[zupa’s copycat] pesto chicken paninis
One of my favorite places to eat during the good ol’ college days was a sandwich, soup, and salad joint called Cafe Zupa’s in Provo, Utah. I even moved across the street at one point – I may have had a problem.
Now, any Zupa’s regular has something they order every single time – even though they know they should order something new – that is just too good to pass up. For me, that was the pesto chicken panini.
This sandwich is the perfect combination of yummy chicken salad, crunchy almonds, fresh veggies, and creamy muenster cheese. Fortunately, as my withdrawals have taught me, it’s fairly simple to replicate.
- 2 cans (12.5-oz each) chicken breast
- ⅔ c. real mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. pesto
- ½ c. slivered almonds
- 1 red pepper, diced (may substitute roasted red peppers in a jar)
- 4 slices muenster cheese
- 4 ciabatta rolls, cut in half
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- 1 cup fresh alfalfa sprouts
- If you are not using roasted red peppers from a jar, sauté the diced red pepper in a small saucepan until browned.
- To make the chicken salad, mix together the chicken, mayonnaise, pesto, almonds, and red pepper.
- Warm up either a panini maker or George Foreman grill. Assemble sandwiches by layering the chicken salad, sprouts, tomato, and muenster cheese on a ciabatta roll. Grill the sandwich until cheese is melted and the outside looks just toasted.
Adapted from recipe found at Baking with Blondie.