Have I said before that I am in love with my panini maker? Probably not, but it’s difficult to describe the feelings I have for a kitchen appliance without making my Kitchenaid mixer feel bad about itself.

I bought the long-sought-after panini maker a few months ago and only recently came up with the perfect specimen for a new sandwich (and it’s my own recipe!!). Since Kyle has realized that cilantro is one of the most incredible herbs out there, he has begged me to make this sandwich…err…panini on a weekly basis. No problems with that here!!!
Cilantro-Garlic-Lime Chicken Panini

Step 1

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2″ thick
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Squeeze the juice of the limes into a large Ziploc bag and add cilantro, garlic, honey, and olive oil. Close the bag and squeeze contents to incorporate. Add the chicken and refridgerate for 8 hours.

Step 2

  • 6 oz Monterey jack cheese, sliced and divided in half
  • 1/2 roasted red pepper, cut into 1/2″ strips
  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread (or other artisan or thick-sliced sourdough bread)
  • mayonnaise
  • chipotle chili powder
  • olive oil

Pre-heat grill and panini maker. Slice the bread into two equal pieces then slice open through the soft part of the bread. Drizzle some olive oil on to each piece of bread, place oil-side down on the panini maker, and close the lid. Grill chicken while bread is warming.

When chicken is cooked and bread is slightly browned (but not toasted), spread some mayo (to preference) on all slices of bread (the soft side only) and sprinkle with a minimal amount of chipotle chili powder (a little goes a long way!). Place a couple pieces of cheese on the bottom slices of bread, add a few strips of roasted red peppers, then top with chicken. Add more peppers, cheese, then top with the other sides of the bread.

Carefully put sandwiches back on panini maker and close the lid, pressing down slightly. Try to evenly distribute the weight of the lid over the sandwiches so that they aren’t squishing out on one side. Remove sandwiches when cheese is starting to melt down the sides of the sandwich (takes about 3-5 minutes).

Prep time: Step 1 – 10 minutes; Step 2 – 10 minutes

Inactive prep time: 8 hours

Cook time: 12 minutes

Serves: 2