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Pesto Chicken Panini recipe

Pesto Chicken Panini recipe

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  • Chicken pesto

A delicious combination for a chicken sandwich: roast chicken, pesto, veggies and cheese sandwiched between focaccia. Simple, fast and tasty and a nice change.

222 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 focaccia bread, quartered
  • 8 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
  • 150g diced cooked chicken
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 4 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 120g grated Cheddar, mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:5min ›Ready in:20min

  1. Preheat a panini press.
  2. Slice each quarter of focaccia bread in half horizontally. Spread each half with pesto. Layer bottom halves with equal amounts chicken, green pepper, onion and cheese. Top with remaining focaccia halves, forming 4 sandwiches.
  3. Grill panini 5 minutes in the preheated press, or until focaccia is golden brown and cheese is melted.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(258)

Reviews in English (168)

by The Bunny Chef

This is my favorite kind of panini! I have a few tips though to make these sandwiches easier and healthier. For the bread, you can use any sturdy bread. Spray one side of each slice of bread with no-stick spray before putting it on the grill. For the pesto, Classico makes a very strong jarred pesto and you only need 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of it on a sandwich, which lightens it up significantly. Sliced turkey lunch meat is easier to handle and you don't have to cook something special before hand, and thinly sliced bell peppers stay in the sandwich better. I don't usually put cheese on mine, but I put a thin slice of mozzarella on my boyfriend's turkey pesto paninis. Mozzarella is lower in fat and calories than Monterey jack. I hope this helps someone, these are really great sandwiches!-29 Mar 2008

by Stephanie

I'm not giving these a five only because I changed things up a lot but they were delish. I caramelized my onions and mixed my pesto with herbed cream cheese. I then spread my pesto and cream cheese mix on both sides of the focaccia then I put my chicken, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers on with the shredded cheese. Warmed this all up on the Forman and had a salad with tons of veggies and Balsamic Dressing on the side. Okay, Yum!-30 Mar 2007


Very good! I didn't have focaccia bread so used regular bread (the outside buttered) and grilled the sandwhiches on the stovetop using a plate weighed down with a can to press the sandwhich together as it cooked.-13 Jun 2006

Chicken Pesto Panini

Paninis are the king of sandwiches. With their crunchy crusts and melty insides they are far and away my favourite type of sandwich. Give me a hot sandwich over a cold one any day. Most of the time I reserve eating a panini for when I'm out at a favourite cafe. But no longer! Paninis are just as easy to make at home as a grilled cheese so there's no need to run and buy one the next time you're craving a delicious sandwich. Here's what you need to know to make an unbeatable panini!

1. You don't need a panini press.

First things first. There is no need to go buy a panini press. Most of don't have one nor have the space to store one! To make our panini, we use a grill pan and another heavy skillet to press the sandwich down with. If you don't have a grill pan, just use two skillets! No one says your panini has to have grill marks!

2. Choose your bread wisely.

Not just any old type of bread will work for a panini. You need a sturdy, extra crunchy bread. Ciabatta is our bread of choice, but focaccia, sourdough, or a baguette are all exceptional bread choices.

3. Have fun with the fillings!

View the panini as your dream sandwich and fill it with all of your favourite things. Take a grilled cheese to a whole new level and add cheddar, ham, and bacon or get fancy and add turkey, brie, and apples. Everything goes well in a grilled panini so don't hold back!

Recipe Summary

  • 8 ounces ciabatta bread
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 pound chicken cutlets
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, peeled
  • 2 (1-ounce) slices provolone cheese

Cut bread in half horizontally.

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sauté 3 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 10 minutes. Slice chicken.

Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, water, 1/4 ­teaspoon black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt in a mini food processor, and pulse until finely chopped.

Cut bell pepper into quarters discard seeds and ­membranes. Arrange pepper quarters on ­bottom half of bread. Top with provolone cheese and sliced chicken. Spread basil mixture on cut side of top half of bread place on sandwich. Cut sandwich crosswise into 4 equal portions.

Pesto Chicken Panini recipe - Recipes

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Pesto Chicken Panini

This is like the perfect chicken panini sandwich for lunch! Super easy!

You wanna hear a cute story?

My parents&rsquo have a panini grill (this one, if you&rsquore interested &ndash not an affiliate link, fyi) and I don&rsquot. It&rsquos really not fair. They don&rsquot have a food blog, why should they get the fancy appliances?

Anyway, my mom told me that I could borrow the grill since they don&rsquot use it much in the summer.

I stopped over to grab it (along with their big mama juicer that they never use &ndash I&rsquom in the process of juicing every single food I come in contact with &ndash carrot juice? Sure! Cheeseburger juice? Awesome! Butter juice? Wait&hellipisn&rsquot that, like, heavy cream? I&rsquoll take it!) and my mom handed it over and said these words:

&ldquoYou can keep it &rsquotil it cools off outside. We might want to grill indoors this winter.&rdquo

And, I said &ldquoSure! I&rsquoll bring it right back! I just want to try it once!&rdquo

Here&rsquos the cute part: she believed me. Don&rsquot you just want to pat her on the head and squeeze her adorable, naive little cheeks?

How Do I Make Grilled Chicken & Pesto Panini?

First, you’ll need to make Pesto by adding fresh basil, EVOO, garlic, salt, Pecorino Romano cheese and pine nuts (optional) in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.

Next, grill your chicken on your indoor griddle for 2-3 minutes depending on thickness. Remove and let cool then assemble your sandwiches. I used the thin sliced boneless chicken breasts.

Chicken “Pesto” Panini and Blogging for Dummies

Here we go! This is my first REAL blog post over here. Since getting hooked on macro-counting, I’ve been having too much fun posting photos and recipes of my food over on instagram @lillielovesmacros and realized I could just get so much more organized about it if I bit the bullet and started a blog. Maybe it’ll just be for my mom, and mother in law, so they can print out real recipes… but for now I think I’m into it.

But this was no joke! I thought I’d do it in a weekend, upload some photos and recipes and I’d have it all here. That weekend passed and a few more. Ross went to Alaska for a week and I thought for sure I’d have it squared away when he got back, but there’s always more to do! It’s been like two months and too many late nights and guys– this is it. I’ve got a header (sorta) and a paragraph about me. I’ve only transferred over a handful of recipes and feel like I’ve been living somewhere in the confused-headspace of Inception (that movie still hurts my brain),… deep in the heart of my computer… like I may as well be learning to write code. And I don’t even know what that means. I’m exaggerating (only a little), but this WordPress business is no joke! And you’d never know by looking around right? There are a million beautiful blogs out there and now I’m in total awe how everyone’s doing it. Who even knows if any of my links work. I’m sure I’m doing a list of things wrong and there’s probably some rules against “going live” when you’re still a hot mess but I’m doing it! Let me know, when you go to print a recipe (mom), if I break your printer and we’ll get this blog sorted out together. And when you find my plethora of typos, just think of it like a scavenger hunt. It’ll be fun. In the mean time, let’s keep solving the puzzle of out how to keep our bellies FULL and our figures less so. ha.

Starting with this totally macro-friendly chicken pesto panini that tastes SO NOT macro friendly. Seriously I think paninis are a macro gold mine. A little cooking spray takes care of your toasty needs and you won’t even remember why you used to need two tablespoons of butter. A loaf of crusty french bread allows you to cut super thin slices and minimize carbs while still being able to hold on to a WHOLE sandwich… you won’t even notice the difference! Stuffed with grilled chicken, lightened up garlicky basil mayo, havarti, and tomato… SO much flavor. I swear if I ordered this at a sandwich shop I would 100 percent never guess it was so low in fat and carbs.

Chicken and Pesto Panini I’m pretty sure the only real food I ate sophomore year of college was the panini. It was the first year in my life when I really had to take care of myself. No parents or dining hall to keep me fed. And I didn’t do a great job of it. I remember one out of the 6 of us girls living in the apartment had brought a mini George Foreman grill, and I’m pretty positive all my meals were made on that thing. The stove and oven itself looked like it belonged in the Smithsonian museum display room of 1950s US kitchens so it didn’t exactly entice me to make something on the stovetop. Seven years later (how has it already been 7 years. ) I still enjoy a good panini, though luckily for my body I’ve diversified my diet quite a bit bit since those college years. Thankfully! I could not still be sticking to that diet! Bread, chicken, cheese and pesto is all you need and so this chicken pesto panini recipe came to be. If you’re feeling really indulgent sneak in some mayo and smother the bread with it. Your waistline might disapprove but your taste buds will thank you. Mine always do – I pretty much can never say no to mayonnaise, must be my Russian heritage! Oh and you gotta take the time and make your own pesto, trust me it makes a world of difference. Home made pesto is the best. You can buy store bought, but if you do please and I mean please at least buy the refrigerated version. The stuff that’s on the non-refrigerated shelves is just full of additives – no fresh bold basil flavors there! To make this chicken pesto panini recipe dairy free you can omit the cheese and just make the panini with shredded chicken, pesto and mayo – I’ve had that combo before and it works well too! Or use a dairy free cheese instead – there are so many different ones to choose from nowadays! If you liked my chicken pesto panini recipe, check out my sandwich page for many more delicious sandwich or panini recipe ideas. Panini with Chicken, Pesto & Mozzarella

2 panini
Preparation time: 15 minutes

2 panini bread or sandwich bread
1 chicken fillets
Basili pesto, maybe homemade
1 tomato
125 g (4.5 oz) fresh mozzarella

Step 1: Heat a pan with a little bit of oil. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and cook until the chicken is well done.
Step 2: Cut the fried chicken in slices.
Step 3: Slice the tomato.
Step 4: Slice the mozzarella.
Step 5: Slice the bread in half and spread pesto on the bread.
Step 6: Add the mozzarella slices, tomato slices and chicken slices on the bread and close the sandiwch.
Step 7: Place the sandwich in the panini grill and close the lid until the panini is done.

//Indlægget kan indeholde affiliatelinks, hvis du klikker på linket gemmes der en lille cookie på din pc. Hvis du kommer igen inden for et vist antal dage, og køber noget på siden vil jeg modtage et lille beløb. Det vil blive brugt til at drive siden.//

Chicken Pesto Panini

Think that a homemade panini is hard to make? Think again! Layered with chicken, pesto, fresh mozzarella and tomato, this easy recipe will make you a panini addict.


  • 12 slices Artisan Bread, Preferably Roasted Garlic Flavor, About 1 To 1 1/2 Inches Thick
  • ¾ cups Pesto, Or As Needed
  • 2 cups Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
  • 8 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella
  • Fresh Spinach, As Needed
  • 4 Vine Tomatoes, Sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter


For each sandwich, spread pesto on the inside of each slice of bread. On one slice, add chicken, fresh mozzarella and a few leaves of fresh spinach. Top with remaining slice of bread. Spread butter on the outside (both sides).

To cook, use a grill pan or panini press on high heat. Cook until the bread is golden brown and the mozzarella is melted.

Add 2 tomato slices to each panini, then use a serrated knife to cut it in half.