Italian Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches with Pesto & Tomato Sauce
Family Friendly

Italian Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches

with Pesto & Tomato Sauce

45 MIN
+$1.95/serving 4 Servings
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  • with Hot Italian Pork Sausage
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  • with Hot Italian Pork Sausage

    From the Test Kitchen

    Save time during the week with this Meal Prep dish, perfect for making ahead! These satisfying sandwiches feature golden focaccia bread—first toasted in the oven, then rubbed with a whole clove of garlic to add aromatic depth of flavor––then layered with melty cheese, tomato-dressed chicken, and verdant pesto. For a complementary side, we’re serving a vibrant salad filled with crunchy cucumbers, peppery arugula, and more––plus a savory sprinkle of parmesan.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      1070 Cals (est.)
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    ingredients
    Italian Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches with Pesto & Tomato Sauce
    Title
    • 20 oz Hot Italian Pork Sausage
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • 1 Piece Focaccia Bread
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • 1 14.5-Oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
    • 4 oz Arugula
    • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (Whole Dried Basil, Sage, Oregano, Savory, Rosemary, Thyme & Marjoram)
    • 2 Persian Cucumbers
    • 1 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
    • 4 oz Shredded Fontina Cheese
    • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 2 oz Balsamic-Marinated Cipolline Onions
    • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
    Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing
    1 Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Halve the bread horizontally. Peel 2 cloves of garlic. Keeping 1 clove whole, using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate the remaining clove into a paste. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Roughly chop the onions. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, half the parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and as much of the garlic paste as you'd like; season with salt and pepper.

    Cook the sausage & sauce
    2 Cook the sausage & sauce
    In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sausage. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the sausage is cooked through. Turn off the heat.

    STOP & STORE: If you’re planning to enjoy this meal at a later time, stop here and place the prepared food in airtight containers (or tightly cover with plastic wrap). Store in the refrigerator. Use the reheating instructions below to finish.

    Toast the bread
    3 Toast the bread

    Place the halved bread, cut side up, on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Evenly top the bottom half with the fontina. Toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, carefully rub the top half with the peeled garlic clove; discard the clove.

    Make the salad & serve your dish
    4 Make the salad & serve your dish

    FINISH & SERVE: Just before serving, add the arugula, sliced cucumbers, roasted peppers, and chopped onions to the bowl of dressing. Toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Assemble the sandwiches using the toasted bread, pesto, and cooked sausage and sauce. Using a serrated knife, cut the sandwiches into 4 equal-sized portions. Serve the finished sandwiches with the salad on the side. Garnish the salad with the remaining parmesan. Enjoy! 

    REHEATING INSTRUCTIONS: If you saved the dish for later, reheat the sausage in the microwave 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through. Toast the bread and finish and serve as directed. 

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing
    1 Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Halve the bread horizontally. Peel 2 cloves of garlic. Keeping 1 clove whole, using a zester or the small side of a box grater, finely grate the remaining clove into a paste. Halve the cucumbers lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Roughly chop the onions. In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, half the parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, and as much of the garlic paste as you'd like; season with salt and pepper.

    2 Cook the sausage & sauce
    In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sausage. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes (carefully, as the liquid may splatter), Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened and the sausage is cooked through. Turn off the heat.

    STOP & STORE: If you’re planning to enjoy this meal at a later time, stop here and place the prepared food in airtight containers (or tightly cover with plastic wrap). Store in the refrigerator. Use the reheating instructions below to finish.

    Cook the sausage & sauce
    Toast the bread
    3 Toast the bread

    Place the halved bread, cut side up, on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Evenly top the bottom half with the fontina. Toast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, carefully rub the top half with the peeled garlic clove; discard the clove.

    4 Make the salad & serve your dish

    FINISH & SERVE: Just before serving, add the arugula, sliced cucumbers, roasted peppers, and chopped onions to the bowl of dressing. Toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Assemble the sandwiches using the toasted bread, pesto, and cooked sausage and sauce. Using a serrated knife, cut the sandwiches into 4 equal-sized portions. Serve the finished sandwiches with the salad on the side. Garnish the salad with the remaining parmesan. Enjoy! 

    REHEATING INSTRUCTIONS: If you saved the dish for later, reheat the sausage in the microwave 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through. Toast the bread and finish and serve as directed. 

    Make the salad & serve your dish
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