This Caprese Salad Keto is a simple Italian dish that can be whipped up in a snap and it’s naturally low in carbohydrates, high in fat and low in protein. A.KA. its the perfect meal for someone on a Keto or low carb diet.
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Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love this Caprese Salad Keto Recipe
- Ingredients for Caprese Salad Keto
- How to Make this Easy Caprese Salad Keto
- How to Make a Balsamic Reduction Like a Pro
- How to Plate Caprese Salad Keto Style
- What Kind of Tomatoes Should I Use for Low Carb Caprese Salad?
- Is Tomato and Mozzarella Keto Friendly?
- Is Caprese Salad Healthy?
- How to Store Caprese Salad Keto
- Can I Freeze Low Carb Caprese Salad?
- Is Balsamic Vinegar Keto Friendly?
- How to Serve Caprese Salad Keto Style
- More Keto Friendly Recipes to Try:
Why You’ll Love this Caprese Salad Keto Recipe
Instead of just pouring on regular balsamic vinegar like most recipes call for, I bumped up the flavor of the salad by making a balsamic reduction. The balsamic reduction is thicker, sweeter and less acidic than straight vinegar. It is also stickier so it clings to each bite instead of sliding off of the tomatoes and onto the bottom of the plate.
Ingredients for Caprese Salad Keto
Caprese salads are simple to make with only 5 ingredients.
- Heirloom Tomatoes & Cherry Tomatoes
- Young Basil (small leaves)
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- Balsamic Vinegar
How to Make this Easy Caprese Salad Keto
- Make the Balsamic Reduction: Place the balsamic vinegar in a a small sauce pan over low heat. Allow to simmer until it has been reduced by 1/3rd. It’s done when the vinegar coats the back of a spoon.
- Assemble the Salad: Cut the heirloom tomatoes into thin slices and halve the cherry tomatoes. Assemble them on a white plate and add shredded motzerella and basil leaves. Add the olive oil balsamic reduction and season with salt and pepper.
This salad is easy to assemble and plate. But the unique spin I added was the balsamic vinegar reduction. Since making the reduction takes the longest amount of time. Start with this step first:
How to Make a Balsamic Reduction Like a Pro
A balsamic reduction is exactly what it sounds like: reduced balsamic vinegar! So making it is easy as one, two, three. Simply pour the vinegar into a small sauce pan and simmer it until it has reduced down to about 1/3rd of the original amount. You’ll know the reduction is done by testing it with a spoon…
Scoop up a spoonful of balsamic vinegar and then let it run off the spoon. If the vinegar leaves a thick coating behind on the spoon, then that’s how you’ll know the reduction is done.
Turn off the heat IMMEDIATELY so that the vinegar doesn’t burn. Trust me. You don’t want the reduction to burn. It stinks and becomes nearly impossible to scrape off of the pot. I have a pot sitting in my sink since last night with a lava rock like substance on the bottom.
How to Plate Caprese Salad Keto Style
Start by slicing the heirloom tomatoes into thin slices. Next, cut the cherry tomatoes in half on a diagonal.
Start with a big flat plate and place a layer of tomatoes on the bottom. Pour halved cherry tomatoes on top and fold some shredded mozzarella into the tomatoes. Take fresh basil and look for the smallest leaves.
Garnish the top of the salad with the basil. Drizzle the balsamic reduction and olive oil onto the salad with a spoon. Then season it generously with Himalayan sea salt and fresh black pepper. Serve immediately and enjoy!
What Kind of Tomatoes Should I Use for Low Carb Caprese Salad?
You can use any kind of tomatoes you like as long as they’re fresh and in season! The best tomatoes come from farms near by or your own garden.
These tomatoes will have an intense flavor. If the tomatoes are out of season or imported the salad will be bland.
I like using a combination of tricolored heirloom and grape tomatoes. I find that the smaller the tomato is the more flavorful it will be. So aim to buy tomatoes that are on the smaller side.
Caprese Salad has 10 carbs but if you’re counting net carbs Caprese Salad has only 2-3 net carbs per 1 cup serving!
Yes there are carbs in a Caprese Salad because tomatoes are technically a fruit and therefore have carbs. Fruits are usually high in carbohydrates but tomatoes are uncharacteristically low in carbs which makes them great for a low carb diet.
It’s also impossible to avoid carbs entirely. Caprese Salad has 10 grams of carbs per one cup serving and 2-3 net carbs per serving.
If eaten in moderation Caprese Salad is not fattening. Though mozzarella does contain a high amount of fat. Eat a single portion and if you want more salad with less fat use more tomatoes and less cheese.
Despite the fact that tomatoes are a fruit. Fruits are usually high in carbohydrates but tomatoes are uncharacteristically low in carbs which makes them great for a low carb diet.
Tomatoes have only 2-3 net carbs per 3.5 ounces. Which is like ten times lower than the carbohydrate content of other fruits. When I experimented with an alkaline keto diet, I ate lots of tomatoes every day and still managed to stay under 50 grams of carbs per day.
Tomatoes are a healthy alkaline vegetable that you can enjoy while you’re on a low carb diet.
Is Tomato and Mozzarella Keto Friendly?
Absolutely! tomatoes and mozzarella are very keto friendly!
- Tomatoes are low in fat and low in carbohydrates containing only (2-3 net carbs per 3.5 oz of tomato).
- Mozzarella is extremely low in carbs (3.5 grams of carbs per 1 cup of shredded cheese). It’s also high in fat! (19 grams of fat in 1 cup of shredded mozzarella).
Eating Mozzarella cheese will help keep your fat macros high and your macros from carbohydrates low. Helping you hit those tough macro ratios required for keto diets.
Is Caprese Salad Healthy?
Caprese Salad is healthy! It has tons of ingredients that have been scientifically proven to benefit your health like olive oil, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil.
Cheese is not the healthiest since it’s mucus forming and can lead to calcium loss, but in moderation cheese provides vitamin D.
Raw mozzarella cheese (if you can get your hands on some) is exceptionally healthy since it contains live enzymes that aid in the digestion of cheese
So, if you have found yourself lactose intolerant you may be fine eating raw cheese since the live enzymes help your body break the cheese down for you.
How to Store Caprese Salad Keto
Caprese Salad isn’t the kind of salad you can make in advance and put in the fridge for later. Tomatoes can’t be stored in the fridge. They get mealy (gritty). It’s best to wait to cut the tomatoes and assemble the salad right before serving.
You can make the balsamic reduction ahead of time though.
Can I Freeze Low Carb Caprese Salad?
I don’t recommend freezing Caprese Salad because tomatoes and cheese don’t freeze well. The tomatoes will become mealy and mushy. The mozzarella cheese will become tough.
Balsamic vinegar is the only kind of vinegar that has carbs and sugar in it. So of all of the vinegars out there it is the least keto friendly. However, eating 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar will only provide you with 4 grams of carbs. In moderation balsamic vinegar is good for a keto diet. In fact, a little vinegar will satisfy your sweet tooth which can prevent you from binging on carbs and blowing yourself out of ketosis.
How to Serve Caprese Salad Keto Style
I like serving this Caprese Salad as a starter along side other clean and low carb dishes like:
- Peruvian Salmon
- Oven Baked Shrimp Skewers with Aji Verde Sauce
- Curried Cauliflower Soup
- Vegetarian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
This salad is best served room temperature or cold.
More Keto Friendly Recipes to Try:
Caprese Salad Keto
Make the Balsamic Reduction
- Place the balsamic vinegar in a a small sauce pan over low heat. Allow to simmer until it has been reduced by 1/3rd. It's done when the vinegar coats the back of a spoon.
Assemble the Salad
- Cut the heirloom tomatoes into thin slices and halve the cherry tomatoes. Assemble them on a white plate and add shredded motzerella and basil leaves. Add the olive oil balsamic reduction and season with salt and pepper.