Chicken Pesto Ciabatta Melts are perfect for your next weeknight meal!  Think of a classic bistro sandwich with warm, toasted bread, tender, juicy chicken, fresh, ripe tomatoes, melted cheese, and an herby pesto to top it off.  That’s what this recipe is, a wonderful hot sandwich option that fills the void for dinner (or lunch).  It’s filling without leaving you uncomfortably full.  The fresh ingredients make it feel like a light sandwich.  I personally think ciabatta is the perfect bread for a sandwich.  It’s soft and airy inside with a crispy crust so you can’t go wrong!

The recipe can be found here.

Start by baking the ciabatta bread according to package instructions.  Set the bread aside to cool.  Then slice the tomato and set it aside until ready to assemble.  I always but take and bake ciabatta vs fresh.  I think the taste holds up and I like that I can bake it when ready and feel like it has a slightly longer shelf-life vs needing to enjoy a fresh loaf within a few days of purchasing.

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.  Use a grill or grill pan to cook the chicken on each side for 7-8 minutes or until cooked through and an internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.  Set aside.

Slice the ciabatta in half, both across and lengthwise, to create 2 sandwiches.  If you double the recipe, use a full loaf of ciabatta vs a half loaf.

Add one slice of mozzarella cheese to each piece of bread (use a total of 4 slices).  Fold and tear the cheese so it fits on the bread as needed.  I’d rather have the extra cheese on the sandwich and not the pan!  Place on a baking sheet and bake in a 250-degree F oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese and re-warm the bread.

Remove from the oven and top with sliced tomato, chicken, and a scoop of pesto.  Top each sandwich and serve warm.  Enjoy!

The recipe can be found here.

You could make this sandwich in a panini press as well.  Or perhaps include the tomato when baking to warm that ingredient as well.  If you want to change up the sandwich and make it your own, I recommend it.  Add spinach or sun-dried tomatoes, use mayo instead of pesto, add a few fresh basil leaves or a drizzle of balsamic glaze.  Customize it to your liking and dig in!

Happy Cooking!

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