Taking my favorite salad ingredients and transforming them into a gooey, flavorful Caprese Grilled Cheese was a genius move! Melty mozzarella, garden tomatoes, and pesto make for a divine sandwich!

This Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwich is a perfect summer lunch when fresh garden tomatoes are plentiful.

Caprese Grilled Cheese | A genius grilled cheese based on the scrumptious Caprese salad.

Why You Must Make

  • I first made this sandwich for National Grilled Cheese Month, but that’s in April. Since flavorful, juicy garden tomatoes peak in the summer, that’s really the best time to test out this recipe!
  • It’s hard to even call this a recipe since it’s super easy to make!!!
  • A Caprese toasted cheese sandwich makes a delicious lunch or dinner!

I would be happy to eat this combination of gooey cheese inside of buttery toasted bread every.single.day…what’s not to love? When I saw these tempting sandwiches on my friend Alisha’s gorgeous blog, The Ardent Epicure, I knew I would make them. These tasted marvelous with slices of hothouse tomatoes, so I can only imagine how fabulous they’d be with peak-of-season garden tomatoes. I used buffalo mozzarella as did Alisha, but any fresh mozz will do. I also added a layer of pesto for an extra oomph of basil.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Room temperature Butter, Garlic Salt
  • Ciabatta – or any favorite bread
  • Pesto – If you have homemade pesto, that’s great, but storebought works well, too.
  • Fresh Tomato Slices – Garden or Farmers’ market tomatoes taste best, but any variety will work
  • Fresh Mozzarella – I used buffalo mozzarella when originally making this sandwich, but you can slice and use any fresh mozzarella cheese.
  •  Basil Leaves -About 2-3 per sandwich. This adds some freshness, but there is plenty of basil flavor from the pesto if you want to skip this.
Caprese Grilled Cheese | A genius grilled cheese based on the scrumptious Caprese salad.

Recipe Tips

  • There is no exact recipe for this Caprese grilled cheese. It’s very adaptable and pretty much foolproof.
  • I used a loaf of ciabatta for the bread, but you can use a loaf of presliced sandwich bread if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Try it toasted with garlic butter to amp up the flavor.
  • Add some prosciutto or any other Italian deli meat for another dimension.
  • How about subbing some fresh Georgia peaches for the tomatoes? The best peach I ever ate was from a fruit stand in Florence, Italy, many decades ago! What do you think??? Plus, check out this tasty Fresh Tomato Basil Pasta.
Caprese Grilled Cheese on a small white plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Caprese Mean?

Caprese translates to In the style of Capri, meaning like what you’d find on the isle of Capri in Italy.

What Do You Serve with a Grilled Cheese Sandwich?

One of the classic pairings for a grilled cheese sandwich is a cup of tomato soup. A side of fresh fruit or homemade coleslaw would be delicious, too.

What is in a Classic Caprese Salad?

Fresh mozzarella (packed in water), beautiful summer tomatoes (homegrown is best), fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper are all you’ll need when making a classic Caprese salad recipe.

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Caprese Grilled Cheese | A genius grilled cheese based on the scrumptious Caprese salad

Caprese Grilled Cheese

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield varies

A delicious twist on the classic Caprese salad that's perfect for lunch or an easy dinner.


  • 2 slices Ciabatta or favorite bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Pesto
  • 2 fresh tomato slices
  • 2 slices buffalo mozzarella
  • Garlic salt
  • Basil leaves, about 2-3 per sandwich


  1. Brush one side of bread per sandwich with butter and place buttered sides down in large sauté pan.
  2. Smear pesto on exposed side. Layer each with cheese, then sprinkle well with garlic salt followed by tomato slices and basil.
  3. Top each sandwich with a second slice of buttered bread, butter side up.
  4. Sauté till first side is golden brown, flip and cook till second side is brown and cheese is melted. Serve hot.


You can use regular sliced mozzarella if desired. Add a couple of slices so it's nice and gooey.

Inspired by The Ardent Epicure blog.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 sandwich

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 836Total Fat: 38gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 1813mgCarbohydrates: 92gFiber: 7gSugar: 12gProtein: 32g

Thatskinnychickcanbake.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although thatskinnychickcanbake.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased can change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Also, many recipes on thatskinnychickcanbake.com recommend toppings, which may or may not be listed as optional and nutritional information for these added toppings is not listed. Other factors may change the nutritional information such as when the salt amount is listed “to taste,” it is not calculated into the recipe as the amount will vary. Also, different online calculators can provide different results. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information obtained is accurate.


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In Sienna, Italy, eating lunch.

With my daughter, Katie, eating our Caprese salads in Siena, Italy.

A real Italian Caprese salad in Siena, Italy.

No balsamic vinegar on this authentic Italian Caprese salad.