Filled with grilled chicken breast layered on a crispy ciabatta roll with ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, pesto, and a drizzle of balsamic, this chicken Caprese sandwich is easy to make and full of flavor.
If you like a Caprese salad, you’re going to love this chicken Caprese sandwich. This grilled chicken sandwich has all of the fresh summer flavors of a Caprese salad with a boost of protein and fiber, making it perfect for a healthy, yet quick and easy, lunch.
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Not to mention, it’s a great way to use leftover grilled chicken and is the perfect make-ahead lunch for a day at the office, a day of hiking, a summer picnic, a flight, or a road trip!
What You’ll Need
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this easy grilled chicken Caprese sandwich.
- Ciabatta Roll: I think this rustic Italian loaf is the perfect match for a Caprese sandwich, however, you can use any small sandwich loaf or regular sliced prefer if you prefer.
- Chicken Breast: Grilled chicken breasts add a boost of protein to the sandwich, you can also use chicken thighs if you like. This sandwich is also a great way to use leftover chicken.
- Italian Seasoning: To season the chicken breasts for the grill.
- Tomatoes: In the summer months, any fresh tomatoes will work well in a Caprese sandwich. If tomatoes are out of season, look for heirloom tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, or beefsteak tomatoes.
- Mozzarella: Thick slices of mozzarella are the star of this Caprese sandwich. For the best results, be sure to use fresh mozzarella, as it’s tender, juicy, milky, and creamy.
- Basil: A few fresh basil leaves to complete the Caprese.
- Pesto: A little spread of pesto to enhance the basil flavors.
- Balsamic Glaze: While optional, you can add a drizzle of balsamic glaze, a reduction made of balsamic vinegar, for a bit of richness.
In addition to the above, you’ll also need a bit of olive oil, salt, and black pepper for seasoning.
Make it Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free ciabatta roll or gluten-free bread.
Make it Vegetarian: Omit the chicken or swap it for grilled tofu.
A Caprese is an Italian salad made of sliced fresh mozzarella, sliced whole tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, olive oil, salt, and pepper, which can also be layered onto bread to create a Caprese sandwichf.
Yes! A Caprese sandwich contains protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats making it a balanced meal that is perfect for a healthy lunch or dinner.
What is fresh Mozzarella cheese?
Mozzarella is arguably the most famous Italian cheese but you may be surprised to learn mozzarella comes in many many different shapes, textures, sizes, and flavors. While traditionally made from Italian buffalo’s milk, mozzarella is also commonly made from whole cow’s milk, and can even be found made of goat’s and sheep’s milk in certain regions.
Fresh mozzarella would be considered traditional mozzarella and is sold in brine, whey, or water solution in containers or bags. This pillowy soft, bright white cheese has a milky and creamy texture and a mild and slightly sweet taste. Fresh mozzarella cheese is the style most commonly used in a Caprese salad.
In addition to fresh mozzarella, which is high-moisture, you can also find low-moisture mozzarella, often referred to as “regular mozzarella” in North America. This style of mozzarella cheese is most often sold wrapped in plastic, without liquid or brine, and is made by souring fresh Mozzarella a little longer before drying it out. While it can be used in a Caprese salad and a Caprese sandwich, the texture won’t be as soft as fresh mozzarella.
Where to find fresh mozzarella?
Fresh mozzarella can be found at most major grocery stores, specialty Italian food shops, and independent cheese shops. Fresh mozzarella comes in many forms so in addition to looking for “fresh mozzarella,” you can look for Fior di Latte, Mozzarella di Bufala, stracciatella, burrata, bocconcini, ovoline, and nodini mozzarella.
How to Make a Chicken Caprese Sandwich
Assembling a chicken Caprese sandwich is pretty simple, here’s what you’ll do:
- Season the chicken. Cover the chicken breasts generously in Italian seasoning. If time permits, allow the chicken to marinade for extra flavor.
- Grill the chicken. Add your chicken breasts to the grill and cook to perfection, then slice.
- Slice tomato and mozzarella. While the chicken is cooking you can slice the tomatoes and chese.
- Toast the bread. While optional, I think toasting the bread gives the sandwich an extra crispy texture, which is a pleasant contrast to the creamy cheese.
- Fill the sandwich. Once your ingredients are ready, layer them onto the bread to make a delicious summer-inspired Caprese sandwich.
See the recipe card below for detailed cooking instructions.
Red’s Nutrition Tip
If you think sandwiches are unhealthy, I’ve got good news food you! When made with real food ingredients, a sandwich can be a quick, convenient, and balanced meal. In fact, this chicken Caprese sandwich is full of fiber, protein, and fats, making it a healthy lunch or dinner.
Tips for the BEST Chicken Caprese Sandwich
Marinate the chicken. To ensure the most flavor, allow your chicken breasts to marinade before grilling. If you’re in a pinch you can certainly grill them directly after seasoning, however, the longer you allow them to marinate the deeper the flavor will be.
Use fresh mozzarella. Although all forms of mozzarella will work, fresh mozzarella provides a softer and melty-er texture.
Use ripe tomatoes. Whenever possible, reach for fresh, ripe, and seasonal tomatoes. Regardless of the variety, ripe tomatoes will provide the best flavor to the sandwich.
Use fresh pesto. For an extra basil flavor, be sure to use fresh pesto. While jarred shelf-stable will certainly work, fresh pesto, either homemade or store-bought pesto, has a much brighter flavor.
Storage + Reheating
To Store: Once prepared, the sandwich can be stored in a sandwich bag, plastic wrap, or an airtight container for 3-5 days. If refrigerating, the bread is best left untoasted.
To Freeze: I do not recommend freezing this sandwich.
More Chicken Sandwich Recipes:Print
Chicken Caprese Sandwich
This quick, easy, and protein-packed chicken Caprese sandwich is perfect for a healthy lunch or simple dinner.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 2 sandwiches 1x
- Category: Lunch
- Method: Grilled
- Cuisine: Italian
- 2 ciabatta rolls, or bread of choice
- 1 chicken breast
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 1 ripe tomato
- 3 tablespoons basil pesto
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze (optional)
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
- Place the chicken breast on a cutting board and season both sides generously with Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
- On a grill, or in a grill pan with a drizzle of olive oil, on medium-high heat, place the chicken breast and cook for 5-6 minutes per side, turning only once, until cooked through or an internal temperature of 165 ºF is reached. Once cooked, remove from the grill and set aside to rest for 1-2 minutes, before slicing into thin strips.
- While the chicken is cooking, slice the mozzarella and tomato into 1/4 – 1/2-inch thick slices and set aside.
- Once the chicken is cooked and is resting, slice the ciabatta in half, reduce the grill to medium heat, and place the bread on the grill or pan, cut side down, for 1-2 minutes until golden. Once cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. (You can also turn an oven to broil and place the ciabatta in the oven, cut side up, for 1-2 minutes until toasted.)
- Once the bread is toasted, assemble your sandwich; spread the bottom half of each toasted ciabatta with pesto, then layer with sliced chicken, sliced mozzarella, tomato slices, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, fresh basil leaves, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, if desired.
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich
- Calories: 523 calories
- Sugar: 5 grams
- Fat: 17 grams
- Carbohydrates: 45 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Protein: 49 grams