Packed with flavor, these Puff Pastry Caprese Appetizers are a delicious twist on the classic Caprese salad combining juicy tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and fragrant basil with the buttery and flaky texture of puff pastry! They are simple to make and perfect for entertaining year round!
A Caprese salad is known for its simple yet mouthwatering flavor combination and this mini salad version wrapped in a flaky puff pastry bite does not disappoint. It has all the classic taste of the original but a fork and knife are optional when it comes to eating them!
These puff pastry Caprese appetizers are not only easy to make, they are perfect for serving to guests during the summer or even at the holidays when you need a festive starter. Baking them in the oven adds a lightly roasted, sun-dried tomato taste and the mozzarella gets melty and delicious. It’s so good!
Ingredients for Caprese Bites Recipe
To make these puff pastry Caprese appetizers you only need a few ingredients plus a baking sheet, parchment paper and rolling pin. It’s so simple!
- Puff pastry: This can be found in the frozen section of the grocery store usually near the desserts.
- Cheese: You will need 8 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, although Gruyere or fontina can be used as well.
- Tomatoes: Halved cherry or grape tomatoes are preferred, but sliced roma tomatoes could be used.
- Oregano: Dried oregano adds bold, earthy flavor.
- Salt: Just a few pinches of salt enhances the flavor of all the other ingredients.
- Fresh basil: Fresh basil leaves are essential for Caprese as it adds a distinct sweet, herby flavor.
- Olive oil: A quality olive oil will add additional flavor, do not substitute for another type oil.
How to Make Puff Pastry Caprese Appetizers
First, you will need to thaw your puff pastry sheet. You want your puff pastry cold but thawed enough to roll. While it thaws, preheat your oven, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and slice the cheese.
Next, cut your dough into squares. Unroll the puff pastry and with a rolling pin gently roll back and forth a couple of times to even it out, it will seem thin but that is okay! Cut the pastry into 8 squares and then with a fork, prick each square a few times. Place squares on the prepared baking sheet.
Now it’s time to assemble your Caprese puff pastry bites! Top each square with cheese, sliced tomatoes and then sprinkle with salt, oregano and chopped basil. Last, drizzle with olive oil.
Bake until your Caprese pastry is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Balsamic drizzle: Feel free to drizzle your Caprese appetizers with a balsamic glaze, balsamic reduction or even just balsamic vinegar before serving.
- Pesto caprese: Basil pesto would be a delicious addition just like it is on this bruschetta with pesto. Spread on the puff pastry before adding the tomatoes and mozzarella.
- Roasted tomatoes: Feel free to roast your tomatoes first if you would like or use these candied roasted tomatoes!
- Gluten free: If you can find gluten-free puff pastry, feel free to use that for this Caprese puff pastry recipe. It does not get as puffy and might brown more quickly during baking, but it will still be delicious.
- Caprese cups: For a portable mini Caprese appetizer, make these pastry bites in a mini muffin pan.
- Fold puff pastry sides down: This will make a ‘pocket’ to hold your toppings. It’s easy to do so by pinching the two opposite sides of the square together and then folding down.
- Egg wash: If you would like, you can brush the puff pastry with a lightly whisked egg mixed with a teaspoon of water.
- Chilled puff pastry: Your puff pastry needs to be thawed but still cold. Cold puff pastry is easier to work with and roll!
- Prick puff pastry with a fork: This will allow the steam to escape while baking resulting in a flaky thin and crispy pastry that’s not very puffy which is perfect for this puff pastry Caprese appetizer!
- Caprese pastry: If you don’t need an appetizer, roll out your puff pastry into a large rectangle, assemble your topping, place on a rimmed baking sheet, bake and serve.
How to Store Caprese Puff Pastry Bites
These puff pastry Caprese appetizers are meant to be served immediately and taste best hot, warm or freshly made at room temperature. If you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container but they may become soggy. They will keep for approximately 2 days in the fridge.
Can I use phyllo dough instead of puff pastry?
Unfortunately not. This Caprese bites recipe needs the thickness of the puff pastry. Puff pastry and phyllo dough are two different pastry types and it’s hard to substitute one for the other.
Can I make these ahead of time?
While these taste best when they are freshly baked, you could prep a few steps ahead. Bake your pastry squares, cool them completely then store them in an airtight container at room temperature for two days. Reheat for a few minutes in the oven at 400°F before adding mozzarella, tomato and herbs.
What is the difference between caprese and bruschetta?
A bruschetta recipe will have toasted bread pieces topped with a fresh tomato mixture. Caprese will have not only tomatoes but mozzarella and basil, too.
What are some other topping ideas?
Tomato and mozzarella puff pastry bites are my favorite combination but you can try substituting the mozzarella for brie or camembert cheese. Other thinly sliced cheeses like gouda would work too. Instead of tomatoes you could try roasted peppers, chutney, pickled veggies or even smoked salmon.
These Puff Pastry Caprese appetizers are incredibly easy to make, making them a go-to choice for entertaining guests or elevating your everyday meals. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Buon Appetito.
Puff Pastry Caprese Appetizers
- 1 roll puff pastry
- 8 slices cheese (firm mozzarella, gruyere, fontina)
- 20 tomatoes (cherry or grape tomatoes)
- ¼-½ teaspoon oregano
- 2-3 pinches salt
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves (chopped)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 375F / 190C (my oven is quite hot if you prefer you can heat it to 400F/200C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the tomatoes in half.
- Unroll the puff pastry and with a rolling pin gently roll a couple of times to even it out. Depending on how big the sheet is cut into 8 squares. With a fork, prick each square a few times.
- Place each square on the prepared baking sheet. Top each square with cheese, sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt, oregano and chopped basil. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Or until golden. Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!