Caprese Panini

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Garden fresh tomatoes, basil pesto, and fresh mozzarella on a crisp, toasty ciabatta roll. A panini twist on the classic caprese salad | Barbara Bakes

Garden fresh tomatoes, basil pesto, and fresh mozzarella on a crisp, toasty ciabatta roll. A panini twist on the classic caprese salad.

I love a great panini sandwich. The crunchy bread and the hot melty cheese is irresisitble. My husband bought me a panini maker two years ago for Christmas but I don’t use it often enough. So when Kathy, Panini Happy, offered to send me a review copy of her fantastic new cookbook, The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook, I immediately said yes

Ultimate Panini Press CV

There are so many recipes in the cookbook that I’m excited to try. The Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Parm and Chicken Bacon Melt Paninis are on the top of the list. Did you know you can cook chicken breasts on the panini press before you cook the panini?

Of course I was especially attracted to the back of the book where she has dessert recipes like Apple Pie Panini, Grilled Angel Food Cake with Lemon Curd, and Grill-Tarts a version of the toaster strudel made with puff pastry.

Caprese Panini |

I chose to make the Caprese Panini because Kathy said in the book it’s the sandwich she recommends people grill first when they get a panini press. And because now is the perfect time of year to make a Caprese Panini before the juicy, ripe summer tomatoes are gone.

Harvard Common Press has generously offered to  give away one copy of The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook

 to one lucky Barbara Bakes reader. Details on how you can enter the giveaway are at the end of this post. Also, for any of my readers who purchase the book, Kathy is offering free signed bookplates (up to 4). If you have a panini press at home, you’ll be glad you bought this cookbook.
Caprese Panini
Yield: 4 panini

Caprese Panini

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes


  • 1 French baguette, cut into 4 portions (I used ciabatta rolls)
  • 1/2 cup pesto, purchased or homemade
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2 medium-size ripe tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 fresh basil leaves (I used baby spinach)


  1. Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.
  2. For each sandwich: Slice off the doomed top of a baguette portion to create a flat grilling surface.
  3. Split the baguette to create top and bottom halves. Spread a layer of pesto inside each baguette half. On the bottom half layer some mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and more mozarella. Close the sandwich with the top baguette half.
  4. Grill two panini at a time, with the lid closed, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, 5 to 6 minutes .

Harvard Common Press has generously offered to give away one copy of The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook

 to one lucky Barbara Bakes reader.

Here’s How To Enter the Sweepstakes Giveaway:

Leave a comment on this post before Friday, September 13th at noon, MST.

For extra entries:

Leave a separate comment for each entry. The giveaway is only open to residents of the US. Be sure your email address is included with your comment(s). Winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.

Disclosure: Harvard Common Press sent me a free copy of the Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook, but all opinions expressed are always my own.

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originally published September 6, 2013 — last updated February 8, 2019
Categories: Sandwich