The first time I made these little slider-sized sandwiches was for a trivia night we were attending. Have you been to trivia nights? This one was a fundraiser for a local VA hospital where my friend Becky works. I was part of a table of friends, competing against lots of other tables to see who would win collectively with the best score on a variety of trivia questions. It's kind of like playing Trivial Pursuit with a gymnasium full of people. I pretty much stink at trivia, King-Man is good at the science and history questions. It's a fun evening out with friends, even if I can't recall the altitude of some mountain peak at some obscure location across the world.
Everyone at the table was supposed to bring food to share for snacking throughout the evening. My assignment was to bring something a bit more substantial so that we didn't just end up with bags of chips and cookies at our table. There is, by the way, an unofficial competition between tables to see who brings the best food. Our table was definitely in the running for that. Our food rocked. Our trivia answers? Not so much.
So, I first created these little sandwiches for Trivia Night at the VA. They were a hit. Not only are they tasty, but they also hold up well. I made them several hours in advance and kept them cold until it was time to eat. So, I can recommend them as a good make-ahead food. In fact, King-Man has even taken leftovers to the office the next day, and they were still good then. I often take these along to pot-luck type parties and picnics. They can pass as either an appetizer or a main course.
This recipe has pesto as a main ingredient. If you want to whip some up, check out my post about How to Make and Freeze Pesto. Or, you can use store bought pesto. If there's a Trader Joe's near you, they have a good ready-made pesto in their refrigerated deli section.
Here are the step-by-step photos for Pesto Chicken Slider Sandwiches.
First the chicken mixture. (You can cook and shred your own chicken, or buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.) Here's my recipe:
Put the chicken in a large bowl. Add the pesto, salt, and pepper.
Mix that up and then add the pine nuts and fold them in.
The mixture looks like this. You may want to taste it to see if it needs more salt, but this is usually enough for me.
Next split the buns and open them up. Put a spinach leaf or two on the bottom of the bun--make sure you cover the surface of the bun with the spinach. This seals the bun from the filling and keeps it from getting soggy.
Now add a generous heap of chicken pesto mixture on top of the spinach.
Add a slice of provolone or mozzarella cheese on top of the chicken mixture. Put the bun lid on top. The cheese works like the spinach to keep the top bun from getting soggy.
I like to stick a toothpick in each sandwich to hold it together, especially if I will be taking them somewhere.
Dig in and enjoy!
If you have any of the pesto chicken filling leftover, it freezes well.
Now you're ready for your next potluck, picnic...or trivia night.
Make it a yummy day!
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