Pesto Chicken Paninis with Orange & Almond Salad
Customer Favorite

Pesto Chicken Paninis

with Orange & Almond Salad

35 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Hearty sandwich rolls are layered with herbaceous basil pesto, seared chicken, and creamy mozzarella cheese, then pressed until golden brown and crispy—a perfect pairing for a tangy tomato dipping sauce. A side salad of zesty orange and crunchy romaine lettuce adds fresh contrast to the loaded sandwiches.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    800 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Pesto Chicken Paninis with Orange & Almond Salad
Title
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Remove the ghee from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the rolls. Roughly chop the lettuce. Peel and medium dice the orange. Combine in a large bowl. 

Cook the chicken:
2 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat the ghee on medium-high until melted. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Turn off the heat. 

Make the dipping sauce:
3 Make the dipping sauce:

While the chicken cooks, in a small pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the tomato sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

Assemble & cook the paninis:
4 Assemble & cook the paninis:

Assemble the paninis using the halved rolls, pesto, cooked chicken, mozzarella (tearing into small pieces before adding), and half the pecorino; season with salt and pepper. Wipe out the pan used to cook the chicken. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the paninis. Place a heavy-bottomed pot (or pan) on top and press down. Cook, occasionally pressing down on the pot, 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is lightly browned (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil before flipping). Carefully transfer to a cutting board and halve on an angle. 

Make the salad & serve your dish:
5 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the paninis cook, to make the dressing, in a bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing, almonds, and remaining pecorino to the bowl of prepared lettuce and orange; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve the cooked paninis with the salad and dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy! 

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Remove the ghee from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the rolls. Roughly chop the lettuce. Peel and medium dice the orange. Combine in a large bowl. 

2 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat the ghee on medium-high until melted. Add the seasoned chicken in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Turn off the heat. 

Cook the chicken:
Make the dipping sauce:
3 Make the dipping sauce:

While the chicken cooks, in a small pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the tomato sauce (carefully, as the liquid may splatter) and Italian seasoning. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

4 Assemble & cook the paninis:

Assemble the paninis using the halved rolls, pesto, cooked chicken, mozzarella (tearing into small pieces before adding), and half the pecorino; season with salt and pepper. Wipe out the pan used to cook the chicken. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the paninis. Place a heavy-bottomed pot (or pan) on top and press down. Cook, occasionally pressing down on the pot, 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is lightly browned (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil before flipping). Carefully transfer to a cutting board and halve on an angle. 

Assemble & cook the paninis:
Make the salad & serve your dish:
5 Make the salad & serve your dish:

While the paninis cook, to make the dressing, in a bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing, almonds, and remaining pecorino to the bowl of prepared lettuce and orange; season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve the cooked paninis with the salad and dipping sauce on the side. Enjoy! 

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