This recipe is a simple sandwich but the flavors are unbelievably delicious! I used to hate spicy foods but over the last few years, my taste buds have drastically changed. I’m starting to prefer things a bit more on the “zesty” side. I came up with this panini about three years ago when my fantastic brother bought me a panini grill for my 25th birthday. Sun-dried tomatoes are one of my favorite foods and I remember opening my refrigerator and wondering what else I could combine them with. I found a ciabatta loaf, leftover chicken, garlic, onions, goat cheese and pesto! Voila! The best damn panini I’ve ever had. So simple. So good.
Spicy Pesto, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Chicken Panini
Yield 4 sandwiches
- 1 large ciabatta loaf, cut into 4 sections (for 4 sandwiches)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced or shredded
- 6 ounces Spicy Chipotle Pesto Sauce, or any variety really
- 4 ounces julienne cut oil packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 clove minced garlic
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- Season and cook the chicken. Either thinly slice it or shred it.
- Turn panini oven on to medium-high.
- Slice your ciabatta loaf in half. You’re going to make one large sandwich first and then cut it into smaller ones once it’s done.
- Thoroughly butter the top of the top side and the bottom of the bottom side.
- Spread pesto sauce on each slice of bread.
- On top of the pesto, evenly spread the garlic, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and chicken.
- Put halves together and grill the sandwich in the panini maker for 5 to 10 minutes.
If you don’t have a panini maker, the next best option is a pan on the stove. Be sure to use a spatula to press down while the sandwich is in the pan.
In Italy, panino is the word for a sandwich made with a bread roll. Sandwiches there are customarily made from a roll or loaf of ciabatta or rosetta.