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Roasted Tomato & Chicken Pesto Panini

Sandwiches make me happy.  They make my day actually.  I’m a sandwich kind of girl, I could eat them everyday.

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I got a panini press a couple years ago for Christmas from my sweet daddy- and you have thought he handed me a thousand dollars.  I squealed and screeched when I ripped the holiday paper covering the box- that’s pure joy right there.  I have used it just about every week since (I could say daily during that first year of ownership).  Simply because, yes, I’m a sandwich kind of girl. 

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When I was meal planning last week I decided on making it easy on myself and self-hosting a “Panini Night” with my Fireman and me.  I wanted to make it ‘special’ since it was sitting in as our usual dinner meal, and my Fireman typically has a heafty appetite after a long day of working his part-time gig. 

I decided on chicken for the main protein of this sammy- deli roasted lemon pepper chicken- so good.  You could totally use turkey if you wanted.. While I was perusing the deli section for my panini meat selection I thought the lemon pepper chicken would go great with the  semi-Italian theme I had going for my dinner sandwich meal. 

Homemade roasted tomatoes (SO easy), sun-dried tomato pesto, fresh baby spinach leaves, and mozzarella piled onto sourdough bread.  Talk about delectable.    I couldn’t wait for this panini to be hot and ready.  The sun-dried tomato pesto seeped through the bread during the press process, making it extra flavorful and somewhat crispy. 

There are a lot of things that bring joy to my belly- but this was hands down my favorite meal of this week.  Who knew something so simple could make such a big impact on my taste buds- especially these newfound picky preggo tastebuds I’ve got some days. 

I feel like I should show regular appreciation to the panini sandwich.

Roasted Tomato & Chicken Pesto Panini

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Serving Size: 1 sandwich


  • 4 (1 1/2-ounce) slices sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons store bought prepared sundried tomato pesto
  • 4 (1/2-ounce) slices part-skim mozzarella cheese (or 1/2 cup shredded)
  • 6 ounces deli sliced lemon pepper chicken (such as Boar's Head)
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) container grape tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Roasted Tomatoes

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl combine tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper- tossing to coat. Place on a foil lined baking pan and roast for 15-18 minutes, until tomatoes are fragrant and burst. Remove from oven and allow to cool, slightly.

To prepare panini, spread 1/2 tablespoon pesto over each of 2 slices of bread. Top one bread with 1 slice cheese (or 1/4 cup shredded), 3 ounces of lemon pepper chicken, 1/4 cup of baby spinach leaves, 1/2 of the roasted tomatoes, and 1 additional slice of cheese (or 1/4 cup shredded). Top with remaining bread slice. Repeat procedure for remaining sandwich.

If you are using a panini press:

Heat your press to medium high heat. Coat grill with cooking spray. Arrange sandwiches under the press for about 4 minutes or until golden and the cheese is melted.

If you are not using a panini press:

Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add sandwiches to pan. Place a cast-iron or other heavy skillet on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten sandwiches. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until bread is toasted (leave cast-iron skillet on sandwiches while they cook).

Slice sandwich in half and serve warm!

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 353; Fat: 17 g; Carbohydrate: 22 g; Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 32 g



  1. I am huge panini fan too-I make them about twice a week. This one looks great!

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