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Caprese Sandwich

A Caprese Sandwich – thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and tomatoes with basil, extra-virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar on crusty ciabatta bread – is the perfect meatless summer sandwich!

So simple and quick yet bursting with fresh flavor and so very delicious, this is one of my all-time favorite sandwiches. Try it for yourself and see why!

I look forward to Caprese salad all year long. I anxiously wait for summer to arrive, along with the abundance of in-season, juicy, ripe, homegrown tomatoes and fresh basil, just so I can enjoy it as often as I want (which, honestly, could several times a week).

Never, ever do I get tired of it!

And turning Caprese salad into a sandwich by piling those tomatoes and basil along with fresh, creamy mozzarella cheese, fruity olive oil, tangy balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper onto some crusty, chewy bread?

Absolutely amazing and totally addicting!

I was first introduced to this glorious sandwich many moons ago when I decided to order one for lunch from a bakery that was across the street from the store that David and I owned.

It was one of the best things I had ever put in my mouth, and I was instantly obsessed!

In fact, since the owner of the bakery was also a customer and we loved his food so much, we once asked to be paid with a gift certificate instead of cash. It equated to a lot of lunches…and I ordered the Caprese sandwich every single time.

And when I moved away, there was no way I was going to end my love affair with that sandwich, so I started making it at home. It’s super quick, easy and every bit as good.

There’s just one secret: Since there are so few ingredients, you have to get the best, freshest, highest-quality ones that you can. It makes all the difference and is so worth it!

sliced tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, bread, small bowls of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper shakers on a wooden cutting board

Ingredients you need:

Note: Ingredient amounts are in the recipe card below.

  • Ciabatta bread (or a ciabatta roll)
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Tomato
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Here’s a look at how to make a Caprese Sandwich:

Note: This is just a brief overview of the steps. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe with detailed instructions.

2 images; one of a piece of bread on a plate with text that says start with the bottom piece of bread; the other of sliced mozzarella on the bread with text that says add the mozzarella cheese
2 images; one of sliced tomatoes added to the sandwich and salt and pepper shakers on the side with text that says add the tomato, season with salt and pepper; the other of basil leaves added to the sandwich with text that says add the fresh basil leaves
2 images; one of the sandwich on the plate with the top piece of bread also on the plate being brushed with olive oil with text that says brush the inside surface of the top piece of bread with olive oil; the other of the top piece of bread being brushed with balsamic vinegar with text that says then brush with balsamic vinegar
2 images; one of the completed sandwich with the top piece of bread placed on top with text that says place the top piece of bread on the sandwich; the other of a hand holding up a half of the sandwich with text that says enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • In my opinion, the bread can make or break a sandwich.
    • I use ciabatta bread (or a ciabatta roll) because it’s crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside, and sturdy enough to hold those fillings without falling apart or getting soggy.
    • A good, crusty French baguette is another option.
    • Go to the bakery section of the grocery store (or, better yet, an actual bakery if you have one nearby) rather than the bread aisle. No soft and flimsy bread, please!
  • Creamy, soft, fresh mozzarella is key. Don’t use the firmer mozzarella you would buy for grating to make pizza. The flavor and texture is very different.
  • Use a vine-ripened, in-season tomato fresh from the garden or farmers’ market so that it tastes really good. Flavorless store-bought tomatoes will leave you very disappointed (but, hey, if your grocery store happens to have awesome tomatoes, go for it!).
    • You shouldn’t store whole uncut tomatoes in the refrigerator. The cold changes their texture and they lose flavor. Keep them at room temperature until you are ready to use them.
  • Don’t leave out the salt and pepper…especially the salt! You need it to bring out and enhance all of those yummy flavors (the sandwich can be somewhat bland without salt).
  • Variations: Add some basil pesto, roasted red peppers or arugula.
  • I would call this a “cold” Caprese sandwich because it’s not toasted or grilled…but you could certainly try doing that if you’d like.
  • This recipe makes one sandwich. You can easily scale it up for as many sandwiches as you need.
  • Because of the water content of the tomatoes and mozzarella along with the oil and vinegar, I don’t recommend making this sandwich in advance because it can get soggy. It’s always best made fresh right before serving!
caprese sandwich cut in half on a white plate with tomatoes and bread in the background

And now that I’ve made myself hungry for one of these sandwiches by looking at all the pictures and talking about how good is, I’m off to enjoy one for lunch right now!

I hope you try this Caprese Sandwich recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

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Other Sandwich Recipes You Might Like…

If you make this recipe, I’d love to know how it went! Please leave a star rating and comment below. Thanks!

caprese sandwich on a white plate

Caprese Sandwich

A Caprese Sandwich – thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and tomatoes with basil, extra-virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar on crusty ciabatta bread – is the perfect meatless summer sandwich!
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Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Estimated Calories: 619

Ingredients

  • ¼ of a 1-pound loaf ciabatta bread, cut in half lengthwise (or one ciabatta roll about 4 ounces)
  • 3 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, ½ inch thick (about ¼ of a pound total)
  • 2 large slices tomato, ½ inch thick
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  • Place the bottom piece of bread on a plate.
  • Place the fresh mozzarella slices on top of the bread.
  • Add the tomato slices on top of the mozzarella; season to taste with salt and pepper (I don't recommend skipping the salt…you need it too bring out and enhance all the flavors; the sandwich can be somewhat bland without it).
  • Place the basil leaves on top of the tomatoes.
  • Brush the inside surface of the top piece of bread with the olive oil and then with the balsamic vinegar.
  • Place the top piece of bread on the sandwich.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

  • Since there are so few ingredients, you have to get the best, freshest, highest-quality ones you can find. It makes all the difference and is so worth it!
  • I use ciabatta bread (or a ciabatta roll) for this sandwich because it’s crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside, and sturdy enough to hold the fillings without falling apart or getting soggy. A good, crusty French baguette is another option. Just don’t use a soft, flimsy bread.
  • Because of the water content of the tomatoes and mozzarella along with the oil and vinegar, I don’t recommend making this sandwich in advance because it can get soggy. It’s always best made fresh right before serving!
  • You can easily scale up the recipe for as many sandwiches as you need.
  • Variations: Add some basil pesto, roasted red peppers or arugula.
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!
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