August 14, 2023

Ultimate Caprese Sandwich

The Ultimate Caprese Sandwich packs all the classic tomato, basil, and mozzarella goodness, with a couple extra ingredients that send it over the top. 

Why yes, I am being so bold as to call this The Ultimate Caprese Sandwich. No other name came to mind after I tasted the first bite. It has all the classic caprese flavors of tomato, basil, balsamic, and mozzarella, but it also packs add flavor with pickled peppers, spicy arugula, and tangy mayonnaise. Piled up on a ciabatta roll, there will be no other caprese sandwich that will match the deliciousness of this one. 

This recipe was inspired by a commercial I kept seeing on TV in the depths of winter, when the tomatoes and basil of summer were a long way off. The national restaurant chain promoting their sandwich of course had no regard for seasonality. Every time I saw the commercial though, my mouth watered in anticipation of garden-fresh tomatoes and basil, still warm from the summer sun. And once the time arrived, well, let’s just say this recipe is well-tested. 

Make this Ultimate Caprese Sandwich any time you can get fresh, in-season tomatoes. I will make it at least a few more times this summer, so I can try to satiate my caprese cravings until next year…

Ingredients assembled for the Ultimate Caprese Sandwich
Assemble your ingredients.

Stages of toasting the ciabatta rolls and rubbing them with garlic
Start by toasting the ciabatta rolls until lightly golden brown. Then, rub a garlic clove on the toasted halves to infuse the rolls with garlic flavor. The garlic will grate into all the crispy nooks and crannies!

Stages of assembling the Ultimate Caprese Sandwich
Assemble the sandwiches: spread each half with pesto mayo; then place mozzarella slices on the bottom half, followed by sliced tomatoes, a pinch of salt and pepper, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a handful of arugula, and finally the pickled peppers.

The Ultimate Caprese Sandwich viewed from the side against a white background
The Ultimate Caprese Sandwich - maybe the ultimate summer sandwich?!

The Ultimate Caprese Sandwich cut in half to show the layers
Make one while tomatoes are in season!

Ultimate Caprese Sandwich

The Ultimate Caprese Sandwich packs all the classic tomato, basil, and mozzarella goodness, with a couple extra ingredients that send it over the top.


Kira Freed - The Joyful Plateful











2 ciabatta rolls

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 large clove garlic, peeled

2 Tbsp. mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. prepared basil pesto

6 slices fresh mozzarella

1 large ripe tomato, sliced

Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 cup baby arugula

1/2 cup sliced pickled spicy peppers (such as Mama Lil’s brand)


  1. Slice the ciabatta rolls in half, and place cut side up on a sheet pan. Brush each half with olive oil. Broil the ciabatta rolls until lightly toasted, and just beginning to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven, and immediately rub each toasted half with the garlic clove. The garlic will begin to lightly grate down and leave subtle garlic flavor in the crusty ridges of the rolls. 
  2. While the rolls cool slightly, combine the mayonnaise and pesto in a small bowl until smooth. Spread each half of the ciabatta rolls with 1/4 of the pesto-mayo mixture. 
  3. Next, add an even layer of mozzarella slices on the bottom half of the roll (this was about 3 slices for me). 
  4. Top the mozzarella with tomato slices (again, this was about 3 for me). Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and pepper, to taste. 
  5. Drizzle the tomatoes with balsamic vinegar. 
  6. Add about 1/2 cup of fresh baby arugula on top of the dressed tomatoes. 
  7. Arrange about 1/4 cup of sliced pickled spicy peppers (more or less, to taste) on the arugula. 
  8. Place the top half of the ciabatta roll on top, slice in half, and serve immediately!
  9. These sandwiches do store well in the refrigerator overnight. Prepare the sandwich as directed, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Serve the next day, and enjoy!
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March 19, 2024
Sounds sooooo yummy. I will definitely prepare this