Fresh tomatoes sliced with melty mozzarella cheese and pesto sandwiched between two toasted slices of sourdough bread. This caprese sandwich recipe is an absolute classic all time favorite sandwich. They are best to make during tomato season so you can get all of the delicious summer flavors that garden tomatoes give you.
This recipe is a delicious recipe to make for lunch or dinner. It takes your normal grilled cheese recipe and elevates it to the next level. This caprese grilled cheese is such a good sandwich, you will be shocked it didn't come from a delivery service or restaurant.
Although this caprese panini recipe is packed with flavor, it is actually quite simple and only requires a few ingredients.
- sourdough bread
- shredded or sliced mozzarella cheese
- mayonnaise (to spread on bread to help it toast)
See recipe card for quantities.
We love an easy sandwich recipe that is absolutely packed with cheesy goodness. That is exactly what you get from this sandwich.
Spread mayonnaise on one side of each slice of sourdough. On two of the halves, spread pesto.
Place two of the halves in your hot cast iron skillet with the mayonnaise side facing down. Cook on medium heat. Add sliced tomatoes and sliced mozzarella.
Add the other sourdough slices on top of the mozzarella cheese. Cook until the bottom bread slice is golden brown and then flip.
Cook until the other half of the sandwich is golden brown and the cheese is melty. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
Hint: if you are only cooking one sandwich at a time, an easy way to flip a sandwich like this is to scoop up your sandwich with your spatula and then flip the pan and put it on top of the sandwich. You then flip both the pan and the sandwich simultaneously. No mess and no sandwiches falling apart.
- Frying Pan - instead of using a frying pan, use a panini press. This will give you those signature panini grill marks and will also make sure your bread is cooked perfectly. You can also use a grill pan on the stove.
- Bread - you can really use any kind of bread you prefer in my opinion. I do like an artisan bread or a panini bread with this recipe though. You can also use gluten free sourdough if needed.
- Pesto - you can replace store bought pesto with homemade pesto. To make vegan homemade pesto, you can switch out parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast, its delicious.
- Mayonnaise - you can either replace the mayonnaise with soft butter or olive oil to help toast the bread.
There are a few ways you can add some flare to this recipe while still loving the original flavors.
- Spicy - add chili pepper flakes on top of the pesto to add some heat or add some hot, cooked peppers.
- Meat - add some crispy prosciutto, bacon, or some grilled chicken seasoned with black pepper and kosher salt. Some fresh basil leaves add some delicious flavor to the fresh chicken as well.
- French Onion - switch out the tomato and pesto for caramelized onions soaked in a little beef broth for a french onion version of a delicious grilled cheese.
- Balsamic Vinegar - add a drizzle of regular balsamic vinegar for an extra kick of flavor.
See this French Onion Grilled Cheese on my website!
You will also need a sharp knife to cut the tomatoes.
Wrap leftovers in aluminum foil and save in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Good quality ingredients make a huge difference with this recipe. You want to make sure you use ripe tomatoes, very fresh mozzarella cheese and a good basil pesto. The freshness of your sourdough also makes a huge difference.
Caprese Panini Recipe
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Slice the tomato.
- Spread the mayonnaise on one half of two slices of bread. Place on the cast iron skillet on medium heat.
- Spread the mozzarella cheese evenly on the slice of bread. Spread the tomato slices evenly on top of the cheese.
- Spread pesto on one half of the additional slices of bread. Place on top of the tomatoes.
- Spread mayonnaise on top of the top slice of bread.
- Once the cheese on the bottom is melted (about 3-4 minutes) flip the grilled cheese. Cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
You can either make it yourself or I typically buy my sourdough from Trader Joe's. Making it yourself will give you the best, most fresh results but I find that Trader Joe's has a delicious sour dough that is very affordable.
I am a classic french fry or chip person when it comes to sides to a sandwich. This could also pair well with a good tomato soup, especially as we enter into soup season!
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
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