I love paninis. A nice warm toasty sandwich is a great meal on a cool fall day. And I’ve been on a bit of a sundried tomato kick lately, so I tend to have them around all the time. That meant when I was feeling a panini the other day, I figured sundried tomato should make an appearance somehow.
And since sundried tomato isn’t quite enough of a sauce, I started thinking of other Italian flavors. I ended up settling on mixing pesto and mayo for a creamy pesto sauce. Using a store bought pesto allowed me to make this quick week night meal. And of course every good panini has some cheese – after all, why have a hot sandwich if you don’t get that melty cheese.
Here’s what you need:
We’re making a chicken panini so we’ll start by pounding a couple chicken breasts nice and thin and even. It’s up to you how thin you go, but I personally don’t like to bite into a super thick piece of chicken. Season the chicken with an herby seasoning, I used Penzey’s Mural of Flavor.
Coat a skillet lightly with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken about 3 minutes per side or until it reaches 165 degrees – the time will vary depending on how thick you slice your chicken.
While the chicken cooks, mix together some mayo and pesto. I used about a two to one ratio of mayo and pesto – it’s all about the flavor that you personally want.
Brush oil on one side of 4 slices of sourdough bread.
Spread some sundried tomato pesto – I got the pesto variety of sundried tomatoes so it would already be chopped up. If you have regular sundried tomatoes, just chop them finely and spread them on the bread. Spread the other side with the pesto-mayo mixture.
Top with the chicken. You’ll notice I trimmed the chicken a little bit to make it fit the bread.
Top the chicken with provolone.
Pop it into a panini press that’s been preheated to medium heat.
Cook for about 5 minutes until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Note – the sundried tomato might leak through any holes in the bread just a little bit, which accounts for the dark orange that looks like really golden spots.
Cut the sandwiches in half and enjoy.
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin and even
- Penzey’s mural of flavor
- ¼ c mayo (I use Hellman’s light)
- 2 T pesto
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- Olive oil
- 4 T sundried tomato pesto, or finely chopped sundried tomatoes
- 2 slices provolone cheese
- Preheat your grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season chicken with mural of flavor. Cook chicken for 3 minutes per side or until 165 degrees. Set aside.
- Preheat panini press to medium-high.
- Mix mayo and pesto.
- Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil.
- On the non-oiled side of the bread, spread pesto-mayo on 2 slices, and sundried tomato pesto on the other. Top with chicken – trim if needed to fit. Top with provolone cheese. Close sandwiches.
- Put chicken on panini press and cook for approximately 5 minutes until golden and cheese is melted.
- Remove from panini press, slice in half and enjoy.