Burrata Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes & Basil Pesto

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Take the iconic Italian salad to the next level with this easy Burrata Caprese Salad recipe! Simply serve peak-summer heirloom tomatoes with creamy burrata cheese & basil pesto. Burrata's mild flavor & creamy texture make for a perfect pairing with juicy-sweet tomatoes & punchy & herbaceous pesto sauce – all the classic flavors of caprese, but even better!

Made with just 3 ingredients in 10 minutes or less, this easy heirloom tomato burrata salad is the perfect light meal, & doubles as a show-stopping appetizer or side dish for end-of-summer parties, BBQs, & more!

Heirloom tomato burrata salad arranged on large white serving platter sits atop a white and gray marbles surface. The platter is surrounded by a wooden serving board topped with grilled bread, fresh basil, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with ground black pepper, two small drinking glasses filled with white wine, a gray and white striped linen napkin, and silver servingware.

This Easy Burrata Caprese is Basically Next-Level Caprese Salad!

We’ve officially reached the point of the summer season when simply I cannot be bothered to cook dinner – not even the simplest grilled meal! I can’t bear the thought of it – it’s just too hot & too fussy. Luckily, this breaking point typically coincides with summer produce reaching the peak of its season. When you’re working with the sweetest corn, the ripest peppers, & the juiciest summer tomatoes, even the laziest dinners are still fresh, vibrant, & flavor-filled.

This heirloom tomato burrata salad is one of my all-time favorite lazy summer dishes. I lovingly refer to it as “Caprese Salad 2.0” because it’s made with all of the components & flavors of a classic caprese, but they’re all amped up to the next level…

  • In place of Roma tomatoes are juicy & colorful heirloom tomatoes,
  • fresh mozzarella is swapped with creamy, dreamy burrata cheese, &
  • tender fresh basil leaves are blitzed into a punchy, bold, & vibrantly green pesto sauce.

I first made this burrata caprese salad recipe a few years back, but it’s been a tried & true summer favorite ever since. It’s absolutely beautiful & delicious, but it couldn’t be simpler to put together. Whether you’re looking for a light dinner or an easy dish to share, you’re going to be obsessed!

Burrata Caprese Salad Recipe Highlights

Aside from the fact that it’s superlatively delicious, you’ll love this tomato caprese with fresh burrata because it’s…

  • THE PERFECT WAY TO USE UP GARDEN FRESH TOMATOES & HERBS. If you’re anything like us, your last farmer’s market haul is taking over the counter. A burrata and tomato salad is the best way to put all that gorgeous produce to work!
  • COMPLETELY NO-COOK! The weather outside is sweltering, & I just can’t bring myself to use any heat anywhere in my life right now. This light & fresh summer salad is the perfect antidote. It’s low-maintenance & super special all at once.
  • SIMPLE YET SHOW-STOPPING. A burrata caprese salad is impressive but oh-so simple to pull together! Perfect for all of your end-of-season BBQs & summer parties, but easy enough to whip up for a WFH lunch!

Super fresh. Totally easy. 100% delicious. Summertime’s best! ♡ Read on to learn more about this Burrata Caprese Salad, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!

Key Ingredients

Note: full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

The beauty of a classic caprese salad is its simplicity, & this burrata caprese salad recipe is no different! It starts with the traditional components of caprese salad, & takes them to the next level…

  • Heirloom tomatoes – Summer’s seasonal superstars! These gorgeous tomatoes come in a variety of shapes & colors. I like to use a combination of larger heirloom tomatoes & bite-sized cherry heirloom tomatoes for a particularly pretty presentation, but feel free to use whatever you’ve got on hand for your heirloom tomato burrata salad!
  • Basil pesto – Make a batch of your favorite homemade pesto or keep it simple & grab a ready-made option from the store. If opting for store-bought, I suggest using fresh pesto rather than jarred (i.e. the kind sold in the refrigerator section, which tends to taste freshest & has a nice, saucy consistency).
  • Burrata cheese – If burrata is a new-to-you ingredient, you’re in for such a treat – it’s kind of like fresh mozzarella’s creamy, dreamy cousin. Learn more in the Ingredient Spotlight, below!
Ingredient Spotlight

What is Burrata Cheese?

If burrata is a new-to-you ingredient, you are in for a treat! A few FAQs to bring you up to speed…

What is burrata cheese? ⇢ Burrata is an Italian cow’s milk cheese made by stretching a thin layer of fresh mozzarella around a filling of soft curd & cream. Basically, it’s heaven! While it’s got a whole ooey-gooey factor happening, it tastes surprisingly light. Much like fresh mozzarella, burrata has a really mild, clean flavor – it’s not heavy or dense at all.

What’s the difference between burrata & fresh mozzarella? ⇢ While a ball of burrata looks a lot like fresh mozzarella from the outside, its creamy filling makes it much softer to the touch. You can’t really slice burrata the way you slice fresh mozzarella – once you cut into or tear open a ball of burrata, the creamy filling oozes out.

Do you eat the skin off burrata? ⇢ Yes! Burrata’s “skin” is actually a piece of fresh mozzarella, so it’s pretty delicious – you won’t want to waste it!

Where to buy burrata cheese? ⇢ These days, burrata cheese is pretty readily available here in the U.S. Look for it in the cheese case at a conventional grocery store – it’s typically stocked next to fresh mozzarella & other soft cheeses. If you’ve got a trusty Italian deli or market, they more than likely sell a killer hand-made burrata, too!

How do you serve burrata? ⇢ Burrata cheese goes with pretty much everything! Feel free to reach for it any time you’d use fresh mozzarella cheese, especially if you want a dramatic & over-the-top presentation, like with a burrata caprese salad. Check out our Ultimate Burrata Cheese Board for more burrata inspiration to get you started!

How to Make the Best Burrata Caprese Salad

This tomato and burrata salad is my go-to because it’s so simple to prepare. Once you have the 3 ingredients gathered, it comes together in a matter of minutes!

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

1

Slice & layer the tomatoes. Slice larger heirloom tomatoes into 1/4-inch planks & halve or quarter smaller cherry tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Layer the sliced tomato on your favorite large board or serving platter, then generously season with salt & ground black pepper.

2

Add the burrata cheese. Nestle the burrata on the tomatoes, gently breaking it apart to expose its creamy filling. Tip! ⇢ Since burrata is typically packaged in a watery brine, be sure to gently pat it dry with paper towels to avoid watering down the flavors of your heirloom tomato burrata salad.

3

Finish with pesto. Drizzle fresh basil pesto over the burrata & seasoned tomatoes, making sure to place it such that every bite gets a little bit of each component. Tip! ⇢ If your pesto is on the thicker side, squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice to help loosen it up.

A close up shot of heirloom tomato burrata salad arranged on large white serving platter sits atop a white and gray marbles surface. The platter is surrounded by a small wooden pinch bowl filled with ground black pepper, a small drinking glass filled with white wine, a gray and white striped linen napkin, and silver servingware.

Serving Suggestions: the BEST Way to Eat Tomato Caprese with Fresh Burrata!

This heirloom tomato burrata salad is an all-purpose summer dish. It’s the perfect light + fresh dinner for hot summer nights when you don’t feel like cooking, & it’s also a show-stopping appetizer & side dish to share at a summer party or backyard BBQ.

While it’s great on its own, I love serving this burrata caprese salad alongside toasty grilled bread. You can take bits & pieces of your heirloom tomato burrata salad & build the most satisfying bruschetta-style bites – SO good!

Perfect Grilled Bread Every Time. ⇢ Generously brush thick-cut slices of your favorite hearty bread with olive oil, then pop them directly on the grill. Grill 2-3 minutes per side, until they’re as crusty & charred as you’d like. (For all the details on perfectly grilled bread, be sure to check out this post!)

Two pieces of grilled bread are arranged atop a small wooden serving board that sits atop a white and gray marble surface. The grilled bread has been topped with tomato burrata salad. The serving board is surrounded by a small drinking glass filled with white wine, loose fresh basil leaves, a white and gray striped linen napkin tucked alongside, and a piece of grilled bread.

Other Burrata Caprese Salad Tips, Tricks, & FAQs

Can I use different tomatoes? ⇢ Sure! If you can’t find heirloom tomatoes, use whatever varieties you love most. Since this tomato and burrata salad recipe is so simple, it’s important to use in-season & fresh tomatoes. Grab tomatoes at your local farmer’s market or, better yet, pick them right off the vine from your backyard garden to ensure peak ripeness. I suggest reaching for a wide variety of colors, shapes, & sizes for the prettiest presentation.

If you’re craving a burrata caprese outside of tomato season (been there!), try to look for greenhouse grown & vine-ripened tomatoes – these are my fave!

Can I use different types of cheese? ⇢ Yes! Feel free to swap in regular fresh mozzarella here if you prefer – marinated fresh mozzarella balls are another option! While they won’t give the same ooey-gooey factor that burrata does, it’ll still be a damn good caprese salad!

Can I make tomato burrata caprese salad ahead of time? ⇢ While I don’t suggest assembling this recipe too far in advance, you can certainly prep the pesto well ahead of time. Fresh pesto keeps for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the refrigerator & up to 3 months in the freezer. While your heirloom tomato burrata is best served fresh, you can also store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

Heirloom tomato burrata salad arranged on large white serving platter sits atop a white and gray marbles surface. The platter is surrounded by a wooden serving board topped with grilled bread, fresh basil, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with ground black pepper, two small drinking glasses filled with white wine, a gray and white striped linen napkin, and silver servingware.

I can’t wait for you to try this Burrata Caprese Salad recipe! It’s so simple, but so impressive & flavorful. It’s one of my long-time favorite end-of-summer dishes, & I’m positive you’ll love it too.

If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!

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Tomato burrata salad arranged on large white serving platter sits atop a white and gray marbles surface. The platter is surrounded by a wooden serving board topped with grilled bread, fresh basil, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with ground black pepper, two small drinking glasses filled with white wine, a gray and white striped linen napkin, and silver servingware.

Burrata Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes & Basil Pesto

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x
  • Category: Side Dish recipes, Appetizer recipes, Vegetarian recipes
  • Method: No-Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This heirloom tomato burrata salad is one of my all-time favorite lazy summer dishes. I lovingly refer to it as “Caprese Salad 2.0” because it’s with all of the components & flavors of a classic caprese, but they’re all amped up to the next level…

  • In place of Roma tomatoes are juicy & colorful heirloom tomatoes,
  • fresh mozzarella is swapped with creamy, dreamy burrata cheese, &
  • tender fresh basil leaves are blitzed into a punchy, bold, & vibrantly green pesto sauce.

Ever since I first made it a few years back, this burrata caprese salad recipe has been one of my tried & true summer favorites. It’s absolutely beautiful & delicious, but it couldn’t be simpler to put together. It’s perfect whether you’re looking for a light dinner or an easy dish to share for a summer party or BBQ.

Be sure to refer to the blog post, above, for serving suggestions & plenty of recipe tips & tricks!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, sliced (see Recipe Notes)
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese, drained & patted dry
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto (see Recipe Notes)
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season
  • for serving, as desired: grilled bread, finely chopped fresh basil, olive oil, etc.

Instructions

Layer the sliced tomato on your favorite large serving platter or board, seasoning generously with kosher salt & ground black pepper. Nestle the burrata into the tomatoes, gently breaking it apart to expose the creamy filling. Drizzle the basil pesto over top. Serve immediately. Enjoy!Tomato burrata salad arranged on large white serving platter sits atop a white and gray marbles surface. The platter is surrounded by a wooden serving board topped with grilled bread, fresh basil, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with ground black pepper, two small drinking glasses filled with white wine, a gray and white striped linen napkin, and silver servingware.


Notes

  • Ingredient Notes: 
    • Heirloom tomatoes: I like to use a combination of larger heirloom tomatoes & bite-sized cherry heirloom tomatoes for a particularly pretty presentation. Thinly slice the larger tomatoes & halve or quarter the bite-sized tomatoes as desired. 
    • Pesto: Feel free to whip up a batch of homemade pesto for this burrata caprese salad, or grab store-bought for extra convenience. This kale pesto recipe is my personal favorite – you’ll always find a big jar of it in my fridge this time of year! If opting for store-bought, use fresh pesto rather than jarred for best results (i.e. the kind sold in the refrigerator section, which tends to taste freshest & has a nice, saucy consistency). If your pesto is on the thicker side, squeeze in a little fresh lemon juice to help loosen it up.
  • Serving: As written, this recipe yields a large burrata caprese salad, suitable for feeding a crowd of 4-6 as an appetizer/side dish or 2-3 as a light lunch or dinner. You can easily halve or double the recipe to feed a smaller or larger crowd, as needed. 

Keywords: burrata caprese salad, heirloom tomato burrata salad, appetizer, snack, easy entertaining recipes, gluten-free, girl’s night recipe, date night recipe

Recipe and Food Styling by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by Rachel Cook, Half Acre House.

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Pinterest for more unfussy recipes that pack a big punch of flavor!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

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