This easy recipe for make-ahead Caprese skewers with pesto dressing is simple yet delicious. These mini Caprese bites are a real family favorite and the perfect festive appetizer to serve your holiday guests.
It seems like the holidays are all about decadence, but today I thought I would switch things up a bit and share this recipe for Caprese skewers with pesto dressing.
These quick and easy appetizers will wow your family and friends with their fresh taste and the season’s red and green colors. Not only are they perfect for entertaining during the holidays, but they are also great at any time of the year, including for a summer picnic.
Not only do these flavorful Caprese skewers make an excellent appetizer for parties, but they also make a great salad dish for pot-luck or buffet dinners. They are just like the classic Caprese salad but on a stick!
Here is what you will need to make this recipe:
To make these skewers, you will need spinach tortellini, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella balls.
To make the pesto dressing, you will need olive oil, pesto, and red wine vinegar. You will also need some fresh basil or parsley for a garnish and wooden skewers.
How to make this recipe:
To make the dressing, mix olive oil, pesto, and red wine vinegar in a glass jar and shake well.
Prepare the tortellini according to the package directions. Drain and let cool.
Thread one cherry tomato, a mozzarella ball, and then the cooked tortellini on each skewer.
If making ahead, cover your skewers with plastic wrap and store them in your refrigerator along with the dressing.
When you are ready to serve this appetizer, drizzle on a little dressing and sprinkle with some chopped basil or parsley.
For the pesto, you can use either homemade or purchased jarred or refrigerated pesto.
I like to use fresh mozzarella balls, but you can substitute regular mozzarella cut into cubes. Fresh mozzarella balls usually come packed in water and can often be found in grocery store salad bars.
Use the cheese-stuffed spinach tortellini you find in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. It generally can be found next to the cheese. Don’t use dried pasta.
Also, if you want to make these Caprese skewers a little more substantial, feel free to add some cubed salami or summer sausage.
You can substitute balsamic glaze for the pesto dressing. You can find balsamic glaze next to the balsamic vinegar at the grocery store.
To make ahead, make the dressing and assemble the skewers. Cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Do not add the dressing until you are ready to serve.
More make-ahead appetizer recipes:
If you like this appetizer recipe, you might also be interested in these other easy make-ahead favorites:
- Bourbon Pecan Brie Bites
- The Ultimate Blue Cheese Spread with Pecans
- Cranberry Pecan Mini Goat Cheese Balls
- Easy Creamy Crab Mornay Dip
- Black-Eyed Pea Hummus
- Easy Mardi Gras Hot Muffuletta Dip
For even more appetizer recipes, you can peruse all of my appetizer recipes here.
★ If you make this dish, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I would love to know how you liked it!
Thanks so much for visiting Grits and Pinecones!
Make-Ahead Caprese Skewers Recipe
- Wooden skewers
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 9 ounces refrigerated spinach tortellini cooked according to package directions and cooled
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 6 ounces fresh mozzarella balls or cubed mozzarella
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
For the pesto dressing
- Mix the olive oil, pesto, and vinegar in a jar and shake well.
For the Caprese skewers
- Thread, a cherry tomato, mozzarella ball, and spinach tortellini on each skewer.
- Just before serving, lightly top with the dressing.
- Garnish with basil.
*This recipe was originally published on December 9, 2015. Republished on December 18, 2019, with expanded directions and new tips.