Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich

In April, my family threw my mom an 80th birthday party.  It was a small family gathering planned to begin around noon.  When planning the lunch menu I tried to keep it simple in order to please the multigenerational palates.  The birthday lunch menu included pesto chicken salad sandwiches, roasted vegetable sandwiches, tomato basil soup, squash tart with latticed top, spinach salad with dates, and a fruit and cheese platter.  

I decided to make a savory chicken salad sandwich versus a traditional Waldorf chicken salad sandwich because I thought the latter would have been too sweet, especially with birthday cake.  Pesto is an Italian condiment made from basil, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.  It transformed the boring poached chicken into something flavorful.  Add to that crunchy red bell peppers, tangy artichoke hearts, and freshly chopped parsley you get a vibrant lunch.  To finish the pesto chicken salad off, I placed it on a bed of spinach and covered it with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese.  Mmm, it was really tasty! I hope you enjoy!

CLICK HERE for a printer friendly recipe.  Make 12 - 3.5 inch sandwiches

Ingredients for Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich

  • 3 pounds of poached chicken, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, small dice
  • 1 jar (14 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, small dice
  • 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, rough chop
  • salt/pepper to taste
  •  3- pre sliced fresh mozzarella logs
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup)  pesto
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise  
  • spinach
  • sandwich rolls

Directions for Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich

  1. In a large bowl, place diced chicken, red pepper, artichoke hearts, and parsley.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.  Toss together.
  2. In a small bowl, mix equal parts pesto and mayo.  Combine well.  Pour over the chicken mixture and toss until chicken is coated.  
  3. On a serving platter, arrange the bottoms of the sandwich rolls.  Place spinach leaves on the bottom of the sandwich roll.  Spoon the pesto chicken salad over the bed of spinach, then cover the chicken with a slice of mozzarella and roll top.  If stacking sandwiches onto the platter, secure the sandwich together with a food pick.  Serve chilled.