Grilled rosemary bread is a delicious base for this grilled chicken caprese sandwich. It features fresh buffalo mozzarella, basil, farmer’s market tomatoes, and a balsamic reduction for a classic flavor combination you just can’t beat.
Did you do a double take?
In this season of slow cooker soups and hearty comfort food, you might be wondering what in the heck this fresh take on a summer classic is doing on the bloggity blog right smack dab in the middle of winter?
Personally, I can think of no better time. Even if you can’t ditch the snow shovel yet, you can still eat like it’s all sunshine and tan lines. Because soon enough, it will be.
I am a huge fan of anything caprese. The fresh flavors of sweet tomatoes, sliced mozzarella cheese, basil draped in balsamic anything and everything, and a drizzle of fruity olive oil. If you’re looking for caprese recipes here on FoodieCrush, you’ll see the combo is pretty much my fave. And judging by your response to them, you’re digging them too.
These days, fresh tomatoes are pretty easy to come by all year long. Summer sports fresh ‘maters at farmer’s markets and of course there’s the labor of love of harvesting them straight from your own garden.
But wintertime can pose a new set of challenges, so unless you live under the sunny skies of California or Florida, your best bet is to head to the market and hope for the best.
At certain times of the winter I can find plastic containers of potted basil plants in the produce section of my grocery store. As soon as I spy them, I pick one or two up and plant in a container to keep on my counter. Not only is it convenient for fresh cooking, but it gives a perk of brightness to an otherwise dreary winter view.
What’s in This Chicken Caprese Sandwich?
The stars of this grilled chicken sandwich are the fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic. I also picked up a loaf of fresh sourdough bread, because good bread is what makes or breaks a sandwich.
During the winter months, I choose medium-size campari tomatoes that I find at Costco. They seem to pack the most flavor, are sold in clusters clinging to the vine and are reminiscent of the sweetness of summer. A healthy sprinkle of kosher salt brings out their sweetness even more.
For the chicken, you’ll only need two breasts to make four sandwiches. Slicing it after grilling on either the grill or stove makes it go a long way for sandwich making. Marinating the chicken in a quick olive oil and lemon-flavored soak infuses a bit of flavor and moisture.
I used rosemary-flavored bread for another layer of herby flavor. Grilling the bread on the grill or grill pan gives these open faced sandwiches a great contrast with crunchy texture.
Regular balsamic vinegar is a classic dressing for the caprese, but one of my favorite toppers for this sandwich is a sweet balsamic glaze. I always keep this one stocked in my cupboard. It’s so much more convenient than making my own.
And then there’s the cheese. Delicious mozzarella cheese. While I’m at Costco getting my tomatoes, I’ll usually pick up a two-pack of Wisconsin mozzarella cheese and save the other log for pizza making.
How to Make Caprese Sandwiches
Quickly marinate the chicken in a mixture of olive oil, fresh parsley, lemon juice, and salt, and then grill until cooked through and it’s developed those lovely grill marks. While the chicken cooks, drizzle a little olive oil onto the cut side of each piece of bread and grill alongside the chicken.
Once cooked, slice the chicken and layer a few pieces atop each two pieces of bread. Top with sliced tomato, mozzarella, and torn basil leaves, then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze.
In total, this caprese sandwich recipe takes maybe 15 minutes to prep. If you don’t mind eating cold sandwiches, you can grill the chicken before a busy week and slice off pieces as needed to make a quick sandwich.
Do I Have to Grill the Chicken?
No, if you don’t want to grill the chicken you can easily cook it on the stove in a skillet or grill pan. If cooking the chicken in a skillet, make sure to cover it while it cooks so the meat doesn’t dry out.
How Can You Tell When Chicken is Cooked Through?
The easiest way to tell when the chicken is fully cooked is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can also poke the center of the chicken with a fork. If the juices run clear, it’s likely safe to eat. Avoid cutting the chicken in half to see if it’s pink inside, as you’ll lose a lot of the juices that way.
Tips for Making Caprese Sandwiches
Be sure to cook your chicken to 185 degrees F internal temperature, and cover and rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing to keep those juices in the meat, where they belong.
Don’t try to use dried basil in this sandwich, as it’s slightly crunchy and much stronger in flavor. If you can’t find fresh basil at the store, play around with using other herbs on this chicken caprese sandwich (although then it wouldn’t be a caprese sandwich, now would it?).
Because this chicken caprese sandwich is so hearty, you may want to enjoy it as an open-faced sandwich and tackle it with a knife and fork.
More Caprese Recipes You’ll Love
- Grilled Caprese Skewers
- Avocado Caprese Wrap
- Quinoa and Burrata Caprese Salad
- Caprese Sandwich with Arugula and Olive Spread
- Avocado Caprese Salad
- Burrata and Heirloom Tomato Salad
- 30-Minute Caprese Chicken
- Melted Mozzarella Caprese Crostini
Chicken Caprese Sandwich
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley minced
- ½ lemon juiced
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
- 1 10 ounce loaf of sourdough bread I used rosemary flavored, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 8 ounce log fresh mozzarella cheese sliced into ¼ inch rounds
- 10-12 medium campari tomatoes* about 11 ounces
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
- balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
Mix 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper in a medium size bowl. Add the chicken breasts and and turn to coat and let the chicken stand at room temperature.
Light a grill and set to high or prepare a grill pan on the stove and heat to medium high heat. Discard the marinade and add the chicken to the grill or pan and season with more salt and pepper. After about 3-4 minutes, turn the chicken breasts. Cook for another 3 minutes or until nice grill marks form. If on the grill, turn off one side of the grill and move chicken to that side, cover and cook until chicken has an internal temperature of 185 degrees. If on the stove, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until chicken has an internal temperature of 185 degrees. Slice the chicken and set aside.
While chicken is cooking, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil to each cut side of the bread and grill until lightly browned.
Cut the bread into 3 slices for each half. Layer each slice with 3-4 slices of chicken, a few slices of mozzarella cheese and top with tomato slices. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar or glaze and top with basil leaves. Season with more salt and pepper and serve.
*During the winter months, I choose medium-size campari tomatoes that I find at Costco. They seem to pack the most flavor, are sold in clusters clinging to the vine and are reminiscent of the sweetness of summer.
More Easy Sandwiches to Make
- Curried Egg Salad Sandwich
- Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Creamy Ranch Sauce
- French Onion Grilled Cheese
- My Favorite Reuben Sandwich
- Easy Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
Make it a great day, friends and cook something seasonal and good.
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