Chicken and Veggie Panini
Warm sandwiches remain superior to cold sandwiches. It’s just the way it is. That first bite when the warm bread crunches in your mouth. The inside filled with gooey cheese. It’s oh-so-satisfying. Your fingers are left with a delectable layer of buttery goodness. Carb on cheese on carb….the ultimate comforting food.
Now I know that doesn’t have the healthiest of rings to it. So this sandwich compensates by being stuffed with olives, spinach, tomato, onion, hummus, Swiss cheese and chicken. When you put green things in your food, it becomes automatically healthy. That’s another thing that just is the way it is as deemed by Jacked Kitchen. A classic combination often seen in Mediterranean recipes, this sandwich packs a lot of flavor!
Chicken and Veggie Panini Recipe
Makes 1 sandwich.
- 1 red onion
- 1 small tomato
- 5-6 Kalamata olives, pitted
- 1/4 cup fresh or frozen spinach
- 1 slice swiss cheese or 1-ounce shredded
- 1/2 Tbsp butter, soften or melted
- 2 chicken tenders
- 2 slices artisan bread
- 2 -3 Tbsp hummus
Prepare the Ingredients
- Peel and cut 2 thin slices of red onion.
- Cut 5 or 6 Kalamata olives in half.
- Thinly slice 1 small tomato.
- If using frozen spinach, thaw 1/4 cup in the microwave. Squeeze out excess liquid.
- Shred or slice the swiss cheese (if not using pre-sliced).
- Brush softened or melted butter on one side of 2 slices of bread. (Soften the butter in the microwave if needed.)
- Brush 2 chicken tenders with oil or cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Substitute your favorite seasoning.)
Make the Sandwich
- Heat a small skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Add the chicken tenders and cook 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked thoroughly. Set aside and slice into bite-size pieces.
- Return the skillet to the stove and set to medium-low heat.
- Add one piece of bread to the skillet, butter side down. Layer on the cheese first followed by the chicken, olives, tomato, spinach and red onion.
- Spread 2-3 Tbsp of hummus on the non-butter side of the second slice of bread. Add to the sandwich, butter side up.
- Cook the sandwich until the first side starts to brown, 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook on the second side for another 3-4 minutes. (Put your hand flat on the top half of the sandwich as you flip it to prevent the insides from falling out.)
- Cut in half and serve.
With all of the ingredients already being bite-size it’s a little difficult to flip the sandwich without everything falling out. As the cheese melts it will help hold everything together. It also helps to use your spatula to compress the sandwich gently as it cooks.
Have you ever used mayonnaise in place of butter when making a panini or grilled cheese? Not that long ago I read a recipe for an “ultimate” grilled cheese sandwich. It said the key is to use mayonnaise in place of butter because when it cooks the bread becomes extra crispy. This seemed like something “jacked” kitchen should definitely try. I gave it a whirl, and it was quite delicious. I haven’t converted to this being my go-to for paninis and grilled cheese sandwiches, but I do recommend it!