Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks
I love these delicious Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks served with my favorite Basil Vinaigrette, and these have all the flavors of summer! I savor every bite of the grilled zucchini, fresh Mozzarella, tomato, and basil vinaigrette in this combination, but look in the post for more ideas for Caprese Salad Stacks!
If you’ve looked around the summer archives in this blog you know how I love that summer produce. There are some recipes that just symbolize summer for me, and Grilled Zucchini, Basil Vinaigrette, and Caprese Salad are summer standbys that I’ve been making for years. So when I had the idea for Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks that combined all those summer favorites into stacks of grilled zucchini with thick slices of ripe tomato and creamy fresh Mozzarella, drizzled with basil vinaigrette, I knew it had to be a winner.
If you have fresh garden tomatoes and want something that will really impress your friends, you must make this as soon as you have zucchini and fresh garden tomatoes! This would be perfect as a side dish with something like Very Greek Grilled Chicken for a summer dinner. No matter what’s on the menu at your house for the Fourth of July, I hope you have a great holiday if you’re celebrating.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
- large zucchini slices
- round slices of fresh mozzarella
- thick slices of tomato
- purchased or homemade vinaigrette dressing (for making basil vinaigrette)
- basil puree or chopped fresh basil (see notes)
- Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) (for marinating zucchini)
- Dried Basil (affiliate link)
- Spike Seasoning (affiliate link), or any all-purpose seasoning blend
What is Caprese Salad?
Caprese Salad is an Italian favorite named after the island of Capri. The salad traditionally has fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar, but that flavor combination has become so popular that now there are endless variations of salads with Caprese in the title.
More Caprese Salad Variations with Stacked Ingredients:
I love this Caprese Salad variation with the tomatoes and mozzarella stacked up on grilled zucchini. If you like that idea, there are some other variations that are fun. Of course you can replace the red tomatoes with a green tomato like my favorite Green Zebra Tomatoes, or alternate red and green tomatoes. You can use Green Zebra Tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and switch out the dressing for Green Goddess Salad Dressing to make a variation I’d call Green Goddess Tomato Mozzarella Stacks. Or if you really want to think outside the box, try replacing the grilled zucchini with slices of Kiwifruit for an interesting Kiwi Caprese Salad!
Steps for making the recipe:
(Scroll down for the complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- I combined chopped fresh basil from my window herb garden with Le Parisien Vinaigrette to make the basil vinaigrette. I make this first so the basil flavor can develop in the dressing while it sits in the fridge. (Use your favorite low-sugar vinaigrette.)
- It’s important to use zucchini that are big enough so the zucchini will be slightly larger than the slice of mozzarella. Cut zucchini slices about 3/4 inch thick so the zucchini will stay a tiny bit crisp when it’s cooked.
- I made a simple marinade for the zucchini with Newman’s Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) combined with some Dried Basil (affiliate link) and Spike Seasoning (affiliate link). (You could make this without marinating the zucchini, but this step adds a lot of flavor.)
- Put the zucchini in a Ziploc bag and marinate on the counter for 4 hours or more.
- When you’re ready to cook, spray the grill with oil or non-stick grill spray and heat to high. Turn grill to medium-high when you put the zucchini on.
- I took this next photo from the other angle so I would remember to tell you to rotate each piece of zucchini after about 5 minutes so you can get criss-cross grill marks.
- Then turn the zucchini over and cook 3-5 minutes more on the second side, depending on how done you like it.
- While the zucchini cooks prepare the fresh mozzarella slices. I used pre-sliced mozzarella which is so convenient.
- Slice garden ripe-tomatoes into slices about as thick as the zucchini.
- To arrange the dish, start by putting a slice of Mozzarella on top of each piece of grilled zucchini.
- Then top the Mozzarella with a piece of tomato and drizzle with the basil vinaigrette.
- Serve with a little extra basil vinaigrette on the side for people who want extra, and enjoy!
You’ll want to make this often if you have zucchini and fresh tomatoes, so you may want to make extra Basil Vinaigrette.
More Caprese Salad Inspired Salads:
Want More Summer Tomato Salads?
Check out Ten Favorite Summer Tomato Salads for more amazing salad ideas for summer tomatoes!
- 8 large zucchini slices (preferably about 3 inches across and 3/4 inch thick)
- 8 round slices of fresh mozzarella
- 8 thick slices of tomato (about 3/4 inch thick)
Basil Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup purchased or homemade vinaigrette dressing (see notes)
- 3 tablespoons basil puree or chopped fresh basil (see notes)
Zucchini Marinade Ingredients:
- 1/3 cup purchased or homemade vinaigrette dressing (see notes)
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (or any all-purpose seasoning blend that you like)
- Combine the chopped fresh or frozen basil with the vinaigrette dressing to make the basil vinaigrette. Refrigerate this while you marinate the zucchini so the basil flavor can develop in the dressing.
- Cut the zucchini into slices, preferably about 3 inches across and 3/4 inch thick.
- Combine the vinaigrette, dried basil, and Spike Seasoning (affiliate link) to make the marinade.
- Put the zucchini in a Ziploc bag in a single layer, and pour the marinade over it. Let this marinate on the counter for 4 hours (or even all day is fine, if you’re not home or just want to do it farther ahead.)
- When you’re ready to cook the zucchini, spray the clean grill grates with oil or non-stick grill spray. Preheat grill to high.
- Lay the zucchini on the grill and immediately turn grill to medium high. Cook about 5 minutes on the first side (lift one piece of zucchini to see when you have nice grill marks), then rotate each piece and cook 5 minutes more (or until you have nice criss-cross marks.)
- Turn zucchini pieces over and cook 3-5 minutes more on the second side. (You can stick a fork in one piece to see how tender it is. I like this best when the zucchini is still slightly crisp.)
- While the zucchini cooks prepare the sliced mozzarella and slice the tomatoes. (I use pre-sliced mozzarella, which makes the pieces all the same size and makes this dish extra easy.)
- To arrange the stacks, start with a slice of grilled zucchini, add a slice of fresh mozzarella, then add a slice of tomato. Drizzle desired amount of basil vinaigrette over and serve right away.
- Serve with a little more basil vinaigrette for people to add at the table.
I love Le Parisien Vinaigrette for the Basil Vinaigrette in this recipe but it's hard to find if you're not in Utah and any low-sugar dressing that you like the flavor of will work. Here is more information about basil options for Basil Vinaigrette.
I like Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing (affiliate link) for marinating the zucchini. (You could use that for the Basil Vinaigrette too, although I prefer a creamier dressing.)
This recipe was created by Kalyn with inspiration from some summer favorites.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 65Total Fat: 2.3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1.5gCholesterol: 4.5mgSodium: 236mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3.3gSugar: 15.6gProtein: 4.7g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet Suggestions / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Siggestions:
If you’re making Grilled Zucchini Caprese Stacks for a low-carb or carb-conscious eating plan, it’s important to use vinaigrette with less than 2 grams of sugar per serving (or make your own vinaigrette.) Tomatoes do have some carbs, but there’s a lot of other low-carb ingredients to balance that out here; slice the tomatoes a bit thinner if you prefer.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Tomato Recipes or Salad Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This favorite recipe was first posted in 2013. It was last updated n 2021.