A juicy and super tasty chicken ciabatta sandwich with sun-dried tomatoes, cool mozzarella and a creamy pesto sauce. Ready in just 20 minutes using 6 key ingredients.
If you're craving a chicken ciabatta sandwich that's sure to make a lasting impression, look no further. This recipe will give you all the info you need, to guarantee tender and juicy pan-seared or grilled chicken, perfectly crispy ciabatta, and a tasty blend of additional fillings for exceptional flavour and texture in every bite.
Speaking of chicken sandwiches, have you tried my Crispy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwich? Or for other tasty chicken breast recipes, try my Panko Chicken or Dukkah Chicken. You can find these, along with lots of other delicious and easy chicken recipes on the Chicken Recipes Page.
The post contains additional information and helpful tips to ensure the recipe turns out great the first time. Please use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end if you are in a hurry!
4 reasons why you'll love this recipe:
- Delicious texture and flavour in every bite
- Ready in just 15 minutes
- Uses just 6 everyday ingredients
- Customisable with lots of ways to adapt it to suit your tastes and cravings
Ciabatta bread for sandwiches
Ciabatta bread makes great sandwiches for a bunch of reasons. First, there's the texture – all crispy on the outside and soft and fluffy inside. Plus, it won't fall apart when you load it up with juicy meats, sauces, and lots of other tasty fillings.
Choosing the right ciabatta for your sandwich can make a big difference in its overall taste and texture. Look out for a fresh loaf or rolls with a crisp, golden-brown crust and a soft, hole-filled interior. If you can, buy it from a local bakery.
🛒 Key ingredients:
- Chicken breasts: These are tenderised and cooked on the stove or outdoor grill.
- Ciabatta: It is toasted first so it remains nice and crisp when the sandwich is assembled. Look for a ciabatta loaf or rolls with a crisp crust and a soft, airy interior.
- Basil Pesto: You can use store-bought or homemade green pesto.
- Yoghurt: Is combined with the pesto to make it juicy and creamy. Any plain or Greek full or low-fat yoghurts will work.
- Mozzarella: Provides a soft, cool creamy element. You can also melt it if you prefer.
- Sun-dried tomatoes. For a pop of colour and tanginess.
Note that the recipe has not been tested with all the substitutions and variations below, so the results cannot be guaranteed.
- Chicken breasts: You can use thighs if you prefer or leftover cooked chicken.
- Ciabatta: Switch for a baguette, focaccia or sourdough.
- Marinate the chicken for extra flavour. Check out this 6 Simple Chicken Marinades post from Downshiftology.
- Breaded chicken. To add a satisfying crunch. Try my panko-breaded chicken recipe.
- Using pork/turkey instead of chicken.
- Using leftover cooked/rotisserie chicken.
- Red pesto: Swap the green pesto for sun-dried tomato pesto.
- Spicy mayo. Swap the creamy basil pesto for spicy aoli mayo.
🧑🍳 Recipe steps
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions! *
Step 1: In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt and pesto
Step 2: Bash the chicken with a meat tenderiser or rolling pin until ¼ inch thick and season with salt on both sides.
Step 3: In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and grill the chicken breasts for about 2-3 minutes per side until they are cooked through and start to brown. Then remove from the pan and set aside.
Step 4: Slice the ciabatta rolls in half, place them face-down in the pan and toast until light brown and crispy.
Step 5: Spread a generous amount of the pesto sauce on the bottom halves of the toasted ciabatta rolls, then add the sun-dried tomatoes, chicken, more pesto sauce, and mozzarella. Serve immediately!
🍽️ Serving suggestions
- Pair with a Side Salad like my Arugula, Tomato and Parmesan Salad.
- Fries or potato chips.
- A comforting soup like Italian Orzo Tomato Soup or Mexican Chilli Bean Soup.
- Dessert: Finish the meal with a Philadelphia Strawberry Cheesecake, All butter Shortbread cookies or Baked cookie dough puddings.
- Choose Fresh Ciabatta: Look for one with a crisp crust and a soft, airy interior. If possible, buy it from a local bakery.
- Tenderise the chicken before cooking. Pounding the raw chicken breasts with a meat tenderiser or other heavy object like a rolling pin breaks down the fibres and results in a faster cooking time that keeps the moisture locked in.
- Toast the ciabatta before assembling. To ensure it stays nice and crisp when the fillings are added.
🙋 Recipe FAQs
This is an essential step. Not only does it improve the texture and flavour of the chicken, but it also makes it thin enough to quickly cook on the stove in a matter of minutes. It is not possible to pan-sear a whole chicken breast.
Ciabatta is an Italian bread known for its rustic appearance, with a crisp crust and soft, airy interior. It's popular for sandwiches because its texture holds up well to fillings, and its porous structure allows it to absorb flavours and condiments.
Toasting ciabatta bread for sandwiches is important because it not only enhances the bread's flavour by adding a delightful crunch but also serves as a barrier to prevent the fillings from making the bread soggy.
Ciabatta chicken sandwiches taste best when served fresh. However, an assembled sandwich will keep in the fridge for up to two days. To make ahead, it's best to cook the chicken, prep the creamy yoghurt pesto and store them in the fridge. You can then toast the bread and assemble the sandwiches when you come to eat them.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken for approximately 3-4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), ensuring they are no longer pink in the centre and have appealing grill marks for added flavour and texture.
Did you try this recipe?
It would be really great if you could leave a comment and a star rating ⭐️. I would love to receive your feedback and know that other readers find it helpful too.
Don't forget to tag #knifeandsoulrecipes on Instagram or @knifeandsoul on Pinterest!
Ciabatta Sandwich with Chicken and Pesto
- 2 chicken breasts (Note 1)
- 1 tbsp neutral oil (Note 2)
- 1 cup (150 g) mozzarella thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp basil pesto (Note 3)
- 2 tbsp Plain/Greek yoghurt (Note 4)
- 8 sun dried tomatoes (Note 5)
- 2 ciabatta rolls (Note 6)
- In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt and pesto.
- Bash the chicken with a meat tenderiser or rolling pin until ¼ inch thick and season with salt on both sides.
- In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts and cook for about 2-3 minutes per side until they are cooked through and start to brown. Then remove from the pan and set aside. (Note 7)
- Slice the ciabatta rolls in half, place them face-down in the pan and toast until light brown and crispy.
- Spread a generous amount of the pesto sauce on the bottom halves of the toasted ciabatta rolls, then add the sun-dried tomatoes, cooked chicken and mozzarella. (Note 8)
- Chicken: You can use thighs if you prefer or leftover cooked chicken.
- Oil: Use a neutral oil with a high burn point like canola, vegetable oil or groundnut. Avoid olive oil.
- Basil pesto. You can use store-bought or homemade.
- Yoghurt: Can be full or low fat.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: Substitute with fresh tomatoes.
- Ciabatta: Switch for a baguette, focaccia or sourdough.
- Cooking the chicken on an outdoor grill: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken for approximately 3-4 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), ensuring they are no longer pink in the centre.
- Mozzarella: You can also melt it if you prefer.