Kate posted an easy no-cook dinner earlier this week as she was preparing to head out of town to start her summer travels. Part of those travels include a visit all the way up here to Idaho to visit ME! I’m so excited, and my kids can’t wait to see their Southern buddies. When I’ve mentioned her upcoming visit to other people, often their first comment is, “Wow you guys must be planning on making the best food together!” Um, no. I mean, we love to eat good food, but the last thing we want to do on vacation is slave away in the kitchen! We’re both about quick and easy, and with school ending (last day today for us, woo hoo!) and hot summer nights beginning, the no-cook easy meals are our faves. My little brother and his wife mentioned these yummy sandwiches to me almost 2 years ago. I kept hearing about how good they were and about how they’d make them sometime, so when we went over to their house for dinner this past weekend and I saw my cute sister-in-law blending up something bright red in the food processor, I knew immediately that I was finally tasting THE sandwiches! They lived up to the hype as a delicious, flavorful, and super easy meal so I couldn’t wait to share them with you guys. Thanks Drew and Emily!
You’ll need a clove of garlic. (And yes, I’m including this photo simply to show you that adorable garlic pot I got at Target the other day.)
and a 7-ounce jar of roasted red peppers. Sometimes 7-ounce jars are hard to find, so if you grab a larger one, just use about 3/4 cup. Drain them and then pat them dry with a paper towel.
Pop those in a food processor along with a little mayo,
and blend ‘er up. I also add a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper, and a tiny squeeze of lemon juice. I like the lemon because I think a little acidity helps bring out the flavors, but if you don’t have a lemon around, you could use red or white wine vinegar instead, or leave it out all together. You can make this part ahead of time and put it in the fridge. The flavors will just get better the longer it sits!
You can make this on any type of sandwich roll or buns, but I found it worked really well on a french baguette loaf. You know those really long ones in the grocery store bakery that you bake at home? They bake up in like, 8 minutes and are so soft and yummy. I’m just showing half the loaf here, but it’s twice that long so it can easily make 4 large hoagies, or 8 smaller ones. Brush the halves with a little olive oil or butter and then toast it in the oven until it’s golden brown.
Spread some of the red pepper sauce you made on the bottom of the sandwich and then top with shredded chicken. To make this meal super quick and easy, I’m using a rotisserie chicken from Costco, but you could also use some sliced grilled chicken. That’s how my brother and sister-in-law made them and it was really good hot off the grill.
Top the chicken with mozarella cheese, either shredded like I’m doing, or slices, and then return it to the broiler just to melt it. It will only take a second- DON’T WALK AWAY. (I warned you.)
Remember my post about planting a garden a couple of weeks ago? I had enough basil to use on my sandwich and it made me so happy! We actually had a late frost last week so it got a little bit beat up, but it survived and tasted great.
Just put the whole basil leaves right on top, like you would lettuce.
Then spread red pepper sauce on the other side of the bread and put it all together.
I like doing this on the big baguette because you can slice it exactly the size you want it and make lots of small ones or a few big ones.
Pair it with your favorite salad or some fresh summer fruit and it’s a super quick and easy summer dinner.
Italian Chicken Sandwiches with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
7-ounce jar of roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry (about 3/4 C)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
kosher salt and black pepper
1 large french baguette (about 24″ long) or 4 large hoagie buns
2 cups cooked shredded or (or a few chicken breasts grilled and sliced)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, or several slices
a handful of fresh basil leaves
Place roasted red peppers, garlic, mayo, and lemon juice (if you don’t have a lemon, sub red or white wine vinegar, or just leave it out!) in a food processor. Add a pinch of salt and a few cracks of fresh ground pepper. Process until smooth and then store in the fridge until ready to use. You can make the sauce ahead of time.
Slice bread in half to open it up. Lightly brush with olive oil or butter and place under a broiler until golden brown and toasted. Remove from oven and spread red pepper sauce on the bottom half of the bread. Layer chicken on top of it and top with cheese. Place back in the broiler just until cheese is melted. Top with basil leaves. Spread red pepper sauce on other side of bread and put sandwich together. Slice in to 4 large hoagies, or 8 smaller sandwiches.