I don’t know about you, but summer is my least favorite time to cook. It’s my favorite time to source ingredients and EAT food- but it’s my least favorite time to actually cook it, because let’s be real- it is HOT in August (at least here in New England!). Which is why I LOVE simple meals that hit the spot with all the summer flavors (and very little actual cooking).
These summer flavor-packed pesto chicken and veggie panini fit the bill, and then some!
The Ultimate Summer Grilled Veggie Pesto Panini
Makes 4 sandwiches
1 lb thin-sliced chicken breast (leave this out for a plant-based sandwich)
3/4-1 cup your favorite pesto (this one is mine)
1 medium bell pepper, sliced into wedges
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4″ strips
1/2 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
sea salt to taste
olive oil as needed
1 ball whole milk mozzarella, sliced
8 slices of thin-sliced sourdough bread
To prepare chicken: coat chicken in 1/2 cup pesto and let sit for 10-30 minutes. Cook chicken on a well-greased grill or grill pan on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on thickness until cooked through (until internal temperature reaches 165F).
To prepare vegetables: Season vegetables with sea salt and let sit on a baking sheet for 10-30 minutes. When it’s time to grill, drizzle generously with olive oil and cook on a well-greased grill or grill pan until soft.
Assemble: Lay slices of bread on preparation surface. Spread with a generous amount of pesto on each side. Top pesto with thin sliced mozzarella cheese (both sides). On bottom layer, layer vegetables and chicken. Carefully top with top side of bread and it’s time to press!
Cook panini on a preheated grill or grill pan, with a press or a heavy-bottomed pan on top to melt cheese. Enjoy hot!Print