Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich

Featuring tasty basil pesto and crunchy French bread, this Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich is perfect for dinner on the grill!

Featuring tasty basil pesto and crunchy French bread, these Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwiches are 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.

Featuring tasty basil pesto and crunchy French bread, these Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwiches are perfect for dinner on the grill!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.

Featuring tasty basil pesto and crunchy French bread, these Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwiches are perfect for dinner on the grill!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.

Featuring tasty basil pesto and crunchy French bread, these Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwiches are perfect for dinner on the grill!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 Honey Lime Salmon
Pull Apart Cheeseburger Sliders
Grilled Beef Kofta Kabobs
Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas
Lemon Meringue Bars

Featuring tasty basil pesto and crunchy French bread, these Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwiches are perfect for dinner on the grill!

Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich

Featuring tasty basil pesto and crunchy French bread, this Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich is perfect for dinner on the grill!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Calories: 605kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 bricks
  • aluminum foil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Featuring tasty basil pesto and crunchy French bread, these Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwiches are perfect for dinner on the grill!

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35 Comments

  1. I do respect people able (and enjoy) to grow crops in their garden. All these garden things just make me upset – I am even not capable of growing a plant in a pot. The only thing I can contribute to is providing a list of needed herbs. Thus, for the last two years we’ve been having our herbs and some other things as rhubarb which I happily incorporate in food. Everyone should do whatever is suitable for them, right? 🙂 These sandwiches are so good, David! I’m not able to take decent sandwich pictures, and I’m kind of jealous of talented folks doing this that good!

    1. Wow, thank you so much, Ben! Sandwich pictures are indeed challenging, so you aren’t allowed to go back and look at some of my older sandwich posts. Haha! The bun is so tricky! But yes, gardening is one of our favorite things to do. I guess we’re just lucky…my Mom has a serious green thumb, and I think I just inherited it from her. We just planted our garden this past weekend, so it’ll still be a while until the veggies come out. But walking through the garden at the end of the day is one of my favorite things to do in the summer!

  2. You are indeed the grilling expert! I’ve never bricked my meats -eva! But I do love crunchy edges – I might have to pay my home improvement store another visit to give this bricked-chicken a try!
    What stood out to me from this post is that you happen to have tons of frozen Basil Pesto stored up as summer progresses? Well – if Lil Shashi and I happen to find ourselves over in the NYC area this summer or fall – I might have to sneak in and grab me some of that pesto – please keep your back door open…

    1. You are more than welcome to come up and steal some basil pesto from us, Shashi! I always hate hacking down all of the basil at the end of the summer because we usually have a ton of it. But that leads to huge bags (seriously…bags) of little pesto bombs in the freezer. They’re an easy way to add flavor to soups and we often just toss them in pasta or on a piece of toasted bread. Chicken grilled under a brick is optional. Haha!

  3. That’s a pretty cool trick you have there with the bricks – much easier than pounding them out! There’s nothing like busting out some frozen summer pesto from last year’s garden. Hopefully, this summer’s garden will be plentiful too! And that’s a pretty solid sandwich!

    1. Thank you so much, Rachelle! The brick is indeed a fun little trick. Of course, the chicken (or whatever meat) has to be somewhat thin to begin with…no superman chicken breasts for this one. 🙂 But yes, the brick does create some tasty grilled chicken! Also, I won’t even tell you how much pesto we still have left from last year’s garden. We actually cut back on planting as much basil this year in an effort to get through all of our frozen pesto. #FoodBloggerProblems

  4. Loving the brick trick man, genius move.
    And I’m also loving that you make tons of pesto and freeze it at the end of the summer. I do it too, except that I don’t grow my own basil – i just have a small pot on the window still. I buy basil in bulk at the Farmers’ market late August and I spend a whole day making pesto.

    Great sandwich btw: pesto and chicken is an awesome combo!

    1. I think this clearly calls for a Wolfpack basil party come August. Everyone shows up with a carload of basil, some beers and some olive oil. Everyone goes home with a pot of pesto. And we get to howl at the moon at the end of the night. Sounds like a win-win-win to me!

  5. Hi David! This is like a caprese on steroids! I thought everybody had foil wrapped bricks next to the grill?!

    1. Hahaha! I like that description, Dorothy. Caprese on ‘roids. Somehow I don’t think that title would have been as appetizing though. 🙂

      1. Hi David! Depends on your attitude my friend! We are talking food steroids, not drugs!! Steroids in the food world just amp things up!

          1. Hi David! I admit I have an “off beat” sense of humor – If a thought comes into my head it comes out my mouth!

  6. how did you know my favourite pesto pairing (besides just off a spoon) is with chicken? And sandwiched between French bread ah!

    I hope this was the reward for those lucky guests 😉 Also sending them off with some pesto to Argentina (which I hear do killer grilled meats!)

    1. I hear Argentina does killer grilled meats, too…too bad she’s a vegetarian. Haha! Pesto + grilled chicken is like the easiest summer dish ever. And I always think everything tastes better in sandwich form. Therefore, grilled chicken pesto sandwiches are a no-brainer around here. They pop up quite often! Just like a silent ninja.

    1. You totally gotta give it a try, Matt! I just keep the bricks near the grill now in case I want to have a quick foil-wrap and brick-grill party! 🙂

    1. I couldn’t agree more, Medha! We keep frozen “pesto bombs” around because they are such an easy way to add a ton of flavor. Whenever the pesto comes out, I know it’s going to be a good night…haha! 🙂

    1. Yeah, that brick trick is a fun one…and it rhymes, so that just makes it even more fun. Cheers to warmer weather and summer grilling!! I hope you’ve been doing well, ChiChi! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kevin! The brick method is a pretty neat little trick. And really doesn’t require much effort at all. Grilling season is rolling here in New York!

    1. Ooo…roasted aubergine! Now that would be an excellent idea, Dannii! I have some fun plans for roasted aubergine coming up, too. 🙂

  7. I made pesto today. Thanks to a ton of early season (really warm winter) basil in the garden. I made so much I am going to freeze per your advice. GREG

    1. Holy cow, Greg..that is crazy early to be making pesto! I am jealous of your weather out there. Our basil plants are still little tiny babies over here. Freeze the pesto in ice cube trays and then come back the next day to pop out the little “bombs.” It sometimes needs a little butter knife to help pop the bombs out, but it works. Then you have a big of pesto bombs! Enjoy my friend!

    1. Thanks so much, Erin! Pesto is awesome year-round. Toss it in pasta in the winter or on a sandwich in the summer. Delicious! 🙂

  8. This sandwich encompasses all things good in the world! Good bread, grilled chicken, cheese, roasted peppers and tomatoes? I’m here for it!

    1. Yes! I couldn’t agree more, Tamara! I think everything tastes better in sandwich form…especially when it comes off the grill, too! 🙂

  9. Hi David! Made this with a twist; sooooo good! I didn’t grill the chicken, poached it in wine. Taste great. Love your recipes! Thanks!!!!!!!

    1. Poached the chicken in wine, eh? That sounds amazing, Linda! I bet it partnered quite well with the pesto! Thank you SO much for being a Spiced fan…I can’t even begin to tell you how much that means to me. 🙂 So thank you!!

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