A Ladybug Caprese Appetizer is a unique twist on the classic Italian dish that creates a colorful, flavorful appetizer. This app combines the freshness of mozzarella cheese, the sweetness of cherry tomatoes, and the savory flavor of basil in one bite-sized morsel that is easy to make and will WOW any crowd!
The vibrant red and green colors of the ingredients mimic a ladybug, making this an eye-catching addition to any meal. They are super simple to make which makes them fun to make with kids too!
What it takes and how much you need!
These only take a few ingredients. This recipe makes 16, you can use this guide to scale it to fit your needs!
Grape tomatos – Half of one tomato for each app.
Fresh Basil – Enough leaves for the apps you need.
Black olives – One olive will create four apps.
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing – Enough to sprinkle!
How to Make Caprese Lady Bugs
Now that you have your ingredients, let’s get started!
Place the cheese slices on a platter and sprinkle with a small pinch of sea salt. Top each piece of cheese with 1 basil leaf.
Cut the tomato in half from top to bottom. Then make a small slit in each half to create the wings.
Place the half tomatoes on the basil. Place the olive heads in place.
Use a decorating tip or toothpick to place dots of balsamic glaze onto the backs of the ladybugs. Repeat until you have done them all!
Tips for Making Caprese Lady Bugs
● Use fresh, ripe cherry tomatoes for the best flavor. Look for tomatoes that are
firm and plump, with a bright red color.
● For an extra burst of flavor, try marinating the mozzarella balls in a mixture of
olive oil, garlic, and herbs before assembling the ladybugs.
● Use a sharp knife to cut the black olives for the ladybug’s head. A dull knife can
cause the olive to squish and may make it harder to create a clean, round shape.
● Don’t forget to have fun with the presentation! Arrange the ladybugs on a platter
with fresh basil leaves and other colorful vegetables for a beautiful and festive
appetizer that’s sure to impress your guests.
● Cheeses and appetizers such as these Ladybugs are best served at room
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the ingredients required for making the Caprese Ladybug Appetizer?
The ingredients for this recipe are small tomatoes such as cherry or grape, bocconcini
balls, fresh basil, black olives, and balsamic glaze.
How do I prevent squishing the cherry tomato while cutting it?
Use a sharp knife to cut the tomato. A sharp knife will make a clean cut, reducing the
chance of squishing the tomato. Place the tomato on a cutting board, then slice it in
half. If your knife isn’t sharp use a honing rod to clean up your knife edge otherwise
What is the difference between balsamic glaze and balsamic vinegar?
Balsamic glaze is a thick, syrupy sauce made from balsamic vinegar that has been
reduced and sweetened with sugar. Balsamic vinegar, on the other hand, is a vinegar
made from grape must, which is the juice of freshly crushed grapes that includes the
skins, seeds, and stems. Balsamic vinegar is too liquidy to use for this recipe.
What can I substitute for balsamic glaze?
Balsamic vinegar is too runny to use for this recipe. You can try using black decorating
gel or icing instead. You could also use black sesame seeds.
Can I make the Caprese Ladybug Appetizer ahead of time?
Making these ahead could cause the basil to wilt and the tomato juice to run on the
cheese or over the plate. If you want to prep these ahead we suggest preparing all the
ingredients and storing separately in the fridge. Then assemble the ladybugs just before serving.
What can I use if I don’t have mozzarella balls?
You can substitute the mozzarella balls with any other soft, mild cheese that can be cut
into small pieces, such as feta or goat cheese. You may want to serve these alternative
soft cheeses with the ladybug on a firm base such as a slice of cucumber or ritz cracker
Caprese Ladybug Recipe
Ladybug Caprese Appetizer
- fresh mozzarella sliced
- sea salt
- fresh basil
- 8 cherry or grape tomatoes
- 4 pitted black olives cut in quarters
- balsamic glaze
- Place the cheese slices on a platter and sprinkle with a small pinch of sea salt.
- Top each piece of cheese with 1 basil leaf.
- Cut the tomato in half from top to bottom. Then make a small slit in each
- half to create the wings.
- Place the half tomatoes on the basil.
- Place the olive heads in place.
- Use a decorating tip or toothpick to place dots of balsamic glaze onto the backs of
- the ladybugs.