is caprese salad gluten free

Caprese salad is a delicious and refreshing dish that combines ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and aromatic basil. But if you’re following a gluten-free diet, you may be wondering if caprese salad is safe for you to enjoy. In this article, we’ll explore the ingredients typically used in caprese salad and determine whether or not it is gluten free.

1. Tomatoes

The main ingredient in caprese salad is tomatoes. Luckily, tomatoes are naturally gluten free and safe for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease to consume. Whether they are sliced, diced, or whole, tomatoes pose no risk of gluten contamination.

Additionally, tomatoes are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a healthy addition to any meal.

2. Mozzarella Cheese

The second key ingredient in caprese salad is mozzarella cheese. Traditional mozzarella cheese is made from cow’s milk and does not contain gluten. However, it’s essential to be mindful of processed or flavored varieties of mozzarella, as some may include gluten-containing additives or flavorings.

To ensure your caprese salad remains gluten free, opt for fresh mozzarella or check the label of pre-packaged mozzarella cheese for any potential gluten ingredients.

3. Basil

Basil, the fragrant herb that adds a burst of flavor to caprese salad, is naturally gluten free. Whether you use fresh basil leaves or dried basil, there is no need to worry about gluten content. Basil is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, adding extra health benefits to your caprese salad.

4. Balsamic Vinegar

While not an essential component of traditional caprese salad, balsamic vinegar is often drizzled over the dish for added tanginess. Fortunately, pure balsamic vinegar does not contain gluten. However, some cheaper varieties or balsamic glazes may include gluten-containing additives or thickeners.

If you’re uncertain about the gluten content of your balsamic vinegar, check the label for any potential gluten ingredients. Alternatively, you can opt for a gluten-free balsamic vinegar or reduce the risk by using fresh lemon juice as a substitute.

5. Additional Ingredients

While the classic caprese salad is made with only tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar, some variations may include additional ingredients. It’s important to consider the gluten content of any additional items you choose to include in your caprese salad. Here are a few examples:

  • Croutons: Traditional croutons are made from bread and contain gluten. It’s best to avoid them or opt for gluten-free alternatives.
  • Pesto: Traditional pesto sauce is made with pine nuts, basil, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and garlic, all of which are gluten free. However, some store-bought pesto sauces may include gluten, so read the label carefully or make your own.
  • Seasonings: If you’re using additional seasonings such as salt, pepper, or dried herbs, be sure to check the labels for any gluten-containing ingredients. Most pure seasonings should be gluten free, but it’s always good to double-check.


In summary, caprese salad is generally gluten free, given that its main ingredients (tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil) do not naturally contain gluten. However, it’s crucial to be mindful of any additional ingredients or toppings you choose to include, as some may contain gluten or have the potential for cross-contamination. Always check labels, opt for fresh or homemade versions, and if dining out, communicate your gluten-free needs to ensure a safe and enjoyable caprese salad experience.