| | |

Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwich

Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwich has fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella, a toasted pesto-rubbed bun, juicy marinated chicken, and drizzle of sweet balsamic glaze. These flavors combine for a fantastic grilled Caprese sandwich that is easy to make and perfect even for a weeknight.

Cook on the Big Green Egg or conventional grill; alternative oven directions are included. Either way this is a healthy, easy, dinner fix that will make you happy!

hand holding a grilled chicken caprese sandwich

Why this recipe works

“Caprese” refers to a simple Italian salad of sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil, and (often, but not required) drizzle of concentrated balsamic vinegar (aka balsamic glaze) or olive oil.

My Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwich recipes works because of the perfect combination of all those flavors PLUS succulent chicken PLUS a delicious toasty bun PLUS amazing grill flavor.

This recipe is seriously so easy to make and can be made in a kitchen oven just as easily making THIS recipe pure gold. I used whole wheat buns to make up the fiber and satiation factor( fiber = more filling = more happiness).

I also schmeared pesto on the buns before toasting on the grill. Traditional Caprese salad is delicious as is, but I didn’t want those subtle gorgeous fresh flavors getting lost with the chicken and bread, so the pesto serve as a kind of reinforcement/complement – just a bit helps the fresh tomato and basil shine through the rich grill flavor.

chicken on grill topped with cheese

What ingredients do you need

Contrary to most my recipes, I am going to be vague with the ingredient amounts for these grilled caprese sandwiches because this is just that type of recipe. If anything isn’t clear, simply email me or comment below.

  • Chicken breasts. I call for four large breasts because I prefer to cut each in half, for eight sandwiches. But you can use cutlets, boneless skinless thighs – literally any variation of chicken you like… cut to fit in your bun of choice as well.
  • Italian dressing. Any variation is fine, but I do prefer 3- (or 2-, or 4-, or X-) Cheese Italian Dressing because these dressings are creamier and less acidic.
  • Fresh whole-milk mozzarella. I get the variety that comes pre-sliced to easier preparation.
  • Roma tomatoes. I used Italian Roma (aka plum) tomatoes, but you can use whatever variety you prefer.
  • Fresh basil leaves. If not available, substitute fresh oregano leaves or chopped flat-leaf parsley.
  • Dried Italian seasoning.
  • Prepared basil pesto. I used store-bought to keep this recipe weeknight easy, but if you want to go the extra mile to launch this already-delicious sandwich straight to Heaven – then use my homemade Basil Pesto.
  • Balsamic glaze. Balsamic glaze is a balsamic vinegar syrup. Find it in the olive oil/vinegar section of the grocery store. If not available, you can make your own balsamic glaze.
  • Whole wheat sandwich or burger buns. When I made these sandwiches, I made them on a Friday night and I wanted to keep them healthy. Also, with the extra fiber in whole wheat, I wanted them more filling.

Any regular burger bun is not as large as a whole chicken breast, which is why I cut my breasts each into two. But I wanted to keep the chicken nice and thick, so I didn’t make cutlets. Just judge your chicken and buns of choice for how to cut the chicken to fit. But remember that the chicken will shrink and swell as it cooks.

In researching this recipe, I spotted recipes on the ‘ole internet with a substantial layer of pesto. The issue with that is that pesto has very strong flavors and using that much will easily and completely overpower all the other ingredients. So, I just use a little schmear on each bun and It Is Enough.

cooked chicken topped with cheese

How to make grilled chicken caprese sandwiches

First, we want to ensure our chicken is as juicy, flavored, and delicious as possible. So, cut each breast in 2 (not as thin cutlets, but as to make nice thick pieces for sandwiches – which is precisely what we are doing), and marinate overnight (or at least an hour… but more time is better) in Italian salad dressing.

Next, we prep the grill. I use a Big Green Egg, and in this case I used a MiniMax (little) Big Green Egg. Light the charcoal or turn on the flame, and let the grill heat to 450 degrees F. Set up to cook on a grill grate over direct heat.

Prepare the ingredients. Tear up your basil leaves. Slice the tomato and mozzarella (if you didn’t purchase it already sliced). Spread a little pesto on the cut sides of each bun. Gather everything together to be organized.

bins toasting on grill

Grill the chicken to 160°F internal temperature. Place a slice or two of cheese on each and finish cooking until internal temperature is 165°F and cheese is melted.

Once chicken is off the grill, lightly toast the cut sides (with the pesto) of the buns on the grill.

Then we just need to put our amazing Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwiches together. Layer, in order: bottom bun, chicken (with cheese melted on top), dust with Italian seasoning, tomato, basil, and balsamic glaze (that we drizzle over like a freaking 5-star chef), and top half bun.

close view of chicken sandwich

FAQs

Can other cuts of chicken be used?

Yes, of course, Use whatever chicken you like. When we were eating, my husband commented that he would have preferred boneless skinless chicken thighs, but he is always wrong so take that for what it is.

Does a regular grill work as well as a Big Green Egg?

Yes and no. You will have a DELICIOUS grilled Caprese sandwich whichever grill you have. Big Green Egg imparts more flavor because it is a charcoal grill, but regardless, this recipe will stand either way.

How long can the chicken be marinated?

So this depends on the marinade used. I used (as I suggest in the recipe card) a 3-Cheese Italian Dressing because this and similar (no matter if brand or generic) are creamier and have less acidity. Acid will “cook” (think cerviche, which I liken to chemically induced freezer burn) chicken artificially. So, I do recommend if using regular Italian dressing, keep an extra eye on the chicken so it doesn’t “cook”.
On the other hand, if you want to make your own marinade and not use store-bought dressing, see my Greek marinade for a recipe.

side view of prepared recipe on white plate
hand holding a grilled chicken caprese sandwich

Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwich

Erica
Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwich has fresh tomato, basil, and mozzarella, a toasted pesto-rubbed bun, juicy marinated chicken, and a drizzle of sweet balsamic glaze. These flavors combine for a fantastic grilled Caprese sandwich that is easy to make and perfect even for a weeknight.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian-inspired
Servings 4 people
Calories 550 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 large chicken breasts trimmed of fat
  • 1 (15 oz) bottle Italian dressing of choice (I use 3-cheese Italian dressing)
  • fresh whole-milk mozzarella sliced
  • Roma tomatoes sliced
  • fresh basil leaves torn
  • dried Italian seasoning
  • prepared basil pesto
  • balsamic glaze
  • 8 whole wheat sandwich or burger buns

Instructions
 

Prepare the chicken

  • Cut each chicken breast in half so as to make 2 chicken "steaks" per breast (i.e. not thin cutlets). Keep in mind that the meat will swell thicker and shrink in diameter as it cooks.
  • Put the chicken pieces in a resealable bag. Add the dressing. Marinate 1 hour to overnight.
  • Spread ~1 tsp pesto on the cut side of each bun.

Cook on grill or Big Green Egg

  • Prepare grill or Big Green Egg according to manufacturer's instructions to cook over direct heat at 450°F.
  • Grill the chicken until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Top each with mozzarella and continue cooking until cheese is melted and chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Briefly, toast the buns cut side down on the grill.
  • Assemble sandwiches: bottom bun, chicken (with cheese), dust with a pinch Italian seasoning, tomato, basil, drizzle balsamic glaze, top bun.

Alternative: Cook in the oven

  • Heat oven to 400°F.
  • Transfer the chicken to a bake sheet or oven proof bake dish.
  • Bake the chicken until internal temperature reaches 160°F. Top each with mozzarella and cook until cheese is melted and chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Switch oven to broil. Place buns, pesto side up, on bake sheet and broil briefly until toasted.
  • Assemble sandwiches: bottom bun, chicken (with cheese), dust with a pinch Italian seasoning, tomato, basil, drizzle balsamic glaze, top bun.

Nutrition

Calories: 550kcal (28%) | Carbohydrates: 34g (11%) | Protein: 47g (94%) | Fat: 25g (38%) | Saturated Fat: 10g (63%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 111mg (37%) | Sodium: 943mg (41%) | Potassium: 279mg (8%) | Fiber: 5g (21%) | Sugar: 7g (8%)

Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Keyword chicken caprese sandwich, grilled caprese sandwich
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment below and let me know!

Similar Posts

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments