Caprese salad meets the classic grilled cheese sandwich with a bit of roast chicken added and poof, you’ve got a chicken caprese salad panini. Perfect when you’re in a hurry and want something to eat fast! This chicken caprese salad sandwich feels rich and decadent, but you don’t need to invest a lot of time or effort to make it. You don’t really even have to measure much of anything.
The market had some beautiful Campari tomatoes on sale, right next to the fresh mozzarella. I couldn’t resist. So, I put that together with some basil, leftover roast chicken, and a fresh loaf of ciabatta bread. Voila! The chicken caprese salad panini sandwich.
I started with leftover roast chicken, so I didn’t need to make the chicken. If you already have cooked chicken, just pop it into the sandwich. Some leftover rotisserie chicken would work nicely. All you have to do now is grill the bread, melt the cheese, and add the tomatoes and basil.
If not, see the substitutions and variations section below for ideas on how to cook the chicken.
The bread does tend to slurp up the olive oil, but really it’s worth it! The sandwich gets golden brown, and the cheese is gooey and melty. It’s your favorite childhood grilled cheese sandwich for grownups!
Do use the fresh mozzarella if you can get it. It’s far more flavorful (and I think it melts better) than the pre-packaged kind.
Substitutions and Variations for Chicken Caprese Panini Sandwich
- Saute some mushrooms (do that first) and add them to the sandwich at the end.
- Start with fresh chicken breasts (season with salt/pepper/balsamic vinegar/olive oil) then gently cook in olive oil
- Or, season the chicken with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook that in a bit of olive oil
- Add some avocado
- Get an extra serving of veggies and put in a few spinach leaves
- Or, try cooking it in the broiler instead (less oil needed)
More Sandwich Recipes
Remember the classic BLT? This one is a bit different. Besides the spinach, the plain old mayo is now a garlicky, lemony aioli. Fresher, brighter, and even more delicious.
Why settle for one kind of cheese when you can use three instead? I get the cut up cheese cubes (instant variety without more than I can eat). Because who doesn’t like grilled, melty cheese?
Take plain Israeli salad and turn it into an entire meal with tender eggplant, hummus, and pita.
Another twist on grilled cheese, this time with sweet berries and tangy vinegar. It’s an unexpected combination that works surprisingly well.