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Grilled Italian chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato.
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5 from 3 votes

Italian Grilled Chicken Sandwich

This Italian Grilled Chicken Sandwich recipe is marinated and cooked until juicy and flavorful. Serve on ciabatta with basil pesto mayo!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Marinating Time:2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: chicken sandwich, grilled chicken sandwich, chicken sandwich pesto mayo, gluten free chicken sandwich
Servings: 6
Calories: 511kcal
Author: Christine Rooney


  • Grill


For The Chicken Sandwich:

For The Pesto Mayo:


For The Chicken Sandwich:

  • Mince 4 cloves of garlic.
  • If chicken breasts are super thick butterfly or cut them in half length-wise to make them thinner. Place the chicken breasts in a large glass or metal bowl along with 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar (or vinegar of choice), the minced garlic, 2 tsp. smoked paprika, 2 tsp. Italian seasoning, ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional), and ½ tsp. each of kosher salt and pepper.
  • Mix all of these ingredients until completely combined. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to marinate.
  • After the chicken has marinated heat your grill (using charcoal or gas) to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the chicken breasts over the coals (direct heat), cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Flip the chicken, cover the grill again, and cook for another 3 minutes over direct heat.
  • Move the chicken breasts to a more indirect heat, cover, and continue to cook for another 7-10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This may be checked using a food thermometer.
  • Just as the chicken is almost finished cooking place a slice or two of cheese and allow it to melt for a minute or two.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and allow it to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to reabsorb and will prevent the chicken from drying out.

For The Pesto Mayo:

  • Add ½ cup mayo, ¼ cup jarred basil pesto, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, and a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper to a small bowl.
  • Mince ¼ cup of fresh basil and add the mayo. Stir until combined. (This step is optional - Fresh basil is not necessary but helps to drive home the basil flavor). Stir until completely combined using a fork or small whisk.

Serve The Sandwiches:

  • Toast buns on the grill for a minute or two. Spread a generous amount of pesto mayo on one or both sides of the bun. Place the grilled chicken on the bun along with a couple slices of tomatoes and a handful of leafy greens.


It's best to marinate the chicken for 2 hours but do not exceed 6 hours or the acid in the vinegar may start to break down the fibers and make the chicken tough.
You may sub any vinegar you like for white wine vinegar or use lemon juice in place of vinegar (do not use malt vinegar if you are gluten free).
To cook the chicken thoroughly make sure the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees and/or cut into the thickest part of the chicken to make sure that it is opaque and not pink at all.
A charcoal Weber or gas grill may be used to make these sandwiches.


Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 739mg | Potassium: 726mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1644IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 2mg