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Got Tomatoes? Make This Smoked Caprese Sandwich

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smoked caprese sandwich

You’ll love it so much you better make extra!

At the end of the summer, tomato plants seem to get a second wind. Just when you think they’re spent, they suddenly produce another round! Here’s what to do with them. First make some smoked cherry tomatoes, maybe while you’re smoking something else. Keep some in the fridge or freezer and you’ll always have a little flavor bomb to toss with pasta, scatter on pizza, or layer into this Caprese sandwich.

Speaking of which, if you have a basil plant, make basil pesto and keep that in the freezer too. If not, buy some prepared pesto at the store. With those two items on hand, this satisfying summer sandwich comes together in no time. Spread the pesto on some good crusty bread, layer on some fresh mozzarella (or smoked mozzarella if you really want a smoky sandwich), then some thick sliced heirloom beefsteak tomatoes and the smoked cherry tomatoes tucked in wherever they’ll fit. I like to griddle these sammiches in butter but you could brush some oil on the bread and cook them on your grill or in a panini press. Either way, get ready to sink your teeth into the rich, juicy taste of summer.

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Smoked Caprese Sandwich Recipe

smoked Caprese sandwich
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3.73 from 18 votes
Fresh, ripe tomatoes are key here. Don't bother making this with crappy supermarket tomatoes in January. Look for plump and juicy heirloom tomatoes from a good market in the summer. This is basically a Caprese sandwich, like the salad, but griddled in slices of bread.

Italian American
difficulty scale


1 helluva sandwich
Servings: 1


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes


  • 10  Smoked Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 plump, ripe heirloom beefsteak tomato
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons Basil Pesto
  • 2 slices crusty country style bread
  • 3 to 4 slices fresh mozzarella or smoked mozzarella cheese (¼ inch thick slices)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
About the heirloom tomato. Heirloom just means that the tomato is a non-hybrid cultivar. Heirlooms tend to have more complex flavors than hybrid tomatoes. What you want here is a beefsteak type tomato, a big one that's densely packed with lots of seed compartments. And not too much loose gel. Each thick slice should hold together easily in a big slab. Kind of like a steak.
About the bread. I like bread with a little whole grain in it. Maybe some seeds. It gives the sandwich a bit more chew. But a round loaf of crusty white bread works too. Just cut a big slice from the center, then cut the slice in half for your two pieces of bread. Or, if you have a smaller batard (oval loaf), cut two slices from the center of that. That's what's shown in the photo here. Note that the loaf in the photo was a little smaller than I usually use. That's why there's only a couple slices of mozz in that sammie. Adjust the amount of filling to match the size of your bread. 
About the mozzarella. You want the fresh round mozz the size of a baseball. It'll be about 8 ounces. Just cut a few slices from the center of the ball. If you go for smoked mozzarella, that usually comes in a brick. Slice about 4 ounces of that into thin (1/8 inch thick) slices.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Prep. Have the smoked cherry tomatoes ready to go. I keep some in the fridge year round.
  • Slice the heirloom tomato about ¼ inch (6.4 mm) thick. You'll need 3 to 4 slices, depending on the size of your bread.
  • Spread the pesto on one side of both slices of bread. Then on one slice on top of the pesto, layer on half the mozz, then all the beefsteak slices, then the cherry tomatoes, tucking them in wherever you can. Layer on the rest of the mozz, then top with the other slice of pesto'd bread.
  • Cook. Melt the butter on a griddle or in a pan over medium heat. Cook the sammich until deep golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side (if your sandwich is tall and unwieldy, use a spatula to transfer it to the pan). Depending on your mozz, the cheese might melt a little or it might just warm up and soften. Either way, it's fine. 
  • Serve. Transfer the sammich to a cutting board, let cool a minute, then slice in half on the diagonal. Spread the two halves on the plate to show off the filling!

Nutrition per Serving

Calories: 691kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 1312mg | Potassium: 1383mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 5196IU | Vitamin C: 85mg | Calcium: 666mg | Iron: 5mg

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Published On: 8/25/2020 Last Modified: 6/24/2024

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  • Dave Joachim, Contributing Author - Editor of, David Joachim has authored, edited, or collaborated on more than 45 cookbooks, four of them on barbecue and grilling, and his Food Science column has appeared in "Fine Cooking" magazine since 2011. He’s a perfect match for a website dedicated to the “Science of Barbecue and Grilling.”


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