Baked Balsamic Chicken Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto

Made with juicy balsamic chicken thighs, habanero basil pesto, creamy mozzarella, tomatoes, spinach, and balsamic glaze, this delicious Baked Balsamic Chicken Caprese Sandwich with Basil Pesto makes for a wonderful lunch!

  • Author: Sharila
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale
  • 2 bulkie or kaiser rolls, sliced
  • 2 balsamic chicken thighs (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup basil habanero pesto (see recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 slices of mozzarella
  • 2 slices of heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup balsamic glaze (see note 1)
  • 1/4 cup fresh spinach

Balsamic Chicken

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3/4 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Habanero Basil Pesto

  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 habanero pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as much as is needed
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, season the chicken with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, brown sugar, smoked paprika, basil, garlic salt, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  3. On a foil-lined sheet tray, roast the chicken for 20-25 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is roasting, make the pesto. Blend the basil, pine nuts, habanero pepper, and garlic in a food processor. Slowly add in the olive oil. Once the mixture is smooth, add the cheese. Pulse a few times to combine.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (see note 2).
  6. Assemble the sandwiches. Spread pesto on two slices of buttered bread. Top one slice with chicken, tomato slice, mozzarella, spinach, and balsamic glaze. Place the other slice of bread atop the filling.
  7. When oven is heated, add the sandwiches. Bake for three to five minutes or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.


  1. While store bought balsamic glaze is convenient, you can also make it at home! Simply simmer balsamic vinegar with a bit of brown sugar over medium low heat for about 20 minutes.
  2. These sandwiches are also awesome on a panini press or grill.  

Keywords: lunch recipes, chicken recipes