roasted cauliflower with brown butter and capers

You might mainly associate capers with your favorite chicken piccata recipe or lox bagel, but the condiment can actually upgrade much more than just those dishes. In fact, capers, which are the unripened flower buds of the caper bush that are then pickled, can be used in a number of foods and drinks. (Nonpareils, the most commonly used in dishes, are the tiniest and have the most palatable flavor. Caper berries, the fruit of the same bush, are bigger and are often used to replace olives in recipes and cocktails.) If you’ve passed them by in the grocery store without giving them a second thought, you might be surprised at the number of ways the briny, salty toppings can be used. Here are nine unexpected foods to pair with capers.


caper olive hummus


Want a break from your favorite roasted pepper hummus recipe? Then capers may just be the addition you’ve been looking for. The salty flavor of the condiment pairs well with the creamy texture of hummus and other Mediterranean food staples like pita. Try this Caper Olive Hummus recipe.

Deviled Eggs

caper chive deviled eggs with lemon zest

Creative Culinary

A little goes a long way when it comes to capers, and adding just a small amount of them atop deviled eggs or into the yolk mixture will add an unexpected twist to this party staple. Try this Deviled Eggs with Lemon Zest, Capers, and Chives recipe.

Bloody Marys

Bloody Mary


You’ve probably seen everything from bacon strips to shrimp to lobster claws in a Bloody Mary, so why not capers? Add some to your brunch beverage instead of olives and it will surely give you something to cheers about.


roasted asparagus salad with fried capers and soft boiled eggs

Dolly and Oatmeal

Unique and unexpected ingredients are the key to keeping yourself out of a salad rut. Capers add texture to a Mediterranean salad, salt to a caprese dish, or crunch to your go-to simple salad when you fry them up. Try this Balsamic Roasted Asparagus Salad with Fried Capers recipe.

Salad Dressing

lemon caper salad dressing


Not quite ready to disrupt the tried and true ingredients in your favorite salad? Then making a caper-based salad dressing can provide an upgrade to a ho-hum dish. Capers play well with citrus flavors for bright, light and tangy salad dressings. Try this Lemon Caper Salad Dressing recipe.

Roasted Veggies

mustard caper brown butter roasted cauliflower steaks

From a Chef’s Kitchen

Capers don’t only work well as a topping for meat and fish, but make an excellent pairing with veggies, too. Add some to a sheet pan of roasted veggies or drizzle a caper-based sauce on the greens for a drool-worthy side dish. Try this Roasted Cauliflower with Mustard Caper Brown Butter recipe.


avocado toast with lox and capers

Lemon Tree Dwelling

Just because bagels, cream cheese, smoked salmon, and capers are a classic breakfast combination doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself. Add in cucumbers, red onion or dill for additional flavor to your breakfast sandwich, or make an open-faced sandwich with avocado and lox topped with capers. Try this Lox Avocado Toast recipe.

Pasta Salad

Mediterranean pasta salad

Little Spice Jar

Remember those aforementioned caper berries? Because they work so well as a substitute for olives, they’re a great addition to antipasto platters and an even better choice for crowd-pleasing pasta salads. Nonpareils paired with pine nuts and sundried tomatoes also make for an ideal savory combination. Try this Mediterranean Pasta Salad recipe.


caper tuna salad

Oh Sweet Mercy

Your brown bag lunch could use some revamping, trust us. You already know capers work well with fish, so why not try to add it to your standard tuna salad or sandwich for an update? You’ll be counting down the minutes to lunchtime once you do. Try this Tuna & Caper Salad recipe.

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