There’s no reason summer grilling should be limited to just meats and burgers. Bring on the tomatoes, garlicky French bread, basil, and melted bread cheese or halloumi for my Grilled Caprese Skewers with balsamic glaze.
This summer my goal is to keep things simple. That’s why I’ll be posting more of my favorite basic recipes. I mean, who wants to spend all of those precious summer hours cooking when we can be playing? That’s why these skewers are so dang good. Serve them as an appetizer, side, or main dish that you can totally prep a few hours ahead of grilling. Simple wins!
You know I love caprese everything, but this grilled caprese skewers recipe takes those flavors to a new level. First, there’s the classic caprese ingredients, but this time around we’re subbing bread cheese or halloumi for classic mozzarella. That’s because these cheeses have a high protein content so they grill up beautifully, becoming soft without melting into a puddle. Next, chunks of French bread are tossed in a garlic-infused olive oil that are tossed with cherry tomatoes. It’s all threaded on skewers with fresh basil leaves then grilled just until the tomatoes become jammy and somehow even sweeter and the cheese softens and the garlicky bread crisps. The final touch? A drizzle of balsamic glaze that gives the skewers, and your meal, a sweet kiss.
What Is Bread Cheese or Halloumi
Bread cheese (Juustoleipä) and halloumi cheese are both firm in texture—a little bit squeaky to the bite—and have very high melting points, making them perfect for putting on the grill. I don’t recommend trying this with a regular mozzarella or you’ll end up with a cheese caprese milkshake melting away into the coals.
While you can use either cheese for skewers, I’ve found bread cheese to be easier to thread on skewers. Because halloumi is folded and pressed into its log-like form, depending on the brand and how fresh the cheese is, it might break apart when skewered. Bread cheese is sold as a flat brick and slices into cubes easily.
Note: The cheeses are made with rennet so if you’re a strict vegetarian, be sure to check if your selection uses vegetarian rennet or traditional.
What’s In These Grilled Caprese Skewers
- Bread cheese
- French bread
- Cherry tomatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Garlic cloves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh basil leaves
How to Make Grilled Caprese Skewers
Cut cheese and French bread into same-size cubes. Keeping the ingredients the same size makes them hold to the skewers better when flipping on the grill.
Warm the olive oil with the sliced garlic to infuse flavor. Don’t overcook the garlic or it will have an offputting taste. You want the garlic to begin to toast but not brown.
Toss the bread and tomatoes with half of the garlic oil. Reserve ¼ to ½ of the garlic oil then toss the bread cubes and tomatoes in the remaining in the pan. This gives the bread loads of flavor and gives the tomatoes an oily skiff so they don’t stick to the grill.
How to Thread Skewers
Use metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water. Soaking bamboo skewers in water keeps them from catching fire or burning. Soak for 15 minutes before threading.
Thread the ingredients in the same order for each skewer. I like to begin and end my skewers with a cube of bread, followed by the cheese, tomato, then basil. There’s not much rhyme or reason for going so but it does make for a pretty presentation and ensures even bites.
Drizzle with the remaining garlic oil. Look for any spots that haven’t gotten an oily kiss so they don’t stick to the grill grates.
How to Cook Cheese On the Grill
Cook the bread cheese or halloumi skewers for about 3 minutes on each side, only turning once. Because all of the ingredients soften as they cook, the risk of them falling apart gets higher the more you turn.
The skewers are done when the cheese and bread browns and the tomatoes begin to blister. Transfer to a platter or cutting board and get ready to nosh.
Drizzle with balsamic glaze, give a few turns of freshly ground black pepper, and sprinkle with more fresh basil. Enjoy hot or at room temp.
What to Serve With Caprese Skewers
- BBQ Chicken
- The Best Greek Chicken
- How to Make the Best Grilled Salmon
- The Best Juicy Grilled Pork Chops
- Easy Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Grilled Caprese Skewers
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic , very thinly sliced
- 3 slices good quality French bread , cut into 1-inch cubes
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 ounces bread cheese , or Juustoleipa or halloumi cheese cut into 1-inch cubes
- 18-24 basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze for drizzling
- If using wooden skewers, place them in a bowl or shallow plate filled with 1 inch of water. Soak for 15 minutes. If using metal skewers, set them aside.
- Add the extra virgin olive oil and the sliced garlic to a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, just until the garlic becomes golden and fragrant. Remove from the heat. Pour half of the garlic oil into a small bowl, then set aside. Add the bread cubes and tomatoes to the skillet with the remaining oil and toss to coat. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Thread the skewers starting with a cube of bread, cheese, tomato, and a basil leaf. Repeat the pattern ending with a cube of bread. Repeat with the rest of the skewers. Give each skewer another drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Bring the grill to high heat. Place skewers on grill rack and cook for 3 minutes or so, turning skewers as the tomatoes begin to blister and the bread starts to toast and both sides are cooked evenly.
- Drizzle the cooked skewers with balsamic glaze and serve warm or at room temperature.
More Skewer Recipe Ideas
- Grilled Vegetable Skewers
- Hawaiian Chicken Skewers
- Grilled Lemon Chicken Skewers
- Prosciutto Wrapped Grilled Shrimp
- Grilled Turkey Kofta Skewers
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