Pesto Chicken Avocado Panini
Last week, I made a simple pesto sauce and used it on the Pesto Ricotta Tomato Flatbread recipe. I had a lot of it leftover, so I made another simple recipe today with this Pesto Chicken Avocado Panini. This is the perfect lunch food when you’ve got leftover pesto, or even store-bought pesto and some leftover shredded chicken. Just layer the bread with the pesto sauce, cheese, tomatoes, chicken and avocado, grill it in a pan or in a panini for those drool-worthy grilled lines and lunch is ready pronto!
Do you guys love the simplicity of this recipe (errr…the simplicity of all my recipes lately?) Since we moved from Massachusetts to Michigan, it’s been a whirlwind of a summer packing, unpacking, vacationing, vacationing some more and just trying to relax before another whirlwind comes into play…which is that of moving to a new place, meeting new people, finding new activities, doctors, babysitters…etc. I’ve done it before when we moved to Arizona, Florida and Massachusetts, so I’m pretty much a moving maven now, but nonetheless, it’s time-consuming and exhausting. So I feel like because of the move, I’ve been slacking on recipes for you guys, but the feedback has been positive that ya’ll are loving these simple quick meals that, like me, you can whip up in 15-30 minutes.
So, I hope you try and love this recipe…my apologies in advance for the caloric content. But you can totes divide the serving in half and eat it with the a salad, which, let’s be honest, is probably the responsible healthy thing to do. Unless you’ve had one of those days where you just need to bite into a loaded crunchy sandwich, then I’m with you!
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves, stems removed
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 Tbsp pine nuts
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 loaf french bread, sliced in half lengthwise
- 4 Tbsp pesto sauce
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 4 beefsteak or roma tomatoes, sliced
- 4-6 oz shredded chicken breast
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- Combine basil leaves, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
- Add the cheese and process very briefly.
- With the machine still running, slowly pour in the olive oil, and process until the mixture is smooth and consistent.
- Serve on the flatbreads and store the remainder in the fridge or freezer.
- Spread the pesto on the inside of the french bread. Then layer the mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, shredded chicken, and avocado. Place the other half the french bread on top to close the sandwich.
- Place the sandwich on the panini ((or you can also use a grill pan on medium-heat), close it and let it grill for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts and the bread becomes crispy.
- Remove from the panini, slice diagonally and enjoy pronto!
- If you have leftover pesto, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.