Delicious Chicken Pesto Melt Recipe for Quick Dinners
Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I’m excited to share with you one of my all-time favorite recipes: the Pressed Chicken-Pesto Melt. This sandwich is the perfect combination of savory chicken, rich pesto, and gooey cheese all pressed together between two slices of bread. Trust me, once you try this recipe, it’ll become one of your new go-to meals.
What sets this sandwich apart from other grilled chicken or pesto sandwiches is that it’s pressed overnight. Pressing the sandwich allows all the flavors to meld together, creating a delicious explosion in your mouth with every bite. Give it a try and see for yourself!
Not only is this sandwich incredibly tasty, but it’s also easy to make and perfect for any occasion – whether it’s a quick weekday lunch or a weekend get-together with friends. Plus, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make to cater to your personal preferences.
So let’s get started! Gather up the ingredients listed below and follow along for step-by-step instructions on how to make the perfect Pressed Chicken-Pesto Melt.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you looking for a delicious and easy-to-make sandwich to impress your family and friends? Look no further! The Pressed Chicken-Pesto Melt Recipe is here to save the day!
What makes this recipe so special, you ask? Well, for one, it’s a perfect blend of succulent chicken breast, flavorful sun-dried tomato pesto, and melty provolone cheese. For another, it requires only minimal effort to fix an elaborate meal that tastes like it takes hours to prepare.
The pesto sauce is the “secret” ingredient that adds depth and richness to this otherwise simple recipe. Made with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic cloves, fresh basil, olive oil, and parmesan cheese, it creates a vibrant burst of flavors in your mouth that can jazz up any sandwich.
And the best part? It’s easily adaptable to any diet or taste preference. You can make it as healthy or indulgent as you want by choosing different types of bread, cheeses, and sauces.
So whether you’re looking for a quick lunch on the go or serving up party platters for guests at home, this Pressed Chicken-Pesto Melt Recipe is sure to be a hit!
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the Pressed Chicken-Pesto Melt Recipe:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 1 cup of sun-dried tomato pesto
- 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of Creole mustard
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the bread and cheese layers:
- 8 slices of bread, preferably ciabatta or sourdough
- 4 slices of provolone cheese
- 4 slices of mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil leaves
Note: You can make your own homemade pesto or use store-bought. Also, feel free to use any type of bread or cheese that you prefer for this sandwich.
The Recipe How-To
This recipe is perfect for anyone who loves a good grilled cheese sandwich but also wants something that’s more filling and satisfying. The chicken pesto melt sandwich is a crowd-pleaser that always hits the spot. Here’s how to make it:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/4 cup creole mustard
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, sliced thinly
- 4 slices of provolone cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil.
- Add the chicken breasts and cook until browned on both sides (2-3 minutes per side).
- Once browned, remove the chicken from the skillet and put it aside to rest.
- In the same skillet you used for the chicken, add sliced onions and garlic over medium heat.
- Cook those ingredients until nicely caramelized (about 7 minutes approximately). Remove them from skillet and set aside to cool.
- Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally to form four thin pieces of chicken.
- Spread a quarter of your sun-dried tomato pesto on each of your sliced bread pieces.
- On one slice of bread, add sliced Provolone cheese and layer up with one piece of chicken breast, add some fresh basil leaves, then some Sauteed onions and garlic slices. Feel free to sprinkle in some salt or pepper for extra seasoning if needed.
- Put another piece of provolone cheese on top of the toppings, and top it off with another slice of bread that has already been spread with sun-dried tomato pesto.
- Continue until all four sandwiches have been completed.
- Preheat your panini grill or find another means to press your sandwich like a griddle or even using heavy objects like cans (if you are desperate).
- Place your sandwich between two sheets of parchment paper before placing it between two heated grill plates or beneath whatever heavy object you will be pressing with.
- Grill / Press until bread is crusty on both sides, and everything is melted together satisfactorily (approximate time should be around 5-6 minutes).
Congratulations! Now you can enjoy this delicious grilled chicken pesto melt sandwich made by yourself!
Substitutions and Variations
Looking to switch things up a bit? Here are some delicious substitutions and variations you can try to make this recipe your own.
If you’re not a fan of provolone cheese, you can replace it with mozzarella, goat cheese or any cheese of your choice. Want to add a bit of spice to your panini? Try adding some red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños for an extra kick.
Don’t have creole mustard on hand? No problem. Dijon, honey mustard or regular mustard will work just fine. As for the pesto, you can either use store-bought or homemade pesto made with fresh basil and garlic cloves.
If you want to reduce the carb content of this recipe, skip the bread and enjoy the chicken pesto filling on lettuce leaves for a tasty low-carb salad.
Another great variation is using grilled chicken instead of pressed chicken. Simply marinate boneless skinless chicken breast halves in olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, then grill until done. Cut the grilled chicken into thin slices and add them to your sandwich for a hearty meal.
For a vegetarian version, try substituting the chicken with grilled or roasted vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and portobello mushrooms. Top with your favorite cheese, spread some pesto over the vegetables and toast it up for a delicious veggie panini.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to this recipe, so feel free to get creative and experiment with different flavors and ingredients until you find the perfect combination that suits your taste buds.
Serving and Pairing
Once you taste the pressed chicken-pesto melt, you’ll realize that the sky’s the limit when it comes to how you pair this delicious sandwich. The sandwich is a great fit for lunch, dinner, or even as an appetizer. It goes well with a variety of sides such as tomato soup, coleslaw, and mixed greens.
The warm and gooey pressed chicken-pesto melt is perfect for pairing with a light ale or a glass of Sauvignon Blanc for an after-work happy hour. You can also serve this sandwich on game night with friends, paired with your favorite beer.
If you’re in the mood for a more sophisticated dish, try serving it with creamy goat cheese and crusty French bread, garnished with roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes. A side salad dressed in Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinaigrette also pairs nicely.
Another way to serve this sandwich is by topping it on pesto bread with fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. If you like spice, add sliced jalapenos for an extra kick.
You won’t go wrong trying different pairings as this sandwich adds a touch of elegance to any meal.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
If you’re planning on hosting a party or gathering, it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and make things easier on yourself. Luckily, this chicken-pesto melt recipe can be prepared ahead of time, stored, and reheated with ease.
To make the dish in advance, simply follow the recipe steps through shredding the chicken. Then, layer the sandwich as instructed and cut it into individual servings. Wrap each serving tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
When it’s time to serve the sandwiches, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the wrapped sandwiches on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
If you’re short on time, you can even press the sandwiches overnight. Once assembled, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and place a heavy object on top. This will help the flavors meld together and create an even more delicious sandwich.
When it comes to storing leftovers, wrap each sandwich individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, simply unwrap the sandwich and microwave for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
One thing to keep in mind is that sandwiches with a lot of condiments or sauces can become soggy when stored for too long. To prevent this from happening, store condiments separately from the sandwich and assemble just before serving.
With these tips for make-ahead, storing, and reheating this chicken-pesto melt recipe, you’ll be able to enjoy this delicious dish without any added stress.
Tips for Perfect Results
In my experience, the key to a perfect Pressed Chicken-Pesto Melt is in the preparation of the chicken breast. Here are some tips to ensure that your chicken is tender and juicy:
1. Pound the Chicken Breasts: I like to pound the chicken breasts until they are about 1/2 inch thick. This helps them cook more evenly and quickly.
2. Marinate the Chicken Overnight: I highly recommend marinating the chicken in a mixture of olive oil, garlic cloves, and fresh basil overnight. This will infuse the chicken with flavor and help keep it moist during cooking.
3. Grill the Chicken: Grilling the chicken over medium-high heat is my preferred method for this recipe. It adds a nice smoky flavor that complements the pesto and cheese.
4. Use High-Quality Cheese: Provolone is my go-to cheese for this sandwich, but you can also use mozzarella or even goat cheese if you prefer. Whatever cheese you choose, make sure it’s of high quality for maximum flavor.
5. Don’t Overload the Sandwich: It can be tempting to pile on all your favorite ingredients, but remember that this is a pressed sandwich and needs to be compact. Stick with a moderate amount of each ingredient to ensure even cooking and easy eating.
6. Press the Sandwich Overnight: Once all the ingredients are layered in the bread, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it on a baking sheet. Top with another baking sheet and weigh it down with heavy cans or books. Let it sit in the fridge overnight to allow all the flavors to meld together.
By following these tips, you’re sure to create a perfect Pressed Chicken-Pesto Melt every time!
In conclusion, this pressed chicken-pesto melt recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves flavorful and satisfying sandwiches. With simple ingredients and straightforward steps, you can easily create a delicious meal that will impress all your guests. Whether you choose to make it ahead of time or serve it fresh off the grill, this sandwich will not disappoint.
From the juicy chicken breast to the melted provolone cheese and fragrant sun-dried tomato pesto, every bite is bursting with flavor. And with the option to customize the recipe according to your preferences, there are endless ways to enjoy this sandwich.
So why settle for a boring sandwich when you can take it up a notch with this irresistible chicken-pesto melt? Whether you’re hosting a party, preparing lunch for work, or simply looking for a tasty meal idea, give this recipe a try and indulge in all its savory goodness.
Pressed Chicken-Pesto Melt Recipe
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
- 20 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 lb fresh basil
- 2 cups parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
- French bread
- sun-dried tomato pesto
- creole mustard
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, grilled
- 1 sweet onion, sliced and sauteed
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- SUN-DRIED TOMATO PESTO.
- Lightly pack the tomatoes into a 2 cup measuring up. Cover with very hot water until just immersed. Set aside.
- Use a processor until the garlic cloves are chopped finely.
- Remove the stems from the basil and add the leaves to the food processor. Pulse until no whole leaves remain.
- Add the tomatoes and the liquid they soaked inches Process until smooth.
- Add Parmesan cheese, vinegar, and oil. Process until smooth.
- Preheat a panini-press up to 125°F.
- cut the French bread into 8" lengths. Slice in half lengthwise. Spread the top with sun-dried tomato pesto and spread the bottom with mayonnaise and Creole mustard.
- Layer the chicken breast on the bottom slice of bread. Top with sautéed onion and two slices of provolone cheese. Place top slice of bread.
- Press for about 10 minutes, or until bread is golden and cheese is melted.
Your Own Notes
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Anna is a culinary expert who specializes in grilling delicious BBQ dishes. She also enjoys sharing her recipes and experiences with her foodie community on her blog. She’s the total package for any backyard barbecue!