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Caprese Panini (Grilled Cheese)

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Tis’ the season of calorie-conscious comfort food and tailgating for football and luckily, I picked up the perfect tool for both.  Recently, I picked up the amazing panini/grill skillet from Kohl’s to test out and I haven’t put it down since.

I love it.  It adds grill marks to just about anything, so you lock in flavor and make all your food even more appetizing.  Plus, I like that you can also toss it on your grill while tailgating for a smoky or BBQ inspired treat.

caprese panini kohlsPlaying around with it, I got inspired to make a “grilled cheese” but with a small twist.  I used basil, tomato and balsamic glaze to give it my own twist on a Caprese salad; and, I used lite safflower mayo instead of butter to make the outer part evenly “creamy and crispy” with each bite.  Try it!


Ingredients for 1 caprese panini:

  • 1 100-calorie wheat bun
  • 3oz choice of protein (I used about 3 slices of prosciutto and trimmed fat from edges to save a few calories)
  • 2 thin sliced tomatoes (dried on a paper towel to remove excess water)
  • 1.5 oz reduced fat mozzarella
  • 1/8 cup fresh basil (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic glaze
  • 1 teaspoon safflower mayo

Utensils: Panini skillet/grill


  1. Assemble the sandwich with protein, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and balsamic glaze.
  2. Place the skillet on medium high heat and spray it with olive oil.
  3. Spread half of the mayo on one side of the sandwich.
  4. When the skillet is hot, place the sandwich on the grill with the mayo side down (so it’s cooking).  Allow it to cook for about 2 or 3 minutes, or until it is golden brown.  Press down on the sandwich using the panini grill lid.
  5. Spread mayo on the other side of the sandwich, and when ready, flip the sandwich over so the other side cooks (roughly same amount of time, maybe a little less time).
  6. Remove the sandwich from the grill and enjoy!


Approximate macros for 1 serving:

368 calories, 32g protein, 24g carbs, 19g fat, 2g fiber, 3g sugar

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