Caprese Sandwich

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Quick Summary

Caprese Sandwich-  a classic Italian sandwich made with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil. To make the sandwich extra special, add pesto, arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The perfect summer sandwich when tomatoes are in season.

caprese sandwich cut in half on cutting board with parchment paper, fresh basil, and pesto.

The best part of summer has to be fresh garden tomatoes. You can’t beat a ripe, juicy tomato right from the vine. I love making bruschetta, pico de gallo, tomato salads, roasted tomatoes, tomato basil soup, and of course the classic Caprese Sandwich.

A Caprese Sandwich always hits the spot on a hot summer day. There is no cooking required and the flavors are SO fresh!

Start with toasted bread and then layer it up with goodies. Pesto, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, a little bit of arugula, basil leaves, and finish with a drizzle of high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. SO simple and SO good!

This sandwich screams summer and is a MUST make during tomato season. Make for lunch, dinner, or take on a picnic!

ciabatta bread, fresh mozzarella, pesto, arugula, tomatoes, balsamic, olive oil, and basil to make caprese sandwich.

Ingredients

  • Ciabatta bread– use a serrated knife to cut in half lengthwise. I like to grill or toast the bread so it doesn’t get soggy.
  • Olive oil– for brushing the bread and drizzling.
  • Basil pesto– I like to use our homemade basil pesto, but store bought is fine too. Pro tip-keep pesto in the freezer so you always have it on hand.
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese– fresh mozzarella is the BEST! Don’t use part skim mozzarella cheese for this sandwich.
  • Tomatoes– use the best tomatoes you can find, garden tomatoes are the best! Slice them into thick slices.
  • Arugula– I like to add arugula for a peppery kick and it’s always good to get more greens!
  • Basil leaves-fresh basil leaves are a MUST for a caprese sandwich.
  • Balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze– for drizzling!
ciabata bread cut in half and brushed with olive oil on wood board.

How to Make a Caprese Sandwich

  • Preheat a grill pan to high heat.
  • Rub each half of the bread with olive oil. Grill the bread, cut side down, for 3-5 minutes or until light grill marks appear.
  • Add the top half of the ciabatta and gently push down on the sandwich. Use a serrated knife to cut into sandwiches. Enjoy!
ciabatta bread topped with pesto and fresh mozzarella slices.
  • Spread the insides of the bread with pesto.
  • Add the fresh mozzarella slices to the bottom piece of bread.
ciabatta bread topped with pesto, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, arugula, and balsamic glaze on wood board.
  • Top with tomato slices and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the arugula and basil leaves.
  • Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic.
  • Add the top half of the ciabatta and gently push down on the sandwich.
  • Use a serrated knife to cut into sandwiches.
close up of caprese sandwich with blasamic glaze dripping.

Variations

This recipe makes one big sandwich that you cut to make several sandwiches. If you want to make a single sandwich, you can use 2 slices of bread or a ciabatta roll and reduce the ingredients.

  • Use your Favorite Bread. A baguette, focaccia, whole grain, or sourdough are all good options. If you need the sandwich to be gluten-free, use gluten-free bread.
  • Add Protein. Chicken, turkey, salami, bacon, or prosciutto are all good options. You can even top with a fried egg, why not?
  • Burrata– instead of fresh mozzarella cheese, use creamy burrata. Break up the balls and add to the sandwich.
  • Feeling Fruity? Top the sandwich with peach slices, avocado slices, or even pear slices.
  • Mix Up the Greens. Instead of arugula, add spinach. Or you can just use fresh basil.
  • Add Onion– add thin slices of red onion or pickled red onion.
  • Roasted Red Peppers– I love adding peppers to my sandwich!
  • Sweeten it Up! Add a drizzle of honey or hot honey!
  • Basil Vinaigrette– if you don’t want to use pesto, try my basil vinaigrette!

What to Serve on the Side

caprese sandwich cut in half stacked on top of each other.

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Caprese Sandwich

A classic Italian sandwich made with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. To make the sandwich extra special, add pesto, arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. The perfect summer sandwich when tomatoes are in season.
4.67 from 3 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread, halved lengthwise (or baguette)
  • Olive oil, for brushing bread and drizzling
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons pesto
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (can use burrata cheese)
  • 3 to 4 ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups arugula
  • 8 to 10 basil leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Drizzle of thick balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze

Instructions
 

  • Preheat a grill pan to high heat.
  • Rub each half of the bread with olive oil. Grill the bread, cut side down, for 3-5 minutes or until light grill marks appear. Spread the insides of the bread with pesto.
  • Add the cheese and tomato slices to the bottom piece of bread. Season with salt and pepper. Top with arugula and basil leaves. Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic.
  • Add the top half of the ciabatta and gently push down on the sandwich. Use a serrated knife to cut into sandwiches. Enjoy!

Notes

Feel free to add avocado slices, prosciutto, grilled chicken, peach slices, red onion, and/or a drizzle of hot honey. This is an easy sandwich to customize.

Nutrition

Calories: 490kcal, Carbohydrates: 59g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 1019mg, Potassium: 292mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1599IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 327mg, Iron: 1mg
Keywords basil, mozzarella cheese, tomato

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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