Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwiches with Basil Olive Pesto Recipe from Italy

Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwiches with Basil Olive Pesto

Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwiches with Basil Olive Pesto Recipe from Italy
Region / culture: Italy | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 0 minutes | Servings: 4


Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwiches with Basil Olive Pesto
Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwiches with Basil Olive Pesto

This recipe for Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwiches with Basil Olive Pesto is a delicious and flavorful option for a quick and easy meal. The combination of tender chicken, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, peppery arugula, and aromatic basil olive pesto creates a satisfying and satisfying sandwich that is perfect for lunch or dinner.


This recipe is a modern twist on the classic Italian panini sandwich. Panini sandwiches have been a popular choice in Italy for centuries, with various fillings and spreads used to create a delicious and satisfying meal. The addition of sun-dried tomatoes and basil olive pesto adds a unique and flavorful touch to this traditional dish.



  • 3 oz (85 g) dried tomatoes (about 0.75 cup), not packed in oil
  • a long loaf (about 20 inches) of French or italian bread or individual loaves of panini
  • about 0.5 cup of basil olive pesto
  • 6 to 8 oz (227 g) of chicken slices
  • 0.5 bunch of arugula, trimmed, washed well, and spun dry (about 1 cup)

Basil olive pesto

  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, washed well and spun dry
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves (preferably flat-leaf), washed well and spun dry
  • 0.33 cup pine nuts
  • 0.25 cup olive oil
  • 0.25 cup kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped fine

How to prepare


  1. In a heatproof bowl, pour enough boiling water over the tomatoes to cover and let them stand for 20 to 30 minutes, or until they become soft.
  2. Drain the tomatoes and pat them dry.
  3. Cut the loaf diagonally into 4 pieces and then halve each piece horizontally.
  4. Spread pesto on the cut sides of the bread and make 4 sandwiches with chicken, tomatoes, and arugula.

Basil olive pesto

  1. With the food processor running, add garlic and blend until minced.
  2. Add basil, parsley, and pine nuts and blend well.
  3. Add oil and blend until smooth.
  4. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and stir in olives.
  5. The pesto can be made 5 days ahead and chilled, with the surface covered tightly with plastic wrap.
  6. Bring the pesto to room temperature before using.


  • Substitute grilled shrimp or tofu for the chicken for a vegetarian option.
  • Add sliced avocado or roasted red peppers for extra flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to use high-quality ingredients, such as fresh basil and parsley, to ensure the best flavor in the pesto.

- To make the sandwiches extra crispy, you can toast them in a panini press or on a grill pan.

- Feel free to customize the sandwich with your favorite ingredients, such as roasted red peppers or grilled vegetables.

Serving Suggestions

Serve these sandwiches with a side salad or a bowl of soup for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

To make the pesto, be sure to blend the ingredients until smooth for the best texture.

- When assembling the sandwiches, be sure to evenly distribute the ingredients for a balanced flavor in each bite.

Ingredient Substitutions

You can use store-bought pesto if you don't have time to make your own.

- Feel free to use any type of bread or rolls for the sandwiches.

Make Ahead Tips

The pesto can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

- You can also prepare the chicken and sun-dried tomatoes ahead of time and assemble the sandwiches when ready to eat.

Presentation Ideas

Cut the sandwiches into halves or quarters for a more elegant presentation. - Serve the sandwiches on a platter with fresh basil leaves for garnish.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair these sandwiches with a glass of white wine or a refreshing iced tea.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover sandwiches in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

- To reheat, place the sandwiches in a toaster oven or oven at 350°F until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of this sandwich contains approximately 400 calories.


Each serving of this Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwich contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of this sandwich contains approximately 20 grams of fat.


Each serving of this sandwich contains approximately 25 grams of protein.

Vitamins and minerals

This sandwich is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron.


This recipe contains nuts (pine nuts) and gluten (bread), so it may not be suitable for those with nut allergies or gluten sensitivities.


This Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwich is a balanced meal that provides a good mix of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious option for a quick and easy meal.


This Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwich with Basil Olive Pesto is a delicious and satisfying meal that is perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner. With a flavorful combination of ingredients and a nutritious profile, this sandwich is sure to become a favorite in your recipe rotation.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is etched in my memory forever. It was a warm summer day, the sun shining brightly through the kitchen window as I rummaged through an old recipe box that had belonged to my mother. As I flipped through the yellowed index cards, I came across a recipe for Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwiches with Basil Olive Pesto. The combination of flavors sounded absolutely divine, and I knew I had to give it a try.

I had always been drawn to the art of cooking. From a young age, I watched my mother and grandmother effortlessly whip up delicious meals in the kitchen. I loved the way the aromas would fill the house, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. As I grew older, I began experimenting with different recipes, learning from family, friends, and even strangers I met along the way.

One of my favorite pastimes was visiting local farmers markets and chatting with the vendors about their produce and recipes. It was during one of these outings that I first learned about sun-dried tomatoes. The vendor explained how they were dried under the sun, intensifying their flavor and sweetness. Intrigued, I purchased a bag and immediately began brainstorming ways to incorporate them into my cooking.

The idea of pairing sun-dried tomatoes with chicken and pesto seemed like the perfect marriage of flavors. I had always been a fan of pesto, with its vibrant green color and fragrant aroma. I had even grown my own basil plant in the backyard, ensuring a fresh and plentiful supply year-round.

As I gathered the ingredients for the sandwiches, I couldn't help but feel a sense of excitement. Cooking had always been a form of therapy for me, a way to relax and unwind after a long day. The rhythmic chopping of vegetables, the sizzle of chicken in the pan, the gentle whir of the food processor – it was all music to my ears.

I began by marinating the chicken in a mixture of olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasonings. While it soaked up the flavors, I turned my attention to the basil olive pesto. I tossed fresh basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil into the food processor, blending them until they formed a smooth and fragrant paste.

Next, I sliced the sun-dried tomatoes into thin strips, their deep red color a beautiful contrast to the vibrant green pesto. I sautéed them in a pan with a bit of olive oil, allowing their flavors to intensify and mingle with the garlic and herbs.

Once the chicken was cooked through and the pesto and sun-dried tomatoes were ready, it was time to assemble the sandwiches. I spread a generous dollop of pesto on a toasted ciabatta roll, topped it with slices of juicy grilled chicken, and finished it off with a handful of sun-dried tomatoes.

The first bite was pure bliss. The tender chicken, the tangy tomatoes, the herbaceous pesto – it was a symphony of flavors dancing on my taste buds. I closed my eyes and savored every morsel, feeling grateful for the simple pleasure of good food and good company.

As I sat at the table, enjoying my creation, I couldn't help but think of all the people who had inspired me along the way. From my mother and grandmother to the farmers market vendors and strangers with a shared love of cooking, each one had left a mark on my culinary journey.

And so, as I finished the last bite of my Chicken and Sun-dried Tomato Sandwich with Basil Olive Pesto, I made a promise to myself to continue exploring new recipes, learning from others, and sharing the joy of cooking with those around me. After all, food has a way of bringing people together, creating memories that last a lifetime. And this recipe, discovered on a sunny summer day, would always hold a special place in my heart.


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