Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil Panini

Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil Panini

This is my second in a series of posts on Panini Happy that are sponsored by Panera Bread.

Remember those lovely Slow-Roasted Tomatoes I shared yesterday? Here’s the very first thing I made with them: Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil Panini on ciabatta. It’s a can’t-miss classic – the sandwich version of an Italian caprese salad – with the added sweetness and character of the slow-roasted tomatoes. There’s a reason you’ll see this sandwich on almost any panini menu. It’s simply that good.

It’s actually rare that I make panini with ciabatta on this blog. It’s not that I don’t like ciabatta. Just the opposite, it’s one of my favorite breads for panini. The problem is that my local grocery store is almost always sold out of it. They receive their artisan bakery delivery in the morning and once the loaves are gone that’s it.

I don’t know how it’s eluded me all this time that I could be buying my ciabatta loaves from Panera. It’s not like they hide the stuff – their wall of breads is showcased prominently right behind the cashiers – and it seems to be replenished throughout the day. I guess I’ve always been too caught up in deciding on my lunch order (or wrangling a toddler) to realize I’ve had this great bread resource nearby all this time.

Not surprisingly, since Panera uses their ciabatta for their own panini, I’ve found the bread is soft enough for sandwiches while still maintaining that crustiness I usually expect from a ciabatta. So get ready – a lot more ciabatta-based panini may be coming your way from me soon!

Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil Panini


Roasted Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Basil Panini

Makes 4 panini


1 loaf ciabatta cut into 4 pieces, or 4 ciabatta rolls, split lengthwise
8 fresh basil leaves
8 ounces fresh mozzarella
8 Slow-Roasted Tomatoes (halved Roma tomatoes)


Preheat the panini grill to medium-high heat.

For each sandwich: Inside the bottom bread piece, layer on 2 slices of basil, 1/4 of the cheese and 2 tomatoes. Close the sandwich with the top bread piece. Grill the sandwich for 4 to 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Slice in half, serve immediately and enjoy!



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. That is one delicious looking panino. I would love to have one right now!


    Posted 2.27.11 Reply
  2. You sure made this classic panini look wonderful. I’m lucky to live close to a store that sells ciabatta.

    Posted 2.28.11 Reply
  3. Linda wrote:

    You can never go wrong with a panini like this! Fresh, simple ingredients create the most delicious dish! Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 3.1.11 Reply
  4. Mindy wrote:

    I just licked my screen! This is my most favorite flavor combo for sandwiches and salads!

    Posted 3.3.11 Reply
  5. Dewi wrote:

    With fresh ingredients like this, I don’t think you need to add anything else. Simply delicious!

    Posted 3.5.11 Reply
  6. What a delicious looking panini! Now I’m very hungry:)

    Posted 3.7.11 Reply
  7. Kathy, this panini has got me drooling! What a wonderful combination of flavors you used – all so fresh! Thanks for sharing your beautiful photography, and for stopping by my blog. 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing more yummy recipes from you.

    Posted 3.9.11 Reply
  8. i finally came across your blog again! (:
    this looks delicious, ahhhh looks perfect to dip in some tomato soup.

    Posted 3.10.11 Reply
  9. Daisy wrote:

    Such a great looking sandwich, it makes me hungry. I know what’s on my lunch menu this weekend!

    Posted 3.15.11 Reply
  10. This is MY sandwich! Whenever I eat lunch-on-the-go I inevitably end up ordering something just like this. I’m a real sucker for caprese-style dishes. Looks fabulous and great tip about buying Panera bread, who knew?!

    Posted 3.17.11 Reply
  11. This sandwich was my absolute favorite while living in Italy. Thanks for bringing the fond memories back into my life. Great website!

    Posted 3.20.11 Reply
  12. Oh yeah. Found it. That’s the one I want to make. YUM!

    Posted 7.18.11 Reply