Grilled Chicken Panini Recipe with Tomato and Mozarella

grilled chicken panini
Credit: Photo by Maren Caruso

A lemony marinade on the chicken—which is grilled in the sandwich press—gives this deceptively simple panini recipe a complex layer of flavor. Showcasing fresh basil, ripe tomato slices, and creamy mozzarella, it’s perfect for the summer months.

Grilled Chicken Panini Recipe with Tomato and Mozarella

Makes two sandwiches


Ripe but firm tomato, 4 thin slices
Fresh basil leaves, 6 large
Focaccia, 2 pieces, each about 4 inches (10 cm) square, halved horizontally
Olive oil, 1 tbsp
Skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, 2 (about 1/4 lb each), flattened to about 1/2 inch thick
Lemon or citrus marinade, 1/4 cup
Mozzarella cheese, 2 oz, thinly sliced


1. Place the chicken in a dish with all but 1 tbsp of the marinade and turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.

2. Preheat the sandwich grill. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. Place the chicken on the grill, close the top plate, and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate, keeping the grill on and wiping the grill plates clean.

3. Brush the crust sides of the focaccia pieces with 1 tablespoon oil. Brush the cut sides with the reserved one tablespoon of marinade. On 2 of the focaccia pieces, layer half the cheese, followed by the chicken, tomato slices, and basil leaves, dividing them evenly. Divide the remaining cheese on top. Cover with the remaining 2 focaccia pieces, marinade sides down, and press gently.

4. Place the panini in the grill, close the top plate, and cook until the bread is golden and toasted and the cheese is melted, 3–5 minutes. Serve.

If you love panini’s, try the Three Cheese and Tomato Panini with Fresh Basil and Garlic Spread.

Perfect Panini, Jodi Liano

(Weldon Owen), July 16, 2013