The only thing better than a gooey grilled cheese? How about a gooey grilled cheese made with creamy mozzarella, slices of juicy tomato and fragrant basil! In other words, your favorite caprese salad in sandwich form. To create this Italian-inspired sandwich, follow our step-by-step guide for making the best-ever mozzarella tomato basil panini.
Choose Fresh Ingredients
Before you get started, make sure you have fresh ingredients. Whether it’s basil from your herb garden, tomatoes from the farmers market or fresh mozzarella, better quality ingredients will give your sandwich the best flavor.
How to Make a Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Panini
The original recipe (you can find it here) comes from Kathryn Hudson in Pennsylvania.
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Set up your base
Set out four slices of sourdough bread. Then layer the cheese, basil and tomatoes on top of each slice. (If you want to make your own sourdough bread, try this tasty recipe!)
Step 2: Top off the sandwiches
Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Top each stack with the four remaining slices of bread.
Step 3: Add butter
Spread the outsides of the sandwiches with butter. This will prevent them from sticking to the pan as well as add flavor.
Editor’s Tip: To soften butter quickly (aka if you forgot to take it out of the fridge beforehand), roll it out between two sheets of wax paper with a rolling pin or cream it in a stand mixer.
Step 4: Heat it up
Cook the sandwiches in a preheated panini maker like this or indoor electric grill until the bread is browned and cheese is melted. Yum!
How to Upgrade Your Panini
There are plenty of ways to level up your sandwich. For instance, you can mix up your filling by adding sliced avocado for more healthy fats or mixed greens for a punch of veggies. You could even coat the outside of the sandwiches with a tangy balsamic glaze rather than butter.
Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.