An easy, delicious, and satisfying lunch or dinner, Chicken Caprese Sandwiches transport you to Italy in only a few simple steps.
Table of contents
Featuring panko breaded chicken breasts, seasoned heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and pillowy focaccia bread, this chicken caprese sandwich recipe is guaranteed to be a hit!
Modeled after the popular chicken caprese at Starbucks, this sandwich features additional layers of flavor from olive oil, dried oregano, and a crispy (and easy to make!) chicken breading.
Though this tomato basil mozzarella chicken shines in the summer months when juicy tomatoes are at their peak, enjoy it anytime the craving strikes and fresh tomatoes can be found!
Why You'll Love Chicken Caprese Sandwiches
- Satisfying: The combination of chicken, Italian herbs, fresh mozzarella cheese, and juicy tomatoes delivers on satisfaction, delighting your taste buds.
- Easy-to-Make: In just a few easy-to-follow steps, this panko chicken sandwich will be ready to enjoy!
- Comforting: With hearty and crispy chicken, fresh bread, olive oil, and mayonnaise, this focaccia sandwich recipe will make even the most difficult of days that much better.
- Fresh: Sweet tomato bursts meet crunchy romaine in every mouthful for an experience that highlights the summer's bounty.
Panko-Breaded Chicken Ingredients
- Chicken Breasts: In particular, boneless & skinless breasts.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Adds a light and crispy crunch to the chicken.
- Unsalted Butter: Key for getting a nice golden toast on the breadcrumbs!
- All-Purpose Flour: For dredging the chicken.
- Large Eggs: Helps the panko breading stick to the chicken breasts.
- Salt and Pepper: Brings out the flavor in the chicken and the breading. A can't-miss ingredient.
Caprese Sandwich Ingredients
- Heirloom Tomatoes: Any color or selection is best. Ripe tomatoes that give with a gentle press of your finger are best. If you can't find heirloom tomatoes, Roma tomatoes will also work.
- Fresh Mozzarella: Torn into small pieces.
- Basil: The fresher the basil, the better. To keep basil fresh the longest, store at room temperature (not in the refrigerator).
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Adds richness and a peppery bite to the caprese sandwich.
- Dried Oregano: Or, 1 ½ teaspoons of fresh oregano.
- Focaccia Bread: Plain focaccia, parmesan, or even rosemary or another herbed blend will all make for a great sandwich!
- Mayonnaise: Classic, light, olive oil, or avocado mayo are all fantastic picks.
- Romaine Lettuce Hearts: Torn into small pieces.
How to Make Chicken Caprese Sandwiches
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Make the Panko Breaded Chicken Cutlets
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350℉. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 2: Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Add the panko breadcrumbs to the butter and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a cool plate.
Step 3: Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Add the panko breadcrumbs to the butter and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a cool plate.
Step 4: Place the prepared chicken breasts on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165℉.
Step 5: Remove the chicken from the oven, let rest for 3-5 minutes and slice.
Make and Assemble the Chicken Caprese Sandwiches
Step 1: In a medium bowl, mix together the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, oil, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
Step 2: Assemble the sandwiches: spread the focaccia with the mayonnaise. Top the mayonnaise with the sliced chicken cutlets and shredded lettuce. Layer the chicken and lettuce with the tomato and cheese mixture and drizzle with any juices from the bowl.
Step 3: Top the sandwich with the top layer of bread. Then slice, preferably on a diagonal, and serve.
- Don't Burn the Breadcrumbs: You want to toast the breadcrumbs in the butter until they are just golden. Once toasted beyond this, the breadcrumbs will quickly burn.
- Toast the Focaccia: For the best flavor and texture, lightly toast the focaccia before assembling the sandwiches. Slice the loaf in half lengthwise and toast on low in the toaster oven or in an oven preheated to 200 degrees for 2-4 minutes, or until warmed through and lightly crisp.
- Season with Salt & Pepper: Salt accentuates and brings out the flavors of the chicken breading and tomato mixture and is very important to not skimp on. Season both the all-purpose flour and the chicken before breading the meat. Likewise, season the tomatoes and mozzarella with salt and pepper to taste before assembling the sandwiches.
- Grilled Chicken Caprese: If you prefer grilled chicken, this recipe can very easily be adapted to make a grilled chicken caprese sandwich. Simply season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill over medium heat on the outdoor grill or stovetop for 8-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. For an extra Italian flare, season the chicken with dried Italian seasoning blend before grilling.
- Balsamic Drizzle: Make a balsamic chicken sandwich by drizzling the chicken and caprese mixture with balsamic vinegar or reduced balsamic vinegar before topping the sandwich with the remaining focaccia. So tasty!
- Ciabatta Chicken Sandwiches: If you don't have or can't find focaccia, it is super easy to make a chicken caprese on ciabatta with this recipe! Just substitute the focaccia with an 8 oz. loaf of fresh ciabatta bread and follow the directions as listed, being sure to toast the ciabatta before assembling the sandwiches as well.
- Chicken Caprese Panini: Craving a cheesy grilled sandwich? Substitute ciabatta or sourdough for the focaccia bread and grill the chicken on a panini press until golden and the cheese is melted.
This panko chicken sandwich is fantastic to enjoy for lunch, a light dinner, or even packed up for a picnic.
I recommend serving it with tomato soup, gazpacho, or a green salad with croutons and shredded cheese. It is also fantastic alongside roasted broccoli, broccolini, or zucchini.
This chicken mozzarella sandwich can also make a great dinner party or cocktail party appetizer. Just slice the sandwich into 2-inch squares and pass on small plates or napkins. A great way to whet the appetite!
- Refrigeration: Focaccia chicken sandwich leftovers keep covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days. They do not freeze well.
Caprese is a combination of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. The term is Italian and is pronounced: "cah-pray-se". The combination is often served as a salad, but you can also find caprese sandwiches, pasta dishes, and more.
I am not a registered dietitian or physician, so I cannot say with authority whether or not this recipe is healthy or not, but I can say that this focaccia chicken sandwich is rich in protein, vegetables, and healthy fats like olive oil. For a full assesment of the nutritional profile of this recipe, consult a registered dietitian or physician.
Focaccia is an Italian yeast bread. It is different from other breads in that the dough is lighter, stretchier, and has a higher moisture content. Furthermore, focaccia is shaped by placing it in a rimmed baking sheet and indenting the surface with the fingers as it is spread into the pan. Focaccia is usually drizzled with ample olive oil and other seasonings like rosemary, garlic, olives, tomatoes, cheese, and more.
Tools Needed to Make This Recipe
- Baking Sheet
- Mixing Bowls
- Small Skillet
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Serrated Knife
- Silicone Spatula
More Tomato Recipes
- Tomato and White Bean Soup with Homemade Focaccia
- Grilled Watermelon Tomato Salad
- Slow Roasted Tomato & Bell Pepper Soup
Thank you for making Caprese Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches! If you enjoyed it, please follow me on Instagram @mindfulcooks and tag your recipe creations with #mindfulcooks!
Chicken Caprese Sandwich
Panko Breaded Chicken Cutlets
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts halved horizontally, pounded thin, and seasoned with salt and pepper
Chicken Caprese Sandwich
- 2 small heirloom tomatoes sliced
- 1 8 oz. fresh mozzarella torn into small pieces
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves torn
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 8 oz. loaf of focaccia bread sliced in half lengthwise and lightly toasted
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise regular, light, avocado, or olive oil mayonnaise
- 1 Romaine lettuce heart torn into small pieces
Make the Panko Breaded Chicken Cutlets
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Add the panko breadcrumbs to the butter and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Pour the breadcrumbs onto a cool plate.
- Bread the chicken: toss the seasoned chicken in the seasoned flour. Then toss the chicken in the egg and the toasted panko.
- Place the prepared chicken breasts on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165℉. Remove the chicken from the oven, let rest for 3-5 minutes and slice.
Make the Chicken Caprese Sandwiches
- In a medium bowl, mix together the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, oil, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
- Assemble the sandwiches: spread the focaccia with the mayonnaise. Top the mayonnaise with the sliced chicken cutlets and shredded lettuce. Layer the chicken and lettuce with the tomato and cheese mixture and drizzle with any juices from the bowl.
- Top the sandwich with the top layer of bread. Then slice, preferably on a diagonal, and serve.
- Storage: Leftovers keep covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
- Bread: ciabatta bread can work in place of the focaccia.
- Breadcrumbs: traditional or fresh breadcrumbs can substitute for the panko breadcrumbs, though the texture of the chicken will be slightly different.