Grilled Bell Pepper Caprese

This summer, jazz up your usual Caprese salad by replacing the tomatoes with colorful grilled bell peppers. The peppers' natural sweetness pairs wonderfully with fresh mozzarella, and the smoky char from the grill gives the salad a richer, more complex flavor. The secret to great grilled peppers is all in the peeling. Unless you're making kebabs, grilled peppers (large or small, mild or spicy) taste better without their skins. Char them on all sides, and then place the hot cooked peppers in a heavy-duty ziplock plastic bag for 10 minutes. The trapped steam will loosen the skins so they can be easily peeled away from the flesh and discarded. Most Caprese salads are dressed with a simple vinaigrette of vinegar and olive oil, but this one gets a drizzle of lime juice and olive oil. And of course, plenty of fresh basil leaves sprinkled on top. Serve Grilled Bell Pepper Caprese alongside some crusty bread and whatever protein you've got cooking on the grill for an elegant yet effortless summertime meal.

Grilled Bell Pepper Caprese
Photo: Greg Dupree; Prop Styling: Ginny Branch; Food Styling: Anna Hampton
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
4 serves


  • 5 large multicolored bell peppers

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 8 ounces fresh small mozzarella cheese balls (such as pearls)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves


  1. Preheat grill to medium (350°F to 400°F). Trim and discard tops and bottoms from bell peppers; remove and discard seeds and white membranes using a paring knife. Slice each bell pepper in half lengthwise. Brush evenly with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place bell peppers, skin sides down, on oiled grates. Grill, uncovered, until charred, about 7 minutes. Turn bell peppers; grill until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large heavy-duty ziplock plastic bag. Seal and let stand 10 minutes.

  2. Remove bell peppers from bag. Remove and discard skins. Chop bell peppers into ¾- to 1-inch pieces. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Top peppers with mozzarella, and drizzle with lime juice and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

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