I should first admit that when I created the recipe for this Chipotle Chicken Melt with Avocado, I had no idea that there was a very popular version of this sandwich at Panera Bread.
I must live under a rock, right? So, apologies up front – this is not a copycat recipe for the Panera sandwich! It’s better.
There’s lean chicken, creamy avocado, smoky chipotle mayo and two kinds of melty cheese in between extra thick slices of bread. All the good things. The whole family will want to get in on this one!
WHAT’S IN THIS CHIPOTLE CHICKEN MELT
Now that we’re back to school, this easy recipe is a big winner on busy weeknights. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Italian bread, French bread or sourdough bread
- boneless, skinless chicken breast
- fresh avocado
- American cheese
- cheddar cheese
- chipotle chili peppers in adobo
You can control the level of heat and smoke by choosing how many chipotle chili peppers you use in the mayo. For us, it’s two.
Two peppers are just enough to give this Chipotle Chicken Melt with Avocado a smoky flavor and bit of a kick without overpowering the other flavors. And the peppers I’m talking about are the ones you’ll find in little cans in the Latin aisle of the grocery store.
They come already cooked in a smoky chipotle sauce, ready for use. I love adding them to salsas and marinades.
The cheeses aren’t exotic, just a simple sharp cheddar and some good ol’ American cheese. I thought about getting fancier with the cheese but let’s be honest – there is nothing in the world that melts better than American cheese. There just isn’t!
And I wanted these Chipotle Chicken Melts to have maximum melt. So when you’re building the sandwich, make sure you have the chicken and avocado sandwiched between the two different cheeses. This will ensure that every bite is a cheesy one.
How to make a Chipotle Chicken Melt
First, make the chipotle mayo. I’d recommend starting with 2 peppers and then tasting. Add more, depending on your palate and preferences for heat and smoke.
Then, build your sandwich. Layer all of your delicious ingredients: cheese, avocado, cooked chicken and more cheese.
If you have a panini press and like the look of those nice grill marks on your sandwiches, go for it. But you don’t need a panini press to make this sandwich. Grill it using a flat top grill, an open grill, a cast iron skillet or a plain old frying pan, like I do.
WHAT’S THE BEST BREAD FOR A CHIPOTLE CHICKEN MELT WITH AVOCADO?
And, as with any delicious sandwich, the bread is super important. Look for an unsliced loaf of bread that is relatively plain, so that you can control the thickness of the slices.
We have made these sandwiches with white, Italian and sourdough breads and they all come out delicious. I might try it with ciabatta bread next because I think it would be really yummy.
Tips for Success
A few pointers for maximum deliciousness with this Chipotle Chicken Melt with Avocado:
- Try using mayonnaise on the outsides of the bread to get a beautiful golden crust. You don’t really taste a difference between butter and mayonnaise, and mayo has a lower smoke point than butter. So you run less risk of burning your grilled sandwiches.
- To make things super easy, grab a rotisserie chicken breast from the supermarket so that you don’t even need to cook the chicken. If you prefer shredded chicken to sliced chicken, shred the cooked breasts using two forks.
- If you’re finding the avocado slices too slippery, mash them in a bowl and spread them onto the bread after the smoky mayo.
What to do with left over chipotle chicken melts
I’ll sometimes make as whole bunch of these sandwiches for dinner so that we’ll have leftovers for a quick lunch the next day. Simply pop leftover sandwiches into an airtight container or wrap them in foil.
Store them in the fridge. When you want to enjoy them, slowly reheat them in a large skillet or toaster oven.
So grab some extra napkins and get ready for a melty, messy good time.
And when you make this Chipotle Chicken Melt with Avocado, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more sandwich recipes, try these:
- Crispy Italian Chicken Sandwich
- Chicken Souvlaki Sandwich with Halloumi “Fries”
- Classic All-American Burger Recipe
For more easy weeknight meals, try these:
- Pepperoni and Cheese Stromboli
- Honey Mustard Chicken w/ Warm Potato Arugula Salad
- Ginger Soy Chicken Meatballs with Plum Sauce
Chipotle Chicken Melt with Avocado
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 avocados peeled, pitted and sliced
- 1 loaf unsliced Italian or other white bread
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 8 slices American cheese
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce
- 1/2 tsp. lime juice
- butter or mayonnaise for grilling
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice each chicken breast crosswise so you have 2 thinner breasts. You should end up with 4 thin breasts. Place chicken in a glass baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 20-25 minutes.
- Dice the chipotle peppers. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime juice and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Slice the bread into 8 thick slices (about 1/2 inch) and spread one side with softened butter or mayonnaise.
- Build the sandwich: Spread chipotle mayonnaise onto the unbuttered side of the bread. Layer the grated cheddar, sliced avocados, cooked chicken and 2 slices of American cheese and top with another slice of bread. Grill until golden and melted, 3-4 minutes each side.
Melissa Hough says
This sandwich is amazing and my family of 3 boys loved it! The chipotle mayo paired with avacado is a delicious blend. I used cooper sharp american cheese, rotisserie chicken, and sourdough bread. I also like to coat the outside of the bread in mayo before grilling to give it a little extra shine and flavor. They are a quick delicious lunch to make which is always a bonus for busy families. Give these a try, you will LOVE them!!
Cooper sharp for the win!! I’m so glad you and your family enjoyed these sandwiches!