Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

Cook, In Season, Mains, Recipes, Summer, Weeknight Dinner

Here’s a recipe that makes perfect use of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Serve these flavorful, melted cheese sandwiches in the summertime, when tomatoes are sweet and fresh basil is abundant. Just be careful not to overcook the chicken, and you will have a tasty and juicy alternative to a burger.


Pesto Chicken Sandwiches


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 6 oz. each

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Olive oil for brushing

8 slices fontina cheese

8 slices sourdough bread

Mayonnaise (optional)

8 thick tomato slices

4 Tbs. pesto, homemade or store-bought


Season the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper and sprinkle evenly with the Italian seasoning. Brush lightly on all sides with the oil.


Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over high heat. Brush and oil the grill grate.


Place the chicken on the grill directly over the fire and cook until nicely grill-marked and relatively firm to the touch, 5 to 8 minutes on each side depending on the thickness. You want the chicken to be opaque throughout but still moist and juicy inside. About 2 minutes before the chicken is ready, place 2 slices of the cheese on each breast half, cover the grill and allow the cheese to melt. Put the bread slices along the edge of the grill at the same time, and turn once after 1 minute to toast both sides.


Transfer the chicken and bread slices to a cutting board. Spread the bread slices with mayonnaise, if desired. Cut each breast half against the grain on the diagonal into 3 to 4 pieces. Arrange one sliced breast half on each of 4 bread slices. Top with 2 tomato slices, and then top the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the pesto, spreading it evenly over the tomatoes. Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices, and serve. Serves 4.

17 comments about “Pesto Chicken Sandwiches

  1. chau

    it would be nice to be able to pin this on pinterest. do you all have an account?

  2. Tasha

    I made this last night and it was so good!! I suggest putting mayonnaise on each slice of bread

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  5. Dana Jallad

    this is one of the best meals I’ve ever had! My husband and I love it and it’s the perfect thing to eat on a cool or rainy day. Great comfort food and so easy to make. I always have extra pesto leftover so we use it to make a shrimp pesto pasta and it’s just as good.

  6. Mia

    Forgive me please, but can you inform me of the nutritional Values for this sandwich? I could not find it anywhere.

    Thank you for you time.

  7. Rise

    We had these for lunch today. They were very tasty! I added avocado slices to the sandwich too. Definitely would make these again!

  8. Eva

    This reminds me of a sandwich we had at a deli/bistro in St Genevieve, MO. But it was on Ciabatta bread (untoasted) and had chicken breast, pesto, roasted red pepper and feta cheese. We loved it so much we started making them at home. This one sounds equally as wonderful. Will have to try. Thanks!

  9. Paula Barickman

    When I make similar sandwiches (on whole wheat thin buns) I mix some of my pesto with the mayo and spread it on the bread. i love it with the chicken!

  10. Ash

    I’ve loved pesto since I was a kid. I can’t wait to make this one night this week. Yummy yum!
    Love this site and your books! I have 3 so far and will be getting more soon.

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