This Nectarine Caprese Salad is a classic caprese with an untraditional twist, with the additions of sweet nectarines, crisp cucumbers, and a vibrant pesto dressing. Topped with a sweet balsamic glaze and flaky salt, this delicious summer salad is surprisingly simple and absolutely satisfying!
This Nectarine Caprese Salad is truly summer perfection! Admittedly, it’s a bit untraditional with the addition of crisp cucumbers and sweet nectarines, but that’s what makes it such a fun and refreshing salad!
All the fruits and veggies are tossed with fresh mozzarella pearls and a pesto vinaigrette, which totally elevates the flavor. Especially if using a homemade pesto like my lemon pesto or nut-free pesto.
Enjoy as an appetizer or as a side or entree salad with the addition of some protein, like grilled chicken, shrimp, or pesto crusted salmon.
Why this Nectarine Caprese Salad Recipe is SO Good!
- It’s delicious!
- Classic caprese salad is given an untraditional twist with cucumbers and nectarines.
- The cucumbers add a refreshing crispness, making the salad not too heavy.
- Sweetness from the nectarines pairs perfectly with the herby, tangy pesto salad dressing.
- There are so many complementary flavors and textures, making this salad incredibly satisfying.
- It keeps well and can be made ahead.
- You need less than 10 ingredients to make a nectarine caprese salad!
For a full ingredient list with quantities, please check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
- Nectarines: these sweet flavors work so well in a caprese!
- Cucumbers: untraditional, but they add a hydrating, refreshing, crispness that makes the salad.
- Tomatoes: a caprese classic!
- Mozzarella: use mozzarella pearls or chop larger pieces of fresh mozzarella.
- Basil: fresh basil is a key component of a caprese.
- Pesto Vinaigrette: all you need is pesto, white wine vinegar, and olive oil.
- Toppings: while optional, I highly suggest topping with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and sprinkle of flaky salt.
For complete instructions, please check out the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
- Add nectarines, cucumbers, tomatoes, and mozzarella pearls to a bowl and toss to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the pesto dressing.
- Drizzle the pesto dressing over the salad, add the fresh basil, and toss to combine.
- Place on a platter, and if desired, top with a balsamic glaze and a drizzle of flaky sea salt (I highly recommend!).
- Try to cut the nectarines, cucumbers, and tomatoes into pieces similarly sized as the mozzarella pearls. This gives chopped salad vibes and allows for more a more even bite.
- Use smaller basil leaves if available. If not, tear or julienne larger basil leaves.
- I suggest using a seedless cucumber, such as an English cucumber or small Persian or beit alpha cucumbers. If not, scrape the seeds out of the cucumber before chopping.
- I highly recommend topping with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of flaky salt. It puts a finishing polish on the salad, for taste and appearance.
Substitutions & Variations
- For a dairy-free or vegan option, use a vegan pesto and substitute a vegan fresh mozzarella (Miyoko’s makes a cashew milk-based fresh “mozzarella”). Alternatively, you can omit the mozzarella and use a marinated tofu or chickpeas.
- You can use white or yellow nectarines.
- No nectarines? Try peaches!
- For a little heat, add a 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the dressing, or serve with a drizzle of sriracha.
Storage, Freezing, & Reheating
This Nectarine Caprese Salad is best enjoyed fresh. However, you can prep certain components, like the pesto dressing, in advance to expedite the salad assembly.
Supplies You’ll Need
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More Pesto Recipes You’ll Love
- Nut-Free Pesto
- Pesto Chicken Wrap
- Pasta al Pesto with Blistered Tomatoes
- Pesto Crusted Salmon
- Lemon Pesto
- Pesto Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
- Chicken Pesto Sliders
- Pesto Fried Rice
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Nectarine Caprese Salad
Nectarine Caprese Salad
- 2 nectarines about 2 cups chopped
- 1 cup cucumber chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
- ½ teaspoon flaky salt optional
- Add pesto salad dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk together.2 tablespoons pesto, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- In a large bowl, add chopped nectarines, cucumbers, tomatoes, and mozzarella pearls and toss to combine.2 nectarines, 1 cup cucumber, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, 8 ounces mozzarella pearls
- Drizzle the pesto dressing over the salad, add the fresh basil leaves, and gently toss to combine.1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- Transfer the nectarine caprese salad to a serving platter and drizzle with balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of flaky salt.1 tablespoon balsamic glaze, 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt