Featuring tasty basil pesto and crunchy French bread, this Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich is perfect for dinner on the grill!
One of the biggest changes I had to get used to when we moved from Georgia to upstate New York is the shorter growing season. We ended up with a larger yard which led to a larger garden. Awesome! But, the growing season is much, much shorter up here. Not awesome.
We really can’t plant outdoors until about mid-May as there’s always the chance for a late season frost. We still had a great crop of veggies, peppers and tomatoes last year, though. In fact, our tomato crop was insane! Not quite Atlanta insane…I mean, I remember picking tomatoes around Thanksgiving one year in Atlanta. But we still had a ton of tomatoes last year. We hit the garden this past weekend and got everything planted. Now it’s time to just sit back and wait (and water) until all those tomatoes are ready! Come about mid-July, I foresee many more of these Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwiches coming my way with those fresh garden tomatoes.
Near the end of every summer, I make a huge batch of Basil Pesto using all of the leftover basil in the garden. (Pesto freezes really well, so we always have some stored in the freezer ready to go on a moment’s notice. Check out the link above for a convenient little trick for freezing pesto.) The other day, I walked past those big loaves of French bread in the store. I started thinking that I should use those for a sandwich. And not just any sandwich. A sandwich loaded with delicious grilled chicken, basil pesto, tomatoes and roasted red peppers.
Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwiches
I went with a slightly different technique for grilling the chicken this time. I used bricks. Yup, bricks from the pile of extra bricks in my shed. Wrap those bad boys up in aluminum foil, and they became a great tool for the grill! (If you don’t have extra bricks, you can use any other heat-safe, heavy object. Cast iron pans work great.)
But wait. You’ve probably heard the rule that you aren’t supposed to press meat while grilling. It just squeezes out all of the juices and leaves you with a dry piece of meat. Well, that’s true. But when you apply pressure evenly across the meat for the entire time it’s cooking, then something magical happens. The meat (chicken in this case) grills evenly…and it even creates these awesomely delicious crispy edges.
This sandwich is totally do-able on a weeknight. We threw the chicken on the grill, and about 30 minutes later we were sitting down to one heck of a tasty sandwich! This Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich is loaded with flavor, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. (Plus, it’s kinda fun to use bricks while grilling!)
Did you make these Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwiches at home? Leave a comment. Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog)!
Looking for other tasty summer recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich
- 3 bricks
- aluminum foil
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1½ Tbsp olive oil
- ½ Tbsp dried oregano
- ½ Tbsp dried basil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 loaf French bread
- 1/3 cup prepared pesto either homemade or store-bought
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 6 Tbsp roasted red peppers
- 1 to mato sliced
- Wrap the bricks in aluminum foil; set aside.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Butterfly the chicken breasts to create 4 thin chicken breasts. Brush chicken breasts with olive oil and then sprinkle with spices (oregano, basil, salt and pepper).
- Place the chicken breasts on the grill and top with foil-covered bricks. (If you place the 4 chicken breasts near each other, then 3 bricks should be plenty.) Grill for 6 minutes, flip (replacing the brick after flippinand grill for 6-7 more minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, slice the loaf of French bread into 4 sections. Split each section in half. Spread the pesto evenly on the 4 bottom halves of bread. Set aside.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the grill and slice into strips. Place chicken breasts onto the pesto-rubbed pieces of French bread. Top each sandwich with a slice of provolone cheese, several strips of roasted red peppers and a slice of tomato. Place top piece of bread on sandwiches.
- (OptionaWhile the grill is still hot (but with the burners turned off), place sandwiches on the grill for 2-3 minutes. Serve sandwiches hot.