This easy candy cane caprese board combines mozzarella, juicy tomatoes, and fresh basil for a holiday twist on a favorite appetizer.
It’s ready in no time and doesn’t require any special tools or ingredients.
This post includes a lot of tips and serving ideas to help you assemble exactly what you want and how you want. So, take this as a guide only and make it look the way you like.
If you don’t want to use fresh mozzarella, try other Caprese candy cane board options:
- Salami of your choice & sliced cheese cut into circles (use a cookie cutter)
- Goat cheese and sun-dried tomato
- Sweet – bananas and strawberries
- Charcuterie board shaped into candy cane – use any foods you like from nuts to salamis, veggies and fruits – anything will work great as long as you arrange them on a platter in a candy cane shape.
This tomato basil mozzarella appetizer can also be turned into individual portions if you are not into Christmas themed foods. I have a recipe for Caprese salad bites served in cups. They are perfect for any occasion. We served them at our wedding!
- Add small plates and forks so your guests can take and enjoy.
- To make this Christmas board more filling add olives and Italian prosciutto on an extra serving plate. Any olives will work great as long as you like them. If you want to up your game, try making baked olives.
- You can also add green pesto, either from a store or better made from scratch. There are so many options but the classic homemade basil pesto is always a winner.
- Slice up fresh French baguette and serve it with this holiday board. If you have a day (or 2) old baguette, making homemade crostini might be a better option!
You can use pre-sliced mozzarella to save time and get even-looking slices. When using the fresh kind, avoid buying mozzarella di buffalo. This cheese is more tender making it harder to cut. Plus, it is juicier than the classic ball. All the juices will turn your Christmas board into a pool of juices.
Freshly ground pepper and salt are best but if you don’t have them, use what you have. When it comes to salt, I would not recommend using the one with large crystals/particles though. The finer the better.
This is a simple appetizer, so it is best to use good quality ingredients. Nice ripe tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil make a huge difference in this basic recipe.
If you have balsamic vinegar on hand, why not use it? Add only a drizzle or serve on side so your guests can decide whether they want some or not.
I don’t recommend using mozzarella di buffalo here. It has a stronger, tangier taste and more importantly it is very juicy when you cut into it. This means, it will release a lot of liquid which may turn your caprese board into a mess.
More easy Christmas appetizers you might like:
- Snowman Cheese Board
- Christmas Tree Sandwiches
- Christmas Wreath Cheese Board
- Santa Charcuterie Board
- Christmas Tree Pizza
- 2-3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced, see note 1
- 2-3 mozzarella balls, thinly sliced, see note 2
- fresh basil leaves, large if possible
- extra virgin olive oil, a generous drizzle, see note 3
- salt, freshly ground
- black pepper, freshly ground
- Get a large serving board or tray.
- To make the candy cane shape, start at the top (the short end) and alternate between slices of tomato, mozzarella and basil until you reach the end of your serving board/tray or until you use all the ingredients.
- Season with salt, black pepper and olive oil.
- Best served right away! (see notes 4 & 5 for additional extras).
- You might need less tomatoes, depending on their size and the thickness of the slices you cut.
- Avoid using mozzarella di buffalo. This one is juicier than the classic mozzarella and will release a lot of milk when you cut into it. It is also more tender to touch.
- Do not substitute olive oil with any other oil. You will lose flavor and health properties.
- If you don’t have freshly ground salt and pepper, feel free to use the ground options.
- Serve with fresh baguette or crostini – toasted baguette.
- Optional: Add a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar if you like! Italian prosciutto and olives complement this platter well.
- Feel free to make this board larger, if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 191mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g