This Caprese Chicken Panini is just right for a quick lunch or dinner!
Are your evenings super busy lately with sport practices, PTA meetings, costume shopping, and the like? How would you like a hot, melty, cheesy sandwich loaded with chicken, tomato sauce, and mozzarella even on a day that you hardly have time to cook? This panini recipe is for you! What’s that you say? You don’t have a panini press? Neither do I! I do have a waffle iron though. If you don’t have one of those either, then you can still make this sandwich grilled-cheese style in the oven or on the stovetop. I must urge you to make these easy sandwiches one way or another because they are go-oo-od!
If I had my choice, I would make this Caprese Chicken Panini with sourdough bread, but I had to use gluten-free bread instead. Let me give you a tip about that: Apparently gluten-free bread sticks when you put it in a waffle iron, so use some cooking spray. I learned that lesson the hard way, so take it from me. Luckily, torn up bread still tastes just as good, so no cheesy goodness was left behind.
As I mentioned, you can also make these tasty sandwiches in the oven instead of using a panini press or waffle iron, and that might actually be easier if you need to feed the whole family. Just place the sandwiches open faced on a baking sheet, and put them together once they’re done. That way you could make about eight sandwiches at once and get dinner on the table in about 15 minutes! I hope you enjoy this fun weeknight dinner.
Caprese Chicken Panini
- 8 slices sandwich bread of your choice
- drizzle of olive oil
- garlic salt optional
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cooked and sliced thin
- 1/2 c. marinara sauce
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella sliced
- handful of fresh basil minced
- Preheat panini press, waffle iron, or oven to 375 degrees F.
- Lightly rub one side of each slice of bread with olive oil, and sprinkle garlic salt over the oil if desired. Flip bread over. Arrange mozzarella slices on both sides of bread for each sandwich. Evenly arrange a layer of chicken over the cheese on one slice, and spoon a couple tablespoons of sauce over the chicken. Leave about 1/2" of chicken around the edges uncovered because the sauce will squish out a bit when the sandwich is pressed together. Sprinkle basil over the sauce.
- If preparing in a panini press or waffle iron, put the sides of each sandwich together. Spray the iron lightly with cooking spray (if recommended for your appliance), place a sandwich inside, and press closed. Cooking time will depend on your appliance, but with my waffle iron I cooked it through two waffle cycles. Cut sandwiches in half if desired and serve.
- If preparing in an oven, place the unassembled sides of the sandwiches on a baking sheet(s), and bake for 7-10 minutes, until cheese is completely melted. Put sides of sandwiches together, cut if desired, and serve.
If you are looking for more caprese goodness, why not visit me at The Weary Chef to check out these easy recipes: