pat dry your basil leaves, then wrap them in a slightly damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. This method keeps them lively and fragrant.
  4. Balsamic Glaze: If using store-bought, this is ready to go. For homemade glaze, you can make this a few days in advance. Simply cool and store in an airtight container at room temperature to maintain its syrupy consistency.

Assembling Before Serving

To ensure optimal freshness and presentation, assemble the Salmon Caprese no more than an hour before it’s time to dine.

  1. Arranging the Base: Start by artistically layering the tomato and mozzarella slices on your serving platter. Intermittent basil leaves between each slice add bursts of color and freshness.
  2. Adding the Salmon: Slice the chilled salmon into serving-sized pieces or flake it gently, depending on your preference. Arrange the salmon pieces atop the mozzarella and tomatoes, ensuring each bite offers a harmonious blend of flavors.
  3. Drizzling the Glaze: Just before serving, gracefully zigzag the balsamic glaze over the assembled dish. This not only enhances the taste but adds a visually appealing finish.
  4. Seasoning: A light sprinkle of salt and pepper before serving brings out the vibrancy in all the ingredients, marrying the flavors perfectly.


We’ve walked through the delightful journey of crafting a Salmon Caprese that promises to elevate your dining experience. Embracing this twist on a classic not only adds a touch of elegance but ensures a burst of flavors that are both refreshing and satisfying. Remember, the key lies in the freshness of the ingredients and the love poured into assembling it. Whether it’s a quiet dinner at home or a gathering with friends, this dish is sure to impress. Let’s keep the tradition of sharing good food alive by bringing this exquisite Salmon Caprese to our tables. Happy cooking!

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