Antipasti and Light Bites/ Mains

Chicken Pesto Ciabatta

August 14, 2020 by Emily

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A delicious Chicken Pesto Ciabatta made with juicy chicken cut into slices, a creamy pesto sauce, and slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato. An easy and quick dinner or lunch!

A close up of a chicken ciabatta sandwich with pesto

If you’re looking for something delicious and easy to make for lunch or dinner then look no further.

This chicken pesto ciabatta is the ultimate indulgence filled with juicy and tender grilled chicken, the best homemade pesto cream and fresh tomato and mozzarella.

It’s super simple to make and perfect for lunches, dinner or taking on picnics, see the step by step recipe below.

Ingredients – what you need

To make this ciabatta sandwich all you need is a ciabatta, homemade pesto, sour cream, spinach, tomato, and mozzarella. You can adapt it with any fillings you like! See the photo below that shows all the ingredients you need to make it.

An overhead shot of all the ingredients you need to make a chicken ciabatta sandwich with pesto

How to make a Chicken Pesto Ciabatta – step by step

First cut the mozzarella and tomato into even slices (photo 1).

Cook the chicken on a griddle pan or skillet until completely cooked through (around 8 minutes each side) (photo 2).

Step by step photos showing how to prepare ingredients to make a chicken ciabatta sandwich with pesto

Meanwhile mix the pesto and sour cream together, set aside (photo 3 & 4).

Warm the ciabatta in a pre-heated oven for 2-3 minutes then cut in half lengthwise. Spread some of the pesto cream on one half of the ciabatta then top with fresh spinach and slices of cooked chicken (photos 5 & 6).

Step by step photos showing how to assemble a chicken ciabatta

Top with a little more pesto cream then slices of mozzarella and tomato then finally top with the other half of ciabatta (photos & & 8).

Top tips and recipe FAQs

  • Chicken – Cook the chicken first and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting it into slices so it stays juicy, tender, and full of flavour. Make sure to season the chicken with salt before cooking.
  • Pesto sauce – homemade pesto makes a huge difference compared to using store-bought jarred pesto. Check out our step by step guide on how to make basil pesto.
  • Fillings – instead of spinach you could use arugula (rocket) or any salad leaves you like. You can also swap the tomato and mozzarella for any other cheese and vegetables you prefer.
Can I prepare this in advance?

Yes, you can cook the chicken and prepare the pesto cream in advance then all you need to do is assemble the ciabatta when you are ready to eat.

How do I store leftovers?

Leftover chicken and pesto will keep well in the fridge for 4-5 days.

A close up of a chicken pesto ciabatta cut in half

More lunch ideas you might like

If you’ve tried this Chicken Pesto Ciabatta or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

This post was first published on October 19th 2016 but has since been updated.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
A close up of a chicken pesto ciabatta
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5 from 1 vote

Chicken Pesto Ciabatta

A delicious Chicken Pesto Ciabatta made with juicy chicken cut into slices, a creamy pesto sauce, and slices of fresh mozzarella and tomato. An easy and quick dinner or lunch!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 784kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

Homemade pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil (30g)
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (50g)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (60g)
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (80ml)

Chicken ciabtta

  • 1 ciabatta
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 2 large tomato sliced
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella sliced, (125g)
  • salt and pepper to season

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350°/F180°C. Warm the ciabatta in the oven for around 3 minutes, remove and set aside.
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil then fry for around 8 minutes on each side on a hot griddle pan or skillet until cooked through and juicy. Set aside on a cutting board to rest.
  • Next prepare the tomato and mozzarella by cutting into slices and mix the prepared pesto with sour cream until well combined. Cut the chicken into strips.
  • Cut the ciabatta in half lengthwise then spread some of the pesto cream on the bottom half. Top with spianch then slices of chicken and drizzle over some more pesto cream.
  • Top with mozzarella and tomato then the other half of ciabatta bread then cut into portion sizes, serve and enjoy.

To make the pesto

  • Put all ingredients in a bowl and blitz to a smooth saucy consistency with an immersion blender. You can also use a food processor or mortar and pestle.

Notes

  • Chicken – Cook the chicken first and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting it into slices so it stays juicy, tender, and full of flavour. Make sure to season the chicken with salt before cooking.
  • Pesto sauce – homemade pesto makes a huge difference compared to using store-bought jarred pesto. Check out our step by step guide on how to make basil pesto.
  • Fillings – instead of spinach you could use arugula (rocket) or any salad leaves you like. You can also swap the tomato and mozzarella for any other cheese and vegetables you prefer.
  • Preparing and storing – you can prepare this in advance by cooking the chicken and making the pesto cream then assemble later. Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 784kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 48g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 1108mg | Potassium: 778mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3084IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 376mg | Iron: 2mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We’d love you see what you’re getting up to in the kitchen!

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Angela
    September 7, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Mmm!! Love pesto! This looks amazing!5 stars

  • Reply
    Andrea @ Cooking with Mamma C
    October 19, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    I’ll have this for lunch, please! I just want to dive into that sandwich! I love the idea of adding sour cream to your pesto here. It must give the chicken a nice tang. Beautiful!

  • Reply
    Cindy Gordon
    October 19, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Wow, that looks so filling! I am a huge pesto fan and sandwich fan! Ciabatta is the best!

  • Reply
    John @PreppyKitchen
    October 19, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    I love how hearty and filling this looks. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

  • Reply
    Debi at Life Currents
    October 19, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Wow this looks great! We had some pesto in the house last week, but it’s all gone now. I think I need to make more to make this awesome looking sammie!

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic + Zest
    October 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Such a glorious sandwich! Just what I want for dinner with a glass of wine!

  • Leave a Reply

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