Apr 23
2010

Grilled Chicken, Bacon & Smoked Gouda Panini with Pesto Mayonnaise Recipe

Grilled Chicken, Bacon & Smoked Gouda Panini Recipe with Pesto Mayonnaise

You have heard of writer’s block, but have you ever heard of recipe blogger’s block? Well, let me assure you that it exists. There are times when I am simply too tired, rushed, or void of worthwhile ideas to think up a new recipe for dinner. At times like these, I often turn to making frittatas, such as the Asparagus Frittata with Smoked Paprika, Thyme and Feta Cheese. Pasta dishes, such as Pasta in Lemon Cream Sauce with Chicken, Greens Beans, and Red Peppers, also make their way into the easy-dinner rotation. When I’m feeling exceptionally lazy, out comes the George Foreman grill (the closest thing I have to a panini press) and any leftovers in the fridge are put to work.

The possibilities are endless. For a vegetarian sandwich, use a mixture of artichokes, feta cheese, roasted red peppers, and spinach. If red meat is more your speed, pile on some marinated flank steak with a spicy slaw. In this version of the versatile panini, I combined some leftover grilled chicken with crisp, smoky bacon, creamy smoked gouda, juicy tomatoes, fresh spinach, and a pesto mayonnaise. Pressed inside of a ciabatta roll and cooked until the cheese is melted and the bread is crisp, this satisfying sandwich is ready in less than 15 minutes.

Preheat a panini press or a grill pan set over medium-high heat. If using a grill pan, wash and cover a brick in aluminum foil. This can be placed on top of the sandwich to mimic a panini press.

Slice 2 cooked chicken breasts crosswise into thin slices. We had some leftover grilled chicken from the previous night’s dinner, but you can use chicken breasts cooked in any method. If you want to make this as easy as possible, use the breast meat from a store-bought rotisserie chicken. There is no shame in that!


In a large skillet, cook 4 slices bacon until crispy. Drain on a piece of paper towel. Okay, so there are 6 pieces of bacon in the photo. I freely admit that I have a bacon problem and must have an extra piece or two to nibble on.


In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons homemade or high-quality store-bought pesto.


Cut 4 ciabatta rolls in half horizontally. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the pesto mayo on the cut sides of each roll.

Lay about 4 slices of chicken on each sandwich and top with a strip of that crispy bacon.


Top each sandwich with 2 to 3 slices of smoked gouda, 2 slices of tomato and 4 large leaves of fresh spinach. Close the sandwich and place in a preheated panini maker or grill pan. Cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is starting to melt. Cut in half and serve immediately.


Other chicken panini recipes:

Cookin’ Canuck’s Grilled Chicken & Spinach-Chive Pesto Panini
Panini Happy’s Red Chile Chicken Panini
Closet Cooking’s Chicken & Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro Pesto & Feta
Yum Sugar’s Chicken Panini with Fig Jam

Grilled Chicken, Bacon & Smoked Gouda Panini with Pesto Mayonnaise

2 grilled (or otherwise cooked) chicken breasts, sliced
4 slices bacon
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp homemade or high-quality store-bought pesto
4 ciabatta rolls
2 ounces smoked gouda
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
16 large fresh spinach leaves

Preheat a panini press or a grill pan set over medium-high heat. If using a grill pan, wash and cover a brick in aluminum foil. This can be placed on top of the sandwich to mimic a panini press.

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Drain on a piece of paper towel. In a medium bowl, stir together mayonnaise and pesto. Cut ciabatta rolls in half horizontally. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the pesto mayo on the cut sides of each roll. Lay about 4 slices of chicken on each ciabatta roll and top with a strip of that crispy bacon.

Top each sandwich with 2 to 3 slices of smoked gouda, 2 slices of tomato and 4 large leaves of fresh spinach. Close the sandwich and place in a preheated panini maker or grill pan. Cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is starting to melt. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Makes 4 panini.

Printable recipe


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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kathy - Panini Happy April 23, 2010 at 4:42 am

Love all the great smoky flavors in this! And thanks for the link to one of my favorites :-)

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2 My Little Space April 23, 2010 at 5:15 am

I love the simple way & flavour of this yummy sandwich! Have a great weekend, Dara.
Blessings, Kristy

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3 Brisbane Baker April 23, 2010 at 5:24 am

Looks great!

I often like to use my sandwich press for lots of things like bacon etc.

I have a bit of recipe block. I've just been doing old favourites that are easy :)

http://www.brisbanebaker.blogspot.com

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4 pegasuslegend April 23, 2010 at 10:58 am

Amazing sandwich here I could eat this for breakfast right now it has everything I love in it…love panni's got to give this a try soon thanks

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5 bunkycooks April 23, 2010 at 11:55 am

Hi Dara,

No shame in this sandwich! I love the flavors! There are definitely days when you feel uninspired, but this recipe has inspired me to get in the fridge and use some of the things we already have! The George Foreman grill is a great alternative to yet another kitchen gadget! Many of us already own that one.

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6 Bellini Valli April 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

This is my kind of panini with juicy chicken, bacon and ooey, gooey cheese.

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7 Maggy @ Three Many Cooks April 23, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Um…hello delicious lunch! This looks absolutely amazing. Great flavors at work here!

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8 Maria April 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm

We love making sandwiches or panini's for dinner. So many ways to change things up. This one looks great!

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9 Divina Pe April 23, 2010 at 2:31 pm

It's too hot to cook here too Dara. Sandwich is a great way to have. Love the cheese melting.

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10 Emily Ziegler April 23, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Okay. Seriously. You just combined ALL of my favorite things and turned it into a sandwich.

…I love you.

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11 5 Star Foodie April 23, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Sounds fantastic with smoked gouda!

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12 Biren April 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Relatively new to blogging but definitely experienced blogger's block :( Good to have easy dinner rotations to fall back on. This looks like a quick, easy, and delicious meal!

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13 LilSis April 23, 2010 at 3:32 pm

The grilled chicken, bacon, and cheese combo is one of my favorites! I love this Panini! My son left his Cuisinart Panini grill in our storage unit when he moved; I'm thinking I may need to go get it! :-)

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14 Lea Ann April 23, 2010 at 3:40 pm

This sandwich sounds absolutely amazing! A keeper. With a full time job, two volunteer projects I often experience bloggers block. Love the term! :-)

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15 How To: Simplify April 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm

I love a good panini. This looks delicious!

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16 Chef E April 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I have not made a panini in a while and this looks great, maybe I will do a tuna melt panini for my dinner!

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17 Skylar Wolfe April 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Looks fantastic. and so easy for those nights I dont really want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen.

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18 Tracy April 23, 2010 at 4:58 pm

What a great lunch! Yum!

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19 Cinda April 23, 2010 at 5:18 pm

A great sandwich.. all my favourite things! I love gouda.

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20 Trix April 23, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I totally hear you! Sometimes I can feel so uninspired – but honestly, your version of uninspired is anything but. Love the pesto mayo, mmm.

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21 Janice April 23, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I love a good pannini, I had one in a cafe yesterday and the day before had a lovely club sandwich. Delicious.

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22 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) April 23, 2010 at 8:15 pm

The only thing that keeps me from having panini every night is the lack of a really good panini press (which I've resisted buying for just that reason — I wouldn't be able to resist eating panini!). I have a simple two-piece cast iron press. The bottom is a great little ridged grill pan, and the top is the same size as the bottom, heavy and with ridges. It's quite low tech but works really well.

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23 Barbara @moderncomfortfood April 24, 2010 at 12:32 am

Looks wonderful. If this is your idea of an uninspired meal, then heaven help the rest of us. Many thanks for sharing.

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24 Daydreamer Desserts April 24, 2010 at 4:05 am

Looks mouthwatering… love all the ingredients. Great combination!

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25 Jenny April 24, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Perfect panini! Love all of those ingredients together, I can practically taste it now! Have a great weekend!

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26 SLCFoodie April 24, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Your blog never lets me down! Always mouth-watering!!

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27 Megan April 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Sounds like the perfect lunch!

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28 The Housewife April 25, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Making this for lunch for my husband tomorrow! He's going to love it…

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29 S'toongirl April 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Good lord, it's 8:45 AM and I suddenly NEED to eat this right now! Thanks for the yummy meal idea, I'm sending you mad food-love all the way from Saskatoon!

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30 Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} April 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm

You make some of the most amazing recipes. Delicious sandwich!

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31 physicschick April 27, 2010 at 3:12 am

Paninis are one of my easy dinner meals, too. I love using rotisserie chicken for them. Finding ciabatta rolls can be difficult where I live, so I will often use a roasted garlic sourdough bread that I can find at my local market. It's simply delish!

Your paninis look gorgeous! Thanks for the ideas. P.S. You're not the only one with bacon issues! LOL Have you ever tried cooking your bacon in the oven? It turns out perfect every time. Here's how: http://ifyouloveitfeedit.com/home/2010/3/9/bacon-bacon-bacon.html

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32 Tickled Red April 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I have a new favorite for Sammie Night now :)

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33 Chef Fresco April 29, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Mmm panini! Making me hungry. Gouda is the best!

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34 Peggy April 30, 2010 at 10:05 am

I'm really hungry for a panini now lol

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35 Lori Lynn May 1, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Bloggers block! Yea, we know!
Great looking sandwich!
LL

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36 oak dining tables December 15, 2010 at 5:40 am

This is going to be really great for picnics. Love to make some right now! So delish!

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