Recipes > Lunch/Dinner > Chicken Caprese Sandwich

Chicken Caprese Sandwich

Sandwiches provide a great opportunity to get in lots of nutrients from a variety of food groups. The key ingredients in this nutritious sandwich recipe are sourdough bread, pesto, chicken, and tomatoes.
caprese chicken sandwich on a white plate

This is a variation of our healthy sandwich base recipe. If you are looking for a new chicken sandwich idea and love caprese salads, then this recipe is for you! This chicken caprese sandwich is basically a caprese salad on bread, making it a perfect summer lunch or light dinner.

Must Know Cooking Skills

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Culinary Tips for the Best Chicken Sandwich Recipe

This sandwich can be eaten cold or warm. To toast the sandwich, brush a griddle or skillet with oil or butter. Add sandwich and cook until golden brown and toasty on one side, 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook on the other side, 2-3 more minutes, or until bread is golden brown on both sides and mozzarella cheese is partially melted.

If heating on a panini press, lightly brush the outside of the bread with olive oil or melted butter to create a deliciously crispy exterior.

Use a serrated knife to slice the tomatoes to avoid squishing.

Let the chicken sit out at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, but no more than an hour before cooking. Cold chicken sticks to a hot pan!

When cooking the chicken breasts, remember the 3 F’s of flavor: fire, fat, and food! Heat your pan, heat your oil, then add the chicken. Once the chicken breasts are on the skillet, don’t move them around. Keeping them in place helps ensure browning and maximum flavor development.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Sourdough Bread: substitute whole grain bread. You can use other white breads, such as ciabatta or a baguette, but they are certainly not as nutritious as sourdough. Use a whole grain tortilla to create a chicken caprese wrap.
  • Pesto: use any variety – homemade or store bought.
  • Arugula: substitute baby spinach or baby kale. 
  • Chicken Breasts: substitute chicken thighs, or use leftover roasted, grilled, shredded, or baked chicken.
  • Fresh Mozzarella: substitute regular sliced or shredded mozzarella, but note that traditional caprese salads use fresh.
  • Tomatoes: use any variety.
  • Balsamic Glaze: substitute a thick aged balsamic vinegar. You can also make your own balsamic glaze by reducing balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan on the stovetop by half or more, until thick.

Recipe Variations

This is your sandwich, so add other ingredients to YOUR taste!

Create a chicken avocado sandwich by adding fresh sliced or mashed avocado.

Want some sandwich recipe inspiration?

Use our healthy sandwich base recipe as a guide or try out these tasty variations!

Equipment Recommendations

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Health Benefits of this Chicken Caprese Sandwich Recipe

This sandwich base recipe can definitely be a part of a balanced plant-forward diet. The key ingredients that make this a nutritious sandwich recipe are sourdough bread, pesto, chicken, and tomatoes.

Sourdough Bread

Although sourdough bread is made from refined white flour, it actually may be a good substitute for whole grain bread. It has a lower glycemic load than white bread, meaning it takes your body longer to digest it than regular white bread, especially if eaten as part of a meal. Some of the world’s longest-lived populations consume sourdough regularly, so it must be working for them!

Pesto

Pesto is made of dark leafy greens and extra virgin olive oil. Leafy green vegetables are rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that promote health and help fight diseases. Extra virgin olive oil is a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. It contains high amounts of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols which may reduce inflammation. In this recipe, it replaces the saturated fat typically found in 100% beef meatballs.

Chicken

Chicken is a lean protein source. It is also rich in B vitamins and minerals, such as iron. When consumed as part of a diet rich in vegetables, chicken may help reduce the risk of developing overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Further, white meat is considered moderately protective or neutral on cancer risk. We recommend purchasing organic and/or pasture-raised chicken if it is within your budget.

Tomatoes 

Tomatoes contain fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They are rich in the phytonutrient lycopene, which may help prevent prostate cancer and promote heart health.

Learn more about health benefits of different foods and ingredients or in our book, To Your Taste!

Serving Suggestions

Serve this tasty chicken sandwich recipe alongside some fresh fruit to create a beautiful Whole Life Plate. You can also serve some extra veggies on the side. Pair veggies with hummus or a Greek yogurt dip for a boost in nutrition and flavor.

Storage Tips 

If making in advance, consider leaving the tomatoes off and adding them to the sandwich right before eating. The texture of the tomatoes is best when fresh.

Want more healthy lunch ideas?

Check out this article for easy lunch ideas for work.

Check out this article for vegetarian lunch ideas for kids.

Finally, read through this article for easy school lunches.

Or, check out these favorite recipes!

Simple Green Salad Base Recipe

Healthy Wrap Base Recipe

Grain Salad Base Recipe

caprese chicken sandwich on a white plate

Chicken Caprese Sandwich

This is a variation of our healthy sandwich base recipe. If you are looking for a new chicken sandwich idea and love caprese salads, then this recipe is for you! This chicken caprese sandwich is basically a caprese salad on bread, making it a perfect summer lunch or light dinner.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 5 sandwiches

Ingredients
  

Chicken

  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more for cooking
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

Sandwich

  • 10 slices sourdough bread
  • ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons pesto
  • 1 ¼ cups arugula
  • 5 ounces sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic glaze*

Instructions
 

  • Marinate the chicken. Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt in a large resealable bag or a bowl. Add the chicken breasts and coat with the marinade. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes and up to 4 hours. If longer than 1 hour, marinate in the refrigerator.
  • Shake off excess marinade from the chicken and pat dry. Heat a 10-12” sauté pan to medium to medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add chicken and cook 5-6 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF, ~5-6 more minutes.
  • Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes, then cut into slices.
  • Build the sandwiches. Spread 1 Tablespoon pesto on each slice of bread. Top half of the bread slices with ~¼ cup arugula, 2 ounces of chicken, 1 ounce of mozzarella, 2 slices of tomato, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Place remaining bread slices on top.
  • Enjoy cold or warm. To toast the sandwich, brush a griddle or skillet with oil or butter. Add sandwich and cook until golden brown and toasty on one side, 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook on the other side, 2-3 more minutes, or until bread is golden brown on both sides and mozzarella cheese is partially melted. Enjoy!

Notes

Once the chicken breasts are on the skillet, don’t move them around. Keeping them in place helps ensure browning and maximum flavor development.
 
*To make a balsamic glaze, simmer balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan on the stovetop and reduce by half or more, until thick.
Keyword Chicken Caprese Sandwich

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