Basil Chicken Panini

Inspired by one of my favorite places to get a panini Estia; I tried to recreate their delicious Chicken Pesto sandwich at home.

Grilled Basil Chicken Panini

I was visiting some family and so I wasn’t in my regular kitchen, and thus I was without a few ingredients; we made it work though. I realize that this is not a recipe for pesto, but it’s pretty darn close. Also I must make a note to invest in some cute toothpicks; excuse the mess above. 


  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Boneless Chicken breast
  • Mushrooms (sliced)
  • Onions (preferred red)
  • Red Bell Pepper (sliced into strips)


  • Tbs basil ( or more, your call)
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic clove (minced)
  • squirt of lemon juice
  • Sprinkle of Club House Spicy Pepper Medley


Combine ingredients for the marinade and spread over chicken. Refrigerate at least up to one hour; and if you can prepare it the night before that’s even better.

When you are ready to cook your sandwich; first you need to prep your veggies (wash and cut). Watch your fingers I sliced mine open with a razor sharp knife; don’t rush it’s not worth it.

Slice the uncooked chicken on a cutting board (anything, but a wooden one it’s more absorbent for bacteria than a quicker picker upper). Cut the chicken into thin strips, as this will make it easier to assemble your sandwich.

Saute chicken in a pan over medium heat, the chicken may have absorbed a lot of the oil from the marinade, so you might need a bit more. Use canola for chicken, as olive is carcinogenic. After the chicken has started to cook, and browned on the outside, add your onions, and then mushrooms. Add peppers last because they can get soggy quick (ew). 

Once your chicken, and veggies are cooked remove from heat and cover until ready. Heat your grill over medium heat, and butter two pieces of bread (like a grilled cheese).  I like to add a little bit of garlic powder after I butter the bread: super yum.

Lay one piece (butter side down), and add your chicken mixture and cheese. The cheese is very important, and not because it’s delicious, but because when it melts it holds everything together.

Add the other piece of bread on top (butter side up). After a few minutes flip your sandwich, or if you have a panini grill you can kill two birds with one stone, and smush that puppy closed. 

Voila! Panini sandwich at home, or grown up chicken grilled cheese. You decide.

Much love, 

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  • Reply Anonymous August 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I can attest to the greatness of this panino. For those in the Halifax area, here is a link to one of the best paninotecas in the city:


    Also, did you know that panino (pl. panini) is Italian for "small bread roll"? If you're throwing some meat on that roll Italians will call it a panino imbottito. Has a nice ring to it, but not as nice of a taste as the veggie option!

  • Reply Anonymous August 3, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Oops! I meant the chicken option is much better than pastrami/other meat.

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