Pesto Strawberry Caprese Salad

By Amanda Paa – Updated August 8, 2023
5 from 4 votes
Instead of tomatoes, this caprese salad features strawberries with mozzarella and pesto! It's so quick to put together and absolutely delicious. The flavors are bright and refreshing, salty and sweet. It's an unexpected combination that we fell in love with, and I think you will too.
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Making a Strawberry Caprese Salad:

Juicy strawberries and soft mozzarella. Herby pesto, with pine nuts and cashews. Simple food that fills our bellies on a hot summer night, crickets singing a love song, white wine in hand.

Before strawberry season passes, you must make this simple beauty of a salad. I’ll admit, our local coop makes an amazing pesto with cashews and pine nuts that I can’t quite recreate at home so I use it as our house pesto. Go ahead and use your favorite store-bought too!

There are only three ingredients in this tomato-less caprese:  sweet and juicy strawberries, fresh mozzarella, and that herby pesto to mix in. The combination is stellar, and perfect for sharing at an outdoor barbecue, pool party, or your own cabin weekend. 

Strawberry Pesto Caprese
Strawberry Pesto Caprese Salad {recipe}

Written in 2016: Lately…. a quick summer getaway:

Brian and I took off on a whim this week, and rented a small cottage in the middle of Minnesota bluff country. To work and play, to cook, to let our minds wander, and continue to dream about our plans to someday make such a place our home.
Every day, I’m thankful we’ve taken the chance to live in a non-linear fashion. It wouldn’t work for a lot of people, but it does for us. There has to be a lot of give and take, understanding, open conversations, and disagreements.

We’ve started drawing up plans, and are looking at different areas that would fit our style. Not completely remote, because this girl needs to be within a half hour of a good grocery store, and he needs to have a local watering hole to chum up conversation over a cold beer. I want cats, chickens, and goats, plus a garden — he wants a work shed and tools. Small and minimalist, yet functional and modern, with a dusting of vintage. And ideally a tiny guest house sitting next to ours, so we can share our place with other people, like you.

Strawberry Pesto Caprese

I don’t know if it will take us five years or ten, but as the vision comes together, I’m starting to picture what life would look like. Part of this recent push to get things moving comes from feeling so inundated every day with stimulation overload. I often wonder what it was like long ago, when there wasn’t constant “checking in” on social media, to not have pinterest as your answer for how to do everything, or have anything delivered to your door thanks to Amazon.

What was it like to have days comprised of just thought and reading, or trying things that were completely foreign, but you needed to solve a problem? Or walking scones to the neighbors, and sitting and talking for hours instead of minutes about things bigger than you?

Pesto Strawberry Caprese Salad recipe

Certainly I’m grateful for the very advanced world we live in today, but I think the resurgence of “vintage lifestyle”, goes deeper than it being “the cool” thing”. We crave a simpler life built more off of experiences and people, but actually embracing both instead of trying to capture the moment for social media.

It’s days like today where I find myself feeling most fulfilled. I didn’t do much, but at the same time I did everything. I cleaned and tidied, took a hike, made three meals including this Pesto Strawberry Caprese Salad, worked (which yes – did include answering emails), fed the animals, and we talked without distraction.

I want that, more than every so often. But I also know you can’t just want and wish. It will cost money, it will involve hard work, and it will take time. And it will take him and I, hand in hand, to make the life we want.

Strawberry Pesto Caprese Salad

More Strawberry Recipes:

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10-Minute Pesto Strawberry Caprese Salad

Instead of tomatoes, this caprese salad features strawberries with mozzarella and pesto! The flavors are bright and refreshing, salty and sweet. It's an unexpected combination that we fell in love with, and I think you will too.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time :10 minutes
Total Time :10 minutes
Yield: 5 servings
Author: Amanda Paa



  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 5 ounces fresh mozzarella , cut into thin slices or torn (or mozzarella balls)
  • 1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
  • salt, black pepper, and olive oil
  • fresh lemon juice


  • Put strawberries and mozzarella in a bowl, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few cracks of fresh pepper.
  • Add pesto, and gently stir to coat, using hands if needed. If you're using store-bought pesto, also stir in 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice.*
  • Pour onto a plate, and drizzle with olive oil to serve.

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June 10, 2016


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Recipe Rating

5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. Lisa James

    5 stars
    Having a place to escape to was never on our radar, it just wasn’t something I thought we could ever afford to do. Now we have a place on Lake Pepin in Lake City MN and it is beyond wonderful every weekend!! Keep dreaming and working on your plan and you’ll be living the life you want before you know it!
    This recipe is so clean and simple and absolutely delicious!! we enjoyed it last night and it was a great way to beat the heat. This will be a summer repeat for sure!

    • Amanda Paa

      Oh, Lake Pepin is beautiful! How great to have your place there. And I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe, thanks for making it!

  2. JoAnn Schmidt

    5 stars
    Lovely post Amanda! Wishing you this life too! Country living is a lot of work but the peacefulness is calming.

  3. Eden Passante

    This sounds so good! It’s the perfect Summer recipe!

    • amandapaa

      Thanks Eden! Summer goodness, I just love the sweet and savory combination. Perfect with a glass of white wine. :)

  4. Tessa | Salted Plains

    So glad you guys got to get away – we feel similar so often. The cabin you stayed in looked absolutely dreamy and I can’t wait to see your cottage plans unfold in the future!

    I just love, love, love this recipe! <3

  5. Shelly @ Vegetarian 'Ventures

    Love hearing about your cottage dreams! It sounds heavenly and I often contemplate the same thing – finding balance in this over-stimulating world of ours!

  6. Ami@NaiveCookCooks

    Love tha way you think! Recently on our road trip and passing by yellow stone I say small cottages in the middle of nowhere which made me think how different are their choices – choices I might want to consider one day, to be in a quite place , instead of running all day thinking about making it bigger and bigger – enjoying small things in life! I miss those days when I was a kid and summer evenings used to be filled with family and fun games and food.
    This is such a great looking caprese salad!! Hope soon your dreams turn real! :)

    • amandapaa

      thanks so much for reading Ami! yes, choices and decisions can be so different depending on the path of where we decide to make our homestead. the small things in life sure do seem bigger and brighter when you think about. xo

  7. Em

    I’m a little in love with this series, lady. And that pic of the berries and mozz just tumbled out with the pesto over top has my heart fluttering – gorgeous.

    • amandapaa

      aw, thanks Em! i like simple things…. that taste bomb. five ingredients and one bowl for the win.

  8. Cassie

    Ah, living a vintage lifestyle would be so beautiful! I also want to live a fairly minimal lifestyle with lots and LOTS of travel–but I have to live nearby a grocery store for sure! Definitely loving this strawberry pesto caprese salad too. It’s stunning!

    • amandapaa

      Dream big, it can happen! xo