Pesto Chicken Parmesan Sliders.

Today we’re talking about little bites of cheesy heaven.

The rate that I would survive without cheese in my life is… 0%. No survival.

And If Eddie could eat one meal for the rest of his life, this would be it.

Before or after pepperoni sausage pizza, of course.

And a grilled steak. With sweet potatoes.

But give or take those… this is it!

These little bites of love are totally homemade and full of flavor. The chicken is SO good.

While it’s easy, it does require an extra step of actually, well, MAKING the chicken before you make the sandwiches. But it’s not so bad – just pretend that you are going to make chicken parm… then sandwich it!

I like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they have so much flavor. I trim any excess fat and cut them into pieces depending on the side of my slider buns. You can always make a regular sandwich here, but I find that it’s insanely filling. Plus, sliders are cuter. And you can eat two of them with a greens salad and feel good about life.

The rest of the slider comes together with some marinara and grated cheese. And my favorite part: the pesto! I’ve had a ton of pesto on hand while I finish up shooting the book – like a CRAZY amount – and that is exactly where the inspiration came from. At first I thought I would just make some sort of pesto chicken parmesan, but HELLO.

Everything is better when it’s enveloped by carbs. Obviously.

There is a little bit of a sweet and savory thing going on here since I used the sweet Hawaiian rolls. The contrast in flavor makes these ridiculously appealing as soon as you take a bite. There’s just a little extra something about them. Sweetness, spice and savory taste buds freak.

And one more thing that is awesome? These actually reheat pretty well. Eddie and my brother ate them for a few days after I initially made them and still raved over the flavor. The chicken doesn’t stay quite as crispy, but the flavor is still spot on. I’m trying desperately to not make them every WEEK!

Pesto Chicken Parmesan Sliders

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup seasoned fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 9 to 12 Hawaiian bread dinner rolls or slider buns
  • 2 cups freshly grated provolone cheese
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • parmesan cheese, for sprinkling

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Take the chicken and cut it into pieces based on the size of your slider buns. I cut the thighs into halves or thirds.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs. In another bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, flour, basil, salt and pepper.

Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Take the chicken and coat it in the beaten egg then dredge it through the bread crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Place the chicken in the skillet. You just want to cook it until the bread crumbs brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Once the chicken is finished, place it in the oven and bake it for 15 minutes, or until cooked through the center.

While the chicken is baking, prepare the rest of the sliders. Grate your cheese and slice open your slider rolls. Place the slider rolls on a baking sheet. Spread marinara sauce on the bottom slider bun and add a spoonful of pesto. Add a little sprinkle of cheese. Top each with a piece of chicken, then cover it with more marinara, a touch more pesto, and a big handful of cheese. Gently place the top bun on top.

Bake the sliders for 10 to 15 minutes, just until the cheese melts. When the come out of the oven, you can add on a big basil leaf depending on how much you love basil. Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of parmesan!

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Ice cold beer too. For Monday!