Bursting with fresh summer flavors, this Easy Caprese Panino is a delightful Italian sandwich that requires minimal preparation! It’s made with the classic combination of fresh juicy tomatoes, creamy burrata mozzarella, basil pesto for a mouthwatering meal that is bursting with flavors.
While you can make this easy Caprese panino anytime of the year, I love to make it often in the summer during tomato season when the garden is bursting with fresh sun-ripened tomatoes! This Italian sandwich has a similar taste to a classic Caprese salad but is portable enough to pack for lunch, take on a picnic or just to enjoy handheld.
Every bite of this simple summer sandwich features a light fresh taste. Naturally sweet tomatoes are balanced perfectly with creamy mozzarella cheese, an herbaceous basil pesto, crunchy lettuce leaves and then it all sits atop fresh crusty ciabatta bread.
It’s simply divine and will make you feel like you just stepped into an Italian sandwich shop!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Simple ingredients: Only 7 simple ingredients and 15 minutes are needed to make this fresh Caprese sandwich recipe.
- Fresh flavors: Juicy red garden tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and basil pesto all add so much fresh taste!
- Versatile: Use whatever sturdy bread you have on hand, add some chicken or drizzle with balsamic, there are so many ways to make this Caprese panino different every time.
- Light summer meal: Whether you need an easy and quick lunch or light dinner, this panino alla Caprese is the answer!
Ingredients Needed for Caprese Panino
- Ciabatta buns: You will need two ciabatta buns or bread of choice. I often use my no-knead ciabatta bread.
- Basil pesto: I love to use my homemade basil pesto but store bought pesto works well, too.
- Olive oil: Extra-virgin olive oil will add another layer of taste.
- Lettuce leaves: Fresh crunchy romaine, spinach, arugula or any leafy lettuce all work here!
- Fresh tomatoes: Firm yet ripe tomatoes are best. Anything from heirloom tomatoes to beefsteak or Roma tomatoes all work! If they are from your garden or local farmers market, even better.
- Burrata mozzarella: This fresh, creamy mozzarella is spreadable and is the best for sandwiches. You can also use fresh, soft water packed mozzarella balls or logs.
- Salt: Enhances the taste of the delicious sandwich ingredients.
How to Make a Caprese Sandwich
First, using a sharp knife slice your ciabatta buns down the middle. Spread the top slices of bread with basil pesto and the other side with olive oil.
Top the pesto slice of bread with lettuce, add 1-2 tomato slices and finish with a sprinkle of salt.
Next, spread burrata on the side of the bun with the olive oil.
To finish, press the sandwich together and serve immediately.
- Balsamic vinegar: Add a drizzle of an aged balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze to the Italian sandwich for extra flavor.
- Grilled caprese panini: Use a grill pan, cast iron skillet, heavy skillet or panini grill press to make this a warm Caprese tomato mozzarella panini recipe with a crisp bite! Types of pesto: Instead of basil pesto, try arugula pesto, asparagus pesto or zucchini pesto. Even creamy fresh tomato pesto would work!
- Fresh mozzarella: If you cannot find burrata mozzarella, fresh mozzarella cheese that is soft and water packed also works in this tomato mozzarella sandwich.
- Other veggies: Add cucumber, zucchini or peppers, technically it will not be a Caprese panino sandwich any longer but it will still be delicious!
- Chicken: As is this Caprese panino is vegetarian but feel free to add some cooked chicken if you would like!
Best Tips for Success
- Bread type: If you do not have ciabatta buns on hand any sturdy crusty bread will do like Italian ciabatta bread, focaccia bread or sourdough bread. I would avoid soft breads like a brioche as it won’t hold up to the fillings.
- Add salt and black pepper: A little salt and pepper enhances the flavor of the panino sandwich ingredients.
- Burrata: If you can find it, I can’t stress enough how amazing fresh burrata mozzarella tastes in this Italian sandwich. It really makes a difference for the best flavor!
- Homemade pesto: While you don’t have to use homemade pesto, it really will add the best fresh taste to the Caprese sandwich.
Whether you serve this for lunch or dinner this Caprese sandwich is light, delicious and will be your new go-to meal with all the best flavors of summer! Here are a few sides that would pair well to serve with your Caprese panino.
How to store leftovers?
While this sandwich is best enjoyed fresh right after making it, you could store it tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to one day.
Can I freeze this recipe?
Unfortunately not! The fresh tomato, burrata mozzarella and basil do not freeze well. If you would like a freezer friendly sandwich try my sliced beef pizzaiola.
What is burrata cheese?
Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese originating from the Puglia region, it is obtained from whole, raw or pasteurized cow’s milk. Burrata is characterized by an outer layer of solid mozzarella and a heart enriched with fresh cream or butter. The texture is softer than that of mozzarella and it’s easily spreadable making it perfect for a sandwich!
What is Caprese?
Caprese originated on the Italian island of Capri and is often used to refer to the popular Insalata Caprese which is made with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and sweet basil. It is seasoned with salt, pepper and often olive oil and may be paired with fresh lettuces like arugula. Often eaten as salad, there are many variations these days like this sandwich or even this baked Caprese strudel!
So when you are looking for a delicious Summer or anytime Sandwich, I hope you give this Easy Caprese Panino a try! And let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!
More Italian Recipes You’ll Love
Easy Caprese Panino
- 2 ciabatta buns (or buns/bread of choice)*
- ¼-⅓ cup basil pesto
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4-6 leaves lettuce
- 2-4 slices tomato (firm and ripe)
- 1 medium buratta mozzarella
- 1-2 pinches salt
*You can also toast the bread on a pan grill or in a toaster.
- Slice the buns in the middle, one side spread with the pesto and the other side drizzle with olive oil.
- The pesto side top with lettuce, then 1-2 tomato slices (depending on the size of the bread and the tomato),sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Then spread each sandwich with half of the burrata on the side with the olive oil. Close the sandwich and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Today is Taste Creations Week! Please check out these other delicious Sandwich Recipes from my Food Blogger Friends.