Pesto Chicken Paninis

Have you ever had a sandwich that was so good, you could eat it nearly everyday for lunch? This pesto chicken panini is the ultimate sandwich. It’s packed with so much flavor, so many textures, that your mouth will most likely salivate just reading this post.
This panini is loaded with pesto, chicken, peppers, grilled onions, and gooey Monterey Jack cheese.
Of course, you can always substitute or add other ingredients, but trust me when I tell you that you must try this combo first! And if you don’t enjoy it, then we’ll talk after…

This panini is perfect for lunch or dinner, and goes so well with any yummy salad or soup. I chose to serve my paninis with a gorgeous Asian pear salad.

I started with some freshly made basil pesto… I just blended 1 cup basil leaves, 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup pine nuts, a pinch of salt, and enough olive oil to get the consistency you see.

I sauteed some green and red bell peppers…

Sliced up some fresh monterey jack cheese….

Grilled some red onions….

Cooked some chicken with a little seasoning….


And then I grabbed my torte buns, slathered one side with mayonnaise, and the other side with pesto.

I layered on my chicken, onions, peppers, and cheese…and pressed it between two hot iron skillets. You could just use a panini maker if you have one. I don’t, so I improvised.
The result? A gorgeous, colorful, crispy panini that’s oozing cheese and the amazing flavor of pesto. Read below for the full recipe!


Pesto Chicken Paninis

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Pesto Chicken Paninis


  • 1 chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, sliced
  • 4 torte buns (see note below) 
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • Monterey jack or Mozzarella cheese 


  1. Cook the chicken breast with any spice you like, but keep it mild. I used seasoning salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Set aside. 
  2. In same pan, saute the onions with 1 tbsp oil until soft and slightly browned. Set aside. 
  3. Saute the bell peppers with another tbsp of oil until they're just a little soft. Set aside.
  4. Slice up your cheese, assemble all ingredients so it's easier to make the sandwiches. 
  5. Take each bun, cut in half. Spread pesto on one side, and mayo on the other side.
  6. Layer peppers, onions, cheese, and chicken on one side of the bun. Press the sandwich closed with the other bun. 
  7. Repeat with the other sandwiches. 
  8. Press in a panini maker, or like I did: heat up two iron skillets on the stove, place the sandwich on one skillet, and place the other skiller on top of the sandwich. This will act as a weight and press your sandwich like a panini maker does. If you're making more sandwiches, you can also just heat up two baking trays in the oven on 350 deg F, and place the sandwiches between the two trays. 


*Torte buns turned out fantastic with this sandwich, but if you can't find any in your grocery store, try ciabatta bread or an Italian bread. I'd advise not to use regular sandwich bread or buns, because you won't get the same crispy results!  Enjoy!

This entry was posted in entree.

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