A Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto is a thick ciabatta bread stuffed with layers of tomato, mozzarella, and fresh pesto. Add a drizzle of a balsamic glaze and you will have a homemade sandwich that is better than anything you could buy at a restaurant!
The Caprese pairing of mozzarella, tomato, and basil is so amazing you will want to make it again and again. Try Caprese Skewers for a great appetizer version!
Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto
This caprese sandwich is a perfect twist on the caprese salad. The soft chewy bread that is coated in fresh pesto is the perfect platform for the sweet tomato and mozzarella. Each bite delivers juicy tomato and tangy balsamic dressing. The nutty flavors from the pesto balance out the flavors perfectly!
Best of all, this caprese sandwich is easy to make and take! It takes just minutes to prepare and is the perfect picnic food. Wrap it tightly in sandwich wrap or aluminum foil and pack it for a beautiful lunch outside. It is so light but filling and is a homemade lunch your whole family will go crazy over!
What do I Need to Make a Caprese Sandwich?
A made from scratch pesto will make a huge difference in the finished sandwich. The pesto will soak into the bread and create the perfect moist texture. To learn how to make the best pesto check out my homemade pesto recipe!
- Basil: The main source of flavor so choose fresh, green basil leaves.
- Parmesan: Freshly grated for the most flavor.
- Garlic: We love garlic so 3 cloves works well for us. However, if you aren’t as into a garlic flavor, start with less and add more in as you taste it. Overall, you want the flavor of the pesto to be balanced between all the flavors.
- Pine Nuts: Great nutty flavor! Swap for walnuts if you prefer.
- Olive Oil: Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavor!
- Tomato: Slice to ¼ inch thick, then layer with mozzarella slices.
- Mozzarella Cheese Slices: Lay cheese directly on pesto before adding tomatoes.
- Ciabatta Buns: Or bread of your choice.
- Balsamic glaze: Drizzle over the tomatoes.
How to Make Caprese Sandwich and Basil Pesto:
This caprese sandwich is easy to make and even easier to fall in love with! First, slather your delicious made from scratch pesto all over the soft bread. Then layer it up with fresh tomato, mozzarella, and balsamic glaze and you have the most amazing sandwich in just minutes!
- Blend pesto: In a food processor first combine basil, parmesan, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil. Then pulse until the olive oil looks emulsified and the pesto looks uniform.
- Build sandwich: First slice the bread in half and spread pesto on one side. Next, layer the cheese and tomatoes and finally drizzle with balsamic glaze.
The tried and true caprese ingredients like tomato, mozzarella and basil are the start of any delicious recipe. But when you add bread and pesto and turn it into a sandwich it is even better! Now try a few more variations to create your favorite version of this traditional flavor combination.
- Protein: Add turkey, chicken, or flank steak to add a great protein.
- Bread: A thick, sturdy bread is best for this sandwich. Ciabatta is great but can easily be swapped out for a sourdough or focaccia.
- Warm it up! Heat your sandwich in a panini press or on a grill pan for the perfect ooey gooey sandwich! Before you start, brush the outside of the bread with a little bit of oil to get the perfect crispy toasted bread.
- Shortcut: For last minute time saving use store bought pesto.
- Make your own Balsamic Glaze: Heat 1 cup of balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat until it reduces down to about half. This will thicken it and bring the flavor out. For a sweeter glaze, add ¼ cup apple juice to ½ cup balsamic vinegar before reducing.
- Green: Add arugula to your sandwich for a little bit of crunch and even more color!
- No cheese? Replace the cheese with creamy avocado slices!
More Caprese Inspired Recipes:
- Caprese Pasta Salad
- Farro Caprese Salad
- Chicken Caprese Macaroni and Cheese
- Easiest Bruchetta Recipe
- Chicken Caprese Pasta Casserole
Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 olive oil
- 1 medium tomato sliced ¼ inch thick
- 8 slices mozzarella cheese ¼ inch thick
- 4 ciabatta buns or bread of choice
- balsamic glaze for drizzle
- In a food processor combine basil, parmesan, garlic, pine nuts and olive oil. Pulse until the olive oil looks emulsified and the pesto looks uniform.
- To make the sandwiches: Slice the bread in half and spread pesto on one side. Layer the cheese and tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic glaze.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Made these yesterday and used smoked mozzarella cheese. They were a huge hit with everyone!