A classic grilled Caprese Sandwich that is bursting with flavor! This Caprese panini is easy to make and will become your go-to sandwich after one bite.
Table Of Contents
Tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella are one of my favorite flavor combinations. What better way to serve this combo than as a hot grilled panini with melted cheese oozing out?
- TASTE: This sandwich is a delicious mix of rich mozzarella, sweet tomatoes, earthy basil, and a tasty pesto sauce on ciabatta.
- TEXTURE: The bread has a crisp outer layer and airy inside filled with juicy tomato slices and gooey fresh mozzarella.
- TIME: This recipe will only take 14 minutes to make.
- EASE: This Caprese Sandwich has so much amazing flavor, but it’s also really easy to make. It’s the perfect lunch.
What You’ll Need
- Ciabatta bread- Crusty on the outside and airy on the inside, this is a great choice for the bread in this Caprese sandwich. It’s strong enough to hold up as a panini, too.
- Basil– Fresh herbs are super important in this recipe so use fresh basil leaves for the best flavor.
- Tomatoes– Look for medium-sized juicy red tomatoes for this sandwich. You can use heirloom, cherry, or Roma.
- Mozzarella– This ingredient is best fresh, so look for a ball packed in water rather than vacuum-sealed for the richest flavor.
- Basil pesto– This sauce will offer even more basil flavoring along with a delicious homemade pesto. It’s really simple to make, but you can also use a store-bought version.
- Olive oil– Extra virgin olive oil has a light flavor that won’t overpower the others, but will give a rich finish to this tasty sandwich.
Add-ins and Substitutions
- Substitute a different bread- A French baguette, Italian bread, sandwich bread, or focaccia can all be used in place of the ciabatta.
- Add lettuce- Try this Caprese sandwich with peppery arugula, baby spinach, or romaine leaves for a crisp and cool addition.
- Substitute another dressing- Try this recipe with some garlic aioli, mayonnaise, tangy balsamic vinegar, or another sauce for a fresh spin.
- Use different cheeses- Provolone is best as a substitute for mozzarella, but any cheese works, such as white cheddar, gouda, parmesan, ricotta, and feta.
How to Make Caprese Sandwich
- Add pesto to the bread. Slice the ciabatta bread in half. Then spread the desired amount of basil pesto on the inside of each slice.
- Add the sandwich ingredients. Spread a layer of sliced mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and fresh basil on top of the pesto.
- Grill it. Place the top slice of bread on the sandwich and then brush olive oil on both sides. Cook it in a panini press for about 4 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown.
Pro Tip: Place your toppings evenly over the sandwich for full coverage and the best flavor with every bite.
- Use fresh ingredients- With a simple recipe like this, it’s important to have high-quality ingredients. Look for fresh herbs, water-packed mozzarella, and fresh Ciabatta rolls.
- Slice the ingredients thin- Even if you plan to add a second layer for extra cheesy flavor, or more tomatoes, slice everything thin to make it easier to bite and eat without making a mess.
- Don’t skip the oil- This step gives your bread that golden brown sheen and helps it develop that tasty panini crust, so don’t skip it.
- Preheat your panini press- Make sure it’s hot before putting the sandwich on so it grills quickly and avoids steam that will soften the bread.
Most people say Caprese as (Kuh·preez), but it is actually pronounced (kuh·prei·zei).
A Caprese Sandwich is an Italian combination of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil with olive oil. It can be served on an assortment of breads, but I like ciabatta. You can also make it with lettuce, seasoning, pesto sauce, and other add-ins.
Mozzarella cheese has a lighter flavor and more elastic texture, making it a great melting cheese for sandwiches and pizzas. Burrata is softer and creamier, and it has a more distinct flavor. Both can be used for a Caprese sandwich recipe, though mozzarella is the traditional choice.
This Caprese Sandwich recipe tastes amazing when paired with soups, salads, and vegetables. Here are some great ways to serve it.
- Salads: Enjoy it with a side salad, like this Spinach Strawberry Feta Salad, Pesto Pasta Salad (VIDEO), Cabbage Cucumber Salad, or Antipasto Salad.
- Soups: Try a bowl of Cream of Mushroom Soup, Easy Chicken Noodle Soup, Tortellini Soup, or Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup alongside this sandwich.
- Fries: Pair it with Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries, Zucchini Fries, or Crispy Air Fryer French Fries.
- Vegetables: Serve this Caprese Sandwich with Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, Crispy Air Fryer Broccoli, Roasted Vegetables, or Zucchini Fritters.
Make This Recipe in Advance
Make ahead: You can assemble the sandwich the day before and keep refrigerated until the next day when you heat it on the grill or panini press.
Storing: Store this Caprese Sandwich in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Freeze: It’s best to eat this sandwich fresh within a few days. You can freeze the bread, basil pesto, and cheese, but the tomatoes won’t fair as well.
More Delicious Sandwiches!
Full Recipe Instructions
Caprese Sandwich Recipe
- ciabatta bread
- 2 tomatoes
- Fresh mozzarella
- Basil pesto
- Olive oil
- Slice the ciabatta bread in half. Spread a desired amount of pesto on the inside of each slice.
- Spread 1 layer of sliced mozzarella cheese.
- Add 1 layer of sliced tomatoes.
- Add a desired amount of fresh basil.
- Top with the other slice of bread.
- Brush olive oil on both sides and cook in a panini press for about 4 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
I originally posted this recipe on April 21, 2016, but have tweaked it a bit since then.