The development of recombinant COVID-19 vaccines has resulted from scientific progress made at an unprecedented speed during 2020. The recombinant spike glycoprotein monomer, its trimer, and its recombinant receptor-binding domain (RBD) induce a potent anti-RBD neutralizing antibody response in animals. In COVID-19 convalescent sera, there is a good correlation between the antibody response and potent neutralization. In this review, we summarize with a critical view the molecular aspects associated with the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 RBD with its receptor in human cells, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the epitopes involved in the neutralizing activity, and the impact of virus mutations thereof. Recent trends in RBD-based vaccines are analyzed, providing detailed insights into the role of antigen display and multivalence in the immune response of vaccines under development.