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Pistachio Fried Caprese Bites. A sinful good twist on Caprese salad. www.twopurplefigs.com

Pistachio Fried Caprese Bites

This pistachio fried caprese bites recipe is a nutty fried version of the classic caprese salad. Frozen bocconcini mozzarella is rolled in a basil pesto and balsamic mixture, then coated in a pistachio panko breadcrumb (gluten free or not) mixture and fried for just 1 minute. 

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Caprese salad, Fried cheese, fried caprese salad
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 62 kcal
Author Mahy


  • 20 pieces bocconcini
  • 1/2 cup flour (use rice flour for gluten free)
  • 2 tablespoons pesto basil pesto, homemade (or store bought)
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup pistachio
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (or gluten free bread crumbs, rice cereal)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • fresh minced basil for sprinkling
  • pinch of salt
  • baby mini mushrooms (optional)


  1. Place the bocconcini on a parchment or wax paper lined tray and cover it with plastic wrap. Then freeze it over night r at least 6 hours until the cheese hardens completely.
  2. In a bowl add the flour.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the pesto, balsamic vinegar, egg and a pinch of salt.
  4. In a third bowl, mix the pistachios and panko bread crumbs.
  5. Preheat an electric fryer or a small pot filled half way with oil till 375 degrees F.
  6. Take each bocconcini ball and dredge it in the flour bowl, shake off any excess. Then drop it in the basil pesto mixture and roll it well to coat, and finally roll it in the pistachio bowl and make sure the entire surface is covered well with the coating. Place on a wax paper lined plate.
  7. Repeat with all the bocconcini, and if you’d like to fry mushrooms, repeat the same procedure with the mushrooms too.
  8. Fry the bocconcini and mushrooms for just 1 minute and maybe 30 seconds extra (depending on the temperature of your oil and how crowded your pot is). Drain on paper towels and sprinkle a pinch of salt. Serve.

Recipe Notes

The basic tip here is to freeze the bocconcini really well before attempting to fry them. And I mean really well.

You got to remember the bocconcini has much much more moisture than regular mozzarella and if not well frozen—that’s a frying disaster right there!

The egg added to the basil pesto helps the mixture stick really well to the frozen cheese, so don't skimp on that.

Any type of pesto would work awesome here—maybe this sun dried tomato pesto?

Even though I didn’t want any dressing—to me it felt like good street food—feel free to try a basil vinaigrette (a perfect one here in this blackberry pecan roast veggie power salad), balsamic reduction (hello rainbow power grilled haloumi salad) or your favorite!

Also, let me tell you, do you remember this AMAZINGLY refreshingly sweet take on caprese: strawberry caprese salad  ?Super light, sweet, healthy and super good—a must try if you’re having gorgeously warm weather now, or when Spring hits back next year! So I’m not all that bad influence you see..but for now I urge you to make yourself a nice plate of these pistachio fried caprese bites and share it with a nice bunch of people.

Nutrition Facts
Pistachio Fried Caprese Bites
Amount Per Serving
Calories 62 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 28mg1%
Potassium 157mg4%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 510IU10%
Vitamin C 8.1mg10%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.