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.
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- 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
- Season & grill - Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper and grill the chicken until fully-cooked.
- Melt the cheese - Before removing the chicken from the grill, top it with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and let melt.
- Make the spread- Mix the pesto and the mayo together to make the pesto mayo spread.
- 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!
- ***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.
Caprese salad originated in the island of Capri in the Gulf of Naples.
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.
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.
You can make the grilled chicken ahead of time. You could also slice the tomato and slice the mozzarella in advance.
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!