Grilled Pesto Chicken Bacon Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Do you watch Chopped? It is one of my favorite food shows. I love the surprise and anticipation of what the basket ingredients are going to be fore the pull back the black wicker tops!  Well, I am sure that you can imagine my excitement to learn about the Chopped At Home contest with Sargento Cheese. The rules were simple- create a dish using the following basket ingredients: Sargento Chef Blends Shredded 6 Cheese Italian, chicken breasts, red peppers and greek yogurt. The cheese blend had mozzarella, smoked provolone, romano, fontina, asiago and parmesan cheese-yum!

I decided that I was going to enter and I knew that I could come up with something super tasty with the basket ingredients.  My first thought was to a stuffed chicken, but that seemed a little safe to me and I decided on a sandwich. However, I wasn't going to make any old sandwich- I wanted a big meaty two hands and a stack of napkins sandwich.  I wanted to roast the peppers because I knew it would blend well with the cheese and yogurt to make a delicious sauce for my chicken. I also settled on smoky bacon, sweet onions and a handful of peppery arugula to give a big punch of flavor.  The sandwich has lots of components, but they are all simple and can be prepared at different times to fit your meal time schedule.  I also opted to use a bolillo roll for the sandwich because I love the size for a chicken breast and it makes the perfect sized bite.

My husband loved this sandwich and devoured his portion before sneaking off to find more bacon.  We both agreed that the sandwich was super filling and needed to be back on our meal plan as soon as possible! So hearty and delicious.... The pesto compliments the sweetness of the red pepper and onions, the salty smoky bacon is fantastic and the fresh arugula is the perfect touch of sharpness. 

If you want to enter check out Food Networks page for Chopped At Home. The first round ends March 2nd and then voting for the semi-finalists of round one starts. If a dish does not make it past round one you can submit a new one for a remaining round.  I am sure it is a long shot, but it would be really fun to win (or even make it to the semi-finals!).

Tonight my friend Emily is stopping over for a little SVU action and Ron is going to grill burgers (we have been on a “summer food” kick).  I am also anxiously awaiting a call from my mom to let me know how Kellen’s first swimming class went!  


1 red bell pepper
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt 
3/4 cup Sargento 6 Italian Cheese Blend
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts  
1/2 cup pesto
One large sweet onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons of butter
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp
1 - 1 1/2 cup fresh arugula
4 rolls bolillo rolls, halved lengthwise


to roast the pepper:
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray it with cooking spray. Remove the top of the pepper and slice in half. Remove the seeds and place skin side up on the baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes or until skin is charred and pepper is tender. Remove peppers from the oven and place the peppers into a resealable bag. Allow the pepper to rest for 15-20 minutes. Remove peppers from the bag and peel off the blackened skin. 

Place chicken between two pieces of wax paper and pour to ½ inch thickness. Place chicken in a large resealed bag, add pesto and gently toss to coat. Seal bag and place in fridge for at least an 60 minutes or up to 8 hours.  

In a medium rimmed skillet, cook onions and butter over medium-low heat until the onions are caramelized and medium golden brown. When the onions are done cooking remove them from the heat, and  cover to keep warm.

While chicken marinates and onions cook, place roasted peppers, yogurt, cheese and pepper into a food processor or blender. Pulse till smooth and set aside.

Heat grill to medium heat. Remove chicken from marinate and grill chicken 3-5 minutes per side or until no longer pink.  Place cooked chicken on a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread red pepper and cheese mixture over the bolillo rolls. Place on a baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes, but keep an eye to make sure the rolls do not burn.  Remove the rolls from the oven and layer fresh arugula on the bottom bun. Place chicken breast over arugula, followed by crispy bacon, caramelized onions and the remaining half of the bun.

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