This panini recipe is packed full of flavor! Whether you are making yourself a snack or making them for the family, everyone is bound to love this savory chicken panini sandwich!
This Italian Chicken Panini Recipe is made up of crusty bread filled with gooey mozzarella cheese, roasted red pepper, shredded chicken and lots and lots of garlicky pesto.
It is a Thursday night and hubby is off playing softball. It is just me and the cat doing work. What to eat. What to eat…. Italian Chicken Panini!!!
I love a good panini. Crusty bread that scrapes the roof of my mouth, gooey melted cheese and fresh vegetables. I like to make myself one on nights hubby isn’t home. He isn’t such a fan of “only” a sandwich as a meal.
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I look at has the perfect meal: well rounded in one compact sandwich. One of my favorites is the Italian Chicken Panini. Mozzarella cheese, roasted red peppers, red onion and garlicky pesto. It is pure heaven!
Having a panini press will make this so much easier, but if you do not have a panini press you can use 2 hot skillets, one to put the sandwich in and the other to press down on the top.
Flip half way through cooking. It just won’t have those pretty grooves on the bread.
What is a panini? Panini is the plural of panino, which is nothing but a grilled sandwich. In the states, it is known as a grilled cheese.
In Italy, it is usually made with Italian bread, but you can customize and use what you prefer.
Panini sandwiches are really all about flavor, when it’s in the panini press all those delicious ingredients, onion, cheesy mozzarella, and pesto sauce are being fuzed together and taking on each others flavors.
It has everything that is needed for the perfect panini sandwich without being too much or being overwhelming.
If this mouthwatering sandwich is not enough for you, I usually like to pair mine with a green salad with my homemade creamy Italian dressing.
This usually ties it all in and now you not only have the best sandwich but also an amazing salad to compliment it!
Great sandwich recipes:
Tools for making this Italian Chicken Panini:
Panini Press– It isn’t necessary, but it does help!
Wood cutting board – wood won’t dull your knives like plastic and if treated properly, has natural antimicrobial properties.
Good knife – Global is my favorite! They are worth the price, I promise. I am kind of obsessed with them and store them tucked away so no one else can use them. Including hubby. Hands off my good stuff!
Questions you might have about how to make a chicken panini sandwich:
Can I leave off the chicken breast? Sure! Be my guest, it will still be a delicious, fancy grilled cheese sandwich.
Do I have to use Italian bread? Nope- use whatever type of bread you prefer.
My sandwich was a little runny, why? Make sure you drain your roasted red peppers and also pat them dry.
Also, try to strain out some of the olive oil from your pesto. Lastly, use a low moisture mozzarella cheese.
How do I make a panini without a panini press? Simply make it like you would a grilled sandwich. They are, in fact, basically the Italian version of a grilled cheese.
Are panini makers worth it? It depends on how many you are making! I have one and I love using it. I just bought a cheap one.
What is the best bread for a panini? In Italy, Italian bread is used, but these are my other favorites. Make sure it is a hearty bread.
- Ciabatta Bread
- Focaccia Bread
- Sourdough Bread
- Hearty Whole Wheat Bread
What other items are good toppings for a panini? Some of my favorites include:
- Goat cheese
- Baby spinach
- Swiss cheese
- Caramelized onions
- Pork instead of chicken
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Roasted tomatoes
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Italian Chicken Panini
- Slather both sides of ciabatta rolls with pesto, lots of pesto.
- Top with chicken through mozzarella cheese.
- Heat panini press and coat with cooking spray.
- Place sandwiches inside. I do one at a time since my panini press isn’t that large.
- When sandwich is heated though and the cheese is melted, remove and serve immediately.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!