Feed a crowd or just a huge appetite with these quick and easy Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwiches! Crispy chicken is layered on a soft, chewy ciabatta roll slathered with pesto mayonnaise then topped with roasted peppers and sautéed broccoli rabe. This is a bite of Italian flavors you won’t want to miss!
It’s finally football season and I have a little confession….I’m not a big football fan. But that doesn’t mean I’ll ever turn down a good tailgating party because….HELLO….the food! Don’t you agree that the food is the best part of football season? And it gives you a chance to chow down on things you wouldn’t usually eat on a normal day….like a fully loaded Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich. This thing is pretty epic as far as sandwiches go, packed full of so much flavor it’s literally bursting out the seams!
I’m a huge cheerleader for BIG sandwiches! And not just a big sandwich for one….I like to make one GIANT sandwich to serve at tailgates and fall parties because it’s so much EASIER to serve than making a bunch of tiny sandwiches. This Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwich recipe starts with a large, looooong ciabatta roll. You can use whatever long roll you’d like but this one was almost two feet in length.
Then, I mixed together a bit of store bought pesto with mayonnaise to create a spread that you’re going to want to put on everything. Spread ALL of it on both sides of the roll then let the sandwich building begin. Top the spread with a layer of provolone cheese, I like mine sharp but you can use mild or a little of both to make all your guests happy. Arrange your crispy chicken cutlets on top of the cheese, then top with roasted red peppers and sautéed broccoli rabe.
Top your sandwich with it’s lid and slice into single serve sizes…..how big or how small is totally up to you but I always keep them about 2 to 3 inches wide and then one that’s twice that size just for myself. Because I need a reward for all my hard work…right?
Italian Chicken Cutlet Sandwiches
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoons garlic powder, divided
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ tablespoon fresh ground pepper, divided
- 1½ cup low fat milk
- 1½ cups Panko bread crumbs
- ¾ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half horizontally
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound broccoli rabe, chopped into 2 inch long pieces
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons pesto
- 6 to 8 slices provolone cheese
- ½ cup roasted red pepper
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread, cut in half lengthwise
- In a shallow bowl or baking dish, whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, Italian seasoning, ½ tablespoon kosher salt and ¼ tablespoon pepper to combine. Set aside.
- In a separate shallow bowl, whisk the milk with the remaining garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a third shallow bowl, whisk together the bread crumbs and cheese to combine. Set aside.
- Dredge 1 chicken breast half in the flour to coat, shaking off the excess. Dredge the chicken in the milk and then the breadcrumb mixture pressing the breadcrumbs into the surface of the chicken to help it stick. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering.
- Add the chicken to the skillet being sure not to crowd the pan. You may need to do it in batches of two chicken breast halves at a time.
- Cook the chicken until crispy and golden brown, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. When the chicken releases easily from the pan and is golden, flip it over and continue cooking on the other side until crispy. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Set aside.
- Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe to the pot and blanch for 1 minute. Drain the broccoli rabe and pat dry with a towel.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet and add the broccoli rabe to the pan. Saute the broccoli rabe for 2 to 3 minutes seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and pesto. Spread the mayonnaise on the cut sides of the bread covering completely.
- Layer the provolone cheese on the bottom half of the bread. Top the cheese with the chicken.nArrange the roasted red peppers and broccoli rabe on top of the chicken.nPlace the top half of the bread on the broccoli rabe and slice into individual pieces approximately 3 inches wide. Serve immediately.
- The chicken and broccoli rabe can be made up to 8 hours in advance. To reheat the chicken and make it crispy again, bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes on a baking rack.
Here are a few more EPIC Sandwich recipes you may enjoy: