Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
- 4 slices whole grain bread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Slice the bell pepper into thin slices and set aside. Then dice the avocado.
Heat the olive oil on a medium skillet on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and stir until it’s lightly browned. Add the chicken breast to the pan and let it sit for 3 minutes on medium heat without touching it. After 3 minutes flip it to the other side and let it sit for another 3 minutes. Slice the chicken into small pieces and make sure it’s cooked all the way through.
Toast the bread as long you want.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously spread the chipotle sauce on slices of toast. Top with the chicken, pepper, avocado and cilantro. Add a few slices of cheese to each.
Heat up the sandwiches in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve and enjoy.
If you’re looking to switch up your lunch, be sure to try this tasty version of Panera’s legendary sandwich. It is a healthy lunch choice and is sure to give you the energy boost you need to finish your day off strong.
What To Serve With Copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt:
The sandwich just by itself is such a complete meal that you dont need much to accompany it. Guys, just like Panera, I had to go with chips to serve alongside my sandwich. A nice side salad would be great, too.
You could add a bowl of soup, maybe if you lean that way. I mean ya cant go wrong with soup and sandwiches, amirite?! And of course, Im going to put in a shameless plug and direct you to my Soup Menu where youll find Soups, Chowders & Ghilis galore coz I love love love me some soup!
Not Only Is It Better It’s Cheaper
As of a few months ago, the only thing I had ever ordered from Panera was their broccoli cheddar soup. It wasn’t until I discovered their Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt that I stopped ordering the famous soup.
As soon as I took my first bite I realized that I had wasted so many orders by not getting the heavenly sandwich sooner. I devoured it and the rest is history .
After habitually ordering the same sandwich so many times I decided to make a version of it myself since it seemed like a simple recipe. To my surprise, it was tricky to master and took a few months to perfect but the wait was totally worth it. I was quite impressed with myself at how similar my sandwich tasted to Panera’s.
The sandwich is super easy to make and only has a few simple ingredients. It’s perfect for a quick lunch between classes and is actually pretty healthy, too.
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Copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt Recipe
Did you know that Americans eat more than 300 million sandwiches a day? According to History, we the people consume as many sandwiches as there are people to eat them, which is pretty impressive in and of itself. While there are plenty of go-to sandwich spots for a quick bite, Panera is undoubtedly one of the most popular. And what’s better than getting one of Panera’s signature menu items from the restaurant itself? Making a copycat recipe that is just as good but saves you time and avoids you having to leave the comfort of your own home!
This recipe, curated by private practice registered dietitian recipe developer Kristen Carli, is perfect for a quick lunch or a light meal with the family. The tasty sandwich is packed with a punch of chipotle that is just enough for a kick of heat to delight your tastebuds without being overwhelmingly hot. The copycat recipe covers almost every different food group, and includes bread, cheese, avocado, and tomato. If meat isn’t your thing, Carli recommends subbing a fried egg for sliced chicken.
From start to finish, this dish will take you about 15 minutes. Keep reading to find out how to bring the delightful taste of Panera to your own kitchen.
Gather The Ingredients For The Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
Grab a half cup of mayo and a teaspoon of chipotle pepper for your spread. You can buy the bread or make your own focaccia bread, but you’ll need a third of a loaf for the sandwich ends. For the most important part the one between the bread you’ll need six slices of deli sliced chicken, four slices of gouda cheese, one avocado, four peppadew peppers with the stems removed, and seeds taken out. To top it off, you’ll need a tablespoon of cilantro for garnish. The recipe will make two sandwiches for you and one lucky guest.
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What Are Peppadew Peppers
Their special, zingy peppers that are on the sandwich are called Peppadew peppers. This is a BRAND of peppers. They are slightly pickled, slightly spicy piquante peppers.
They look, and honestly taste really similar, to cherry peppers.
You can buy Peppadew peppers at retailers online or even at Walmart! However, if you can’t find them at the store near you, I have some delicious alternatives…
I actually even found some cheese stuffed peppers at Aldi that I’ve used and they were amazing. So basically you need to find a sweet/hot cherry pepper.
In addition to the piquante peppers, you’ll need to find some chipotle chilies. I buy my chipotle chilies at almost any grocery store, you’ll want the ones in adobo sauce because that adds extra flavor.
About Copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt:
So now, I hope youll think of me as the friend raving about this Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt. I dont care if you get it from Panera or make my homemade version, just get itand get it in your tummy asap! You can thank me later. When your mouths not full. Mic drop. Boom.
So if youve been following me for a while, ya gotta know iI can be a little bossy when it comes to food but trust me on this one. See the ingredients seem kind of simple. Maybe even a little weird.
Its the combination of a little smoke from the chicken, the smoked gouda, and the chipotle peppers, a little spicy , all cooled down by the avocado and punctuated by the sweet/sour tang of the Peppadew peppers. It melds into one glorious, hot, cheesy, squishy sandwich!
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How To Make Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melts Ahead Of Time
Melts are always served hot, but this sandwich is almost as good when its cold. That means it is ideal if you are brown bagging it.
To prepare a copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt to go, use the same method above, but dont bother sticking it under the broiler.
To stop the sliced avocados from turning brown, you can try brushing them with either lemon or pineapple juice. And if they get a bit darker by lunchtime, dont worry. They are still perfectly edible.
Whats In The Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
- Black Pepper Focaccia bread Panera uses their own Black Pepper Focaccia I couldnt find pre-baked focaccia at Kroger so I bought a can of the rollout dough. I baked it in just 6-7 minutes in my Instant Pot Omni Pro Air Fryer its got a bunch of different settings. I did bake but it was still quicker than the instructions. If youve got pre-made focaccia near you you can use that! You could also use ciabatta bread as a swap.
- Pulled chicken Panera uses a smoked chicken breast but for this recipe I just used a frozen pulled chicken I got at Kroger you can use any leftover chicken I make this Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot and it would be perfect for this!
- Smoked gouda cheese you can find sliced smoked gouda at the grocery regular gouda is fine too or even provolone in a pinch but the smokiness is great if you can find it!
- Avocado your avocado is ripe if you can squeeze it slightly I keep mine in the fridge they last a lot longer 1 avocado is perfect for 2 sandwiches
- Sprigs of fresh cilantro good for you if you grow your own, leave it out if you dont like it
- Sliced sweet peppers they use Peppadew piquant peppers but I had a jar of and they worked just fine
- Chipotle pepper seasoning I like using the dry seasoning instead of the canned then Im not left with a can of pepper I wont use and you can control the spice level. Or go the easy route and use the Ortega Chipotle Sauce
- Mayonnaise always use Dukes!
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Why This Is The Copycat Panera Bread Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt Recipe For You
Never had a Panera Bread Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt on black pepper focaccia before? Then you dont know what you are missing. But if you are already a fan, you know just how addictive they can be.
The problem is you have to go to Panera Bread to buy one, and they are not cheap. This version delivers a sandwich that tastes like the original for much less money.
Originally Panera served this sandwich as a pressed panini but now it is simply warmed to melt the cheese.
Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
October 4, 2022 by Stephanie Manley, Last Updated October 24, 2022
Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt is a hearty and delicious sandwich perfect for lunch or dinner. Black pepper focaccia bread is filled with smoked chicken breast, avocado, peppers, smoked gouda cheese, and chipotle sauce.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Making Copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt:
Like most sandwiches, after getting all your ingredients together, its just about assembly and the heating. You can really play around with the amounts of ingredients and think of my recipe, below, as kind of a guide.
First, make the Chipotle mayo: mince up a little chipotle pepper and add to the mayonnaise, just so the flavors can meld together while you get everything else ready. Go by taste when you add the chipotle and make it as mild or as hot as youd like.
Then smear on the inside of both the top and bottom of the bread with the Chipotle mayo and layer on the rest of the ingredients. I like to put the gouda on top of the mayo so it is closest to the heat, then the chicken and Peppadew, and finally, the avocado and cilantro.
Grill your sandwich in a large skillet and take a hint from the restaurants. As you start to get a little color on the bread, add a small bit of water to the skillet and add a lid. That steam is going to really warm every part of the sandwich and help the cheese to melt perfectly. Once the water is gone and the bread crisps up a bit, give it a turn, and toast the other side.
Make The The Chipotle Chicken Melt’s Sauce
First things first, you’ll need to make the delightful spread which will give your sandwich a kick of heat … because no sandwich is complete without a sauce. Grab a small bowl and combine one-half cup of mayo and a teaspoon of chipotle sauce. Carli says that if you want even more spice, you can add another teaspoon of chipotle to the mixture. Stir well to combine the ingredients.
If you must, try a tiny dab with your finger but be sure to keep enough for your sandwich. Set the sauce aside and get ready to assemble the sandwich.
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Heat It Up The Copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
Okay, you’re just a few moments away from being able to enjoy your meal. Place the sandwiches in your oven for about five minutes or until the cheese is melted. Once you take them out, plate them however you may choose. If you are more of a panini connoisseur, Carli says that this sandwich “would be incredible pressed like a panini.”
You can either slice the sandwich down the middle or skip the step and eat it whole like a burger. If you’re looking for a side pairing, look no further than a crispy chip. “I’m a big fan of kettle-cooked potato chips!” Carli says. A match made in heaven!
How Do You Make The Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
- Mix together your chipotle sauce by mixing chipotle pepper seasoning & mayonnaise set aside
- Slice focaccia into sandwich sized slices
- Reheat pulled chicken in microwave for 30-40 seconds
- On bottom of sandwich, spread 1 tbsp chipotle mayo
- Top with cilantro, pulled chicken, sliced sweet peppers and one slice gouda
- On top half of bread, spread 1 tbsp chipotle mayo and one slice gouda
- Lay open faced on pan
- Preheat broiler and place sandwich open face on low for 5 min until cheese is bubbly
- Remove open faced sandwich from oven/air fryer
- Place avocado slices on top of cheese and place sandwich halves together
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Copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
This Copycat Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt is one of my favorites from Panera Bread! Pulled chicken, smoked Gouda, fresh avocado, cilantro, zesty sweet peppers and chipotle sauce on fresh baked focaccia.
This sandwich is definitely one of my favorites I mean its got delicious and juicy pulled chicken and then all my favorite toppings!!! The flavor that comes together with smoked gouda, those yummy little marinated sweet peppers, cool and creamy avocado and then a zest chipotle sauce. And dont worry Ive got shortcuts and tips for all of the ingredients!
Panera Whole Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt Nutrition Facts
A Panera Whole Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt contains 850 calories, 41 grams of fat and 80 grams of carbohydrates.
According to our website visitors, it’s hard to tell if Whole Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt from Panera is a healthy option. Our visitors are split on the issue, with 43% of visitors thinking a Whole Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt is healthy and 57% thinking it’s unhealthy.
Let us know what you think! Review the nutrition facts below and then on whether you think a Whole Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt is healthy or not.
Keep reading to see the full nutrition facts and Weight Watchers points for a Whole Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt from Panera Bread.
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Ingredient Notes And Substitutions
Focaccia is a flat, leavened Italian bread, almost like an extra-thick pan pizza dough. It is highly seasoned and comes in many flavors. Panera Bread uses a black pepper version for this sandwich, but you can switch things up if you want.
Other Bread Instead of focaccia, you can make this sandwich with sourdough bread, French bread, or ciabatta bread. Any of them make great sandwiches.
Smoked Chicken You dont need to smoke your own chicken breast to make this Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt recipe. If you cant find smoked chicken breasts or smoked chicken deli meat, use a regular cooked chicken breast or rotisserie chicken instead.
Peppadew Peppers is the brand name for mildly hot peppers known for their unique blend of heat and sweetness. Since Peppadew Peppers are only grown in South Africa, they can be tough to find in a US grocery store. However, you can buy them online or use sweet cherry peppers as a decent substitute.
Gouda is a mild cheese with a smoky flavor that works well in this sandwich. You can use Cheddar cheese or your favorite cheese as an alternative if you prefer.
Bacon makes everything better, right? Well, you can add some crispy cooked bacon to the sandwich if you want to add to the smoky flavor.
Sliced Tomatoes would also be great on this sandwich. Feel free to add some slices.
How To Make Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
To prepare the creamy chipotle sauce:
To assemble the copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt:
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Do I Need To Use Focaccia Bread
You dont need to use a specific bread but I wanted to replicate the sandwich as is and therefore, ended up making fresh Focaccia bread at home. If you dont have focaccia, then I would recommend you use sourdough/French or ciabatta bread. The intense flavor and sturdiness of these breads will lend the best flavor to the sandwich.