This Ladybug Caprese Appetizer Is So Cute — And Not Creepy Crawly At All

Some appetizers are always a crowd favorite — like caprese salad. With its easy-to-love ingredients like fresh mozzarella, slices of ripe tomato, and fresh basil, the Italian salad comes together in mere minutes, and when layered in a pattern, is absolutely beautiful. But as pretty as it might look plated, nothing comes close to a ladybug caprese appetizer. It takes all of the ingredients of a traditional caprese but creates the cutest little ladybug sitting sweetly on top of a leaf — and it’s totally edible, too.

If you’ve ever eaten caprese salad, you know that it’s more of a sit-down snack than a poppable appetizer, since it typically requires a plate plus utensils. Not so with the ladybug caprese salad. They’re designed in bite-sized sweetness so that you can pick one up and easily eat it with one hand if you’re at a party or a family gathering, making it a two-bite beauty.

How so? Well, instead of alternating flat layers of cheese, tomatoes, and basil, the ladybug caprese appetizer builds vertically. A slice of mozzarella forms the base of the app, while the basil acts as the “leaf” upon which the ladybug sits. And instead of using slices of tomatoes, you’ll use halved cherry tomatoes. Black pitted olives cut in half horizontally form the “head” of the ladybug, while dots of balsamic vinegar (yum) create the ladybug’s iconic black dots. A small slit at one end of the cherry tomato creates the illusion of wings to complete this utterly adorable design.

And if all that weren’t enough, the ladybug caprese appetizer comes together in mere minutes, is a no-bake app, and is a fun way to get your kiddos to cook in the kitchen with you, too.


Ladybug Caprese Appetizer

Prep Time 10 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian


  • 1 8 oz. package of mozzarella, sliced
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 black pitted olives, sliced in half
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar


  • Wash tomatoes and dry them. 
  • If not already sliced, slice the mozzarella vertically. You should have about 10 slices. 
  • Slice cherry tomatoes horizontally. Make a small cut into the end of each tomato. 
  • Slice pitted black olives in half vertically and set aside. 
  • Take one slice of mozzarella. Place one basil leaf on top. Place one half of the tomato on top of the basil leaf. Place one halved black olive at the opposite end of the tomato where it’s sliced. 
  • Using a toothpick, dab dots of balsamic vinegar on top of the tomato to form the ladybug spots. 
  • Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes so dots can set, and then serve. 
Keyword appetizer, kid-friendly
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