You’ll love these adorable Caprese Ladybugs Appetizers if you’re a fan of mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil. Kids love them, too!
Why this recipe works
Not only are these fun to serve at parties, ladybug appetizers also make a fun kid-friendly snack.
The taste of this ladybugs appetizer? They’re as delicious as they are cute.
If you love Caprese you'll also love my Caprese Pasta Salad. Check it out!
What kitchen equipment is needed to make caprese ladybugs appetizers
- toothpicks to put the sesame seeds on the ladybug bodies
- sharp paring knife
- kitchen scissors
What type of crackers?
You can use the classic RITZ crackers or a generic buttery cracker.
Or you can experiment with other varieties like whole wheat or roasted vegetables crackers.
Any round, tasty cracker will do!
Can I make gluten free ladybug appetizers
Are you looking for gluten free alternative to RITZ Crackers? These are some good gluten free buttery crackers:
- Lance Gluten Free Baked Crackers
- Glutino Gluten Free Crackers
- Good Thins Three Cheese Rice & Cheese Snacks Gluten Free Crackers
What kind of cheese?
Bocconcini is 1-inch fresh mozzarella cheese balls. If your store doesn’t have the 1-inch fresh mozzarella cheese balls, cut 1/4-inch thick slices of mozzarella cheese.
Then use a small round cookie cutter or sharp kitchen shears to cut out cracker sized piece of cheese to go behind the tomato ladybug’s body.
The mozzarella cheese balls are located in the “fancy” cheese section of your grocery store, by the deli.
Other appetizer ingredients:
Don’t have any fresh basil in your garden? No problem!
I bought a basil plant at my store since all our basil died off. You may find buying a plant is cheaper than a little container of basil.
Since the basil plant had such big leaves, I used my kitchen shears to cut small leaf shaped pieces of basil.
Look for different colored cherry tomatoes so you can present a colorful flock of Caprese ladybugs on a pretty party platter. I used golden yellow and red in my presentation.
You can add the feeling of “flight” to each ladybug by cutting the cherry tomato halves in half. Then arrange them fanned and slightly apart on the crackers.
I prefer using black olives to make the ladybug heads. Canned olives are fine to use. You can find them with the pickles at your grocery store.
The onions are used to make the lady bug antenna.
You could use a skinny bit of extra basil in a pinch if you didn't want to buy onions.
The bottle of store brand balsamic glaze was with the vinegars, next to the olive oil.
Can’t find the black sesame seeds? They may be with the spices. I found several brands right in the spice racks, including light colored sesame seeds, which could also be pretty.
Or you can find sesame seeds in the ethnic/Asian section of your store.
You can substitute coarsely cracked black pepper for the sesame seeds, too.
How to assemble the caprese ladybugs appetizer
This is what worked best for me when making my ladybugs appetizers. However, you can experiment and develop your own technique.
Get the kids to help since their little fingers will have an easier time assembling the ladybugs.
1. First, prepare all your ingredients! Cut all your tomatoes, cheese, onions, basil leaves, and olive. (You can put them in bowls or have them in piles on cutting boards.)
Put the sesame seeds in a small bowl or ramekin. Pour a bit of the balsamic glaze in a small bowl or ramekin.
2. Have plenty of paper towels, tooth picks, and your platter or plates ready.
3. Place your RITZ Crackers on the platter. Then have a work platter or clean cutting board.
4. Place one cracker on the work platter/board. Then place the slice of mozzarella cheese. Gently smoosh it down to flatten it.
5. Place ladybug antennae and basil leaf. Then place the olive over the bottom of the antennae.
6. Take your finger and dip it into the balsamic glaze and smear the glaze over the cherry tomato half.
7. Carefully place the tomato on top of the mozzarella cheese, directly under the olive “head” of the ladybug.
8. Take a toothpick and dip it into the glaze and then into the sesame seeds. (You just need to pick up a few.)
9. Then bring the sesame seeds over to the ladybug “body” and carefully distribute.
Getting the sesame seeds to stick to your RITZ Crackers snack can be tricky. I would twirl the toothpick to get the seeds on to the tomato. Then I would push the sesame seeds around with the end.
It took some time and patience, but it got easier as I did a few Caprese Ladybugs. The effect was worth all the effort.
Frustrated? If you can’t manage it, the ladybugs are pretty cute on their own without the seeds. Instead, just brush them with a little balsamic glaze.
More party appetizers
Looking for more easy appetizers to serve at your party? Try these:
If you want something sweet, try this Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip Recipe with cookies or pretzel dippers.
This Easy Edamame Hummus Recipe is a spicy crowd pleasing dip.
This Easy Nachos Recipe can be made in less than 20 minutes.
Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe is so tasty you won’t realize it’s vegan!
- 24 buttery RITZ type cracker (gluten free, whole wheat, classic, etc.)
- 6 bocconcini (1-inch fresh mozzarella cheese balls), each cut into 4 slices
- 24 fresh basil leaves
- 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 6 pitted black olives, quartered
- 1 green onion, green part only cut into 48 thin strips
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- 1/4 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- Top each cracker with 1 cheese slice and 1 basil leaf.
- Decorate with tomatoes, olives, and onions to resemble a ladybug as shown in photos.
- Brush with balsamic glaze. Then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 82Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 149mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.
Originally published on Apr 12, 2017. Updated with new pictures and information.