Chicken pesto Panini recipe

(19 ratings)

Fancy making something different for lunch? This delicious, filling Italian classic, Chicken pesto Panini is a great for using leftover chicken

chicken and pesto panini
(Image credit: Getty)
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins

This is a great way to turn left over cold cooked chicken into a tasty and filling Italian-style toasted sandwich. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet or griddle pan then just lightly toast the bread under a hot grill. Alternatively if you have a sandwich press you can simply make up the sandwich with untoasted bread and pop in the press for a few minutes until golden and melting. Look out for different varieties of pesto to use instead of the classic green, you could use red pesto made with sun-dried tomatoes or for a more peppery flavour try a rocket pesto.


  • 4 slices crusty white bread
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 2tbsp pesto sauce
  • 150g cooked sliced chicken
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 115g Cheddar or Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Few large fresh basil leaves




  1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or griddle pan until very hot. Lightly brush one side of each piece of bread with olive oil and place, oiled-side down, on the hot surface. Cook for 1-2 mins until golden and crisp, pressing down gently with a spatula.
  2. Spread the pesto over two slices of the bread (the uncooked sides) then top with the chicken, tomatoes and sliced cheese. Place under a medium-hot grill for 1-2 mins until the cheese has melted. Top with the basil leaves and remaining slices of bread. Cut in half and serve.
Top Tip for making Chicken pesto Panini

For a more rustic flavour replace the white bread with slices of sourdough or granary bread.