I’m excited for today’s dish, however I kind of wish I took a picture without the peppers on it so you can see how creamy the pesto is. The Pesto is amazing! I mean amazing! I think I out did myself on this sandwich.
This sandwich comes in just a smidge over 300 calories. Have you ever heard of a pesto sandwich for that low of calories? You could skip the bread, then you’re looking at about 200 calories a serving! I love that!! You could also use the pesto sauce for pasta if you choose to have it that way!!
I made the pesto first, and all it is 2 teaspoons of Parmesan cheese, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 2 cups of fresh basil. Process it until chopped and combined. Then I added the pesto to my cheese sauce. The cheese sauce is made with fat-free milk, cream cheese and mozzarella cheese. Add pesto and you have a creamy sauce. Perfect for whatever you like pesto on.
For the chicken, I grilled it and I also grilled my bread. I used the wheat bread that I posted on Monday. I added a few squirts of I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter and some garlic powder onto the bread and placed it on the grill until it was toasted.
On the side I sautéed some onions in peppers in a little bit of butter. I got this idea for the sandwich from a Pizza Restaurant that I like to go to. I had this sandwich there and fell in love. I knew I needed to make it, but I had to make it for fewer calories. I have no clue what the calories are at the restaurant, but I’m sure it’s not good.
Now don’t let the ingredient list scare you, it’s not as bad as it seems and I was able to cook everything together in under 30 minutes. You can also make the pesto in advance and just store in the refrigerator.
Open Faced Pesto sandwich
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. Parmesan Cheese
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tbsp. butter
- 1 oz Fat Free Philadelphia cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 1 cup non fat milk, divided
- 1 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 medium bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1/2 medium onion, sliced in strips
- 1/2 tbsp. butter
Chicken & Bread:
- 4 4oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, flattened to about 1/4″ thick
- salt & pepper
- 4 slices wheat bread
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- butter spray
In a food processor add basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese and garlic. Process until combined. About 30 seconds. Set a side.
In a medium sauce pan add 11/2 tablespoon of butter. Once butter is melted add cream cheese, stir until partially melted. Add 1/2 cup of milk and stir until cheese is just about melted and add mozzarella cheese and remaining milk. Stir until cheese is melted and then add pesto, salt & pepper. Cook on low, until pesto is warmed. Set a side.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, set on medium heat, add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and peppers and onions. Stir, cook until tender about 7 – 10 minutes.
Salt and pepper chicken, place on the grill and cook for 5 minutes per side or until chicken is no longer pink. Slice into bite size pieces.
For Bread, spray about 5 squirts of butter per piece and add garlic powder. Place on grill or in the oven and cook until bread is toasted, about 2 minutes
To make sandwich, place bread on plate, add chicken, then pesto and top with peppers and onions.
Serve and enjoy! Leftovers are great the next day.
Notes: Due to fat content of cream cheese, it may not melt completely, just keep stirring it. It will eventually break down.
Makes 4 servings
Calorie per serving including 100 calorie slice of bread: 311, Fat: 7.5, Cholesterol: 71, Sodium: 449, Potassium: 136, Carbs: 26, Fiber: 3, Sugar: 4, Protein: 35
If anything, you must make the Pesto Sauce. It’s unbelievable! It’s really easy to make, maybe about 10 minutes total time. I know I will be making the pesto again and using it on pasta. Add some tomatoes or sundried tomato, oh yum!! I need to buy more basil!! So delish!!
I have to tell you I am really proud of this dish. It was filling, healthy, low-calorie and the taste is just simply marvelous. Little Jenny loved it and asked if I could make it again. Of course I will, I love it and the best part, is I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I’m going to add it to a salad and have that! So if my photo’s scare you, don’t let it, it tastes so good, trust me on this one!!
I have a surprise coming to you tomorrow, so I need to get prepared. Have a lovely day! Good bye…
Looks delish 😀 I love pesto!
This would also be great with pasta ..just add the grilled chicken veggies and pesto and yum!
Pesto makes me unendingly happy but it’s usually such a calorie nightmare! I really need to try your healthy version. I’d be pouring that sauce all over EVERYTHING.
Cassandra Bishop says
Pesto is so tasty and your version looks great! I’ve always just bought pesto from the store, it’s a great idea to make some at home, save on calories! It looks pretty 🙂
Laura | A Healthy Jalapeño says
Jennifer this looks excellent. I have a huge obsession with pesto on EVERYTHING and open face sandwiches are the best because you get all the flavor with half the bread carbs. Very nice, I bet this sauce would be amazing over spaghetti squash.
Jen @ JuanitasCocina says
Ohhhhh, yum! I don’t care if this is low-fat or low-cal anything.
This looks divine!
Kiri W. says
Wow, that looks saucy! I think I might like it better with just pesto, but it all looks utterly indulgent and delicious 🙂
Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen says
Ooh this looks really healthy & delish! I love pesto 🙂
With or without peppers – it looks delish! I’ll take it WITH, please!
Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. says
I love pesto! I could just put it on so many things! This sandwich looks excellent!
I just discovered your blog. That looks pretty yummy!
Oh my goodness 🙂 :drool: yumm! Thank you for linking up!
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers says
Thank you for having me!!