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Caprese gets a Southwestern makeover! Roasted red bell peppers, spices, and an option to add bacon will give you a whole new caprese experience. This appetizer is guaranteed to be a favorite!

a tray of southwestern caprese bites drizzled with balsamic vinegar

Looking for a new way to enjoy caprese? We’ve given it a Southwestern flair for a fun new appetizer that will be a party favorite. This recipe can be made vegetarian friendly, or you can choose to add cooked bacon for a more bold bite of caprese. If you choose to make bacon it will need to be pre-cooked. You can cook your bacon in the oven, or you can purchase pre-cooked bacon. Either will work great for this recipe.

Does it matter which kind of tomatoes I use?

You can use either yellow or red cherry or grape tomatoes in this recipe. Yellow provides the best contrasting color, but red will also work for a different look. You want to try and purchase tomatoes that are bite-sized for best results. Larger tomatoes will need to be cut into bite sized pieces.

Where can I buy Mozzarella balls?

Most grocery stores in the United States will sell mozzarella balls in their fresh cheese section in round plastic containers or air sealed bags. They will be located next to or near the other larger balls of fresh mozzarella cheese.  Fresh mozzarella is generally located in a different section than bricks of mozzarella cheese and shredded cheese. The item you are looking for may be called mini mozzarella balls, bocconcini, or mozzarella pearls. Smaller mozzarella balls

Can I make Caprese Bites ahead of time?

Caprese bites are generally best consumed within 2-3 hours after making for the best presentation. The longer the caprese bites sit in the refrigerator, the more like it is for the basil to wilt and the mozzarella balls to dry out. When making ahead, be sure to store the bites in the refrigerator.

Close up of Southwestern Caprese Bites on a white serving plate.

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Southwestern Caprese Bites
Servings

20 bites

Close up of Southwestern Caprese Bites on a white serving plate.
Caprese gets a Southwestern makeover! Roasted red bell peppers, spices, and an option to add bacon will give you a whole new caprese experience. This appetizer is guaranteed to be a favorite!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 20 fresh mini mozzarella balls bocconcini
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 20 leaves fresh basil
  • 6 ounces roasted red bell peppers chopped into 20 pieces
  • 20 yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 4 strips cooked bacon cut into 20 pieces (optional)
  • 20 toothpicks
Instructions
  • Drain the mozzarella balls of liquid and transfer to a small mixing bowl. Pour olive oil over mozzarella and season with red pepper flakes, chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Stir to coat.
  • Assemble the bites by using a toothpick to skewer a tomato, basil leaf, roasted red bell pepper, bacon (optional), and a mozzarella ball.
Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 64mg | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 5.6mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: Caprese Bites

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Jackie Shatto

A nice little addition to any BBQ

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