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Pesto Chicken Panini

October 3, 2009

Disclaimer: Brennan says this meal ranks in the top 5 of his favorite meals ever.

Surprisingly enough, this was such a simple meal to make. Forget the steaks and hour long recipes, this boy likes it plain and simple! Who knew? I can’t blame him though, the flavors in this sandwich are not plain at all. The strong essence of the pesto flavors the chicken, topped with a little shredded cheese under the broiler, this meal is perfect for the colder weather. Like I mentioned in my earlier posts, I made a batch of pesto that has lasted me well over 2 weeks. I noticed the tops were getting a little brown, but after I scraped off the top, the rest was perfectly fine. After some googling, apparently you can preserve it by pouring some olive oil over the top to create an air tight barrier and pesto has olive oil in it anyway, so you could pour off the excess or just mix it in. Maybe for next time, I’m on the fence about using so much olive oil in this pesto because I find it totally unnecessary. I did use some olive oil, but not in the massive amounts that are in most store-bought pestos. This is a great sandwich to take to-go for lunch the next day. Delicious and filling, this sandwich will have your co-workers jealous.

Pesto Chicken Panini

Serves 4

  • 1 (16-ounce) package chicken tenders, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf ciabatta bread, sliced in half horizontally
  • 4 slices pre-sliced mozzarella
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper


1. Spread pesto on both sides of ciabatta; set aside.

2. Preheat an oiled grill pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken tenders 5 minutes per side. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and re-oil the grill pan.

3. Add tomato, then chicken to bottom piece of bread then top with a slice of cheese. Top with top half of bread. Place onto the grill pan and place a heavy pan on top of the sandwich. Grill for 3 minutes per side or until cheese starts to melt.


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