Italian Chicken Sandwiches


This Discover Cooking with California Olive Oil Recipe Contest submission comes from Debbie Schweickert, a We Olive & Wine Bar Costa Mesa customer. Debbie tells us “This Italian style chicken sandwich is made with homemade pesto and a We Olive Oil marinade. It is garnished with cheese, avocado , onion and arugula to top it off. The Jalapeño Peach salad can stand on its own, but is a great accompaniment to the sandwich. The unusual flavors of Jalapeño olive oil and Peach white balsamic vinegar make a killer salad dressing. The dressing is tossed together with chopped romaine lettuce, spinach, avocado, Manchego cheese, onion and toasted almonds. Jalapeño cheese croutons are tossed in to finish and they will surprise you with a kick!”

Serves 4


For the Salad
3 oz We Olive Jalapeño Olive Oil (for the dressing)
1 to 2 Tbs. We Olive Jalapeño Olive Oil (for the Croutons)
1 oz We Olive Peach White Balsamic Vinegar
1 White Peach
2 ripe avocados (Salad and Sandwich)
1 small red onion (1/2 for salad and 1/2 for sandwich)
1/2 cup Jalapeño Cheese croutons (see directions below)
1 head Romaine lettuce cleaned and chopped
1 cup fresh Spinach
3 oz Manchego Cheese, chopped into bite size pieces
2 Tbs. toasted slivered almonds

For the Sandwich
1 cup baby arugula
Cracked black pepper to taste
2 large or 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 Ciabatta Bread rolls
1 slices of white cheddar or swiss cheese
1 thinly sliced avocado
1/2 thinly sliced red onion
4 Tbs. We Olive Garlic Olive Oil
2 Tbs. We Olive Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
1 large ziploc bag

For the Pesto
1 large peeled fresh clove of garlic
2 1/2 cups fresh basil
1/4 cup Pine Nuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbs. We Olive Garlic Olive Oil
1 Tbs. We Olive Meyer Lemon Olive Oil

Croutons Prep:
Purchase a loaf of Jalapeño cheese bread at your specialty food market. Cut the bread into Crouton size chunks. Toss in one to two Tbs. We Olive Jalapeño Olive Oil, to lightly cover. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toast croutons on a cookie sheet until brown and crispy. About 10 minutes, flip them over half way. May be made ahead of time.

Almonds Prep:
Place the slivered almonds into a dry frying pan. Toast on Med heat. Remove from the heat and hot pan to stop cooking process. Put aside.

Dressing Prep:
Whisk together the Jalapeño olive oil and the White Peach Balsamic Vinegar (3:1 ratio)

Wash all of the lettuce and chop the romaine; add cleaned spinach
Chop the cheese, peach and avocado into bite size pieces
Thinly slice the red onion
Add freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
Mix all of the above ingredients into a large salad bowl.
Toss with salad dressing (to taste) when you are ready to serve.
Reserve a few almonds, avocado and peaches to garnish on top.

Chicken Pesto Ciabatta Sandwiches
Chicken Prep:
Salt and pepper both sides of 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Place breasts of chicken in a large Ziploc baggie.
Add 4 Tbs. of We Olive Garlic olive oil
Add 2 Tbs. of We Olive Meyer Lemon olive oil
Seal and massage the breasts through the bag.
Place in refrigerator for at least one hour.
Grill the chicken breasts about 4 to 6 minutes on each side, (Depending on the size of each breast) discard the marinade and let the chicken rest
Slice 1/2 onion, wash and dry 1 to 1 ½ cups of baby arugula, slice 1 avocado and slice 4 Ciabatta bread rolls in half.

Pesto Prep:
Put the Garlic, Basil, Pine Nuts and Parmesan cheese in a blender or food processor. While the machine is blending drizzle in 2 Tbs. of We Olive Garlic Oil and 1 Tbs. of We Olive Meyer Lemon Olive Oil. Set it aside.(see notes)

Liberally spread the pesto on both sides of the bread.
Add the Arugula
Slice the chicken on an angle and place neatly on one side of the bread.
Add the cheese, sliced onion and sliced avocado.
Top with fresh cracked black pepper and place the top on the sandwich.
Plate the sandwich and salad together.
Serve with iced tea or a nice light Pinot Grigio wine. Enjoy!

Notes: Jalapeno Dressing makes 4oz of salad dressing and is therefore not meant to be used for this salad only.
I use this dressing as a marinade for chicken as well.
I also make the dressing with the We Olive Apple White Balsamic Vinegar. I substitute Crisp apples for the white peaches! Delicious summer salad!!
Adjust pesto to your taste! More or less Garlic Olive Oil or Meyer Lemon Olive Oil.

7 Responses to “Italian Chicken Sandwiches”

  1. Cindy


  2. Aissa

    This is an easy recipe even though the instructions look involved! It is delicious and good alternative to serving PB & J to the kids on a busy schedule. The chicken is made ahead of time and saved…. yummy chicken sandwiches. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  3. Carolyn Doner

    This We Olive receipe sounds the best!!!

  4. Robert

    oooo that looks good!! Yum!

  5. Vicki

    Fabulous recipe for a delicious (and very pretty) lunch! Sounds complicated, but once you gather all the ingredients, it is quite easy!

    I plan to double this recipe and serve at my next book club meeting.

  6. DD

    One of the best salad dressings I’ve ever had! I used Mandarin Orange slices instead of peaches and it was wonderful!!

  7. Cheryl

    I made this recipe for a couple of friends that came over and they raved about it! I’ll definitely use this one again.


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