Chipotle Chicken Panini, the ever loved fan favorite with cheddar, bacon, and smoky chipotle aioli, may not be served at Panera anymore but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beloved sandwich at home!
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Who was mad when Panera discontinued the chipotle chicken panini?
I know who was mad; the internet (and me)! There was an uproar, there was a petition, there’s a website about how they need to bring it back, and frankly, I ain’t mad at it at all! I’m a creature of habit, so when my favorite sandwich that I always got was suddenly gone, I was so upset.
But then…I just made it myself. ‘Cause it isn’t coming back, y’all. No matter the petitions.
If you missed out on the amazingness that is the chipotle chicken panini, it was a sandwich with chicken breast, tomatoes, bacon, cheddar cheese and smoky chipotle mayo on French bread. And it was darn good. I mean, any sandwich is good, but this sandwich was darn good.
I really think the homemade version hits it right on the nose; the smoky chipotle aioli gives the sandwich some depth and tons of flavor. It has not only ground chipotle to give it a spicy, subtly smoky flavor, but also smoked paprika (for more smokiness) and dijon mustard.
If you don’t have a panini press, I don’t know what you’re doing with your sandwich life. Because you need one. You need it for all the sandwiches, every sandwich. It’s just easier and less messy to deal with than putting a cast iron pan on top of the sandwich while it cooks in another pan.
If you have some leftover chicken (or grab a rotisserie chicken!) use it to cut the cook time down and have your panini done in record time.
This sandwich with some amazing copycat Panera mac and cheese will keep your Panera cravings in check.
Looking for more Restaurant Copycat recipes? Check out:
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- 1 recipe smoky chipotle aioli
- 4 slices chicken breast, prepared for scallopini
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked pepper
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil or light olive oil
- 8 slices bacon, cooked to preferrence
- 8 slices cheddar cheese
- 1 beef steak tomato, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
- Avocado, optional
- 8 slices french bread
- softened butter
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a saute pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook chicken breasts, 3 minutes on both sides, or until chicken is cooked through. Set aside on a plate to rest for 3-5 minutes. Slice the cooked chicken breasts width-wise to prep for the sandwiches.
- Preheat your panini press to medium high heat. Spread softened butter over the outside of each piece of bread, then spread the chipotle aioli over the other side of the slices of bread. Stack bacon, chicken, tomato, cheese, and avocado on the aioli side of 4 slices of bread, then top with the other slices. Press in panini press for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and bread is well toasted.
- Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 521
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.