Super Bowl XLVI madness has descended upon the city of Indianapolis.  As a disheartened Colts fan and as someone who works downtown, I can’t say I’m all that enthusiastic about this year’s big showdown.  Nevertheless, it is kind of cool to see how excited everyone else seems to be about the shenanigans.  (I do wish I could see LMFAO – they crack me up!)  While I won’t be watching the game come Sunday, I know that many of you will, and may be attending a party or hosting your own.  This southwest chicken panini is a pretty spectacular sandwich that is also spectacularly simple.  Though we enjoy it for a regular main dish on slices of sourdough, you can toss the chicken mixture onto some slider buns, top with cheese, and you’ve got yourself a pretty rockin’ football watching snack.  The filling can be prepped in advanced and reheated when you are ready to serve to simplify mealtime.  This sandwich isn’t particularly spicy, but feel free to adjust the level of heat to your liking.


For the filling:
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded thin
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 chipotle in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
½ cup tomato sauce*
Juice of 1 lime

To assemble: 
Sliced sourdough bread
Olive oil
Shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro

*I used some of the simplest tomato sauce.


  • 01

    Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Place the chicken breasts in the pan and cook, turning, until golden brown on both sides and an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reads 160˚ F.  Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool slightly.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil.  Add the onion, garlic, spices, and chipotle to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the tomato sauce.  Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and return to the pan with the onion-spice mixture.  Cook until warmed through and well blended.  Off the heat, stir in the lime juice.

  • 03

    Heat a second skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat and coat lightly with oil.  Lay out slices of bread for sandwiches, lightly oiling one side of each piece and facing that side outward from the filling.  Assemble sandwiches with some of the chicken mixture, shredded cheese, and chopped cilantro as desired.  Place sandwiches on the heated pan to cook briefly, turning once, until the outside is golden brown and the cheese is melted.  Serve warm.


  • RikiTikiTembo

    Ohh that totally made my mouth water. Im putting this on the menu asap:)

  • This looks like a game time sandwich I’d love! :)

  • Love this different take on the panini! I get so tired of basil, mozzarella, and sun-dried tomatoes, so this will be a good change-up! Thanks, Annie!:)

  • Anonymous

    I love panini options and this sounds like a great one! Thanks!

  • Natalie Smith

    This looks absolutely fantastic. I am working on my February menu right now, and this just has to make an appearance on it. :)

  • This looks absolutely fantastic. I am working on my February menu, and I am thinking that this has to make an appearance on it!

  • This looks fantastic!! You have such a great selection of sandwiches on here!

  • Anonymous

    You make me so HUNGRY !!!!

  • Erin

    I’m glad I am not the only Indianapolis resident that is less than thrilled about the hoopla downtown. It has been more of a hassle than anything else for me!
    As always, this recipe sounds amazing!

  • This looks like such a great weeknight meal! I made the black bean patties with corn relish (they were delish) last night and have almost a full jar of chipotle chilies left over. Looks like the perfect way to use them up!

  • Heather @ Kids in the Sink

    My husband takes his lunch to class everyday and I’ve been looking for different lunch ideas because just a few weeks in and I’m tired of making turkey sandwiches! This could be a good alternative to switch things up and it looks really good!

  • Wow. This sandwich looks tasty!

  • Bakingblonde

    Those sound amazing! I love a good sandwhich with some soup!

  • Nicole

    I love panini sandwiches but I’ve never tried one that was southwestern inspired. Adding this to the Must Try list.

  • Ksfield

    Made this for dinner tonight. It was way easy and so delicious! I used cheddar cheese and added a few tsp of the adobo sauce when I added the tomato sauce. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from your blog and I can’t wait to try many, many more!

  • Hkoziarz

    Love the idea on putting it on slider buns! YUM

  • Suzanne Perazzini

    This looks like a fancy toasted sandwich. We do these when we can’t think of anything else to eat. Your version sounds delicious.

  • Lynda

    Your chicken panini looks really tasty-love the addition of chipotle pepper for some spiciness.

  • Your panini looks amazing!! Chipotle in adobo sauce is the best thing ever, and it sounds like it’s goes awesomely with all the other ingredients. :)

  • As a disheartened Ravens fan, I feel your pain a little… Although this sandwich might perk things up… as I’m rooting big time for the Giants.

  • Anonymous

    I’m with you there!

  • Super bowl….meh. I’m so not into it this year. But I’d be all over that panini. Makes me want to get my press out today, if only I had some sourdough starter.

  • Woot! Seeing Tom Brady’s pouting face made everything better.

  • Anonymous

    No joke!

  • ChRistine Richard

    What a phenomenal sandwich! Thanks for always sharing such flavorful, easy to follow recipes!

  • Lsundin

    We havemade these panini’s 4 or 5 times since you posted the recipe. They are fabulous!!! Thanks for sharing.

  • I laughed every time. Especially when he sat on the field all sad and discouraged after an INT. And Annie, enjoy my all time favorite safety Tommy Zbikowski this year, as he’s now a member of your squad. He’s great! So is Cory Redding. And Pagano.

  • Zoey A.

    Looks delicious. I wanna make this. One question though. Where can you find in a grocery store “1 chipotle in adobe sauce”? I have two little peanuts that can only take 15 minutes of grocery shopping otherwise they’ll go crazy… Any suggestions where I can find this? or substitue it with something else? Thanks Annie

  • annieseats

    If your store has a mexican section, it will be there. The cans are small – 4 oz I think. Enjoy!

  • Zoey A.

    Ahh Mexican! Thank you Annie :) you are the best !!