Stuffed Caprese Bites

Hooray!  After months of planning, I’m SO excited that the first week of our Tomato Love Recipe Exchange is finally here!!!  For those of you who missed the introductory post, I will be co-hosting weekly tomato recipe exchanges over the next eight weeks in partnership with Cassie (Bake Your Day), IJM (and their program, “Recipe for Change“), and a host of some AMAZING sponsors.  I seriously can’t stop smiling writing this — so excited to share in the tomato love with everyone!

Cassie and I are both so excited that our first sponsor is the amazing KitchenAid, who will be giving away a beautiful new 7-Quart Stand Mixer.  I have a new silver one, and absolutely LOVE it.  Or as Molly might say on SNL, “I-love-it-I-love-it-I-love-it!!!!”  :)  In addition to being such a beautiful appliance in my kitchen, it is absolutely a pro at whipping up all sorts of goodness for baking.  AND, I am happy to say that it has been my partner on my new year’s resolution — to conquer my fear of baking with yeast!  Yep.  For the second time this year (I know, I’ve been a bit of a procrastinator), I mustered up my courage and decided to try making my own homemade pizza dough for the first time.

By some miracle — thanks in part to that brilliant KitchenAid dough hook and a tasty recipe — I am pleased to announce SUCCESS!!!  Not only did I make a completely successful and tasty batch of pizza dough, I used it to create these crazy-delicious little caprese bites, which were scrumptuous!!  These little bites are similar to the pepperoni pizza bites I made a few years ago, but this time they are filled simply with a slice of mozzarella and a fresh basil leaf sandwiched inside of a cherry tomato.  Super cute.  And completely caprese-y delicious.  A perfect little appetizer to serve to a crowd!

So now it’s time for you to share YOUR favorite tomato appetizers, and also enter to win a KitchenAid 7-Quart stand mixer of your own!  Again, you do not need to have a blog to participate, although we are super-excited to have some of you bloggers link up as well.  Scroll below to enter, and also take a moment to pop over to the Recipe For Change site to learn more about what you can do to support our tomato farmers in America.  Look forward to a great summer full of #TomatoLove!

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Stuffed Caprese Bites

These Stuffed Caprese Bites are quick and easy to make, and full of fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese.

Ingredients:

Caprese Bites Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe pizza dough, listed below (or you can substitute 1 store-bought large unbaked pizza dough)
  • 20-24 cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 4 ounces mozzarella, shredded or cut into small squares as wide as your tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoons dried oregano
  • optional: marinara sauce, for dipping

Pizza Dough Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • half a packet of yeast (1.5 tsp. or 1/8th oz.)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasonings or dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

To Make The Caprese Bites:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. If using canned pizza dough, use a pizza slicer to cut dough into 24 equal squares. If using homemade pizza dough, break off dough into about 24 walnut-sized pieces and then stretch each to become a 3-inch or so circle.
  3. Make each of the bites by slicing a tomato in two lengthwise, and then sandwiching a piece of cheese and a torn piece of basil between the tomato halves. Then gently place the little tomato sandwich in the center of the pizza dough, and wrap the dough around it to make a ball. Pinch the ends together so that they are secure, then place each ball seam-side-down in the greased pie pan. Repeat with remaining ingredients until the pan is full. Brush the tops of the little dough balls with melted butter, then sprinkle with the dried oregano.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden. Remove and serve immediately.

To Make The Pizza Dough:

  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the warm water and yeast.
  2. Stir in the flour, salt and Italian seasonings and mix on medium high speed on your KitchenAid stand mixer for 5 minutes. While the mixer is going, drizzle in the olive oil.
  3. When the dough is soft and elastic, take out of the bowl, rub with olive oil and then place back in the bowl, cover with a dish towel and let rise for one hour.
  4. After the dough has doubled in size, remove the dough and either use it in a recipe or freeze it.

*Recipe prep time does not include the time to prepare the dough.

All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

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80 comments on “Stuffed Caprese Bites”

  1. What a fun way to enjoy more tomatoes! I share my Yuzu Shrimp and Halibut Ceviche and tweeted about this awesome contest. Here’s the link:

    https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/223672063498522624

  2. Pinned the graphic on Pinterest and invited others to participate, here’s the link to my pin:
    http://pinterest.com/pin/53269208063245702/

  3. Shared this giveaway and contest on Instagram and here’s the link: https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/223674714361565185

  4. My Mom’s famous gazpacho

    1 1/2 lbs of red ripe tomatoes, chopped
    1 small onion, chopped
    1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
    1/2 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
    1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
    4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 1/2 cups tomato juice
    sald and pepper
    for garni- chopped tomato, onion, cucumber and green pepper, croutons, homemade if possible

    1 combine tomatoes, onion, cucumber, green pepper and garlic in blender of food processor. Process until well blended. Add vinegar and oil and process briefly
    2. Transfer to bowl, stir in tomato juice and season to taste w/ s & p
    3. refrigerate till ready to serve (important) & garnish

    Yields 4-6 servings

  5. Tomato Bacon Bites

    2 pints cherry tomatoes
    2/4 cup mayonnaise
    1/4 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup FRESH grated Parmesan cheese
    1/8 tsp. garlic powder
    2 Tablespoons fresh basil (minced)
    16-oz. pkg. of cooked & crumbled bacon
    salt & pepper to taste

    Cut the top off cherry tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place each tomato upside down on paper towel to drain. Combine rest of ingredients in a bowl. Stuff each tomato with bacon mixture. Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours to blend flavors.

  6. Fresh Salsa

    1 can drained yellow corn
    1 can drained white corn
    2 cans drained & rinsed black beans
    1 can drained diced tomatoes
    1 bunch chopped cilantro
    1 small finely chopped red onion
    1 seeded and chopped red bell pepper
    1 T. minced garlic
    1/4 cup lime juice
    1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and diced
    2 T. olive oil or to taste

    Stir everything together except lime juice & avocado. Once mixed well, gently mix in lime juice and avocado. Serve with tortilla chips. Yummy!

  7. Tomato Soup

    4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
    1 small sliced onion
    4 whole cloves
    2 T. minched garlic
    2 cups chicken broth
    2 T. butter
    2 T. all-purpose flour
    1 t. salt or to taste
    2 t. sugar or to taste
    Pepper optional to taste

    In a large pot, combine tomatoes, onion, cloves, garlic and chicken broth. Bring to boil, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and run mixture through a food mill into a large dish. In the pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour to make a roux, cooking until it is a lt./med. brown. Whisk in some of the tomato mixture, so that no lumps form, then stir in the rest. Salt & pepper to taste.

  8. This one is a total knock-off of Alice Waters’, but I’ve put my own spin on it:

    Tomato Confit

    Preheat oven to 350
    Peel 6-8 Roma tomatoes, cut them in half and sprinkle with salt
    Arrange in a baking dish so they fit snuggly (foil can help this if things aren’t fitting)
    Scatter a few basil sprigs on top
    Pour 1/4 to a 1/2 of olive oil on top
    Bake for 40 minutes (depends on size of tomatoes)
    They are done with they are slightly browned on top and tender, I like to mash it up with a fork but it’s not always necessary

    I take this and spread it on a baguette. I confess sometimes I’m lazy and I don’t even bother with removing the skin, sometimes I even like to mix in chopped garlic so it roasts in the oven too. This recipe concentrates the tomato flavor, it’s delectable. Pair it with some good cheese and a glass of wine.

  9. Basil, fresh mozzerella and cherry tomato towers:

    1 large leaf of basil, 1 small round ball of fresh mozzerella and 1 cherry tomato on top of each other to make a ‘tower.’ Then stick a toothpick through all of them to make it stand up straight. Lastly, drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar over it. Make as many as you want for a tasty and quick appetizer!

  10. I love just simple caprese, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and olive oil. Sometimes drizzled with a balsamic reduction glaze!

  11. Here’s my tweet:
    https://twitter.com/ohdearhusband/status/224252169145167872

    And my Pin:
    http://pinterest.com/pin/116812184055562566/

    Sorry but my salsa recipe is a secret ;)

  12. Pinned on Pinterest

  13. These look incredible! Cheese and carbs can never be wrong. I think I would have gone a bit overboard and poured garlic butter on the top. Mmm!

    I left the Twitter + Instagram comment over at Cassie’s and wanted to leave my Pinterest comment over here just so that I could comment on your Capese bites. :)

    I just Pinterest-ed the graphic!

  14. Our favorite tomato appetizer comes in handy when tomatoes are ripening right and left and is super simple:

    Ingredients:
    1 fresh-picked, medium-sized tomato (any slicing variety), cleaned and sliced
    Thin slices of fresh mozzarella
    Fresh basil leaves (chopped, if desired)
    Extra virgin olive oil (a high-quality, flavorful one; fruity or peppery flavors work especially well)
    Balsamic vinegar (optional)
    Sea salt
    Fresh ground black pepper

    Layer all ingredients. Let sit 5-10 minutes and serve.

    Serves 1.

  15. STUFFED TOMATOES RECIPE

    Ingredients:

    4 firm tomatoes

    Salt (to taste) (1/3 less sodium salt)

    5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

    1 medium vidalia sweet onion, peeled and chopped

    1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped

    1 lb of lean ground turkey meat

    1 1/2 cup of cooked basmati or jasmice brown rice

    1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or diced petite canned (if using can, drain of excess liquid first)

    1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon of dried oregano

    Fresh ground pepper (to taste)

    1/2 cup ketchup

    1/2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce

    Dash of Tabasco sauce (to taste)

    Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and remove all of the inside and rinse well to remove all seeds.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Remove skillet from heat, add meat, rice, tomatoes, and oregano, and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well. (You may find it easier to put the ingredients at this point into a large bowl and mix together with your hands.)

    Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil inside the tomatoes. Arrange the cut side of the tomatoes up in a baking dish, then stuff tomatoes with filling. Combine ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, and 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl, then spoon over filling. Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes (or longer, depending on how big the tomatoes are that you are stuffing), until the internal temperature of the stuffed tomatoes is 150-160°F.

  16. Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
    16 cherry tomatoes
    1/2 cup ricotta cheese
    1 Tbsp minced chive
    1 large basil leaf, minced
    1/4 tsp salt
    Fresh, cracked pepper or fresh grated parmesan

    Cut tops off of tomatoes, hollow out with a small knife. Mix ricotta, chives, basil and salt. Fill tomatoes, sprinkle with fresh, cracked pepper or fresh parmesan and bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and warmed through.

  17. My new favorite appetizer must is using wonton wrappers, so I’ve been trying everything in them! A few weeks ago for a party I concocted this:
    Ingredients:
    – 3-4 plum tomatoes – remove seeds and dice
    – Fresh Mozzarella – chopped into same size pieces as the tomatoes
    – Balsamic glaze or reduction (I made my own reduction but you can usually buy glaze)
    – 12 wonton wrappers
    – Fresh basil – you can leave these whole or chop them
    How To:
    – Chop the tomatoes, cheese, and basil before placing wontons in the oven and toss together in a bowl. Prepare balsamic reduction if needed.
    – Pre-heat the oven to 375F. While oven is pre-heating grease a muffin pan and place a wonton wrapper in each cup of the muffin pan. Bake the wrappers for five minutes. You want them to crisp and turn slightly golden brown but watch the edges for burning!
    – Take the muffin pan out of the oven and divide the tomato/cheese/basil filling equally among the cups and bake for another 5 minutes. Again, keep an eye on it so the edges of the wonton cups don’t burn.
    – Drizzle or spoon the reduction/glaze over the wontons before serving!
    – If it’s easier, you can also just make a bruschetta and fill the wonton cups with that since it’s basically the same ingredients.

  18. I pinned this on Pinterest…here is the link: http://pinterest.com/pin/102879172708452845/

  19. I made a wonderful Caprese type appetizer that I made for a party a couple of months ago that was a big hit.

    1 pkg of Fresh Mozzarella Pearls
    small can of sliced olives
    Cherry tomatoes
    Fresh Basil
    Toothpicks
    Olive Oil
    Basalmic Vinegar

    Cut cherry tomatoes in half
    Cut Basil into strips
    On a toothpick, place cherry tomato half, a basil strip, an olive ring and end with a Mozzarella pearl.
    Place all toothpicks crossways on a long narrow serving dish.
    Sprinkle with olive oil and basalmic vinegar

    So simple, so delishious and they disappeared so quickly!

  20. My daughter is going to love these little munchkins! We’ve been teaching her how to bake this Summer, and this is a perfect recipe for her to try out on her own. Thanks for this. :)

  21. I love simple and easy, this is my fav

    Pisto Manchego
    This simple dish, a sort-of pureed ratatouille, is served all over Spain on its own or accompanying meats, eggs, fish, bread (basically anything and everything).

    Serves 4 to 6 as a tapa or side dish
    4 ripe plum tomatoes
    2 small Japanese eggplants
    4 red bell peppers
    About 2 tablespoons olive oil
    Buy Here!
    2 red onions, not peeled
    1/4 cup olive oil
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Rub the tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers with the oil and put them on a baking sheet, along with the onions. Roast in a 375°F oven for about 45 minutes, or until very soft (the onions may take as long as an hour). Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the skin from the tomatoes and peel the onions. Cut the eggplants in half and scoop out the flesh. Roughly chop all the vegetables, then pass through a food mill into a bowl. Stir in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve on pan tostado (toasted bread).

  22. I make a stuffed tomato with shredded rosemary chicken (or whatever you have left over from the night before), sauteed pepper or zucchini, sauteed yellow onions, spices on hand (depending on what was on the meat originally) such as garlic salt, cajun seasoning, chili powder for a nice kick, etc. Throw the chicken in the pan to slightly heat through. I’ll throw in some shredded Parmesan cheese and bake for approx. 5 minutes in the oven at 350 – you don’t want the tomato to get too soft. Top with cilantro and chives – dig in. It’s a wonderful fresh and light dinner or lunch.

  23. Butter your favorite thick bread. Slice fresh tomatoes. Place on top of bread. Put your favorite sliced cheese on top. Put in oven under broil for a few minutes until golden.

  24. I have to admit that my favorite recipe likely isn’t new to most folks. It’s the simplicity of the ingredients that wows me and takes me back to it time and time again. Crusty bread. Flavorful olive oil. Fresh basil. And my favorite tomato: campari (and have to add that heirlooms are pretty tasty substitutes). Slice and assemble. Drizzle the oil and sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper and sea salt. And for a fuller flavor — get some of that super fresh, craft style, mozzerella or burrata if you can find it. So good.

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  28. These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them out! :-)

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