These tasty Chicken Panini make an easy weeknight grilled chicken dinner.
With the back-to-school rush on or nearly here depending on where you live, you’ll want something convenient to cook up that the whole family will love.
That’s why this chicken panini recipe is my go-to, busy weeknight dinner since it’s made on an countertop grill.
No need to grill outdoors on a buggy night or go out and buy an expensive panini press!
How to make a grilled chicken panini
But how to make this chicken panini recipe special?
Making the Greek yogurt marinated chicken
Next add peppers
For color, I added strips of red pepper. I grilled these on the George Foreman Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press.
Then add some cheese
The final touch to this quick grilled chicken breast recipe was using a shredded Italian cheese blend.
The tart flavor of the Greek yogurt and the sweet flavors of the balsamic vinaigrette and grilled red pepper meshed perfectly with the Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Fontina, Romano, and Asiago cheeses.
But you can use slices of mozzarella or Swiss, too, if that's more convenient.
What type of bread?
While you can use regular white bread or whole wheat bread, try this chicken panini sandwich recipe on your favorite gluten free bread.
Everything else about this yummy chicken panini recipe is naturally gluten free!
How to prep the yogurt marinated chicken breast
Depending on where you buy your chicken breasts, half a breast may be perfect for one chicken panini sandwich.
However, I found that the ones I bought at my grocery store were HUGE. Ridiculously so.
Three were more than enough for my family since I was able to trim down two of the larger ones to use on the forth panini sandwich.
You’ll want to flatten and tenderize the chicken breasts with a meat tenderizer tool, so the chicken absorbs the marinate better and grills more evenly.
Remember plan accordingly! Marinate the chicken first thing in the morning when making your chicken panini recipe for dinner that night.
Tips for grilling the best chicken panini
How to prevent sticking – add mayo!
This isn’t in my original instructions for making the grilled chicken panini sandwich recipe.
If you don’t want your panini to stick to the grill, slather on a thin coating of your favorite mayonnaise to the outside of the panini sandwich.
My kids started doing this every time they make grilled cheese and it works like a charm to prevent sticking.
Or use vinaigrette dressing
If mayo isn't your thing, you can use a little of the balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the outside of your grilled panini sandwich.
The oil in it should prevent sticking and add a lovely flavor to your panini.
Cooking spray works great, too
Or just spray the George Foreman Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press with some olive oil cooking spray according to the recipe instructions.
More terrific sandwich recipes
This Ham & Pimento Cheese Sandwich features green heirloom tomatoes, but you can make it with any type of tomatoes you have on hand.
- 4 half chicken breasts (enough to make 4 sandwiches)
- 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
- 1 large red pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 8 strips
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 8 slices bread (whole wheat or gluten free)
- 2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend (1/2 cup per panini)
- Combine the Greek yogurt and balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing in a bowl. Mix thoroughly.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board. Vigorously tenderize both sides of the chicken with a blade meat tenderizer tool until the meat is as flat and even as you can get it.
- Place chicken in a large zip-lock plastic baggie. Pour in marinade. Push out extra air and seal.
- Place the baggie on a tray or large plate (in case of accidental leaks) in the refrigerator up to 12 hours before grilling.
To grill chicken and peppers:
- Heat grill and coat with cooking spray.
- Remove chicken from the baggie and throw out the marinade.
- Place half the pepper strips and one of the chicken half breasts on the countertop grill and close. Cook, until the chicken is completely cooked through – cooking time, will depend on how hot your countertop grill gets. Note that peppers take longer to cook than chicken. Peppers should have nice grill marks and be soft when fully cooked.) Keep cooked chicken warm in the oven.
- Add another half breast to the grill and repeat process. Remove cooked peppers from countertop grill and place in the oven to keep warm.
- Repeat the process until all chicken and peppers have been cooked.
To grill chicken paninis:
- Wipe down countertop grill with paper towels and coat with cooking spray.
- Remove cooked chicken and red peppers from the oven.
- To assemble panini, spray outside of bread with cooking spray. Then lay bread flat and sprinkle 1/4 cup of Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Cheese Italian on one slice of bread. Layer chicken, 2 pepper strips, 1/4 cup of Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Cheese Italian, and the second layer of bread.
- Carefully lay panini down on the hot surface of your grill. (Depending on the size of your countertop grill, you may want to do two paninis at a time.) Press the lid down firmly and apply gentle pressure. Cook until the bread is golden brown. (Cooking time will depend on how hot your countertop grill gets.)
- Remove from grill and place on cutting board. Cut chicken panini on a diagonal with a serrated knife and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 771Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 176mgSodium: 973mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 67g
Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.
Originally published on February 20, 2015 and August 7, 2017. Updated with new pictures and information.