Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini

4.11 from 37 votes

This lovely medley of flavors is so satisfying.

tomato mozzarella and basil panini

I’m all about grilled cheese sandwich! There’s something so satisfying about the way that crispy bread combines with melted cheese. When I was a kid, there’s no way I would eat anything other than white bread and cheddar cheese. Today, I’m happy to report that my picky-eating tendencies didn’t extend into my adulthood! Tomato, mozzarella, and basil are mouthwatering members of classic Italian combinations, and you usually see them in caprese salads. You’ll be thrilled to learn that we’ve combined these ingredients with a classic grilled cheese to create a savory Tomato Mozzarella and Basil Panini.

This sandwich has so much going on! Whole wheat bread slices, juicy tomatoes, spicy red onions, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, and heart-healthy olive oil; what more could you ask for? Using a panini press (or a regular old skillet), we cook the sandwich, flattening it out as much as possible, to create golden-brown, super crispy bread. Inside, you’ll find tomatoes bursting with sweet and savory flavor and creamy, melted cheese that pairs perfectly with the bold flavors of the basil. It’s kind of perfect!

What Is A Tomato Mozzarella Panini?

panini recipe

A Tomato Mozzarella Panini is a grilled sandwich that features two primary ingredients: tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. It is a simplified version of the classic Italian Caprese sandwich, which also includes fresh basil and often a balsamic glaze or reduction.

While the basic Tomato Mozzarella Panini includes only tomatoes and mozzarella, you can certainly customize it to suit your taste. Some people may add other ingredients like fresh basil leaves, pesto, roasted red peppers, or a drizzle of olive oil for extra flavor and texture.

What Ingredients Are Needed To Make A Tomato Mozzarella Panini?

tomato, mozzarella, and basil panini

This gourmet sandwich recipe calls for fresh ingredients and will bring all panini lovers together!

  • Whole Wheat Bread (I love a good focaccia bread to give this a classic caprese panini taste!)
  • Mozzarella
  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Red Onion
  • Basil Leaves
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil

PRO TIP: I also love to add a delicious homemade pesto this copycat recipe!

How Do I Make A Tomato Mozzarella Panini?

fancy grilled cheese
  1. Take two slices of bread and use a pastry or basting brush to spread olive oil over them. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper on each slice.
  2. On one of the bread slices, place basil leaves, tomato slices, onion, and mozzarella, making sure to layer them evenly.
  3. Place the other slice of bread on top, with the olive oil-coated side facing up.
  4. If using a stovetop method, place a heavy-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Alternatively, you can use a Panini press.
  5. If using a skillet (I recommend a cast iron skillet), press down on the sandwich with a lid or spatula to flatten it slightly. Cook for approximately 2 minutes until the bottom is golden and toasted, then carefully flip the sandwich and repeat the cooking process for the other side.
  6. Once both sides are nicely toasted and the mozzarella is melted, remove the panini from the heat.
  7. Slice the sandwich in half to create two servings.
  8. Now, it’s time to savor your delicious Tomato Mozzarella Panini! Enjoy the warm, gooey, and flavorful delight you’ve just created.

PRO TIP: If you have a preheated panini maker, you can also use that!

Get all the ingredients + directions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post!

What is the Best Bread to Use for Paninis?

choose your bread

For this panini recipe, I love to use a ciabatta rolls, focaccia rolls, or even just a slice of whole wheat bread — the choice is yours! I like to pick a bread that’s made with whole wheat flour just to add that extra health boost.

A Low-Calorie, Vegetarian Sandwich that Satisfies

vegetarian sandwich

This lovely medley of flavors makes a perfect summer meal, especially when garden-fresh tomatoes are at their peak. You might be surprised to learn that, although this Tomato Mozzarella and Basil Panini is  vegetarian, it packs a satisfying amount of protein. Between the 10 grams of protein and the complex carbohydrates, this sandwich will give you a much-needed afternoon energy boost and keep you going for hours after lunch.

The best part? Even though it’s a sandwich (which many people think of as an unhealthy choice), this recipe is only 231 calories and only contains 15 grams of carbohydrates. How great is that? Even your most devout carnivore friends will go wild over this flavorful vegetarian-friendly sandwich.

We can’t wait to hear what you think of this crispy, crunchy, melty, savory sandwich. It has something for everyone! Let us know your thoughts in the comments, we always love hearing from you!

If you enjoy this tomato, mozzarella, and basil panini, you might also like to try:

4.11 from 37 votes

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini

Juicy tomato, melty cheese, fresh basil, and crispy bread meet up to make one immensely-satisfying sandwich!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Yield 2 people
Serving Size 0.5 sandwich
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Author SkinnyMs.


  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella shredded part-skim
  • 1 roma tomato thinly sliced
  • 1 thin slice of red onion
  • 8 basil leaves fresh
  • pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  • Spread olive oil with a pastry or basting brush over two slices of bread. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper.
  • Place one of the bread slices, oil-side down and top basil leaves, tomato slices, onion, and mozzarella. Top with other piece of bread, olive oil side up.
  • Place a heavy-bottomed skillet on the stovetop over medium-high heat or use a Panini press.
  • If using a skillet, press down with lid to flatten the sandwich a bit. Cook for about 2 minutes, until golden on the bottom, and flip. Repeat on other side.
  • Slice sandwich in half to make 2 servings. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 0.5sandwich | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 475mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 8
Keywords Budget-Friendly, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

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