Who doesn’t love a great panini? We all do here! A panini makes for an awesome lunch or a quick dinner. Even the pickiest eaters love a panini because they can add what they like and leave off what they don’t. It is perfect for varied taste buds! Allow us to introduce to you…the chicken bacon ranch panini!
For this chicken bacon ranch panini we grilled the chicken breast on our charcoal grill. The weather was so nice out that we just couldn’t resist a little bit of additional work and time to add the smoky flavor to this great panini. Our guys most definitely appreciated our extra effort! If time doesn’t allow for grilling (which many times it doesn’t) you can always use rotisserie chicken breast, or just fry a couple up in a pan. However you usually make your chicken breast will work great for this recipe.
One tip we want to give you for this chicken bacon ranch panini is to make sure and put your dressings and sauces on top of the meat with cheese or veggies on the top of the dressings and sauces. Past mistakes have brought us to know this tip well. Whenever you are using a panini press or grilling a sandwich you already have butter on one side of the bread. If you place your dressings and sauces on the other side your bread will literally disintegrate.
Butter the outside of the bread but do not put any dressings and sauces on the other side of the bread. Place the condiments on the meat and then top with lettuce, tomato, cheese, etc to keep the bread from becoming soggy and disintegrating. Take it from us, we have had a couple of hot messes in the past!
We used spinach leaves instead of lettuce because we prefer the taste and they also make a really pretty presentation if you are trying to impress someone special! We used thick cut bacon and thick slices of cheese so that you could get the big pop of those flavors with the chicken breast.
If you don’t have a panini press you can always use a skillet. Cook the
chicken bacon ranch panini just as you would a grilled cheese sandwich.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini
- 2 slices Texas toast or other thick-sliced bread
- 1 slice chicken breast
- 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
- 2 slices cheddar cheese, thick
- 4 slices bacon, thick cut and cooked cook bacon prior to putting on sandwich
- 2 slices tomato
- 2 TBSP ranch dressing or to taste
- 2 TBSP salted butter melted
- Set the panini press to medium heat. When the panini press is ready and hot, spread one side of the Texas toast with some of the melted butter and place it, butter side down, on the hot press.
- Place the chicken breast on top of the bread. Put the ranch dressing on top of the chicken breast and then place all the other ingredients on top of the ranch dressing. (If you want, you can put the spinach leaves on first and then top with the chicken, this wont' make the bread soggy.)
- Spread one side of the second slice of Texas toast with melted butter and place it, butter side up, on top of the sandwich. Shut the panini press and let cook for 7 minutes or until the bread is toasted golden brown.
- Remove the panini from the press when it is golden brown. Cut in half and serve.
Play Around With Toppings
This is one of those recipes that you can make to suite your family. This is our go-to way of making it. We are always putting chicken breasts, bacon and cheddar cheese together. We love this trio! Then we add our favorite toppings and tah-dah!
If you like barbecue sauce you can use it in place of the ranch dressing. If you like pepper jack cheese you can substitute it for the cheddar cheese. Maybe you like onion; a slice of red onion would compliment this nicely. Anything goes with this panini, so just start experimenting!
We hope you enjoyed this recipe that we shared with you today and that you get a chance to make a panini soon! Have a great day!