caprese-flatbread

Caprese flatbread is a quick dinner or easy appetizer recipe, staring the classic combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil!

Caprese Flatbread

Is there anything better than that classic combination of tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella? Here’s a fun dinner idea or easy appetizer that riffs on the classic Italian salad: Caprese Flatbread! It’s a flatbread pizza that uses naan bread as a base: or any type of flatbread you can find. Layer it up with mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil, and the key ingredient: a drizzle of balsamic glaze. It’s heavenly for dinner, or we served it as a fun summer appetizer (it works room temperature on a platter!).

What you need for Caprese flatbread

Caprese flatbread is essentially a pizza based on the popular Italian salad, Caprese salad (aka, “salad from Capri” in Italian). This Italian combination of fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes and a sprinkle of fresh basil stems back to the 1920’s, and today it’s known around the world. Chefs and home cooks have made endless spins on these ingredient combinations: like a Caprese Sandwich, Caprese Pasta Salad, Caprese Skewers and more. Here’s what you’ll need for this simple pizza topping:

  • Naan breads (or other purchased flatbread)
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Easy Pizza Sauce or purchased pizza sauce
  • Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Balsamic reduction or glaze (purchased or homemade)
Caprese Flatbread

For the flatbread: use naan or other

A flatbread pizza is a pizza made with a dough base that’s already baked (like naan or another type of flatbread) instead of pizza dough. The easiest way to make Caprese flatbread is with purchased bread, but of course you can use homemade flatbread if you prefer! The difference with a standard pizza is that the pizza dough is raw when you make a pizza, but with flatbread pizza the dough is already cooked. Here are some favorite options for the flatbread base:

  • Purchased naan is the easiest! It should be easy to find in the bread aisle at your local grocery store. We also have a homemade naan recipe if you’d like to make it homemade.
  • Or, look for other types of purchased flatbread. You’ll want it to be roughly as thick as naan (about 1 inch). You can also use homemade flatbread.
  • Update the “pre-toasting” timing accordingly. You’ll toast the naan or flatbread in the oven first until it’s lightly crisp. The timing for another type of flatbread might be slightly different than naan, so keep an eye on it and adjust accordingly.

Tips for working with fresh mozzarella

Fresh mozzarella cheese is ooey, gooey and stretchy: perfect for topping a margherita pizza or Caprese flatbread. But keep in mind: this type of cheese contains a lot of water: much more than a typical shredded mozzarella cheese! Here are a few tips for working with this kind of cheese:

  • Cut into pieces and allow to sit 15 minutes on a paper towel. Slice the mozzarella cheese into ¼-inch thick pieces and let it sit on a paper towel to remove moisture while you prepare the pizzas. Dab the mozzarella with the paper towel to remove any additional moisture before using it.
  • After baking, dab the flatbread with a paper towel if necessary. Sometimes fresh mozzarella can be watery after baking, depending on the brand. If necessary, use the corner of a paper towel to dab at the moisture.
Caprese Flatbread

For the balsamic reduction

Take Caprese flatbread over the top with a balsamic reduction or glaze! This is simply balsamic vinegar that’s been cooked (or reduced) until it forms a shiny, sweet tart liquid that’s ideal for drizzling on salads and pizza. Caprese salad is often served with a balsamic reduction in America, though that’s not the classic Italian way to do it. But it’s a fun way to serve this pizza as it looks stunning and gives it a nice tangy boost in flavor.

It’s easiest to buy balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze: several brands sell it in a tall bottle that you can use to squeeze right onto the flatbread. Typically we buy it, since there’s not much of a flavor difference with homemade. But if you like, try making balsamic reduction at home: it’s fun and satisfying!

How to serve Caprese flatbread

This Caprese flatbread is all about presentation! We served it as an easy appetizer recipe and it worked great. A few things to note about serving:

  • Add basil after baking. Never cook a pizza with basil in the oven: it turns brown! Add the basil afterwards.
  • Slice into triangle shapes, if possible. We like the way that naan looks when sliced into triangles: it’s more appetizing than the squares you get on an oval base (like this).
  • Serve warm or at room temperature. This Caprese flatbread tastes great at room temperature, making it a great appetizer to set out on a platter.

More Caprese-inspired recipes

Looking for more with this powerhouse trio of ingredients? Try the following recipes:

This Caprese flatbread recipe is…

Vegetarian.

Print

Caprese Flatbread

Caprese Flatbread



  • Author:
    Sonja Overhiser

  • icon clock Prep Time:
    15 minutes

  • icon clock Cook Time:
    15 minutes

  • icon clock Total Time:
    30 minutes

  • icon cutlery Yield:
    4 pizzas (4 main dish or 20 appetizer servings)

Description

Caprese flatbread is a quick dinner or easy appetizer recipe, staring the classic combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil!


Ingredients

  • 4 purchased naan breads (or other purchased flatbread*)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup Easy Pizza Sauce or purchased pizza sauce (or omit for a simpler flatbread)
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 large handful basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • Balsamic reduction or glaze (purchased or homemade)


Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice the mozzarella cheese into ¼ inch thick pieces. Allow it to sit on a paper towel to remove moisture for about 15 minutes while you prepare the pizzas, then dab the mozzarella with the paper towel to remove any additional moisture.
  3. Make the pizza sauce (time saving tip: you can also stir together the ingredients in a bowl instead of blending them!).
  4. Place the naan bread directly on the oven grates. Bake 3 minutes. Flip and bake another 2 minutes until lightly crisped on the outside and toasted.
  5. Carefully remove the naan from the oven grates and place them on 2 baking sheets. Spread each with a thin layer of pizza sauce, then add the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkle of kosher salt.
  6. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake until the cheese melts, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven. (You may notice some extra moisture after baking: you can dab lightly with a paper towel as necessary.) Slice the flatbread into pieces and top with thinly sliced basil. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve. This works as a main dish or an appetizer (can be served room temperature on a platter).

Notes

*Use purchased naan or any other type of flatbread you can find (roughly as thick as naan, about 1-inch thick). The timing for toasting the flatbread in Step 4 will vary based on the brand, so adjust accordingly. You can also use homemade naan or homemade flatbread.

  • icon folderCategory: Main dish
  • icon squaresMethod: Baked
  • icon flagCuisine: Italian inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Caprese flatbread

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