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Caprese Panini

Enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean right at home with this quick and simple Caprese Panini. Made with juicy tomatoes, rich mozzarella, flavorful pesto, and light and fluffy focaccia bread!

Two caprese paninis stacked on top of the other and filled with spinach, tomato, mozzarella, and pesto

Ever since mom became a focaccia-making extraordinaire, I’ve been searching for ways to incorporate it into as many meals as possible. Eating the bread by itself is the usual method, but while the garden tomatoes were ripe for the picking, I knew it was all destined for caprese greatness.

So if you can’t go to the Mediterranean, just bring the Mediterranean to you! That’s exactly what this caprese panini does. Between the juicy tomato slices, the rich mozzarella, and the flavorful pesto, this sandwich satisfies all of your taste buds in that classic caprese style.

If you’ve ever had the tomato basil sandwich from Starbucks, this is just like that! It’s the perfect Starbucks copycat that will brighten up your day without requiring you to even leave your house. The best part? It’s ready in no time. Let’s panini!

Close up view of two caprese paninis stacked on top of the other and filled with spinach, tomato, mozzarella, and pesto

Ingredients in this caprese panini

For this caprese grilled cheese we’re keeping things simple and using only 6 ingredients.

  • Focaccia Bread: A good sandwich begins with great bread, so we’re using 2 pieces of focaccia for this tomato mozzarella panini (here’s how to make super easy focaccia). You could also use 4 slices of sourdough.
  • Butter: To help achieve that crispy golden brown color, use a pat of butter (or mayonnaise) on the outside of the bread.
  • Pesto: Pesto serves two purposes here. Not only is it a powerhouse of flavor, but it acts as a buffer between the bread and the watery fillings (tomato and spinach), meaning no soggy sandwich! Make your own classic pesto, or make it with carrot tops!
  • Tomato: A staple of a caprese panini! Grab a large, ripe tomato and slice it up for layering onto the sandwiches. Any variety of tomato will do!
  • Mozzarella: Likewise, you’ll need 2-4 slices of low moisture mozzarella.
  • Spinach: Finally, a handful of fresh spinach adds a boost of color and nutrition to this panini, without compromising on flavor.
A 5-part image detailing the correct order for assembling the caprese panini: pesto, mozzarella, tomato, and spinach

How to make a caprese sandwich

Making this sandwich is a very simple 3-step process. Just slice your bread, smear on a little butter, stack everything up, and brown in a skillet or panini press! In 15 minutes or less, BOOM. You’ll feel like you’ve brought the Mediterranean right into your kitchen.

  1. Prep the bread: If using focaccia bread, cut it hamburger style to make a bottom and top of your sandwich. Spread butter or mayonnaise onto the outside pieces.
  2. Assemble the ingredients: Next, build two sandwiches by layering pesto, mozzarella, tomato, spinach, more mozzarella, and more pesto.
  3. Cook the sandwich: Cook over medium heat in a large skillet or panini press until the outsides are golden brown and the cheese has melted. Serve immediately.
Two caprese paninis stacked on top of the other and filled with spinach, tomato, mozzarella, and pesto

More Mediterranean Inspiration

Any recipe that uses mozzarella has to be delicious, right? Isn’t that a thing? If you love mozzarella and Mediterranean food, give these recipes a go!

Caprese Panini

Enjoy the flavors of the Mediterranean right at home with this quick and simple Caprese Panini. Made with juicy tomatoes, rich mozzarella, flavorful pesto, and light and fluffy focaccia bread!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dishes, Sandwiches and Wraps
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: caprese panini, caprese sandwich, tomato basil grilled cheese, tomato mozzarella grilled cheese
Diet: Vegetarian
Occasion: 4th of July, Valentine’s Day
Time: 15 minutes or less, 30 minutes or less, 45 minutes or less
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Servings: 2 sandwiches
Calories: 573kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
5 from 1 vote

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pieces focaccia bread or 4 slices sourdough
  • 1 Tbsp butter or mayonnaise 15 g
  • ¼ cup pesto 60 g
  • 1 large tomato sliced
  • 2 to 4 slices low-moisture mozzarella
  • Handful fresh spinach

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Bread: If using focaccia, cut it hamburger style to make a bottom and top of your sandwich. Spread butter or mayonnaise onto the outside pieces.
  • Assemble: Build two sandwiches by layering pesto, mozzarella, tomato, spinach, more mozzarella, and more pesto.
  • Cook: Cook over medium heat in a large skillet or panini press until outsides are golden brown and cheese has melted. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 573kcal | Carbohydrates: 52.8g | Protein: 27.4g | Fat: 28.3g | Saturated Fat: 9.6g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 1134mg | Potassium: 216mg | Fiber: 5.1g | Sugar: 6.4g | Calcium: 240mg | Iron: 4mg
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Hi, I’m Sarah!

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