Elevate roasted tomato mozzarella Caprese Crostini into a scrumptiously spooky Halloween party appetizer with creepy mozzarella skulls and blackened pesto topping. Includes easy instructions for making bocconcini skulls and roasting tomatoes.
Spooky season is here and I’m so excited to share yet another eerily easy yet perfectly petrifying Halloween recipe with YOU. This Caprese Crostini recipe joins the ranks of Graveyard Halloween Brownies (made with a mix) and Halloween Deviled Eggs. On holidays, I love EASY recipes and I bet you do too.
Spooky Skull Caprese Crostini
This Halloween I’m giving my all-time favourite Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad a macabre makeover and serving it as a hand-held Halloween appetizer! These Caprese Crostini are full of all the Caprese flavours you expect, but they also have a bit of a dark side.
The blackened pesto sauce provides a flavourful base for the sweet roasted cherry tomatoes, while mozzarella skulls peek out at you from beneath fresh basil leaves and drizzles of balsamic glaze. Let’s just say that these creepy appetizers bring a lot of ‘death’ to the party.
Oh, and by the way, the black pesto is intense but in a gruesome way. While your guests are enjoying this macabre munchy, their mouths temporarily turn black, giving them sinister smiles and adding to the festive mood.
You might be thinking this all seems a bit much but it’s as easy as melting cheese. In fact, once you have tried this recipe, you will file it in your ‘impressive but easy’ Halloween recipe folder. Read on to find out how to make these impressively bone chilling Caprese Crostini.
What are Caprese Crostini?
Caprese Insalata is a classic Italian Salad consisting of juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh mozzarella cheese. In Italy, the tomatoes are so flavourful, only salt and pepper are needed as seasoning. North Americans tend to add other ingredients, such as balsamic glaze or pesto for additional flavour.
Crostini are a category of easy appetizers that consist of delicious toppings on toasty bread slices. Some of my favourite crostini toppings include fresh fava beans and strawberries with basil and crème fraiche.
Caprese crostini is the magical combination of Caprese Salad served on top of toasty baguette slices. And yes, it’s as tasty as it sounds!
Ingredients for Caprese Crostini
There aren’t too many ingredients in this chilling canape recipe so be sure to buy the highest quality ingredients you can find. Additionally, you will need a silicone skull food mold (affiliate link) to make the mozzarella skulls.
- Bocconcini Pearls
- Black Food Gel
- Olive Oil
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Basil Leaves
- Balsamic Glaze
Bocconcini, or fresh mozzarella is available in various sizes; larger balls for pizza or pasta, medium balls for Caprese skewers, flat slices, and small mini mozzarella balls or ‘pearls’.
The small pearls are the ideal size for this recipe as they fit into the skull mold easily. You can also cut any size fresh mozzarella to fit into the molds if you can’t find pearls.
Use a fresh baguette and slice it into uniform slices before toasting and feel free to buy a jar of pesto or make it yourself.
Finally, use only black food gel to colour the pesto and start with a small amount. The pesto will become too watery if you use liquid colours instead of gel.
Fresh basil leaves make the best garnish (besides the mozzarella skulls!) but I really like to add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for extra flavour and visual interest.
How to Make Halloween Caprese Crostini
The Mozzarella Skulls
Shaping the fresh bocconcini into mozzarella skulls is easier than you think! All you’ll need is a silicone skull food mold (affiliate link) and an oven!
To begin, preheat oven to 350 F. Next, place the silicone skull mold on a baking sheet. Fill skull mold with the bocconcini (fresh mozzarella pearls).
Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 6-7 minutes or until mozzarella pearls have completely melted but not browned.
Remove molds from the oven and use the back of a lightly oiled spoon to press the melted mozzarella down into each mold. If there is excess moisture, use a paper towel to spot dry. Set skull molds aside and cool to room temperature.
Roast the Cherry Tomatoes
Raise oven temperature to 475 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next, slice cherry tomatoes in half and place, cut side down, on parchment paper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
Roast tomatoes in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until they are softened and browned. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Toast the Bread
Slice the baguette into 1-inch slices and arrange them in a single layer on a second parchment lined baking sheet. Toast the bread, watching carefully, in the oven for 8-10 minutes, just until it turns golden brown, then remove from the oven.
Mix the Pesto
Lastly, mix up the pesto by adding the black food coloring a tiny bit at a time. Start with about 1/8th teaspoon and add more as needed.
Assemble the Creepy Caprese Crostini
At this point, you can either assemble the Caprese crostini and serve them immediately or store each component for up to one day.
To make the Caprese Crostini, spread the tops of each toasted baguette round with the black pesto, evenly covering each piece.
Next, top each piece of pesto toast with a spoonful of roasted tomatoes, then add one or two mozzarella skulls. Garnish each Caprese crostini with a fresh basil leaf and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.
Hi! I’m Bernice Hill and I’ve been the sole recipe developer, photographer, and writer at Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen for the past eleven years. It is my pleasure to share easy to follow recipes that are delicious, nutritious, and approachable for the whole family.
If you make this Spooky Skull Caprese Crostini recipe, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section or as a recipe rating. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe please share your photos and tag me on Instagram. I hope you like this recipe!
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
- 1 Baguette
- 1/2 cup Basil Pesto
- Black Gel Food Colouring
- 12 oz Cherry Tomatoes
- Olive Oil
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Fresh Basil and Balsamic Vinegar Glaze for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Place the silicone skull mold on a baking sheet. Fill skull mold with the bocconcini (mozzarella pearls).
- Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 6-7 minutes or until mozzarella pearls have completely melted but not browned.
- Remove molds from the oven and use the back of a lightly oiled spoon to press the melted mozzarella down into each mold. If there is excess moisture, use a paper towel to spot dry. Set skull molds aside and cool to room temperature.
- Raise oven temperature to 475 F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut cherry tomatoes in half and place, cut side down, on parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
- Roast tomatoes in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until they are softened and browned. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch slices and arrange them in a single layer on another parchment lined baking sheet. Toast the bread in the oven for 8-10 minutes, just until it turns golden brown, then remove from the oven.
- Mix pesto with the black food coloring a tiny bit at a time. Start with about 1/8th teaspoon and add more as needed.
- Spread the tops of each toasted baguette round with the black pesto, evenly covering each piece.
- Top each piece of pesto toast with a spoonful of roasted tomatoes, then add one or two mozzarella skulls. Garnish each caprese crostini with fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 203mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.