This easy Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich recipe is made with grilled chicken, fresh mozzarella, tomato and pesto sauce. Make it for lunch or dinner in less than 20 minutes!
Everyone loves sandwiches! Fresh easy homemade sandwiches are even better. Layer fresh bread with a hearty protein and fresh garden veggies to create a delicious meal.
This grilled chicken pesto sandwich meets all of the criteria for the perfect sandwich. It’s fresh, flavorful and all of the ingredients have a fresh garden taste. Combine freshly made pesto, grilled chicken, sliced tomato and warm mozzarella to create the perfect sandwich.
The ingredients also work well layered on fresh baked rosemary focaccia bread or ciabatta bread. Feel free to make your own homemade pesto or use your favorite store-bought version.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The chicken sandwich is made with simple ingredients.
- It’s high in protein which will keep you full longer.
- You can use homemade pesto or save time and use store-bought pesto.
- Enjoy this sandwich for lunch or dinner.
- Easily adapt the flavors to suit your taste.
Ingredients You Need
- Chicken Breast – Be sure to flatten the chicken breasts by pounding down into one even thickness. This helps ensure that they cook evenly. You can also use chicken cutlets or boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Use high quality olive oil for the best flavor.
- Fresh Mozzarella – Whole fresh mozzarella works best. If you can’t find fresh mozzarella, melt some shredded cheese on top. For a great smoky flavor, use smoked mozzarella. You can also substitute with provolone cheese, if desired.
- Basil Pesto – Use homemade basil pesto with fresh basil leaves and pine nuts made in a food process or use store-bought pesto from your local grocery store.
- Lettuce and Tomato – Adds fresh garden flavor. You can omit, if desired. Elevate the flavor by using fresh heirloom tomatoes. You can also use sun-dried tomato instead of fresh tomato for a deep tomato flavor.
- Focaccia Bread – This crunchy bread is perfectly flavored for Italian-inspired sandwiches. You can substitute with your favorite type of bread like ciabatta rolls or burger buns. Try homemade focaccia bread for the best flavor.
How to Make Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich
This recipe comes together easily. You can cut and prep the toppings in advance, then simply grill the chicken and then assemble the sandwiches.
- Prepare the chicken breast – Lightly brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill the chicken breast – Prepare the grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place the chicken directly on the grill over the fire and cook until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes on each side (but add the cheese before it’s done cooking – see step below). The internal temperature of the chicken should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant read thermometer.
- Melt the mozzarella cheese on the chicken breast – About 2 minutes before the chicken is ready, place a slice of cheese on each breast half, cover the grill and allow the chicken to melt.
- Assemble the sandwich – Spread the bread slices with pesto. Arrange chicken on each of the prepared bread pieces. Top with tomato and lettuce. Serve warm.
Serve the sandwiches with a simple side garden salad, baked crispy sweet potato fries or grilled asparagus.
- To make a thinner piece of chicken for a sandwich style chicken breast, fillet each chicken breast in half lengthwise to make sure they are an even size.
- Marinate for up to 24 hours – You can marinate the chicken breast in the olive oil, salt and pepper for up to 24 hours before grilling.
- Add a kick of heat by sprinkling some red chili flakes on top of the pesto.
- Add balsamic for more flavor – Drizzle a small amount of balsamic vinegar over the top of the cooked chicken when assembling. This adds even more fresh Italian flavor.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top for double the cheesy flavor.
If you love chicken pesto, try our Pesto Chicken Bake to enjoy fresh pesto flavor any time of the year for lunch or dinner.
Other Grilling Recipes
- Bunless Burger with Homemade Burger Sauce
- Grilled Asparagus
- Grilled Lobster Tail
- Mexican Corn on the Cob
Did you try this pesto chicken sandwich recipe? Leave a recipe rating and review below.
Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces mozzarella, sliced
- 1 loaf focaccia, sliced into 4 pieces, each cut in half horizontally (or your favorite type of bread)
- ½ cup basil pesto, or more to taste
- 1 large tomato, sliced
- romaine lettuce, for serving
- Lightly brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Prepare grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Brush and oil the grill grate.
- Place the chicken on the grill directly over the fire and cook until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 8 minutes on each side. About 2 minutes before the chicken is ready, place a slice of cheese on each breast half, cover the grill and allow the cheese to melt. (The internal temperature of the chicken should read 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.)
- Transfer the chicken to a plate. Spread the bread slices with pesto. Arrange one breast half on each of the 4 bread pieces. Top with tomato slices and lettuce. Serve warm.
Made this for lunch the other day and we couldn’t get enough. It was so delicious! Especially loved the fresh pesto. Can’t wait to make again!
This sandwich was absolutely AMAZING! Love the flavor from the pesto and the melty mozzarella. This recipe is going to be on repeat all summer long with the fresh basil from my garden!
Holy YUM!! this would be incredible this summer with my heirloom tomatoes!
These sandwiches were simple and delicious! It is one of those dishes that I always order at cafes and forget that I can just as easily make it at home! I will definitely be making this again, and think next time I’ll add some spinach instead of romaine. Thanks!
I’m so glad that you loved them, Emily! I like to switch it up and add spinach sometimes too. Thanks for stopping by!