Caprese Sandwich

This Caprese sandwich is a stunning crowd pleaser! Layer tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto aioli for a splash of flavor. What’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This Caprese sandwich is a stunning crowd pleaser! Layer tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto aioli for a splash of flavor.

Caprese Sandwich

What’s better than the classic combination of tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil? Not much, in our opinion. So try this summery delight: the Caprese sandwich! This riff on the classic Italian salad from Capri layers the classic ingredients as a sandwich filling, with an irresistibly creamy, pesto aioli that adds a pop of savory brightness to each bite. It’s the perfect idea for an easy no-cook summer dinner, picnics, and more. When our son Larson tried a bite, he said, “Can we eat this every day?” We felt the same!

Ingredients in a Caprese sandwich

A Caprese sandwich is a sandwich that uses the ingredients in the classic Italian Caprese salad: tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. There are many variations on this concept, sometimes using arugula, balsamic vinegar, or other spreads to embellish the sandwich. The traditional Italian version of Caprese salad doesn’t use balsamic vinegar or reduction and we don’t think the flavor pairs correctly, so you won’t need that here. For this recipe, we’ve used our fan-favorite pesto aioli as a creamy spread that adds a pop of savory flavor to each bite.

Here’s what you’ll need for this Caprese sandwich:

  • Ciabatta bread or other artisan bread: This Italian bread is soft and perfect for sandwiches! Steer clear of a French baguette, which can be tough to bite through. Any other type of artisan bread works!
  • Ripe tomatoes: This is a must! This sandwich only works with the ripest, juiciest tomatoes, much like a good BLT.
  • Fresh mozzarella cheese: Purchase it in an 8 ounce ball and slice off slices for the sandwich.
  • Fresh basil: All you need is a handful of leaves per sandwich.
  • Baby arugula: Arugula adds a bit of texture and flavor variation. Make sure to buy baby arugula in a box or bag, which has a feathery texture and milder flavor. Avoid mature arugula that’s sold in bunches: the flavor is too strong.
  • Pesto aioli: This is the kicker! The pesto aioli blends basil, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice and absolutely makes the sandwich. Do not leave it out!
Caprese Sandwich

Tips for making the pesto aioli

The key to any good sandwich? A great sandwich spread. You absolutely cannot have a dry sandwich with unseasoned bread. Here, the pesto aioli adds just the right creaminess and seasoning to the entire sandwich. Here’s what to know about the pesto aioli:

  • Use a large or small food processor. A small blender would also work.
  • It works for several sandwiches. The quantity you’ll end up with is 10 tablespoons, so depending on how much you use it should work for 3 to 4 sandwiches.
  • You can make it in advance and store refrigerated. Keep in mind, the color does fade slightly over time.
Caprese Sandwich

Make ahead for a Caprese sandwich

This Caprese sandwich is perfect for a picnic: but does it hold up over time? Yes! Some sandwiches get soggy over time, but this one holds up well. However, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:

  • Spread each bread side with pesto aioli and have a layer of arugula and basil over each. This protects the bread from direct contact with the tomato or mozzarella, which can make it soggy.
  • If serving within 2 hours, refrigeration is not needed. The mayo in the sandwich spread should be refrigerated after 2 hours.
  • Otherwise, wrap and refrigerate or keep in a cooler until serving. The bread does become tougher when refrigerated, so allow the sandwich to come to room temperature before serving if possible.

Alternate method

You can also make a Caprese sandwich as a panini or hot sandwich, like the Panera Caprese sandwich. Simply use sliced sandwich bread to build the sandwich. Then toast it in a panini press for 3 to 4 minutes, or grill in a grill pan or skillet for 2 minutes per side.

Caprese Sandwich

More Caprese themed foods

Caprese has become a shorthand for anything that stars tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. Of course, nothing beats the classic Caprese salad, made the Italian way with a drizzle of great olive oil and salt. Here are a few variations on the theme:

This Caprese sandwich recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, serve on gluten-free bread.

Print
Caprese Sandwich

Caprese Sandwich


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 sandwich

Description

This Caprese sandwich is a stunning crowd pleaser! Layer tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto aioli for a splash of flavor.


Ingredients

For the sandwich

  • 2 slices ciabatta bread
  • 2 slices ripe tomato
  • 2 slices fresh mozzarella cheese (1 ounce)
  • 1 handful baby arugula
  • 1 handful basil leaves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons pesto aioli (see below)

For the pesto aioli (makes 10 tablespoons)

  • 1 medium garlic clove
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup high quality mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. Make the pesto aioli: In a food processor, blend the garlic until roughly chopped. Add the basil, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and mayonnaise. Blend until a smooth, creamy sauce forms. (Store leftovers refrigerated for 2 weeks.)
  2. Season the tomato slices with a pinch of salt. On each slice of bread, slather the pesto aioli. Build the sandwich by layering half the arugula and basil, the tomato slices, mozzarella slices, more arugula and basil, and then the aioli-slathered bread. Enjoy immediately, or wrap and refrigerate until serving.
  • Category: Sandwich
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Summer
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Caprese sandwich

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A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This shrimp roll recipe takes everything that’s great about a lobster roll…and makes it with shrimp! Serve it on a warm, toasted bun.

Shrimp Roll

Who doesn’t love a lobster roll? They’re a pinnacle of deliciousness: that savory, creamy tender filling encased by a warm, buttery bun. Here in the Midwest though, lobster is a bit of a delicacy. So we wondered…why not make it with shrimp? Introducing…the Shrimp Roll! It takes all the goodness of a lobster roll and makes it with more economical, easy to find shrimp. We served it for a dinner party with corn on the cob and watermelon sorbet, and everyone raved.

Ingredients in a shrimp roll

Researching this recipe, we found that the filling for a shrimp roll is actually a shrimp salad. Not a green salad, mind you: the 1950’s mayo-based salad that’s more familiar with tuna or egg. It’s got crunchy veggies, mayo and just the right amount of savory, creamy sauce. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Shrimp
  • Celery
  • Green onions
  • Chopped chives or dill
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lemon juice
  • Dijon mustard
  • Old Bay
  • Salt and pepper
Shrimp Roll recipe

The key: a butter-toasted split top bun

What makes a shrimp roll? The warm, buttery toasted bun. Do not skip the step! We were curious and tried it in a plain old bun. Don’t waste your time on it, folks. It doesn’t taste like a shrimp roll. Here’s what you’ll need to pull this off:

  • Grab split top hot dog buns. Split top buns are loaded from the top down, and are customary in a lobster roll. You’ll need them to make a killer shrimp roll recipe!
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the buns cut-side down into the skillet and cook for 20 to 30 seconds until browned.
  • Flip the buns. Then flip and continue frying about 10 to 15 seconds on the other side. They come out beautifully buttery and toasted. Perfection!

This shrimp roll recipe makes 6 to 8 sandwiches

Most of our recipes here at A Couple Cooks are for 4 servings. But this shrimp roll recipe is so good, we like making it serve 6 to 8 sandwiches. Here’s why you may want to make a big batch:

  • The shrimp rolls are so good, you may want to eat two. Or you can eat the extra filling without a bun. That’s what we did at our dinner party!
  • Leftovers also save well. Extra filling lasts up to 3 days refrigerated.
Shrimp Roll

Boil the shrimp, or it’s ideal for leftover cooked

You can use fresh shrimp for this shrimp roll recipe, or it’s actually a great use for leftover cooked shrimp! Boiling is the quickest method to get from raw shrimp to cold shrimp, but you can use whatever cooking method you like.

  • Boil the shrimp for 2 minutes, then remove to an ice bath. The ice bath stops the cooking immediately, and gets the shrimp cooled down and ready for the salad.
  • Or, use leftover cooked shrimp. This is actually a great use for shrimp leftovers, which can be unappetizing on their own. Got leftover shrimp cocktail? Make shrimp rolls!

The secret spice? Old Bay

One last thing about this shrimp roll recipe. It’s nice to use this secret seasoning if you have it. Old Bay! It’s not required, but Old Bay is a seasoning blend that’s traditionally used in New England seafood recipes (like a shrimp boil). We added a hint of it to this recipe, and rounded it out perfectly.

Where to find Old Bay? In the US, you can find Old Bay in your grocery store in the spices aisle. Or, you can buy Old Bay online or make homemade Old Bay!

Shrimp roll recipe

More shrimp recipes

Love shrimp? (Us too.) Here are a few more tasty recipes to add to your repertoire:

This shrimp roll recipe is…

Pescatarian and dairy free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free buns.

Print

Shrimp Roll


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8

Description

This shrimp roll recipe takes everything that’s great about a lobster roll…and makes it with shrimp! Serve it on a warm, toasted bun.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pound medium or small shrimp, peeled and deveined*
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or dill
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon Old Bay (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 to 8 split top hot dog buns
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil or vegan butter for dairy free)

Instructions

  1. Boil the shrimp: Boil 2 quarts of water, seasoned with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Add the shrimp and cook about 2 minutes (more or less time depending on size of shrimp), until bright pink and cooked through. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and place it directly into an ice water bath to stop the cooking.
  2. Chop the shrimp: Remove the shrimp from the ice bath with a slotted spoon. Pat the shrimp dry with a few paper towels as you place them onto the cutting board. Then chop the shrimp into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Make the filling: Finely mince the celery and thinly slice the green onions. Finely chop the chives. Stir together the chopped shrimp with the celery, green onion, chives, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, Old Bay, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper.
  4. Toast the buns: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place the buns cut-side down into the skillet and cook for 20 to 30 seconds until browned. Then flip and continue frying about 10 to 15 seconds on the other side.
  5. Serve: Place the shrimp filling into the buns and serve. Leftover filling keeps for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. 

Notes

*You can also use leftover cooked shrimp for this recipe: it’s an ideal use!

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Seafood

Keywords: Shrimp roll

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.