Blog · Gluten Free · Recipes

Messy Caprese Salad

Caprese salad used to be a staple in my diet, from omnivore to vegetarian. It’s at most restaurants and super simple to put together at home. But when I went vegan, obviously that big, dense mozzarella slice wasn’t an option anymore. Sure, there’s mozz substitutes, but nothing really satisfies that craving for me. So, I’ll give up on the classic caprese look for a bit, and gladly take this “messy” style caprese salad, made with my home grown tomatoes and basil!

So usually, you have sliced tomatoes, sliced mozzarella, some basil, olive oil and balsamic of some sort. This recipe works perfectly for me at the end of a weeks meals, because I usually make pesto and alfredo at the same time, so then this meal comes together pretty fast with left overs.


Ingredients (serves 2):

Olive oil

Sea Salt

Balsamic Glaze

2-3 Large Tomatoes

1/2 cup homemade Alfredo or cheese sauce, I suggest the vegan 8s garlic sauce, it’s a good starter Alfredo. I like this one for this recipe because it’s very garlicky and somewhat thick, so if you opt for a different sauce try to hit those two criteria! My Alfredo recipe is coming soon! I’m still tweaking with it a bit.

1/4 cup homemade pesto (or try Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale pesto if you’re low on time): Blend 1 1/2 cup basil, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 large clove garlic, 1/2 cup pine nuts, tsp salt or more to taste, and 1 tbsp nutritional yeast or white miso paste until blended together and pesto texture.


toasted sour dough garlic bread!


  1. Thinly slice tomatoes and separate even amounts on two plates. My home grown tomatoes were a little less firm than those you buy in a store, so don’t mind if the cuts aren’t perfect.
  2. Prepare pesto and Alfredo sauce as needed,  let both cool in the fridge until you can scoop firm (at least not runny) scoops.
  3. Spread a thick layer of Alfredo sauce on top of each tomato slice, then dollop on pesto. Stack each tomato about halfway onto the tomato slice next to it (see pictures).
  4. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic, sprinkle with sea salt. Now get messy!

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