Salad can be enjoyed in many different ways.
Some salads are main entrees, while others act as the perfect side to another dish.
One of my favorite simple (and classic) salads is Caprese salad.
Caprese salad, also known as Insalata Caprese, is a simple Italian dish consisting of tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil.
This dish is typically served as a side or appetizer, although it can be enjoyed on its own for a light lunch or dinner option.
Caprese salad is easy to make and requires little cook time—most of the work is preparing the ingredients.
The beauty of Caprese salad lies in the simplicity of the dish and that fresh ingredients are always best.
It’s essential to use high-quality whole milk mozzarella and freshly picked basil for the best taste.
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden with fresh basil growing, you can even try your hand at growing mozzarella balls yourself.
Several side dishes can be served with Caprese salad.
In this article, we will list 7 of what we think are the best side dishes to have with Caprese salad.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes for Caprese Salad?
Caprese salad is an absolute classic when it comes to simple salads.
Sometimes, though, you might feel like another side dish would be beneficial.
The following are some practical reasons why having a simple side dish with your Caprese salad may come in handy the next time you serve this dish.
1 – Give Your Salad More Flavor.
Adding a side dish to your Caprese salad is a great way to add an extra burst of flavor.
Many people enjoy Caprese salad as-is, but others might not have enough flavor packed into their salads.
Adding some flavorful side dishes will give the meal more pop and offer something entirely new for your palate.
2 – Offer Your Guests More Vegetable Options.
If your friends or family are anything like mine, you probably have everyone from vegans to vegetarians at the table when you serve Caprese salad.
While Caprese salad can be an excellent vegan option, some might not enjoy it due to its heavy cheese presence.
Serving an entirely vegetarian side dish can be a great way to offer your guests more options when it comes to the main course.
3 – Offer Something Heartier.
Caprese salad is a light dish, with most versions weighing in at about 200 calories or less per serving.
If you’re feeling generous and want to offer something with a bit more heft to it, consider adding some side dish that’s a bit heartier.
Your guests will enjoy the extra food, and you might be able to trick them into thinking they’re eating a more difficult meal by offering some side dishes that will bulk up the meal.
What to Serve with Caprese Salad? 7 BEST Side Dishes
Now that we’ve discussed a few reasons you might want to consider serving side dishes with Caprese salad, let’s go over some suggestions.
The following are seven of the best side dishes to serve alongside Caprese salad.
1 – Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is one of the most popular side dishes for Caprese salad and with good reason.
Avocado toast adds a creamy element to the dish, offering something new for your palate while remaining light and fresh.
To make some simple avocado toast, cut an avocado in half and remove the pit from the center.
Turn the avocado open-side down and slice up in a grid pattern.
Remove the skin and add salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste before spreading on your toast.
2 – Fried Zucchini
Another popular side dish for Caprese salad is fried zucchini.
You can fry zucchini using whatever batter you desire (bread crumbs, egg, etc) and serve alongside the tomato mixture.
If you’re looking for a light way to fry zucchini, try breading it in beaten eggs and pan-frying it with a small amount of oil.
It’s an effortless procedure and works well as a side dish.
You can also forgo the batter all together and toss your zucchini slices in a generous amount of salt, pepper, and garlic powder before pan frying them.
3 – Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes might seem like an obvious choice when you’re thinking about serving side dishes for Caprese salad, but it’s still one of the most popular choices.
Mashed potatoes are easy to make, can be flavored in any way desired, and pair well with the freshness of Caprese salad.
There’s nothing not to like about serving mashed potatoes as a side dish for your meal.
You can even add some extra flavor by adding in garlic or cheese while you’re preparing the potatoes.
4 – Fried Rice
Another popular option you might consider is fried rice.
This can be as simple as some steamed white rice fried in oil, or it can be made more complex by adding some vegetables and spices.
Either way, fried rice makes for a delicious side dish that’s simple to prepare and pairs well with Caprese salad.
Fried rice can also be an easy substitute for croutons if you want something similar in flavor without all the carbs.
It’s a very versatile side dish that can be flavored however you want.
5 – Roasted Potatoes
Some people love roasted potatoes, and for a good reason.
Depending on your preferences, you can roast potatoes in many different ways, but the basic idea is to cube up some red or russet potatoes, drizzle them with oil, and bake for about half an hour.
Once the potatoes are tender and cooked through, you can transfer them to a serving bowl and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, or whatever seasoning you desire.
If you’re looking for a quick side dish that impresses just as much as it tastes good, consider roasting up some potatoes.
6 – Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Grilled cheese sandwiches are another side dish that can be made with Caprese salad.
Prepare some sweet Italian bread using your favorite recipe, and place several slices of mozzarella cheese on one slice.
Add a few basil leaves on top of the cheese before closing up the sandwich.
You can then either pan-fry the sandwich or grill it in a skillet, and the result is a delicious side dish that pairs well with Caprese salad.
7 – Chips and Salsa
Chips and salsa is a classic Mexican side dish that lends itself well to many different occasions.
It’s also a good choice for pairing with Caprese salad, like the tomatoes in Caprese salad pair well with any spicy-based salsa sauce.
If you’re making your salsa from scratch, consider adding some fresh basil leaves to the mixture.
You can use jarred or canned salsa, but make sure to check the ingredients list on the back of the jar to ensure no strange additives you might not be aware of.
It’s relatively easy to make your salsa.
In conclusion, Caprese salad is a wonderful recipe that’s relatively easy to make and looks fantastic.
It’s worth noting that you can serve Caprese salad as an appetizer or main course, and it works well either way.
The seven side dishes we just discussed here will complement your meal and provide some nice variety to keep things interesting.
Try out these side dish options and enjoy.