Take the caprese sandwich to new levels with this Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich with roasted tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, avocado, and bacon. It's a melty tower of deliciousness!
(This recipe for Caprese Grilled Cheese was originally published in August 2012, but was updated with new photos in 2019).
Hey, I have an idea. Let's combine all my favorite things on one sandwich, grill it up, and call it a night. OK? OK. Done. Those are the types conversations that go on inside my head on a regular basis. Sometimes the conversations are even weirder, like "I wonder how many confections I can top french toast with before it becomes totally unacceptable as either breakfast or dinner" and "If I eat an entire dozen cupcakes and nobody's around to see it happen, do the calories still count?" or "How many batches of homemade fluff do you have to make before you become a certified fluff-making expert? And where do I pick up my certificate?"
I usually keep these conversations in my head because, let's be honest, they only make me look bad. But every so often, one of those conversations lands on the blog because I just can't help myself. And this is one of those times.
I love a good caprese sandwich. Or TBM (tomato, basil, mozzarella), if you will. So, I planned on making one, but putting a twist on it by turning it into a grilled cheese and roasting up my fresh farm box tomatoes. But then I had a nice avocado just dying to be used. And I figured a little salty bacon never hurt any situation it walked into.
So, this caprese grilled cheese with avocado and bacon sandwich was born from there. And I don't regret any bit of it. Sometimes you just have to let your mind wander and carry on on its own path. You never know what kind of awesomeness it will stumble into.
CAPRESE GRILLED CHEESE WITH AVOCADO AND BACON RECIPE
While this is a fairly quick grilled cheese sandwich, there are a few very important things you need to do to prep. One of those is to roast the tomatoes. You really must roast the tomatoes. Fine, you don't have to. But you really should. Because the roasted tomato will add a whole different depth to this sandwich and it's so, so worth it.
It's easy to do; but just means this caprese grilled cheese takes a little bit longer than the typical grilled cheese. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Layer tomatoes on sheet and brush them with some more olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Pop them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until they're nice and roast-y looking. Yes, that's a word. In my weird head, anyway. Rotate the baking sheets after about 8 minutes.
So, tomatoes are the first prep item you need to accomplish. The other? Cooking the bacon, of course! I'm a huge fan of slow-cooked bacon, but cook yours however you most enjoy it. I do recommend you cook it nice and crispy though.
Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, but keep that skillet or griddle out!
You're ready to build your grilled cheese. Now, normally, I'd slather some butter on my bread slices and put them on the grill pan. BUT as I was getting the butter out, I noticed all that leftover bacon grease. Hmmm. Nah… that would just be wrong, wouldn't it? But wouldn't it also be a shame to waste that perfectly good bacon grease? Yup.
So, I went for it. I cooked my grilled cheese in bacon grease and I highly recommend you do the same (if you choose not to, just slather a little bit of butter on one side of all four slices of bread).
Place two slices of bread right in the bacon grease in the skillet. Then layer on mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. Then add basil, avocado, and bacon.
Just call it a tower of deliciousness.
Place remaining two slices of bread on top of each sandwich and press down with spatula and gently flip.
When the bread is nice and toasted on each side and cheese is getting melted, remove sandwich from skillet, cut in half, and enjoy!
This sandwich looks a little bit like a hot mess. But in the best way possible.
I like to equate it to my life. I'm a horrible decision maker and often try to do way too many things at one time. The result is that there's always A LOT going on and you're not always so sure all of the things make sense together. They can get a little messy. But then you quickly realize that in some weird way, everything really does make sense and is just meant to be. It all works.
Yes, I just compared my life to a grilled cheese sandwich and I'm really not sure what that says about me.
It's kind of scary how much I feel like that made sense. In my head, at least. Let's just go with it.
The bottom line is, I loved everything about this caprese grilled cheese sandwich and think if I removed any of the ingredients, it wouldn't be nearly as good. The roasted tomatoes are heavenly (and I ate the few leftovers right off the pan when I finished the sandwich) and the basil and avocado add a little zing that make the grilled cheese taste incredibly summery and fresh.
Like I said, adding the avocado to this was kind of an afterthought. But I kinda sorta have this avocado addiction that I can't shake. And I'd slice it up and put it on everything if it were socially acceptable. And if avocados could always be perfectly ripe whenever I wanted them to be. Seriously, one of my biggest pet peeves in life is when I want an avocado and it's either not ripe enough to slice or overly ripened and brown and mushy. I guess this just means my life is not that hard. I accept that.
I wouldn't change a thing about it. Or my weird little mind.
Do you sometimes feel like your recipes get out of hand? In a good way, of course 🙂
If you're looking for more unique grilled cheese recipes, check out my Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese and my Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese. And how fun is this Zucchini Grilled Cheese from Sweet Caramel Sunday??
Caprese Grilled Cheese with Avocado and Bacon
- 2 small tomatoes, sliced into ¼" rounds
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 4 slices bacon,
- 4 slices good bread (of your choice)
- 6 thin slices fresh mozzarella
- 6 basil leaves
- ½ avocado, thinly sliced
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Brush a baking sheet with a little olive oil and layer tomatoes on sheet. Brush tomatoes with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Put in oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, rotating baking sheets about halfway through.
- While tomatoes are in the oven, cook bacon in a griddle or in a large skillet, until it's nice and crispy. Remove bacon from pan to paper towel-covered plate.
- Place two slices of bread in the bacon grease on the skillet you used to cook bacon. Layer each with mozzarella cheese and roasted tomatoes. Then top with basil, avocado, and bacon.
- Place remaining two slices of bread on top of each sandwich and press down with spatula and gently flip. When the bread is nice and toasted on each side and cheese is getting melted, remove sandwich from skillet, cut in half, and enjoy!