Grilled Chicken Gremolata Sandwich Recipe

To do National Sandwich Day right Nov. 3, you will want to go beyond PB&J. You don’t have to go all out with multi-layered Dagwood style, like the comic strip character who inspired restaurants of the same name. Simply adding a bit of something new is enough to make the late Earl of Sandwich proud. Of course we can celebrate delicious sandwiches any day, too.

The key to stepping up your game in the sandwich department is often including seasonings you may not usually think of or adding a bit of flair with the sauce. Alison Lewis, chef and author of 400 Best Sandwich recipes, adapted this recipe for Real Food and offers easy tips to try for other sandwiches. 

  • Leftover grilled shrimp, chicken, steak or pork are great options for your protein.
  • Use fresh herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet peppers, capers, various vinegars and spices for robust flavors.
  • Employ grainy mustards, chutneys and Greek yogurt for sandwich spreads.
  • Think outside the (bread)box and use artisanal or unique freshly baked breads.
  • Toast bread for sandwiches with sauce or warm fillings. 
  • Consider grilling your favorite sandwiches that are typically served cold. 
  • Give sandwiches a fall seasonal flair by including mushrooms, pears, winter squash, fresh herbs, apples and nuts.
  • When it comes time to enjoy, slice sandwiches using a serrated knife to keep the bread’s texture and the fillings intact. 

Here, you can get a restaurant-quality grilled chicken sandwich: The secret is gremolata—which is a paste made of herbs, garlic and citrus often found in Italy—not to mention the sandwich’s warm, melty cheese. Happy National Sandwich Day!

Grilled Chicken Gremolata Sandwich

Makes 4 servings

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 (about 1½ pounds) boneless skinless chicken cutlets
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 slices ciabatta or Italian bread, toasted
4 slices mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat a lightly greased grill to medium-high.

2. In a small bowl, combine parsley, lemon zest, garlic, Italian seasoning and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir in 6 tablespoons oil. Set aside.

3. Drizzle lemon juice over chicken and season with remaining salt and pepper. Cook on grill, in a preheated panini press, or in a large skillet 4 to 6 minutes per side, until no longer pink inside. Set aside.

4. Brush 1 side of bread slices with remaining oil. Place on a work surface, oiled side down. Spread 4 slices with parsley mixture. Top with chicken and cheese, cover with remaining bread slices (oiled sides facing out), and gently press together.

5. Place sandwiches on a preheated grill, in a preheated panini press, or in a skillet over medium heat and cook (turning once if using a skillet) 3 to 4 minutes, until golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note: As an alternative, you can also broil the chicken for this recipe. Simply place chicken on a lined baking sheet. Broil, turning once, 4 to 6 minutes per side, until no longer pink inside.

Nutrition Info Chicken Gremolata Sandwich (Per Serving): CALORIES 657 (352 From Fat); FAT 40g (Sat . 9g) ; CHOL 121mg; SODIUM 1102mg;  CARB 24g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 50g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.