Lightened Up Pesto (on Chicken Mozzarella Panini Sandwiches)

Tonight’s dinner? Holeeeeee…

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I’d been thinking of tonight’s meal ever since last night when Jay and I actually made a half-assed attempt at a meal plan for the week. Yeah, we’ll see how that pans out…but for now, we’ve already got one solid meal in the books!

I knew I wanted to use some of the bread that I picked up from the Farmers Market on Saturday, and I also wanted to use some of the fresh basil I have coming out of my garden (squeal!). Pair that with some chicken that we had in the fridge, a ball of fresh mozzarella, and some sundried tomatoes, and I had the beginnings of a killer panini.

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Jay and I haven’t had panini sandwiches here since October, so I’d say we were  definitely long overdue!

While Jay cooked up the marinated chicken, I sliced the fresh mozzarella and whipped up a quick and delicious pesto, which we really need to talk about. The pesto was not only delicious, but it’s even lightened up quite a bit – only 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the whole batch. How’s that for a win-win?!? Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe!

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Once our paninis were assembled, I brushed them with a little bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of seasonings, then placed them on the panini maker and let them do their thing. The end result? Incredible.

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The mozzarella was gooey, the chicken was cooked to perfection, and the pesto was out of this world.

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Jay and I may both have cuts on the roofs of our mouths, but we both agreed it was totally worth it.

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We had some yummy corn on the cob along with our paninis and enjoyed them out on the patio amongst quite a few “oh my god these are so awesome” comments.

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Definitely gotta have these again sometime soon…especially since I’ve got some more pesto leftover! Speaking of which…

Lightened Up Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Place basil leaves, olive oil, water, almonds, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add cottage cheese and parmesan cheese and process until smooth. Enjoy!

*****

Give it a try – it’s awesome! Smile

Comments

  1. says

    I just bookmarked this post – mozzarella cheese, pesto, chicken & sun-dried tomato sandwiches are probably my favorite thing in the world. The bread you used looked perfect for a hearty sandwich like that :) delicous.
    Kailey recently posted..Recreating an Oldie

  2. says

    Oh my word! That pesto sounds so yummy. I’ve been wanting a good pesto recipe because my basil plant outside is growing like crazy. Thanks so much; I will try this tomorrow. Yum!

  3. Kari says

    I made these for my fiance and I last night – holy yum! These are SO delicious. Thanks for the great recipes, Courtney!

    • Courtney says

      I believe it was just a multigrain bread I picked up from a local bakery. I find that denser breads work much better for panini sandwiches! :)

    • Courtney says

      There actually really isn’t a recipe – we usually just let it marinate in a little Italian dressing for a while before grilling! :)

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