We partnered with Canyon Gluten Free Bakehouse to bring you this mouthwatering Caprese Panini with Pesto and Avocado. This satisfying dairy-free and vegetarian lunch is complete with vegan mozzarella, homemade pesto, heirloom tomatoes and creamy avocado.
There are few things better than a perfect sandwich. In our minds, the perfect sandwich is about a 4:1 ratio of filling to bread. We’re also firm believers that hot sandwiches are almost always the right choice. There’s nothing better than nice, crispy grilled bread around gooey melted cheese filling!
This sandwich is a delicious, dairy free twist on Caprese. A traditional Caprese contains fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, and great olive oil. We took the liberty of adding avocado (why not?!). We incorporated the olive oil and basil as homemade pesto. Bright green pesto binds everything together and adds saltiness.
A few years ago, it was hard find high-quality vegan cheese. But nowadays there are plenty of fantastic options that truly rival the real thing! For this dairy-free panini, we used a mozzarella-style vegan cheese that’s delicious and melts nicely for a perfect panini. Texturally speaking, don’t expect the same stringy/gooey texture you’d get from regular cheese, but we promise the flavor is there!
Canyon Bakehouse to the Rescue
When it comes to excellent gluten free bread, Canyon Bakehouse is by far the best option on the market. They check off all of our criteria when it comes to quality, variety, texture and flavor. We also had the pleasure of meeting the Canyon Gluten Free team in person a few months ago. They are a fantastic group of people with family values and a true commitment to making gluten-free taste great.
For this recipe, we used their Heritage Style Whole Grain. This variety comes in a wider, larger loaf thats perfect for panini. We find their products in a ton of local stores (including Whole Foods and even Target). You can check their store finder to look for a location near you!
Use high-quality ingredients
Just like a traditional Caprese salad, this pesto sandwich is best with high quality, fresh ingredients. We used fresh basil from our garden, locally grown tomatoes and perfectly ripe avocados. Every single bite was so balanced and delicous! We’re looking forward to making these sandwiches again when our tomatoes ripen later this summer. Now if only we had an avocado tree…Print
This is one of our most popular recipes for good reason – you can’t go wrong with avocado, pesto, vegan mozzarella, and juicy heirloom tomatoes sandwiched between perfectly grilled bread!
- 4 slices Canyon Gluten Free Heritage Style Whole Grain Bread
- 2 small heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 1 ripe avocado
- 4 oz vegan mozzarella style cheese (or regular mozzarella if not dairy free)
- 4 tbsp basil pesto (recipe below)
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1–2 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- Combine all ingredients except olive oil in food processor or blender.
- Pulse a few times to combine, and then begin slowly streaming olive oil in while processor is on. Process until you reach desired texture.
- If using a panini grill heat to medium and lightly brush one side of bread with olive oil. Place olive oil side down on grill, spread a layer of pesto, then tomatoes, mozzarella, avocado, and another slice of bread spread with more pesto, and brushed with olive oil on opposite side. Close panini press and grill for approximately 3-5 minutes, or until bread is toasted and interior is warmed.
- If using regular pan, follow same instructions, but use a smaller pan lid to lightly compress the sandwich while it’s cooking. Flip sandwich carefully halfway through cook time.