Chicken and Pesto makes the ULTIMATE grilled cheese sandwich combo. Juicy chicken wrapped in a homemade basil pesto, paired with sun dried tomatoes and stringy mozzarella – the perfect lunch ready and waiting!
The Ultimate Chicken Pesto Sandwich
I think one of the first food orders I ever made in Starbucks was a chicken pesto panini (or was it a chicken pesto toastie!?) who knows, you get the gist 🤣Any who, it was bloomin’ delish, BUT, I saw room for improvement! So, here’s my take on the classic pesto chicken sandwich.
First things first, let’s see what you’ll need:
- Chicken – Leftover Rotisserie chicken works perfectly here.
- Pesto – Homemade Basil Pesto for the win! Can also sub your favourite store bought.
- Cheese – Mozzarella works best here (discussed below).
- Bread – Large thick white slices.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes – Pesto and sun dried tomatoes are a match made in heaven!
- Butter – A sandwich, without butter?! 😱
You’re looking Mozzar-hella good over there!
When it come to the cheese, it totally has to be mozzarella. Besides the fact it gives the perfect ‘cheese pull effect’, it actually partners with pesto really neatly for a couple of different reasons.
Firstly, unlike many different cheeses, when it’s heated it doesn’t produce a huge amount of oil. Pesto itself is already incredibly oily, so to prevent the grilled cheese turning into a brick of oil, mozzarella was the most sensible choice.
Secondly, it has quite a subtle flavour. I really wanted the flavour of the pesto to shine through, so it was important not to overshadow it with a strong tasting cheese.
Alrighty, chicken pesto, the star of the show. Easiest option is to shred up some leftover chicken, but you can use fresh chicken, cook and shred from there. Up to you!
You can absolutely make this part in advance and it’s as simple as combining pesto with the shredded chicken. Just tightly cover and store in the fridge until needed.
Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese
The best way to serve/make this sandwich is in grilled cheese form. Fresh mozzarella is great, but when melted until ooey-gooey inside crispy and buttery slices of toast? Yeah, gotta be done.
Can I make this into a panini?
Absolutely! Same ingredients, just use ciabatta and a panini grill. Or, a griddle pan with another heavy pot of pan pushed down on top to mimic a panini grill.
How to make a Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese (quick summary)
- Butter one side of each of your slices of bread and place butter side down on a pan, with the heat off.
- Top with mozzarella, followed by your chicken pesto, topped with sun dried tomatoes, followed by more mozzarella and finished with a second slice of bread. Butter the top and turn on to a medium heat.
- Fry until golden brown then flip. Cook until the cheese just begins to leak out the sides.
These are in are incredibly filling so just one sandwich is perfect for a hearty lunch. But if you’re looking to load up on some sides go ahead and add some Sweet Potato Fries, Avocado Fries or French Fries!
If you’re looking for more similar recipes check these beauties out!
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- The Ultimate Halloumi Sandwich
- Breakfast Grilled Cheese
- Cranberry Bacon Brie Grilled Cheese
- Maple Bacon Grilled Cheese
But for now, let’s tuck into the full chicken pesto sandwich recipe shall we?!
How to make a Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich (Full Recipe & Video)
MEGA Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Large Frying Pan or Griddle & Turner
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Medium Sized Mixing Bowl & Spatula
Ingredients (check list):
- 4 Thick Slices of Bread
- 2 cups / ~200g Shredded Chicken
- 1/2 cup / 75g Basil Pesto or as needed
- 1.5 cups / 150g Mozzarella, shredded (or rounds of fresh mozzarella)
- 8-12 Sun Dried Tomatoes (patted dry if necessary)
- 4 spreads of Butter
- In a bowl, combine chicken and pesto. Place to one side.
- Place two slices of bread in a pan with the heat OFF. Spread with butter then flip over so both are butter side down.
- Spread half your mozzarella, top with chicken pesto, then with your sun dried tomatoes, followed by the other half of your mozzarella, finished with a slice of bread. Spread butter on top and turn on the heat to a medium.
- Fry each side until golden and crispy. The centre should be hot and the mozzarella should just begin to leak out the sides.
Quick 1 min demo!
If you loved this Chicken Pesto Sandwich recipe then be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it or got a question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook along the way!