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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Grilled Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Panini

by Giada De Laurentiis
Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Grilled Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Panini

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Whip up this grilled chicken and pesto panini any day of the week for a deliciously easy lunch or dinner. This pesto is made with broccoli, but you can make it with whatever greens you have on hand. The crunchy toasted bread, grilled chicken cutlets and creamy pesto make for a beautiful combination of flavors and textures. Add a few tomato slices for an extra pop of freshness.

The key to making this simple sandwich feel luxurious is to use the best ingredients you can find — don't skimp out on the good olive oil! Serve it with your favorite grilled veggies or pasta salad to round out the meal.

Grilled Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Panini


Main Course

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

15 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Grilled Chicken and Broccoli Pesto Panini


  • 8 slices of rustic bread
  • 4 chicken cutlets
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (from half of a lemon)
  • 1 to 2 large beef steak tomatoes (sliced into thick rounds and halved)
  • For the pesto:

  • 2 small heads of broccoli (about 3 cups)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmegianno reggiano


  1. As seen on: Giada in Italy, Episode 3. Poolside Picnic.
  2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over medium high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the cooked broccoli to an ice bath and let it cool, about 3 minutes. Remove from the ice bath and drain well. Transfer the broccoli to a food processor. Add the garlic, walnuts, honey, salt, lemon zest and lemon juice and process until finely chopped. With the machine running gradually pour in the extra-virgin olive oil. Transfer the pesto to a small bowl and stir in the Parmesan. Cover and set aside.
  3. Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat.
  4. Grill the slices of bread until toasted and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Season the chicken cutlets with the salt and pepper flakes and drizzle with the olive oil. Place the cutlets on the grill pan and grill until they are golden brown and are cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Squeeze the lemon juice over the cooked chicken while still on the grill. Remove the chicken to a plate. To assemble the sandwiches, spread about 1 tablespoon of the pesto on each slice of bread. Place 2 pieces of tomato on 4 of the slices. Top the tomato with a chicken cutlet and the remaining slices of bread. Cut in half to serve.
  5. Cooks Note: The pesto makes more than enough for the sandwiches. It can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
105 grams
69 grams
88 grams
Saturated Fat
14 grams
117 milligrams
1744 milligrams
14 grams
16 grams
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