Can we do a summer send off with a Chicken Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich? I feel like this is a perfect meal to transition from summer to fall because of how warm and wholesome it is. If you love Parmesan and pesto, you are going to LOVE this recipe.
I made my own pesto because I enjoy it more than store-bought pesto, and I added my personal touches to it, which you will find out! To make this recipe you're going to need chicken breast, Parmesan, roasted red peppers, arugula, and bread of your choice. I always go with sourdough because it's the easiest option. The reason why I chose Parmesan as the cheese of choice is because I think it pairs very well with the taste of pesto and it's actually a low-in-lactose cheese, which tends to not be as bothersome for many, digestively-speaking.
It's such a flavor-packed sandwich that you can bring on the go with you or enjoy while watching your favorite show. You do need roughly 20-25 minutes to make it if you're choosing to make my pesto recipe, but if not you will only need 10-15 minutes. I do want to note that you can opt for buying a rotisserie chicken to make this recipe, but you can also follow along my chicken breast recipe as well. You will need an hour for the chicken to boil.
Healthy food does not need to be boring and one may look at this recipe and think it's not nutritious because it's a grilled cheese sandwich, but on the contrary my darlings, you have lean protein from the chicken, fiber from the peppers and arugula, carbs from the sourdough, and healthy fats from the olive oil, walnuts, and Parmesan. It's a delicious, but balanced meal with all of the macronutrients your body needs to function optimally. How can one go wrong!?
Let's get to the recipe!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
This recipe can be made vegetarian without the chicken.
1. 2 pieces of sourdough bread
2. 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
3. 1/4 cup roasted peppers, thinly sliced
4. 1 handful arugula
5. Freshly grated parmesan
6. Juice of ½ lemon
8. Extra virgin olive oil
1. 1 cup fresh basil
2. 1 cup arugula
3. 1 TBSP walnuts
4. 1 TBSP pine nuts
5. 2 garlic cloves
6. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
7. 3 TBSPs extra Virgin olive oil
8. 1/2 TSP salt (add more after)
1. First, have your chicken breast prepped. If you have a rotisserie chicken, that's great - you can start shredding it. If you have regular chicken breast, grab a large pot and fill it up ¾ way with water. Place it onto the stove on medium high heat. Add in the chicken breast. Add in lemon slices and bay leaves - these will remove that chicken-y smell. Allow the chicken to completely boil until it's white on the inside and easily shreddable.
2. While you wait for the chicken, prep your pesto. Toast the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in olive oil in a pan until toasty/light brown. Add to the food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Please add more salt while puréing if need be, and add more olive oil if it's too dry for you. You want an even consistency.
3. For the arugula, add a handful into a bowl. Add the juice of ½ lemon, drizzle of olive oil, and a dash of salt. Mix well and leave it on the side.
4. Have fresh Parmesan grated and your roasted peppers finely sliced.
5. Grab two slices of sourdough. On one piece add your desired amount of Parmesan. On the other piece, spread on pesto to your liking. Add roughly 1 cup of shredded chicken onto that piece.
6. In a frying pan, add either 1 TBSP of butter or spray olive oil. Have the stove on medium high heat.
7. Add in both slices of bread and toast them well until the Parmesan melts. You can feel free to add more pesto to the piece with chicken or more cheese.
8. Let's put it all together: add on the arugula and roasted peppers onto the piece of melted cheese.
9. Gently create a sandwich. Slice in half. Enjoy!