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Caprese Panini with Tomato, Pesto & Mozzarella

Caprese Panini

This sandwich is seriously delicious.  Not even going to sugar coat it or build it up, it is to.die.for. Make this for lunch, make it for dinner. Don’t wait, do it now.

I was picking up my usual at Costco last week: quinoa, lettuce, and some pictures I had ordered, and while making my way back to the produce section, I passed by a ‘bread roadshow’.  Basically someone was in the store, slicing up pieces of crusty bread and giving them out as samples.  I passed by and noticed there was a huge crowd of people around them but why all the commotion?  After I grabbed my huge bag of lettuce, I stopped by for a sample. OMG.  This bread!!! This Rosemary Garlic Crusty Bread….holy moly! It was so so so good.  I grabbed the required 2 loaves (2 for $5, yo!) and hurried to the checkout. 

Driving home I brainstormed what I could do with this bread…garlic bread? bread with cheese and wine? crusty sandwiches? grilled cheese?  ding ding ding! I recalled having some basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella at home, and in that instant I knew that had to make caprese panini’s!!

So I went home and made some pesto (just throw basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and olive oil into a Food Processor…if you want extra creamy pesto, you could add a little mayo or Greek yogurt to the mix, I didn’t.), sliced up the tomatoes and let them sit in some balsamic vinegar, and then put the sandwiches together (scroll down for full recipe).

Of course if you don’t have a Costco near you, you could use any sort of crusty loaf bread from your grocery store’s bakery.

Caprese Panini

Caprese Panini with Tomato, Pesto & Mozzarella
  1. 1 crusty loaf of bread, sliced
  2. 4 TBS fresh pesto
  3. 8 slices mozzarella cheese (I used pre-sliced, you could also use fresh)
  4. 3 large ripe tomatoes
  5. 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  6. butter
  1. 1. slice up your tomatoes in medium slices (should have about 12 slices for 4 sandwiches, or 3 slices per sandwich), and place them in a shallow dish. Pour 2 TBS balsamic vinegar over tomatoes. Let sit while preparing the rest.
  2. Instructions to make 1 sandwich, repeat until you have desired number of sandwiches (recipe is for 4)
  3. 2. Butter both sides of bread lightly. Turn over, so butter is facing down. Top 1 slice with 1 TBS of pesto, add 1 slice of cheese, 3 tomatoes, and then another slice of cheese. If you like it really pesto-y, add some more pesto to top slice. Place top break slice butter side out.
  4. 3. Heat skillet or panini press, and put sandwich on to cook. If using a skillet, flip when golden brown on one side. I cooked on a skillet for about 3 minutes on medium on each side. I cooked 2 sandwiches at a time and was easily able to flip with enough room in the pan. Repeat until all sandwiches are cooked.
  5. 4. Cut in half with bread knife and enjoy!
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– Allyson


  1. This really does look seriously good!

  2. This looks delicious – simplicity is good!

  3. Carolina Little says:

    It looks so yummy!

  4. This looks amazing, Allyson!

  5. This sounds like the perfect way to enjoy my end-of-the-season tomatoes! Thanks for the great idea!!!

  6. THis totally just made me want a second dinner! AMAZING! XOXO, Erica

  7. Good idea to use balsamic to season the tomatoes which always seem to end up tasteless & wimpy when used in a grilled sandwich… Thanks!!!

    • Thanks, Lizzie! I totally agree with the limp tomatoes, no good! I also wanted the flavor of the balsamic, but I didn’t want to overpower by pouring on later, and also risk having the crunchy bread get soggy! This was a great compromise! Thanks for coming by!

  8. This looks delicious…and reminds me that I need to get up and make dinner…

  9. oooh, golly that looks good. You had me at tomato.

  10. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the sandwich and the pesto recipe above it. I have always wanted to make homemade pesto. I didn’t realize how easy it is! Pinning for later.

  11. This looks fabulous! Found you on the linky party :) Great photos and I love that you also keep your recipes separate so it’s easy to follow!

  12. All these sandwiches sound delish! I’m definitely going to try them!

  13. I had it today and it’s amazing, so simple and super yummy.

  14. I am diabetic so have to watch my butter intake, my trick is to use a pastry brush and coat both sides of the bread lightly. This works in a pan or a panini press. Thank you for the great sandwiches!

    • Allyson says:

      That is a great idea! Sometimes I find I dont even need butter, just a little olive oil spray!


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