College Cookin’ with Sam

Baked Panzanella Caprese

More stories from Sam Farley


Photo by Sam Farley

Let’s face it: tuna sandwiches and ramen noodles can only take you so far through the week.

It’s times like these when I can’t help but crave ingredients that are simply fresh. Growing up with an Italian mother, this recipe was a staple in our household. Its simple blend of fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil, garlic and oil packs a serious punch in the flavor department. With fresh tomato as its star, eaters are left feeling satisfied but not overly stuffed. As an added perk for those who are meat-conscious, it’s also vegetarian!

Baked Panzanella Caprese

Recipe courtesy of the Farley Kitchen


  • 2-3 large, vine-ripened tomatoes, cut ½” thick
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
  • 10 slices fresh mozzarella, cut ¼” thick
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 6 slices Italian bread
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Arrange sliced tomatoes in bottom of 7.5 x 11” pan (1.5x the recipe for 9 x 13” pans).
  3. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar or glaze.
  4. Add the mozzarella in a single layer, filling in gaps with broken pieces as needed.
  5. Sprinkle with garlic.
  6. Sprinkle the basil on top.
  7. Drizzle with olive oil.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Layer 6 slices Italian bread on top, drizzle with more olive oil.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until center is bubbly and bread is golden brown. Enjoy!