Picnic season is here! There’s never been a better time to picnic. We’ve enjoyed a lovely extended spring here in Kansas City. Our homegrown tomatoes won’t be ready for a while, but I wanted to share my favorite picnic sandwich with you since I’m able to find great tomatoes at the store now.
This Caprese sandwich recipe is inspired by the classic Caprese salad. It features ripe red tomatoes and sliced fresh mozzarella with the most irresistible creamy basil sauce. For extra flavor, I also added a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a small handful of arugula.
Sandwich all of that inside a crusty loaf of French baguette, and you will have a perfectly portable sandwich for picnics or road trips. Or, enjoy it at home for a quick meal from now through the end of tomato season this fall.
Just remember—the better the bread and the tomatoes, the better the sandwich!
This tomato and mozzarella sandwich is a terrific vegetarian sandwich that offers a surprising amount of protein, thanks to the cheese. This recipe is my homemade rendition of my go-to sandwich at our local French café. They’ve just added it back to the menu, so I’m excited that I can order it there or make one at home. Now you can, too.
Caprese Sandwich Serving Suggestions
Serve this sandwich with a side salad or simply some fresh fruit. Here are some complimentary salad options that also travel well:
Please let me know how your picnics turn out in the comments! I love hearing from you.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 sandwiches
- Category: Sandwich
- Method: Toasted
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Vegetarian
This Caprese sandwich recipe is perfect for picnics! This vegetarian sandwich features tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and creamy basil sauce. Recipe yields 2 large (as shown) or 4 medium sandwiches.
Two large or 4 smaller sandwiches
1 baguette (16 ounces)
1 tablespoon thick balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups baby arugula
1 mozzarella ball (8 ounces)
2 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
Flaky sea salt or kosher salt
Creamy basil sauce (this makes extra*)
1 small or ½ medium clove garlic, roughly chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup (1 ounce) lightly packed fresh basil
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the bread in half lengthwise, then stack it back together and slice it down the middle to form two large sandwiches, or again to make 4 small. Place the sliced bread on a baking sheet with the cut sides facing up. Bake for 5 minutes, or until warmed through and turning lightly golden around the edges.
In the meantime, prepare the creamy basil sauce*: In a food processor, blitz the roughly chopped garlic to chop it more finely. Scrape down the sides, then add the mayo, basil, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, then set aside.
To assemble the sandwiches, lightly drizzle balsamic and olive oil over half of the cut sides of bread. Layer some arugula on top, then weigh it down with rounds of mozzarella. Top with the sliced tomato, then sprinkle the tomato lightly with flaky salt.
Spread the basil sauce generously over the cut side of the remaining slices of bread. Place them face down over the tomatoes. Enjoy.