Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
Our Panera copycat recipe for Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt is very easy to make and it tastes absolutely delicious. This recipe is one you have got to try because it is so easy and tastes fabulous.
Below are the details on all the ingredients you need as well as step-by-step instructions on how you can easily make this copycat Panera recipe at home, and for a fraction of the cost. We hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we do!
Chipotle Chicken Sandwich Panera
If you like sandwiches or Panera Bread, then this copycat Panera Bread Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt sandwich is a recipe you should try for yourself. It’s so good, super filling, and it tastes fabulous your mouth will be watering and wanting more. We are so excited to share this recipe with you as our copycat recipe is one of our favorites and we hope you will enjoy it too!
What’s In Panera’s Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt?
Panera Bread Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt is made on their black pepper focaccia bread and it is topped with peppadew peppers, chipotle sauce, gouda cheese, cilantro, smoked pulled chicken, and avocado.
Below we will show you how you can easily make this recipe at home and adjust it in any way you want! You don’t want to miss out on this recipe because it tastes so delicious!
Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt on Black Pepper Focaccia
Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt Ingredients and Substitutions
Black Pepper Focaccia. Panera Bread uses black pepper focaccia bread for the base of the sandwich. You do not have to use focaccia bread for the sandwich, although we do recommend it because it adds an extra texture and flavor to this delicious melt.
You can find focaccia bread at your local grocery store in the bread bakery section or in the bread section. You can also try making your own homemade focaccia bread following our easy copycat Panera Bread black pepper focaccia bread recipe.
Peppadew Peppers. These peppers are a type of canned pickled peppers that you can find in the canned section of your grocery store or order them online.
They have a sweet flavor to them and add a nice color and flavor to the overall sandwich. If you do not have them, it is okay and you can substitute the ingredients or simply leave them out.
Chipotle Sauce. The chipotle sauce adds a bit of spice and flavor to your overall sandwich. You can either pick up the chipotle sauce at your local grocery store or make your own.
To make this you will want to combine mayonnaise with sour cream, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, lime juice, minced garlic, and salt to taste. You can then add this to the sandwich as it is prepared.
Gouda. Gouda is the type of cheese the Panera Bread uses in the sandwich; however, you can use pretty much any type of cheese that melts easily. We enjoy using farmers’ cheese for this recipe you can use anything that you like.
Cilantro. Cilantro is another ingredient that adds a bit of a flavor to the sandwich. Cilantro is completely optional, but if you would like to use it we recommend using fresh cilantro or dried cilantro. You will then add as much or as little as you prefer.
Smoked Pulled Chicken. Panera Bread uses smoked chicken that has been pulled. It is not required that you smoked chicken for this recipe although it does add a bit of extra flavor to the overall sandwich.
If you would rather for simplicity’s sake you can simply grill, boil, or pan-fry chicken and then pull it apart before adding it to the sandwich.
Avocado. Avocado is another favorite ingredient in this recipe. We recommend using a ripe avocado that is cut and sliced, then add the slices to your sandwich for a lovely color, flavor, and texture of your sandwich.
How to Make a Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
To make this sandwich you will first want to begin by gathering all of your ingredients. Once you are sure you have everything, go ahead and prep each ingredient.
Begin by cooking the chicken. You’ll want to be sure the internal temperature of your chicken reaches 165°F before it is considered fully cooked. Once it is cooked, remove the chicken from the burner and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Once it has slightly cooled pull the chicken into shredded pieces.
Now, we recommend using a cast iron skillet with grate on it which will give you nice grill marks on your sandwich. Place the cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat and allow it to warm while you are preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Brush the bottom of the pan with oil, then add your bottom layer of bread to the pan. Assemble your sandwich by layering shredded chicken, sliced cheese, peppers, avocado, and chipotle sauce. Once assembled, add the top layer of bread. If you have it available, add a weight on top to press the sandwich as it melts.
When the sandwich is starting to melt, and the bottom is nicely browned, carefully flip the sandwich over and warm the other side. If desired, you can brush oil on the pan before setting the sandwich down on the opposite side so that you add grill marks are applied to the top of the sandwich as well.
Allow the sandwich to melt over medium to low heat until the cheese is melted, and the sandwich is warmed. Once warmed, remove from the heat, serve, and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
Use a Rotisserie Chicken. One of our favorite and very easy ways to make the sandwich is to pick up a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store, or places like Costco, or Sam’s Club. Then you can take this chicken home having it already cooked, and simply shred the chicken and add it to your sandwich.
Layer the Cheese. We’ve found that it works really well if you include more than one layer of sliced cheese. This will help your ingredients all stick together and help the overall sandwich stick together as well.
Sauce as Desired. You can include the chipotle sauce in the sandwich as you assemble it if desired. You could also simply dip the sandwich into your sauce if you would prefer.
Crank up the Heat. If you want to crank up the heat, you can always add a few red pepper flakes, chili powder, or even a little bit of hot sauce to the chipotle sauce if desired.
This will increase the overall heat so add a little bit because a little bit of any of these ingredients goes a very long way.
Change up the Bread. One of the easiest ways next up this recipe is to use different types of bread. Traditionally the Panera bread puts the chicken avocado melt and served on focaccia bread, but you can serve the sandwich on your favorite type of bread if you would rather.
Bacon. Adding bacon to this sandwich is always a delicious option. Simply pre-cook the bacon and add it to your sandwich as it is being assembled.
Spinach. Spinach is another good ingredient that you can include in the sandwich if desired. Simply rinse and dry the spinach ahead of time then add it as the sandwiches are assembled.
Different Sauces. You can also mix things up by using different types of sauces. The sauces will change the overall flavor of your sandwich, so feel free to mix it up.
Storing and Reheating
Room temperature. The sandwich should not be left at room temperature any longer than two hours before it goes bad and has to be thrown away.
Refrigerator. The sandwich will last between three and four days when it is stored in an air-tight container, or sealed in a plastic storage bag and placed in the fridge.
Please note that it may cause the bread to get soggy when stored in the fridge after it has been assembled, especially if the sauce is included in the sandwich.
Reheating. To reheat the sandwich, we recommend that you place it back into a skillet on the stovetop and reheat it over medium heat until the sandwich is warmed through.
You could also use a Panini press to reheat the sandwich as well. We do not recommend microwaving the sandwich to reheat it.
Freezing the Chicken
If desired, once the chicken has been cooked, only the chicken may be frozen. If you would like to freeze the chicken, allow it to cool then place it into an airtight container or seal it in a plastic freezer bag.
Make sure to label and date the container, then place it in the freezer at 0°F or below for up to three months. To learn more about proper chicken storage, please click HERE.
What to Serve with this Sandwich
There are many different sides that you can serve alongside the same TV wish. Some of our favorites include the following:
Is This Sandwich Spicy?
The main spice for the sandwich comes from the chipotle sauce and how much cilantro you add. The two of these determine how spicy the sandwiches are, however overall, the sandwich is not super spicy.
If you are averse to the heat, you can always pass on these two ingredients, and if you would like more heat, you can always add more, add some red pepper flakes, more cilantro, add chili powder, or even try adding some hot sauce to the chipotle sauce.
What kind of bread should you use?
Traditionally, focaccia bread is used for this sandwich. However, you do not have to use focaccia bread as any type of bread may be used, or you can even follow our copycat recipe and make your own homemade focaccia bread.
For the peppers are they fresh or canned?
These peppers are canned and pickled when purchased from the store.
I don’t like cilantro – do I need to use it?
No, you do not have to use cilantro if you do not like it. You can add as much or as little of any of these ingredients as you prefer. If you do not like cilantro, you can simply leave it out.
Are there options for the chipotle sauce?
There are many different options for chipotle sauce, these include making your own chipotle sauce, or picking up some chipotle sauce from the grocery store.
You could also substitute fillet sauce or other sauces such as mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, ketchup, Chick-fil-A sauce, and any other condiments that you can think of.
Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
Our copycat recipe for Panera Bread’s Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt is easy and tastes fabulous. This recipe is one of our personal favorites, and we hope that you will enjoy it too.
It is very easy to make, filling to eat, plus it tastes great. You can’t go wrong with this delicious and easy recipe! We hope that you will give it a try, and let us know what you think!