chicken pesto panini

Posted: July 24th, 2014

chicken pesto panini

This is a less of a recipe and more of a reminder in case you have forgotten (or, for some god-forsaken reason, are unaware) of how delicious simple homemade panini can be.  Gerrit and I have been eating these non-stop, as evidenced by our conversation the other day when I was trying to come up with a dinner plan and he suggested panini, which I reminded him we had had just a couple of days before.  His response–”And the problem is?”

The best thing about these is how easy they are, how if you use leftover chicken you hardly have to prep anything, and how they can be adapted to whatever your tastes are.  We love them with regular pesto and provolone cheese on French bread.  We’ve been using rotisserie chicken from the grocery store (eaten one night for dinner with sides, and torn apart the next night for panini), and our current favorite flavor has a twinge of salty bacon.  (If you don’t have rotisserie chicken flavored with a bit of bacon, I’m willing to bet that a couple of slices of bacon on the panini would be a good substitute).  So like I said, less of a recipe, more of a reminder with some guidelines.  These are our favorite sandwiches as of late, and I want to remember how easy they are and what a perfect dinner they make.

chicken pesto panini

chicken pesto panini

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

This really isn't much of a recipe; you can make this however you want. This is our favorite way right now though: pesto (store bought is fine but homemade is even better), leftover rotisserie chicken (or you can roast some chicken in the oven), and some of our favorite cheese.


  • 1 loaf French bread
  • Pesto
  • Leftover chicken
  • Cheese (Provolone, Harvati, etc.)
  • Olive oil


  1. Preheat your panini press. (Or preheat a grill pan or skillet to use.)
  2. Cut the french bread to the size you want for your sandwich, and then in half horizontally. Spread a bit of pesto on the inside of each slice of bread. Then top with cheese and chicken (place the cheese closest to the outside so it melts better).
  3. Place the slices of bread together and smash them down a bit before you place the sandwich on your panini press. Brush the outside of each slice of bread with a bit of olive oil.
  4. Place on the panini press and cook until the bread is toasty brown on each side and the cheese is melted, about 5 or so minutes. (If you don't have a panini press, you can cook your sandwich in a pan, pressing down the top with another heavy pan, flipping it once.)
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It was one of those weekends where just because of a simple extra added day, our time felt endless.  Gerrit went on long walks down to the river.  I finished reading a book.  We watched soccer and then ate a simple dinner of salmon on our back porch and played a game of cards.  It all sounds so very mundane, but I’m telling you–it was just the loveliest of weekends. Read more »

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