4.93 from 64 votes

Ladybug Caprese Appetizer

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Caprese Appetizers are a fun way to serve up everyone’s favorite (tomatoes and mozzarella) in individual bite sized deliciousness. SO easy to make and done in minutes, you can dip your Caprese salad bites in mini containers of balsamic and create the most adorable food tray.

Caprese Salad Appetizer made into mini little lady bugs that look adorable on appetizer tray

Ladybug Caprese Appetizer Recipe

You will love how adorable and how easy these Caprese bites are to make.

Nothing to bake, nothing to cook, serve up as a side dish or perfect for an appetizer platter all year long.

And Caprese is always a favorite of mine, as you can tell by the multitude of caprese recipes I have on my site like strawberry caprese salad, caprese pizza, and even caprese stuffed chicken. 

  • 1 package, 8 ounces, sliced mozzarella cheese log
  • 7 cherry tomatoes (more if you are making a larger plate)
  • black olives
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Wilton sparkle color gels in black

Caprese Salad Bite Tips: 

  • Full disclosure, there’s not balsamic in this. But you can put a very small amount under the tomato or under the basil if you wanted to. You could also just supply some to dip into. These condiment containers would work well for a large group. Here is my balsamic vinegar reduction recipe.
  • These ladybug appetizers aren’t hard to make, so do not let the cuteness of the animal food throw you off.
  • Looking for sliced cheese? I used BelGioioso and it’s a pre-sliced Mozzarella. You get 14 full slices, not counting the 2 ends, so enough to make a full tray of ladybugs!
  • I used jumbo black olives and probably should have purchased medium sized black olives. This might mean you can make less cuts on the head.

How to assemble Caprese Appetizer Lady Bugs

These mini lady bug appetizer bites are a perfect way to enjoy a salad in a perfectly portioned way! Here are step by step instructions on how to make this super cute Caprese dish. 

Place cheese rounds onto a serving tray or platter.

Place 1 basil leaf on each cheese round.

You can usually grab basil leaves right from the produce section of your store but they are also SO SIMPLE to grow!

tomato basil mozzarella with fresh basil leaves piled onto a mozzarella round

Halve tomatoes and cut a small slit into the center to create wings.

Place the tomato half onto the basil leaf.

tomatos cut in half to make up the lady bug body

 

create wings for your ladybug appetizer by using a knife to slightly carve out on the tomato

add lady bugs on tomatoes carefully and prep for wings

Slice away 1 end of the olive and slice that small piece in half.

Cut the ends of each half to create a head.

creating a ladybug head with black olives

 

lady bug olives cut into three for your little appetizer head

Place head onto the tomato.

 

tomato and mozzarella make up an adorable appetizer lady bug

Use color gel to create spots on the lady bug.

 

lady bug spots are easy to make with cake black decorating gel

 

tomato caprese in the shape of mini lady bugs makes 14 fresh spring friendly appetizers

Serve immediately.

Makes 14

Additional Appetizer Recipes

Prepping dips, salsas, and finger foods of a large variety can be overwhelming, so here are my favorites.

  1. Funfetti Dip – awesome sweet dip served up with graham crackers
  2. Neiman Marcus Dip – just like grandma used to make, its a million dollar dip to dip into!
  3. Avocado Deviled Eggs– new spin on an old favorite
  4. Stuffed Mushrooms – cannot go wrong with this mini bite
  5. Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball – Its so good that you might be licking your own fingers by the time you are done
  6. Jalapeno Popper Dip 
4.93 from 64 votes

Caprese Ladybug Appetizer Tray with Tomatoes and Mozzarella


Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Caprese Salad Appetizers are a fun way to serve up everyone's favorite (tomatoes and mozzarella) in individual bite sized deliciousness. SO easy to make and done in minutes, you can dip your Caprese salad bites in mini containers of balsamic and create the most adorable food tray.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 package 8 ounces, sliced mozzarella cheese log
  • 7 cherry tomatoes
  • black olives
  • fresh basil leaves
  • wilton sparkle color gels in black

Instructions

  • Place cheese rounds onto a serving tray or platter.
  • Place 1 basil leaf on each cheese round.
  • Halve cherry tomatoes from top to bottom down the center (vertical) and cut a small slit into the center of the back to create wings.
  • Place the tomato half onto the basil leaf.
  • Slice away 1 end of the olive and slice that small piece in half. Cut the ends of each half to create a head.
  • Place head onto the tomato.
  • Use color gel to create spots on the lady bug.
  • Please note on the black gel - if your kitchen is hot, it can slide off a little of tomato. Its best to put a little bit of pressure into the dot (see video).
  • Serve immediately.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 14people | Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 104mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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4.93 from 64 votes

 

4.93 from 64 votes (59 ratings without comment)

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19 Comments

  1. These are so cute! I’m going to make them, but week use dots of basalmic vinegar reduction for the spots. Thank you so much for this idea!

    1. Let me know how they turn out w/ the balsamic!

  2. I think adding a drop or two of balsamic reduction or glaze onto the cheese before placing the basil leaf will help keep the leaf (and ladybug) from sliding off, and add more balsamic flavor. I also thought of using balsamic glaze for the dots.

    1. Chelsey Robinson says:

      Exactly what I was thinking! Why use black icing when you can use a balsamic reduction!!!

    2. Trisha Haas says:

      You def could and it would taste great but balsamic reduction could slide more than an icing. You may end up with stripes 🙂

    3. Minerva Muratore says:

      Using balsamic reduction for the dots will slide off the tomato as I did that once

  3. wont the black dessert dots taste too sweet??!

    1. This is a great question! Color gels have no flavor, so its totally fine. They are not sweet like a frosting would be. Its just design.

  4. I could not find a video. 🙁

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      Im sorry! Its in the post and also in the recipe card on the bottom.

  5. SO CUTE 🙂
    I’m going to try this but with a balsamic glaze or reduction!

  6. Your instructions say to serve immediately. Will they be ruined if I make them tonight for a get together tomorrow morning?

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      Tomatoes have juice so there is a chance it “leaks” onto the cheese.

  7. I am going to make this. It’s a great idea! However, for the dots I will use a balsamic glaze made by Trader Joe’s. It is thick enough to form dots and is quite good!

  8. I made these for the 4th. Super easy and they disappeared as soon as I put them out. I used a balsamic glaze for the dots and added a scant sweep of glaze on the cheese. They were easy and delicious!

  9. I don’t understand why you didn’t use reduced balsamic glaze for the ladybug dots. I do love everything else.

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      I was afraid it would run 🙂

      Trisha

  10. Could these be made a couple hours in advance and kept in a refrigerator until ready to serve?

    1. Trisha Haas says:

      I dont see why not. If you use balsamic, my only thought would be that it COULD run. Maybe do the dots right before serving.

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