Treat yourself to this simple yet satisfying Caprese Sandwich recipe, loaded with delicious Italian tastes and textures. Made with crusty bread, creamy pesto, rich mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and fragrant basil, each bite is packed with maximum flavor!

close up image of stacked caprese sandwiches on wooden cutting board


This Caprese sandwich with pesto is inspired by a classic Caprese salad made with commonly found ingredients in Italian cooking including fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, basil leaves, and olive oil. It is super easy to make, grilled to perfection in a skillet with a golden brown crust and vibrant, indulgent flavors in each bite. You’ll be instantly transported to the island of Capri!

Caprese grilled cheese makes a delightful quick lunch, prime picnic food, or a light main dinner dish. This recipe yields two sandwiches so you can serve it for date night or make several batches to easily feed the whole family. These sandwiches are a treat as they are but they also pair wonderfully with a creamy soup, chips, or a simple side salad. If you’re looking for more Italian-inspired sandwich or wrap recipes, try these Italian veggie sliders, grilled zucchini mozzarella wraps, or easy keto Italian lettuce wrap

Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • Quick & Easy. Caprese on bread takes minutes to prepare, making it a great option for busy days or last-minute meals. 
  • Versatile. Easily customize your tomato caprese sandwich by adjusting the ingredients to fit your tastes or dietary needs. You can also enjoy it as an appetizer, side dish, or main course. 
  • Vibrant Flavors. This sandwich is bursting with complex flavors and textures from buttery grilled bread, creamy mozzarella and pesto, juicy tomatoes, and fragrant basil. 

Recipe Ingredients

Below are the simple ingredients you will need to make this pesto Caprese sandwich. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact amounts for each ingredient.

caprese sandwich ingredients on a gray background
  • Bread: Choose a good quality bread like focaccia, sourdough, or ciabatta for the best Caprese panini. If gluten free, we recommend Schar sourdough bread.
  • Butter: Salted butter enhances the flavor and texture of the grilled Caprese sandwich by adding richness to the golden crust. 
  • Pesto: Use your favorite store-bought pesto or make your own. The spread adds a burst of freshness that compliments the melty cheese, juicy tomatoes, and basil. 
  • Mozzarella: Fresh soft mozzarella, rather than the harder blocks of cheese, will authentically elevate the flavor and texture.
  • Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes are great for slicing and give this sandwich a rich and tangy flavor. Alternatively, you can use heirloom tomatoes or your favorite type. 
  • Olive Oil: Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil to add a rich flavor and enhance the other aromas.
  • Basil: Fresh basil leaves add a pop of color and sweet aromatic freshness. 
  • Seasonings: Salt and black pepper add depth and bring out the flavors of the other ingredients. 

How to Make a Caprese Sandwich 

Below are photos and recipe steps so you can easily make this recipe at home. You will also need a stovetop burner, a skillet, a knife, and a cutting board. 

  1. Heat a grill or skillet over medium heat. Generously butter one side of each piece of bread. 
  2. Place the bread slices in the skillet, butter sides down. Cook for approximately 1 minute or until golden brown. 
  3. Remove the toast from the skillet and place it cooked side down on a plate. Spread the pesto generously on the top side of each slice of bread. 
  4. Top one side of the sandwich with mozzarella, tomato slices, a generous drizzle of good olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. 
  5. Then top with basil leaves and the second slice of bread. 


Enjoy a grilled fresh mozzarella sandwich on its own for a light meal or appetizer, or pair it with sides for a more filling meal like some of our favorite recipes below. 

caprese sandwich on a wooden cutting board

Tips and Tricks 

  • Use high-quality ingredients for the best Caprese sandwich! Each ingredient shines with this simple recipe, so the quality counts. 
  • If making ahead, enjoy your panini within a few hours so it has the best texture. The bread can become soggy if you prepare it too far in advance and will lose its signature crunch. 
  • Season well with salt and pepper to enhance the other flavors of the ingredients. The spices go a long way to bring this mozzarella sandwich to life. 
  • Optional: Use a panini press to elevate your sandwich! It makes the bread perfectly crispy and melts the cheese for an irresistible gooey texture.  

Recipe FAQ

Are there recipe variations?

Yes! There are many ways to customize this sandwich. Feel free to add extra veggies per your taste like caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, grilled eggplant, or spinach. You can also add a protein like grilled chicken, prosciutto, bacon, or sliced turkey to bulk it up if desired. Additionally, try drizzling balsamic glaze to add a delicious acidic sweetness that brings out the other flavors. 

How do I make this recipe gluten-free?

You can easily make this recipe allergen-friendly by using your choice of gluten-free bread. We really like Schar sourdough bread. Also, check to make sure the other ingredients in the sandwich are gluten-free as well. 

Do I serve this sandwich cold or warm?

For the best results, serve this sandwich warm right after grilling so the cheesy is melted and the bread is warm and crispy.  However, you can also enjoy this sandwich at room temperature if desired. 

caprese sandwich being held up cutting board
close up image of caprese sandwich o a wooden cutting board

Get the Recipe: Caprese Sandwich

Indulge in classic Italian flavors with this easy Caprese Sandwich recipe! Made with buttered bread, fresh mozzarella, herbal pesto, ripe tomatoes, and fragrant basil, then grilled to golden perfection.
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  • 4 slices good quality bread, such as focaccia, sourdough, or similar artisan bread.
  • 1-2 tablespoons of salted butter, as needed to butter the bread
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 4 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 4 thick slices fresh tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Good quality olive oil to taste
  • 8 basil leaves


  • Heat a grill or skillet over medium heat. Generously butter one side of the bread.
  • Place the bread in the skillet, butter side down. Cook for approximately 1 minute or until the bread is golden.
  • Remove from the skillet and place the bread cooked side down. Spread the pesto generously on each slice of the bread.
  • Top one side of the sandwich with mozzarella, tomato slices, a generous drizzle of good olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with basil leaves and the second slice of bread.
Serving: 1 Sandwich, Calories: 537kcal, Carbohydrates: 46.4g, Protein: 11.4g, Fat: 30g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 903mg, Fiber: 2.3g, Sugar: 5.8g
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