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Looking for a vegan caprese salad recipe? Here’s the best recipe I’ve found and the easiest to make! This 1-2-3 recipe under 20 minutes is full of flavor but contains no dairy or animal products at all.
If you love Caprese salad as much as I do, you’ll love this vegan version of a classic dish. It features ripe tomatoes, flavorful basil and thick silken tofu slices. And with just a few simple ingredients and easy preparation, you’ll have this dish ready in under 20 minutes!
Easy Summer Salad
Perfect for summer or as a side dish to any dinner, this vegan Caprese salad is a great dish for anyone looking for fresh flavors without resorting to the usual tomato-vegan mozzarella-basil combo. Enjoy!
How to Pronounce Caprese Salad
First things first, let’s talk about the origin of the word Caprese. While some might argue that the salad is named after the island of Capri, most people believe that it’s actually named after the Italian town of Capri which is located on the Isle of Capri.
The word Caprese itself comes from the Latin word caput, meaning “head” or “chief”. To properly pronounce the word, you would say: “ca-preese” with a long ee sound for the first e.
Whether you’re a diehard fan of classic Caprese or just want to try something new, I hope that this vegan version of the dish will become one of your favorites!
What is Caprese Salad?
Caprese salad is a traditional Italian dish made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. It’s usually seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil.
The salad originates from Capri, which is located off the coast of Naples in southern Italy. Nowadays, Caprese salad is enjoyed all over the world and can be made using many different variations of ingredients.
However, regardless of the recipe or variation you’re using, one thing will always remain constant: Caprese salad is a delicious dish that’s perfect for any occasion!
Vegan Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is one of those dishes that’s done so often without variation, that it’s easy to forget how fantastic the real thing is. With all plant-based ingredients that are safe for vegan, vegetarian, and keto diets this version substitutes silken tofu for the mozzarella.
The tofu does the same job of providing a creamy counterpoint to the acid from the tomatoes and vinegar while adding a great source of protein.
If you have really terrific, fresh tomatoes (like from your garden), the tofu’s great because it amplifies the tomatoes delicious flavor.
Caprese Salad Recipe
This recipe is a creative take on David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook Caprese salad recipe with cherry tomatoes and silken tofu in a soy vinaigrette with shiso leaves.
In Chang’s version of a Caprese salad, (which is so delicious and can be seen here – including photos & the recipe) he uses a few ingredients we changed up for simplicity. Because Shiso leaves are not the easiest thing to find in most traditional supermarkets, I switched them out in favor of a more traditional Caprese-style salad.
Tomatoes Make The Difference
The important thing here is the quality of your tomatoes – if they’re not great, the salad won’t be. Be sure to salt them first thing – you can let them sit for a while (up to 30 minutes), and they’ll only improve in flavor.
And you’ll definitely want to serve this with some delicious bread to soak up all the juices.
Hope you enjoy our take on a classic Caprese salad! What are some of your favorite plant-based recipes? Let us know in the comments.
More Summer Salad Recipes
Photos by Alfonso Revilla.
Tomato and Silken Tofu Caprese Salad
- 1 ripe baseball-sized tomato
- ½ pound of silken tofu
- Leaves from 1 sprig of basil thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon of red wine vinegar
- Coarse sea salt (optional)
- Using a sharp knife, slice the tomato into ½-inch slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let sit.
- Slice the block of tofu into in half, running your knife through the block parallel to the cutting board. Using a 2-inch cookie cutter or small drinking glass, carefully cut out 4 circles from the tofu. (This is all a little tricky – silken tofu's very delicate and kind of a pain to work with, so don't feel like you have to cut circles if it's not working out for you – you can also just slice rectangles off the block. Circles make it look more like mozzarella, but that's pretty much the only advantage.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- On plates or a serving platter, layer the slices of tomato and tofu so that they overlap slightly. Sprinkle with the sliced basil, drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar, and add maybe a little sea salt if you want some extra salty crunch on top.
- The important thing here is the quality of your tomatoes – if they’re not great, the tofu caprese salad won’t be.
- Be sure to salt the tomatoes first thing – you can let them sit for a while (up to 30 minutes), and they’ll only improve in flavor.
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