I come from an Italian family, so every time we get together there’s always some form of caprese happening. Whether it’s the traditional salad, pasta, or on soft Italian bread, it’s a family staple. And of course, being the cheese lover that I am, it’s something I look forward to.
The other day, right before my lunch break, I realized I had nothing planned. Luckily I’m still working from home so I can try to whip something up during my thirty minute lunch break. I know, you’re probably thinking, “Laura, I thought you were always meal prepping?”
Well…I’ve been really bad at keeping that up while I’m at home, and I don’t think I’m the only one! Like everyone else, I’ve been eating bad and ordering fast food too often. My weakness has been hot pockets, instant ramen, and box mac and cheese, there I said it. I’ve been eating like a college student again! Don’t worry I am working on changing my ways, look out for new meal prep recipes!
I say that but I’ll be honest with you as I was writing this I decided to order ramen for lunch. But at least it’s real ramen, and not the instant ramen! That makes it better, right?
30 Minutes or Less
This easy cheesy caprese melt is super easy and quick. Since I only have 30 minutes for my lunch break, I needed to try to finish cooking with time to eat before clocking back in. Luckily the idea came to me right before my break and as soon as my break began, I got to cooking. I went outside and grabbed some fresh basil from our herb garden, thank you mom. And ran back in and started cutting the cheese and tomato.
When the pan was warm enough I started stacking my sandwich – does everyone make grilled cheeses like this? It’s like once you get the first piece of bread on the pan, you gotta rush to get everything else assembled so the cheese can melt properly. I always line everything up on the counter in the order I’m going to need them. Basil, sliced mozzarella, sliced tomato, another layer of cheese (so everything melts together nicely), and more basil, because why not!
The Great Grilled Cheese Debate
When making this easy cheesy caprese melt, or any grilled cheese, I always cover my pan while the sandwich is cooking. I think it helps melt the cheese more evenly. I’ve always made grilled cheeses this way, this is how my parents, and grandparents all made them too. My boyfriend on the other hand INSISTS that you don’t need to cover the pan.
This blew my mind, and somehow he always makes a perfect grilled cheese on the skillet with no cover. I, on the other hand, cannot seem to achieve the same perfection, I always burn the bread before the cheese is melty enough for me. So, I will continue making them the way I know best, and try to get used to the fact that there as other ways to do things.
Let me know in the comments how you make your grilled cheese, settle this debate once and for all! Covered or uncovered pan?
Easy Cheesy Caprese Melt
- 2 slices bread of your choice
- 1 big handful of fresh basil
- 5 – 6 slices mozzarella cheese
- 2 thick tomato slices
- olive oil for drizzling
- spreadable butter
- salt and pepper
- Heat up large skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of each piece of bread.
- After the pan is warmed up, begin assembling the sandwich in the pan.
- First slice of bread, butter side down. Layer half your basil leaves over the bread, and drizzle olive oil over the basil. Add half the cheese, your tomato slices, and the other half of the cheese. Then the rest of the basil, again drizzling with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste, and the second slice of bread, butter side up.
- Cover pan and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Flip carefully (those tomatoes want to come out!) and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes on the other side. Let cook slightly, and enjoy!
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