Looking to get out of a sandwich rut? Look no further than the chicken pesto panini! Featuring bacon, provolone cheese, pesto, tomatoes, and chicken breast all squished between two toasted slices of bread. Your sandwich is suddenly scrumptious!
Pesto Chicken Panini
Today's recipe is a fluke. It came on a day when I didn't have any idea what I was going to make for dinner and sort of grabbed a hodgepodge of leftovers from the fridge. That day happened to be grilled chicken breasts. I also had a tomato, pesto, and provolone. Bonus score for some bacon in the fridge.
This is such a quick sandwich to assemble, but the trick to making it great is using a good hearty bread. We are big fans of Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse® Hearty White Bread. It has that fresh from the oven taste without any work on my part! I grew up on white bread, and it's a total comfort food for me.
Another comfort food for me is a cheese toasty, although I think most people call them grilled cheese. In an effort to make my cooking seem a bit more "elevated", I made these sandwiches using a panini maker. It's just a fancy pressed grilled cheese. Never fear if you don't have one, a skillet works fine.
When I went to make and photograph these paninis, I came across a problem. One of my children had eaten the chicken breasts I had in the fridge. I should have put a post-it note on it, but I didn't. I also didn't have time to run to the store. So I improvised and used shredded canned chicken. It was okay, but I recommend real chicken breasts. If I would have thought of it sooner, I could have thawed some frozen chicken breast strips in the skillet before using them in the sandwich. Live and learn I guess!
Another tip I have for a chicken pesto panini involves the actual panini making process. Go ahead and put a little bit of olive oil on the grates (or the skillet if using that). This helps it not soak into the bread as much. It also helps that the Farmhouse® Hearty White Bread is thick-sliced. That makes is perfect for paninis. I heated the panini press and then brushed the tiniest bit on the grill, just to ensure the sandwich didn't burn or stick.
Next, I layered a piece of provolone cheese, some pre-cooked bacon, a thick slice of tomato, and the chicken breast that was coated with pesto sauce. My sandwich took about 10 minutes on a medium heat, but panini presses vary, as do skillets, so keep an eye on your sandwiches. No one wants to burn their bread- that's the worst!
I served my panini with a side dish of chips and salad, as well as a simple balsamic dipping sauce. This makes a great dinner in a pinch or an amazing lunch.
Have you tried the new and improved taste of Farmhouse® Hearty White Bread? Be sure to grab you money saving coupon HERE! I absolutely love the thick slices and can't wait to try out more panini recipes like my Chicken Pesto Panini. What flavors would you try?
Need more ideas to get out of your sandwich rut?
You might like these ideas!
Chicken Pesto Panini Recipe:
Chicken Pesto Panini
- 4 slices Pepperidge Farm® Farmhouse® Hearty White Bread
- 1 tomato sliced
- 4 slices bacon precooked
- 2 slices provolone cheese
- 2 chicken breasts precooked
- 2 TBSP pesto sauce
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- Preheat your panini pan, panini grill, or skillet. Once heated, before placing sandwich, coat with olive oil to prevent sticking.
- Coat your chicken breasts with the pesto sauce.alteration: If you only have canned chicken, it will work, but the whole chicken slices taste better. Drain the can very very very well, otherwise you will have a soggy sandwich! Shred the chicken chunks with a fork, combining with the pesto. This essentially makes a pesto chicken salad!
- Slice your tomato into even slices, you many have some leftover
- There is no need to preheat your precooked bacon, but you might want to slice them in half to fill the inside of the sandwich more. (I kept mine whole for the photos).
- Once the pan or panini press is fully heated and coated, layer one slice of bread. Top with a slice of cheese, 2 slices bacon, tomato, and then a coated chicken breast. Place second slice of bread on top and press the panini press closed.
- If you are using a skillet, use a pan lid that fits inside to much the sandwich down.
- Keep an eye on your panini to ensure it doesn't burn. Mine was on a lower setting and took about 10 minutes. Once the bread in nicely toasted and the chicken and bacon are heated through, it's ready to eat!