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BEST EVER Cheesy Chicken Panini

Best Ever Cheesy Chicken Panini


Panini…whatever you want to call…it is THE BEST sandwich I have eaten-ever.

Bold statement? I know. But I stand behind it COMPLETELY, and you will too! I don’t often get this excited about a sandwich, but HELLO when it tastes like this how could I not?!

I was sitting at work last week pondering what I was going to make that night. Wednesday’s are our busiest days so unless I have a quick meal planned, nothing is getting on the table for dinner.   With how the day was looking so far, things were leaning towards the empty dinner table. Then I remembered the loaf of Italian bread I had and that cherry pepper relish from a previous grocery run the week before! I decided to grab a rotisserie chicken at the store and—WING IT. My favorite.

Cherry Pepper Relish

What started out as a bit of a scramble, blossomed into a completely flavorful, cheesy, audible “yum” worthy creation. And may have been re-created the next three meals of our week 😯 …Oops.   But I mean I just had to…uh…test this recipe multiple times…I needed to know it was perfect for you guys. And then…darn it! Forgot to take pictures because I was too busy stuffing my face. So…better make it again! We were disappointed, of course. 😉

And we need to talk about the legitimacy of this ‘Panini,’ but by way of a story.

Best Ever Cheesy Chicken Panini with potatoes and avocado

Years ago I dreamed of having a Panini press; the shiny stainless steel, name brand Panini press. I would make sandwiches EVERY DAY if I were to have one, and would never get sick of it. I just knew it. Every time I saw that shiny Panini press, I was tempted to take the plunge. I was on the edge of plunking down my Benjamin and walking home proudly displaying my new kitchen gadget, with endless sandwich possibilities in mind.

Regrettably, my cheap side won every time, until I found an off-brand that seemed to be a decent quality. Aaaaaand you know the rest of the story.

I think we may have made a total of 10 sandwiches on that little guy before it just STOPPED midway between the sandwich-to-Panini transformation.

Therefore, all my Paninis are made Panini-pressless. Therefore, this may just be a hot sandwich. But who wants to try a Best Ever Cheesy Chicken Hot Sandwich??! Um. Panini for me please.

Best Ever Cheesy Chicken Panini bite of avocado toast

But please forgive my lack of kitchen gadgetry and pretend this sandwich has those lovely grill marks on it. Once you take a bit of this cheesy avocado spiked delciousness, you won’t miss the grill marks—PROMISE!

At least that’s what Steven thought; as this sandwich was dubbed his NEW all-time favorite. But I cant blame the guy, this thing is the bomb dot com.

Cheers to all the Panini lovers out there! Let us unite in our love of melty sandwiches and never let the lack of a Panini press stop us!

Best Ever Cheesy Chicken Panini stacked

If you try this recipe, make sure you post a photo on the socials [Instagram|Twitter|Facebook|Pinterest] and use the hash tag #wordslikehoneycomb so we can see!  It’s my favorite to see your creations! ?
BEST EVER Cheesy Chicken Panini
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup shredded chicken*
  • ½ avocado (sliced or mashed)
  • 2 tbsp. real bacon bits
  • 1oz smoked Gouda
  • 2oz Jalapeno Havarti
  • 1-2 tsp. Cherry Pepper Relish**
  • 4 slices Italian bread loaf
  • Olive oil
  1. ***Drizzle one side of all slices of bread and lay oil-side down on a flat top grill or sauté pan.
  2. Let cook approximately 1-2 minutes or until browned/toasted.
  3. Spread 1 tsp or ½tsp (for less spice) on 1 slice of each sandwich, toasted side down.
  4. Divide the shredded chicken evenly between the sandwiches and add on top of relish.
  5. Sprinkle on the bacon bits.
  6. Add both cheeses and heat.
  7. Microwave Method: Place sandwich on microwaveable plate, covered, for about 30 seconds until cheese has melted.
  8. Oven Method: Place cheese covered sandwich sides on a non-stick baking sheet and allow to toast on Broil setting until cheese has melted (approximately less than a minute).
  9. Remove from microwave or oven and add sliced or mashed avocado.
  10. Add the other slide of bread to the top and serve immediately.
*We used a rotisserie chicken (half chicken breast and half leg meat) for convenience and flavor, but any leftover chicken could be used.
**We used a teaspoon per sandwich; however, we tend to like a small amount of heat. If you are sensitive to spice, I would start with a ½ tsp relish and add more if necessary.
***Of course, if you have a Panini press, you can use your discretion and omit the heating instructions. Panini press would only require making the sandwich and heating until melted through.


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