Caprese stuffed bread is a delicious appetizer that starts with a loaf of bakery bread cut hasselback style, stuffed with juicy tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and is baked until the bread is golden brown and the cheesy is gooey and melted. Basil pesto sauce is then drizzled all over the top of the bread. It’s incredible and you’re going to love it!
This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase I might receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
In my opinion, there is no better food combination than basil, fresh mozzarella cheese, and juicy ripe tomatoes. If there was a caprese perfume, I’d buy it! The smell of garden fresh tomatoes and a basil plant is divine! I love all the ways you can do a caprese and this bread is no exception!
It’s so simple yet so delicious
This yummy caprese stuffed bread appetizer starts with a bakery baguette or loaf of bread. Just your favorite from the grocery store bakery. You want it to be thicker than a French baguette, but other than that use your favorite type of bread. I am using Italian bread. Make sure it isn’t sliced though because we’ll slice it at home.
The bread gets cut hasselback style; cut slices 1 inch apart, but not all the way through because we’ll stuff the pockets with all the good stuff! Good stuff: Fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil. Do you sense a theme here? 🙂 Caprese is so delicious because it tastes so fresh. I love fresh garden tomatoes- there’s nothing like them! But any tomato from the store will work, such as Roma tomatoes. I like to cut them in half moons shapes because it fits best inside the bread.
Then it’s topped with basil pesto sauce. Ok, you have some options from here. I just use store bought jarred pesto, because it easy peasy! You could absolutely make pesto from scratch or use balsamic vinegar glaze. It’s completely up to you.
Here’s what you’ll need
- Sheet pan, 11×17 is perfect
- Loaf of bakery style bread, such as Italian bread, or go wild and make it from scratch
- Tomatoes- any medium size works
- Fresh sliced mozzarella- a fresh ball of mozzarella is best, it melts better and tastes better
- Fresh basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Jarred pesto- or homemade or balsamic vinegar glaze
If you’d like to make homemade pesto, here’s how:
Add these ingredients to a blender or food processor: a large handful of basil, 2 tablespoons pine nuts (or walnuts), 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.
Start the food processor and drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil and pulse until blended. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
If you’d like to make balsamic glaze, here’s how:
- 2 cups balsamic vinegar
- Heat balsamic vinegar in a small pot or saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium-low heat and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar thickens and is reduced to half (about 20 minutes). It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and let cool completely before drizzling over the bread.
Love all things Caprese? Try my Caprese Pasta Salad!
Caprese Stuffed Bread
- 1 loaf bakery bread uncut
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2-3 tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tsp garlic cloves minced
- Salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup jarred basil pesto
- Fresh basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Put the bread on a sheet pan. Cut slices into the bread 3/4 of the way through- but not all the way. We’re making pockets to stuff. Cut slices every 1 to 2 inches.
- Cut the mozzarella and tomatoes into slices and stuff 1 slice of cheese and tomato into each pocket. Add a fresh basil leaf to each pocket.
- Mix the olive oil and garlic together in a small bowl. Brush all over the top of the bread, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown.
- Drizzle over the pesto sauce and fresh basil. Slice and serve.