Pesto Chicken Melt

While perusing “Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.” my eyes were drawn to a recipe for “Pesto Tuna Melt”. I started to turn the page, because I wasn’t sure I could get the boys to try canned tuna fish. Just before I moved off the page, I had an epiphany. What was stopping me from considering other canned protein options? And thus emerged the Pesto Chicken Melt! It was easy to whip up a vegan version of the recipe’s pesto, and the end result was so comforting. After all, who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich?

Pesto Chicken Melt

This recipe was inspired by the Pesto Tuna Melt from “Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.” If your family is like ours, canned tuna isn’t a favorite. Canned chicken though, makes for a winner, winner…you get the point!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, dairy free
Keyword: chicken, pesto, sandwich
Servings: 2
Calories: 400kcal


  • 5 oz can chicken
  • 1/2 cup Pesto
  • 1 tbsp vegan yogurt plain, unsweetened
  • 4 slices sandwich bread gluten free
  • 4 slices vegan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil to taste



  • Combine these ingredients into a food processor: 2 cups tightly packed basil leaves, 6 oz vegan Parmesan, 1/2 cup roasted almonds, and 1 tsp minced ginger; pulse until finely ground.
  • Add 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and process until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed, until the mix is fully blended,


  • Combine the chicken, pesto, and yogurt in a medium bowl. 
  • Place a slice of vegan cheese on one piece of bread, spread the chicken mixture over, cover with one more slice of cheese, and cover that with the second piece of bread.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and brush it with olive oil. Use a spatula to lower the sandwich on to the hot pan. Brush oil on the top piece of bread. Grill until the bread is toasty and golden brown. Carefully flip and grill the second side until the cheese is melty.


We use Forager plain unsweetened Cashewgurt whenever a recipe calls for yogurt or sour cream.
Violife’s Just Like Mature Cheddar Slices taste delicious; they take longer to melt than dairy cheese, but for those of us with dairy allergies, it’s worth the wait.
Udi’s Gluten-Free Millet-Chia Bread is our favorite for toast and sandwiches.

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