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Lightly seasoned grilled chicken breast is topped with melted mozzarella cheese, juicy ripe tomatoes, and garden fresh basil. This Caprese Chicken Sandwich is served on a toasted, buttery brioche bun and smothered in a basil pesto mayo spread.

For this recipe I took the classic Caprese salad ingredients and turned them into a high protein, filling meal. A grilled chicken Caprese sandwich can be served at lunch, dinner or for a backyard BBQ.

Serve my Caprese Chicken Sandwich with my Summer Tortellini Salad, Caesar Salad with Cornbread Croutons or my White Bean Salad with Feta.

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Ingredients

Chicken sandwich ingredients labeled.  Starting in the top left is fresh basil, tomatoes, brioche buns, pesto mayo, fresh mozzarella cheese and chicken breast.
  • Chicken Breast – I prefer to use chicken breast that is free from added hormones and antibiotics, is free-range and is certified humane. However, if you cannot find chicken breast that fits that criteria, then any chicken breast will work for a grilled chicken sandwich.
  • Brioche Buns – Brioche buns are made from an “enriched” dough, similar to a croissant, which makes brioche bread eggy, buttery, and slightly sweet.
  • Pesto – If you enjoy making your own pesto then by all means, whip up your own batch of fresh basil pesto for this recipe. I don’t always have the ingredients on hand for homemade pesto sauce though, so I always have a jar of DeLallo Simply Pesto Traditional Basil in my kitchen cabinets. DeLallo brand basil pesto can be found in the grocery store in the pasta aisle near the marinara sauces.
  • Mayonnaise – When it comes to choosing a brand of mayonnaise, I stick with Hellman’s! Anytime I try a store brand mayo to save a couple of dollars, I am disappointed in the flavor and texture. I always choose low-fat Hellman’s Mayonnaise to save a few calories.
  • Mozzarella Cheese – Originally I thought I would use an aged mozzarella for this recipe because aged mozzarella is lower in moisture. The low moisture content makes aged mozzarella easier to slice, cube and grate. I was worried that fresh mozzarella, which is higher in moisture, would crumble as I was working with it. After a few attempts though, I found that fresh mozzarella worked great! I decided to stick with the fresh mozzarella since fresh mozzarella is what is traditionally used in Caprese salad.
  • Tomatoes – Choose a firm, ripe tomato. Make sure your tomato is not TOO ripe though. If it is too ripe, the tomato will not slice well and will release too much juice which could make the sandwich buns soggy.
  • Fresh Basil – Even though we are using basil pesto in this recipe, I found that the addition of fresh basil leaves added a tremendous amount of extra flavor. You cannot substitute dried basil for fresh basil though. If you do not have fresh basil then I would recommend simply leaving the ingredient out.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment Needed

  • Grill – I use an outdoor, propane grill. Any outdoor or indoor grill will work. If you do not have a grill, then simply cook your chicken breasts in a frying pan or a grill pan on the stove.
  • Cutting board & chopping knife – A knife and cutting board are needed to slice the mozzarella and the tomato. You will also need to slice the chicken breast and cut off any fat. You may want to use a plastic cutting board for that step. A sharp serrated knife is best for slicing a tomato.
  • Small mixing bowl – A small bowl is needed to mix the basil pesto mayo.

How to make

  1. Season & grill – Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper and grill the chicken until fully-cooked.
  2. Melt the cheese – Before removing the chicken from the grill, top it with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and let melt.
  3. Make the spread– Mix the pesto and the mayo together to make the pesto mayo spread.
  4. Assemble the sandwiches – Spread the pesto mayo onto both sides of the brioche buns. Place the cheesy chicken breast on the bottom half of the sandwich. Top with sliced tomato and fresh basil. Serve the grilled chicken sandwiches open-face or closed and enjoy!
  5. ***Optional step – Toast the brioche buns in melted butter in a frying pan on the stove. I recommend adding this extra step! The inside of the buns turn crispy and golden brown.
Assembled sandwich is open face on a grey plate. The plate is on top of the yellow cloth napkin.  The top right corner of the image has a wooden cutting board topped with fresh tomatoes and a bowl of pesto mayo sauce. The top left of the image shows a glass of fresh basil.
Print
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Caprese Chicken Sandwich in center of the image and zoomed in. The image shows the layers of the sandwich which start with a buttered brioche bun, pesto mayo, sliced tomato, fresh basil and mozzarella covered chicken.

Caprese Chicken Sandwich with Basil Pesto Mayo


  • Author: Katie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x

Description

Lightly seasoned grilled chicken breast is topped with melted mozzarella cheese, juicy ripe tomatoes, and garden fresh basil. This Caprese Chicken Sandwich is served on a toasted buttery brioche roll and smothered in basil pesto mayo.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast (2 large breasts or 4 small)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 4 brioche buns
  • 1 ounce fresh basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat your grill to about 450° Fahrenheit.
  2. Slice the fresh mozzarella cheese into 1/4 inch thick slices and set aside.
  3. Using a serrated knife, slice the tomato into even slices, cutting against the core so that the slices stay intact. Set aside.
  4. Trim any fatty pieces off of the chicken breast and if needed, cut the chicken breast into 4 equal portions. Lightly season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken onto the preheated grill.  Cook for about 6-7 minutes per side.  Cook the chicken breast until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165° F.  During the last minute of cooking, place the slices of mozzarella cheese on the chicken breast and cook until melted.  Remove the cheese covered chicken from the grill and set aside.
  5. Combine the 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and the 1/4 cup of basil pesto in a small mixing bowl.  Mix together until fully combined.
  6. Optional step – Toast the inside of the brioche buns in melted butter in a frying pan on the stove.  Toasting the inside of the buns makes them golden brown and crispy.  Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan.  Place the brioche buns into the frying pan cut side down.  Toast for about 5 minutes or until golden brown. 
  7. Assemble your Caprese Chicken Sandwiches.  Open the brioche buns. Evenly spread the pesto mayo on the inside of the bun.  Place the mozzarella cheese covered chicken breast on the bottom half of the bun.  Top the chicken breast with tomato slices and fresh basil leaves and top with the remaining half of the brioche bun. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • To save time, purchase pre-cooked chicken breast.
  • If you want to make some of this meal ahead of time, cook the chicken, slice the tomatoes and slice the mozzarella cheese the day/night before.
  • Category: lunch, dinner
  • Method: grilling
  • Cuisine: Italian American

Keywords: caprese chicken sandwich, grilled caprese chicken sandwich, chicken caprese sandwich

Common Questions

What is the origin of Caprese Salad?

Caprese salad originated in the island of Capri in the Gulf of Naples.

What is the difference between Bruschetta and Caprese?

Caprese is a simple Italian salad consisting of sliced tomato, sliced fresh mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. The salad is normally seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Bruschetta is an Italian appetizer consisting of crusty, grilled bread that is usually rubbed with garlic and seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil. The grilled bread is topped with a seasoned, tomato mixture.

What else can I add to my chicken Caprese sandwiches?

If you want to elevate this delicious chicken sandwich even further, I would add crispy bacon, ripe avocado slices or a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar.

Can I make this sandwich ahead of time?

You can make the grilled chicken ahead of time. You could also slice the tomato and slice the mozzarella in advance.

I can’t find brioche buns in my local area. What other bread can I use?

I would use a focaccia roll or thickly sliced sourdough bread.

Did you love this recipe? Leave me a comment below and tell me all about it!