This Chipotle Chicken Panini sandwich recipe is great for lunch! It's toasted and made with zesty mayo, avocado, spinach, and melted cheese.
Anything stuffed between two pieces of bread and stuck into a panini maker is likely to come out delicious. This Chicken Panini with Chipotle Mayo is one such tasty sandwich!
Looking for a quick, easy, and flavorful lunch recipe? That means it's time to break out the panini maker!
A panini is a sandwich that's usually made with Italian bread that's toasted and served warm. Placing the panini inside the panini maker 'presses' the sandwich and gives it that quintessential toasted look.
Putting a sandwich into a panini maker does something magical to it. The bread gets crusty and the cheese gets all melt-y. That bread sort of creates a fortress for all the gooey ingredients that you put inside the sandwich. And let's be honest. It's all about the gooey ingredients.
You can stuff almost anything into a panini. Use whatever is laying around the kitchen - Some combination of meat, vegetables, cheese, and a sauce.
I encourage experimentation when it comes to panini-making.
- What Type Of Bread Is Best For A Panini?
- What Kind Of Chicken Should I Use To Make This Sandwich?
- How To Make Chipotle Mayo
- What Is Chipotle In Adobo?
- How To Make A Chicken Panini Sandwich
- Heat The Chicken Panini
- How Long Does It Take To Cook A Panini?
- What To Serve With Chipotle Chicken Panini
- Can I Still Make this Chicken Panini Without A Panini Press?
- Chipotle Chicken Panini with Avocado
What Type Of Bread Is Best For A Panini?
Let's talk bread - When I first published this post I was a gluten-eating machine which meant that I ate A LOT of sandwiches, pasta, and muffins.
Now that I'm gluten free I still eat all those things but in their gluten free form (and feel a lot better as a result).
My favorite gluten free bread is from Scharr - It tastes the most like 'regular' bread and works great for things like sandwiches. They have a fantastic line of gluten free products!
You can find them at most grocery stores or even larger retailers like WalMart. If gluten is not an issue for you feel free to use any type of sandwich bread you like! I've prepared this chicken panini using all sorts of bread and it turns out great every time.
What Kind Of Chicken Should I Use To Make This Sandwich?
As for the chicken you can go lots of different routes. I went for sliced deli meat but you can use rotisserie chicken or leftovers from a roasted chicken or baked chicken breasts.
Feel free to use turkey if that's what you have on hand.
The same goes for the cheese - As long as it melts it's fair game. Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Gouda, Havarti, or Provolone are all great options.
How To Make Chipotle Mayo
Now for the sauce - My favorite for this chicken panini is chipotle mayo. It's SO easy to make.
It packs a lot of flavor considering it only contains a few ingredients.
- Simply combine ½ cup mayo, 3 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. sugar, a pinch of salt, and 4 tsp. of adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers.
- Stir all of the ingredients together until completely combined.
- *You can substitute the sugar with honey or agave nectar if you like.
What Is Chipotle In Adobo?
The star of this recipe is definitely the chipotle flavor. Chipotles are dried and smoked jalapeno peppers that are packed in adobo sauce. Chipotles in adobo are what I consider to be a kitchen staple.
A can is super cheap and you can use it in almost anything. It's smokey and tangy and spicy. It's gold. Culinary gold.
If this is the first time you are using chipotles in adobo and you happen to add way too much to the sauce - and I'm speaking from experience here - Add some more sugar. The sweetness of the sugar will balance it out.
How To Store Leftover Chipotles In Adobo Sauce:
Tip: You can store your unused chipotles in adobo in the freezer!
Simply pour the remainder of the can in a freezer-safe plastic sandwich bag and place it in the freezer.
If you like chipotle flavor don't miss these recipes!
- Skillet Chipotle Chicken Tacos
- Slow Cooker Barbacoa Tacos
- Cheesy Chipotle Rice Balls
- Slow Cooker Southwest Beef Chili
- Southwest Chipotle Coleslaw
How To Make A Chicken Panini Sandwich
I like to add fresh vegetables when the panini has finished cooking. I've found that greens tend to get wilt-y if it's cooked with the rest of it. I used spinach and avocado here but you can use any vegetable you like!
Greens like kale, chard, or arugula work great as well as sliced tomato or peppers.
I'm just the kind of person that thinks everything tastes better with avocado, so, hence the avocado.
Roughly chop 2 cups of spinach or any greens you like and cut 1 avocado into slices.
Heat The Chicken Panini
Slather a bunch of the chipotle mayo on one or both pieces of bread along with a few slices of chicken and a couple slices of cheese.
Heat the panini maker to medium-low and melt a bit of butter on the surface to prevent the chicken panini from sticking.
You want the temperature hot enough to melt the cheese but not hot enough to burn the bread.
How Long Does It Take To Cook A Panini?
Pop the sandwiches into a pre-heated panini maker. Close the top and toast them for 5-6 minutes.
Cooking times may vary slightly depending on the model of your panini press. The sandwiches are done when the cheese has melted and the surface of the bread has some nice grill marks.
Remove the chicken panini from the machine and place the spinach and avocado (or any vegetable you like) inside. Cut them in half and boom - Lunch.
If I had one word of advice when it comes to paninis, it would be this - Don't over stuff them! Keep it simple. Use a few ingredients that you really enjoy and the sandwich will hold together nicely.
What To Serve With Chipotle Chicken Panini
Can I Still Make this Chicken Panini Without A Panini Press?
Simply use the same method and prepare them using a griddle or skillet on the stove top as you would a grilled cheese sandwich.
Love Sandwiches? Be sure to check out these recipes!
- Italian Mozzarella Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
- Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad
- Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich
- Rachel Sandwich
- Mustard Egg Salad
- Lemon Basil Chicken Salad
- Lemon Dill Egg Salad
- Rotisserie Chicken Wild Rice Salad
Looking For More Toasted Sandwich Recipes? Don't Miss These!
Chipotle Chicken Panini with Avocado
For the sandwich:
- 1 loaf gluten free bread or bread of choice
- 1 package gluten free deli chicken or rotisserie chicken, roasted chicken, or chicken of choice
- 8 slices Colby cheese or cheese of choice
- 1 avocado
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 Tbsp. butter
For The Chipotle Mayo:
- Combine ½ cup mayo, 4 tsp. adobo sauce, 3 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. sugar, and a small pinch of salt in a small bowl. Stir all of the ingredients until completely combined. Feel free to adjust the amount of adobo sauce to your desired spice level. If sauce is too spicy add more sugar to balance out the spice.
For The Sandwich:
- Heat the panini maker to medium-low.
- Spread a spoonful of chipotle mayo on one or both slices of bread.
- Place a few slices of chicken and a couple slices of cheese on the bread.
- Melt a small amount of butter on the panini maker to prevent sandwiches from sticking.
- Place the paninis in the machine, close, and cook for 5-6 minutes. Cooking times may vary depending on the model of the your panini press. The sandwiches are finished when the cheese has melted and the surface of the bread is toasted.
- Roughly chop 2 cups of spinach (or leafy green of choice) and cut 1 avocado (or vegetable of choice) into slices.
- Remove the paninis from the machine, slice in half, and place the avocado and spinach inside the sandwiches. Serve immediately.
- Repeat with the remainder of the sandwiches.