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!
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 recipes 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!
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.
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.
- 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.
- Assemble the ingredients: Next, build two sandwiches by layering pesto, mozzarella, tomato, spinach, more mozzarella, and more pesto.
- 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.
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!
- Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
- Veggie Baked Ziti
- Pressed Eggplant Sandwiches
- Zucchini Stew
- Panzanella Toscana
Or for another veggie-packed sandwich, give this Loaded Avocado Sandwich a try!
- 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
- 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.