5 from 11 votes
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Chicken Pesto Panini Sandwich Recipe With Cheese

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Serve this homemade chicken pesto sandwich recipe for an easy lunch or a light dinner. Thinly sliced seasoned chicken breast seared to golden perfection. Then assemble on Ciabatta rolls with pesto, mayonnaise, fresh mozzarella cheese, and tomato—the ultimate pesto chicken sandwich! 

Chicken Sandwiches sitting on white plate.

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Now, you can use a homemade pesto to elevate the flavor or buy your favorite at your local grocery store. Either way, the pesto sauce is truly the star of this chicken cutlets sandwich. You can use a panini press or use a skillet on medium heat on the stove to warm up the fresh bread.

Want more delicious chicken recipes to try out?  If you still have some chicken to use up, why not try making this delicious chicken and mushroom tetrazzini in the Instant Pot? Or if you bought a whole chicken, use the thighs to make some honey mustard chicken thighs as an appetizer.

Make sure to try out my club sandwich. It is layers of meat, veggies, and toasted bread. Or my air fryer egg salad sandwich is a huge hit for an easy lunch.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe…

  • Made with fresh chicken, so these chicken pesto sandwiches are hard to beat.
  • A delicious sandwich you can throw together the next time you want a quick lunch.
  • Great for those busy weeknights when you need to throw something together.
  • Fresh tomato slice, lettuce, fresh arugula, mozzarella, just add such crisp flavors to the sandwich.
  • You can use your favorite bread like ciabatta bread, focaccia bread, or another type of roll.
  • Perfect sandwich that is warm and light.

What’s in This Chicken Pesto Sandwich Recipe?

Chicken breasts, Italian seasoning, Salt & Pepper, Olive oil, Ciabatta rolls, and Mayonnaise on a marble countertop.
  • Chicken—You should use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Slice them thin so they cook quickly and are not hard to bite through.
  • Pesto – You can use a basil pesto, pine nut pesto, etc. Any pesto you enjoy can be used with this recipe.
  • Oil – You will need a little olive oil to sear the chicken to a golden, crispy texture.
  • Seasonings – Italian seasoning and salt and pepper were used.
  • Mayonnaise – The mayo adds an extra layer of creaminess to the sandwich.
  • Mozzarella Cheese—For this, you should use slices of mozzarella cheese. If you don’t have slices, you could substitute shredded cheese.
  • Veggies: I used Sliced tomatoes and Romaine lettuce, but you can change up the type of greens you use.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Swap the mozzarella with provolone cheese or parmesan cheese.
  • You can cook the chicken in an indoor electric grill like a George Foreman or air fryer.
  • Use Italian bread or sourdough bread in replace of Ciabatta.
  • Add roasted red bell pepper to the sandwich.
  • Add some sauteed portobello mushrooms to place on the sandwich.
  • Drizzle with a little lemon juice or lemon zest for a citrus twist.

How To Make Chicken Pesto Panini Recipe (step-by-step directions)

Collage of creating a chicken pesto sandwich.
  1. Slice the chicken breast in half, lengthwise, to create thinner cutlets. Season each side of the chicken evenly. (Photo 1)
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken cutlets until fully cooked. (Photo 2)
  3. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and set aside. Now, begin assembling the sandwich. (Photo 3)
  4. Start with slicing your roll. Apply mayonnaise and pesto on one side, then add the cooked chicken. (Photo 4)
Collage of assembling chicken pesto sandwiches.
  1. Layer on the mozzarella cheese slices, tomato slices, and lettuce. Finish by placing the top bun. (Photos 5 & 6)
  2. Brush the outside of the sandwich with a bit of oil. Cook in a panini press or a skillet on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the mozzarella cheese has melted nicely. (Photos 7 & 8)
A slice of chicken pesto sandwich with a bowl of pesto on the side sitting on a white platter.

Recipe Tips

  • Preheat the Panini Press: Warm up your panini press while you’re assembling the sandwiches to ensure a quick and even cooking once they are ready to be grilled.
  • Slice Chicken Thinly: Make sure your chicken breast slices are thin for easier eating and a more balanced sandwich. This also helps in cooking the chicken evenly and quickly.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh basil pesto and ripe tomatoes can elevate your sandwich’s flavor, making it taste even better.
  • Press Gently on the Panini Press: When cooking, apply gentle pressure on the panini press to ensure the sandwich gets those perfect grill marks without squishing the ingredients.
  • Experiment with Pesto: Don’t hesitate to try different types of pesto. Each variety can give your sandwich a unique twist.
  • Toasting the Bread: If using a skillet, lightly toast the inside of the roll before assembling the sandwich for added texture and flavor.
  • Balance the Flavors: Adjust the amount of pesto and mayonnaise to your liking, ensuring that they do not overpower the other ingredients.

Storing Tips 

If you do not eat all your pesto chicken sandwiches, you can store them in the fridge. If possible, keep them unassembled to prevent the bread from becoming soggy. I like to only make the sandwiches right before eating.

Place the chicken in an airtight container. If you have whole sandwiches, wrap them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

Serving Suggestions

From a classic side of chips to French fries or even a pasta salad, you can have endless options for you to enjoy this easy pesto and chicken sandwich. Or you can pair it with some sliced red peppers, baby carrots, and celery sticks for a healthy side.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make the chicken pesto sandwich in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the ingredients ahead of time, such as cooking the chicken and slicing the veggies. However, to avoid a soggy sandwich, it’s best to assemble it just before serving.

Is there a vegan alternative to chicken in this recipe?

Absolutely! You can substitute the chicken with grilled portobello mushrooms or a plant-based chicken alternative available in the market. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Can I use frozen chicken breasts for this recipe?

Yes, frozen chicken breasts can be used, but they must be fully thawed before cooking. Ensure they’re completely defrosted to achieve an even cook and avoid any food safety issues.

How can I make this sandwich gluten-free?

To make this sandwich gluten-free, simply use your favorite gluten-free bread option. Many stores offer a range of gluten-free rolls that would work well with this recipe.

One and a half Chicken Sandwiches sitting on white plate.

Need More Chicken Recipes? Try These:

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White plate with a Chicken Sandwich.
5 from 11 votes

Chicken Pesto Panini Sandwich Recipe with Cheese


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Try this Chicken Pesto Panini Sandwich Recipe with Cheese. Made with a chicken cutlet, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and pesto and more. This is a seasoned chicken that is juicy, flavorful and a light and refreshing chicken sandwich.

Ingredients 

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tsp (6 tsp) pesto more or less to taste
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 cup (72 g) lettuce shredded
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tomatoes

Instructions

  • Slice the chicken breast in half, lengthwise, to create thinner cutlets. Season each side of the chicken evenly.
    2 boneless chicken breasts,1 tablespoon Italian seasoning,salt & pepper to taste
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken cutlets until fully cooked through.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and set aside. Now, begin assembling the sandwich.
    4 ciabatta rolls
  • Start with slicing your roll. Apply mayonnaise and pesto on one side, then add the cooked chicken on top.
    4 tablespoons mayonnaise,6 tsp pesto
  • Layer on the mozzarella cheese slices, tomato slices, and lettuce. Finish by placing the top bun.
    8 slices mozzarella cheese,2 tomatoes,1 cup lettuce
  • Brush the outside of the sandwich with a bit of oil. Cook in a panini press or in a skillet on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the mozzarella cheese has melted nicely.

Notes

  • Preheat the Panini Press: Warm up your panini press while you’re assembling the sandwiches to ensure a quick and even cooking once they are ready to be grilled.
  • Slice Chicken Thinly: Make sure your chicken breast slices are thin for easier eating and a more balanced sandwich. This also helps in cooking the chicken evenly and quickly.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh basil pesto and ripe tomatoes can elevate your sandwich’s flavor, making it taste even better.
  • Press Gently on the Panini Press: When cooking, apply gentle pressure on the panini press to ensure the sandwich gets those perfect grill marks without squishing the ingredients.
  • Experiment with Pesto: Don’t hesitate to try different types of pesto. Each variety can give your sandwich a unique twist.
  • Toasting the Bread: If using a skillet, lightly toast the inside of the roll before assembling the sandwich for added texture and flavor.
  • Balance the Flavors: Adjust the amount of pesto and mayonnaise to your liking, ensuring that they do not overpower the other ingredients.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 567kcal (28%) Carbohydrates: 32g (11%) Protein: 30g (60%) Fat: 35g (54%) Saturated Fat: 12g (75%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g Monounsaturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0.1g Cholesterol: 87mg (29%) Sodium: 830mg (36%) Potassium: 357mg (10%) Fiber: 2g (8%) Sugar: 3g (3%) Vitamin A: 1214IU (24%) Vitamin C: 9mg (11%) Vitamin D: 0.5µg (3%) Calcium: 335mg (34%) Iron: 1mg (6%)

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was everything a gourmet sandwich should be and then some! Easy, hearty and delicious; definitely, a new favorite recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    Simple ingredients and the perfect combination for a great lunch. We made this with leftover chicken and it was so easy to make. Great recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    This is one of our favorite kinds of meals- easy and delicious. Will be having this over the coming weekend!

  4. 5 stars
    The flavors in these sandwiches are amazing! We used our panini press and the whole family loved them. (Note: I didn’t see pesto in your recipe ingredients list, but was able to figure out the amount.)

  5. 5 stars
    Simple ingredients, but BIG flavors. These sandwiches make a perfect quick and easy weeknight meal

  6. 5 stars
    Oh yum! This sandwich looks so good. I absolutely love all those flavors. Definitely perfect for lunch.

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