1amcooks-pesto-chicken-sandwichHaving trouble deciding what to make for dinner tonight? Try this scrumptious pesto grilled chicken sandwich! It’s the perfect way to use up those chicken breasts sitting in your freezer, and with the combination of homemade pesto, your family will love the overall fresh flavors.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 6 ounces each
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 8 slices fontina cheese
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • Mayonnaise (optional)
  • 8 thick tomato slices
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Step 1: First, make the pesto by combining basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend to a smooth paste. Add parsley if desired. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

 Step 2: Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sprinkle evenly with the Italian seasoning. Brush lightly with olive oil on all sides.

Step 3: Prepare grill for direct grilling over high heat. Brush and oil the grill gate.

Step 4: Place the chicken directly on the grill over the fire and cook until chicken has grill marks and is relatively firm to the touch, 5 to 8 minutes on each side. You want the chicken to be opaque throughout but still moist and juicy inside.

Step 5: About 2 minutes before the chicken is ready, place 2 slices of fontina cheese on each breast half. Place the sourdough bread slices along the edge of the grill, and then cover the grill to allow the cheese to melt. Uncover after 1 minute to turn the slices of bread and recover for 1 more minute.

 Step 6: Transfer the chicken and bread slices to a cutting board. Spread the bread slices with mayonnaise, if desired. Place each chicken breast half onto a bread slice. Top with tomato slices, and then spread 1 tablespoon of pesto evenly over the tomatoes. Close the sandwich with the remaining bread slices and serve immediately.

This recipe is best served in spring and summer, when tomatoes are at their ripest and basil is plentiful. Use the hashtag #1AMcooks to share your dishes, and let us know other recipes you would like to try.