Panera Bread has changed the way they make their popular Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread, but now you can make the original version at home.
My kids LOVE Panera Bread! More specifically, their soup, salads and flatbread sandwiches. Most of the time they get the “You Pick Two” combo with a small soup and half of the Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread.
The only caveat is that the two closest restaurants are 25 minutes away; well at least until the local branch opens after construction is finished.
Originally, the Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread used to be a panini made with Ciabiatta bread; then they switched to a flatbread version. Now, it’s not even on the menu. Every Panera is slightly different though.
Some still carry this flatbread sandwich, while others have switched over to the Modern Caprese Sandwich. I’ll have to try that one on my next visit because it looks amazing!
I’ve mentioned it before, but tomato + mozzarella + basil = my FAVORITE flavor combination. That’s why I have so many “caprese-style” recipes here on the blog. The flavors go with just about everything from main entrees, appetizers, salads and even breakfast. How could you go wrong with a sandwich?
Though we’re a family of four, some people have asked me to make recipes for less people so this one is for two people. However, you can adjust the serving sizes for any recipe you find here at Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen.
Simply click the Serving Size in the recipe card and adjust the servings number up or down. It will automatically adjust the ingredients list. How great is that! Let’s get to making this sandwich shall we?
Panera tomato mozzarella flatbread ingredients
For this recipe you’ll need Naan flatbread, Roma tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella, arugula, pesto, tomato sofrito. Naan bread can usually be found in your grocery stores bakery department.
It’s flat and looks similar to pita bread, but thicker and not symmetrical in shape. This is what it looks like. It’s also great for making a quick pizza too.
Before getting started, you’ll need to gather all of your ingredients. It doesn’t take long to make, but you’ll want to have them ready ahead of time before assembling your sandwich. First, start with making the sofrito; then make the pesto.
How do you make sofrito?
Sofrito, as made for this recipe, is a tomato based sauce made with small cut vegetables and spices that have been braised. I know someone is going to read this and say “This is not how you make sofrito.” And they will be right.
However, I don’t like peppers and when I’ve eaten this sandwich at Panera Bread, they don’t use peppers in their version or I would have known it immediately. Since this is a copycat recipe, I’m making it the way my tastebuds tell me they made theirs.
To make this sofrito you’ll need Roma tomatoes, garlic, onion, paprika, red wine vinegar and EVOO. Start by cutting the vegetables into small pieces. Heat the oil in a small skillet; then add the cut vegetables.
Cook until the vegetables start to soften; then add the paprika and vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes. When cooked down, it becomes thick like a sauce or spread. This can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
How do you make pesto?
Next, you’ll want to make the pesto. You can use store bought pesto or make homemade pesto. I made a quick homemade version with just basil, garlic, grated Pecorino Romano cheese and EVOO and left out the pine nuts.
Add all ingredients into a mini food processor and pulse until smooth. It only takes about 3 minutes and tastes a lot fresher than store bought. Now it’s time to make the Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread. Doesn’t this look amazing?!
How do you make Panera Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread?
Now that we have all of our ingredients in order it’s time to assemble our sandwich. You’ll need a panini press or if you don’t have one, you can use a stove top grill pan; then place something heavy on top of the sandwich to press it down while cooking. A brick covered in foil, or a heavy bottomed pot will do the trick.
Heat your panini/grill press to the highest temperature. Place your Naan bread on a flat surface; then spread the prepared pesto on half of the bread. Top with sliced tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella cheese, arugula; then some of the sofrito.
Fold the sandwich in half; then repeat for the second sandwich. Spray your grill press with cooking spray on the top and bottom, add your sandwich (or both if its large enough), close the lid and press down on the sandwich for about 5 minutes or until the sandwich is golden brown and the cheese is melted and gooey!
This Panera Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread was SO good and I was sorry I didn’t make more. Even though there are a few steps to making this recipe, it goes pretty quick and only took about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Now that I can’t get this sandwich at Panera any longer, I’m sure I’ll be making it for my family at home more often. ~Enjoy!
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Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread (Panera Bread Copycat)
- Grill/Panini Press
For the Sofrito
For the Pesto
For the Sofrito
- Cook until the vegetables start to soften; then add the paprika and vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes. Makes 1/4 cup. (This can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. )
For the Pesto
- Add all ingredients into a mini food processor and pulse until smooth. Makes 1/4 cup.
For the Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread
- Heat your panini/grill press to the highest temperature. Place your Naan bread on a flat surface; then spread the prepared pesto on half of the bread. Top with sliced tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella cheese, arugula; then some of the sofrito.
- Fold the sandwich in half; then repeat for the second sandwich. Spray your grill press with cooking spray on the top and bottom, add your sandwich (or both if its large enough), close the lid and press down on the sandwich for about 5 minutes or until the sandwich is golden brown and the cheese is melted and gooey!
Try these other Panera Bread Copycat Recipes:
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