This sandwich is loaded with crispy chicken, gooey mozzarella, tangy sun dried tomatoes and a good slathering of pesto!
Chicken pesto sandwich is an absolute classic. There’s a few different way to make it, but today I’ll show you the most delicious way imaginable! Follow me…
Preparing the Chicken
Now, most chicken pesto sandwich recipes you’ll see use plain chicken breast. However me being me, today we’re taking it up a few notches. We’re still going to use chicken breast, but we’re going to coat it in a gorgeous crumb and shallow fry it until it’s ultra crispy. It’s totally easy though don’t worry.
Panko Parmesan Breading
For the most delicious coating for the chicken we’re going to be using a combination of two things:
- Panko Breadcrumbs – Panko breadcrumbs are awesome because they’re big and airy, meaning the chicken comes out nice & crispy.
- Parmesan – The parmesan not only helps crisp up the chicken, but it also adds a ton of flavour.
Do I have to bread the chicken?
Whilst I do highly recommend it, you can definitely still make a chicken pesto sandwich with regular cooked chicken breast (more on this in the recipe card notes).
Process shots: lay chicken breast on chopping board (photo 1), slice through the centre to create two even sized breasts (photo 2), coat in seasoned flour (photo 3), coat in beaten egg (photo 4), combine Panko, parmesan and seasoning (photo 5), coat in crumb (photo 6).
To cook the chicken we’re going to shallow fry it. You don’t need a huge amount of oil, just enough to come about half way up the chicken. You’ll want to use an oil with a high smoking point like vegetable oil. Olive oil works okay, but sometimes if it gets a little too hot it’ll just smoke, so I tend to use veg oil instead.
Can I bake the chicken?
Frying is preferable, but you can bake the chicken if you wish. It takes a little extra time and the chicken will be sliiiiiightly less crispy (more on this in the recipe card notes).
Process shots: add chicken to hot oil (photo 1), fry both sides until golden and crispy (photo 2).
Chicken Pesto Sandwich
Alrighty, chicken done and dusted, let’s talk sandwich. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Bread – Here I’ve used an Artisan roll, which works nicely because it’s fairly firm and toasts up well. Something like Ciabatta also works well, but most breads will do the job – just make sure it’s toasted!
- Pesto – Store-bought or homemade – and lot’s of it!
- Mozzarella – I prefer fresh mozzarella, but shredded or square slices will work just fine. If you’re going fresh I recommend patting it dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Sun Dried Tomatoes – These add a nice tangy flavour and pair perfectly with the pesto & mozzarella.
It’s a really simple combo but it’s all you need!
Process shots: spread pesto over toasted bread (photo 1), add chicken (photo 2), add tomatoes (photo 3), add mozzarella (photo 4), add to baking tray (photo 5), grill/broil until the cheese melts (photo 6).
Serving Chicken Pesto Sandwiches
Once the cheese has melted slather over some more pesto, add bread and you’re good to go! These are actually really hearty, so I typically serve them for dinner. If I’m adding a side I usually go for a Roasted Veggie Salad or some Garlic Parmesan Fries!
Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this pesto chicken sandwich shall we?!
How to make a Chicken Pesto Sandwich (Full Recipe & Video)
Chicken Pesto Sandwich
- Large Pan & Tongs
- 3 Large Shallow Dishes (for dredging chicken)
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
- Baking Tray
- Fine Cheese Grater
- 2 large Chicken Breasts
- 1 cup / 240ml Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup / 60g Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/3 cup / 50g Flour
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp EACH: Salt, Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 4 Bread Rolls, toasted (see notes)
- 7oz / 200g Fresh Mozzarella, sliced into rounds (pat dry if there's excess moisture)
- 16 Sun Dried Tomatoes (4 per sandwich)
- 8 tbsp Pesto (2 tbsp per sandwich)
- Prep Chicken: Slice the chicken breasts right through the centre to make 4 even sized breasts.
- Dredge Chicken: Line up 3 bowls - the first is flour with 1/2 tsp garlic powder & salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper, the 2nd is two beaten eggs and the 3rd is Panko, parmesan and the rest of your seasoning. Coat the chicken in the flour, then into the egg and finish with a coating of the parmesan Panko. Ensure the chicken is thoroughly coated at each stage, especially at the last stage.
- Fry Chicken: Heat up 1 cup oil over medium heat in a large skillet, or enough to comfortably cover the base of the pan. You want the oil around 350F/180C (drop a few crumbs in to test if they rapidly bubble). Carefully place chicken in 2 breasts at a time and fry for 4-5mins on each side, or until golden on the outside and white through the centre.
- Sandwich: Spread the bottom half of the bread with pesto. Top with chicken, followed by sun dried tomatoes then finish with mozzarella. Pop on a baking tray and grill/broil until the cheese melts. Spread the other half of the bread with pesto then sandwich on top.
- Fry the Panko in 1 tbsp butter until golden then leave to cool before mixing with parmesan/seasoning.
- Continue with recipe up until frying, then place breaded chicken on a wire rack above a baking tray. Spray with oil.
- Bake in the oven at 425F/220C for 10-12mins until the chicken begins to crisp, take out and carefully flip. Rotate tray and place back in the oven for another 5-10mins or until the chicken is golden crispy.
For more similar sandwiches check out these beauties:
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