Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Red Gold Pesto #easyaioli...Featuring Pesto Aioli Chicken Sandwiches

My friends at Red Gold recently sent me a package filled with their flavorful petite diced tomatoes to take part in their #easyaioli promotion. If you're not familiar with aioli, it's a delicious and versatile mayo-based spread that's great on sandwiches or as a dip. Red Gold's easy aioli recipes are a snap to make and contain only a handful of ingredients. We love pesto so the Easy Pesto Aioli immediately caught my eye. It's made with Red Gold Petite Dice Tomatoes with Garlic & Olive Oil, light mayo, and your favorite pesto. It's full of my favorite Italian flavors, so I knew I wanted to make a sandwich that would showcase this zesty spread. What I came up with was my Pesto Aioli Chicken Sandwiches.
This big-flavor sandwich features lean boneless chicken tenders that are marinated in a flavorful marinade, gooey melted provolone cheese, and a generous amount of Red Gold's Easy Pesto Aioli. To further amp up the pesto flavor, I spread a nice amount of pesto on the warm sandwich rolls. Bottom line? This sandwich is bursting with our favorite Italian flavors, and it's a perfect weeknight dinner. If you do 5 minutes of prep work in the morning and let the chicken tenders marinate in the fridge while you're at work, these sandwiches can be on the table in about 30 minutes when you get home! That makes this dish a winner in my book...come see how easy it is to whip up.

Pesto Aioli Chicken Sandwiches
a Weekend Gourmet Original Creation

Ingredients (for four sandwiches):
  • Four crusty French rolls or Mexican bollilos
  • 8 thin slices provolone cheese
  • 4 tbs. prepared pesto
For the chicken:
  • 1.5 lbs. boneless chicken tenders
  • 1 cup Italian dressing
  • 2 tbs. prepared pesto
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
For the aioli:
  • 14.5-ounce can Red Gold Petite Garlic & Olive Oil Petite Diced Tomatoes, well drained
  • 1/2 cup light mayonaise
  • 2 tbs. prepared pesto
Step 1: Combine the Italian dressing and pesto in a large bowl, then add the chicken tenders. Stir to combine and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes -- up to 8 hours is fine. Prepare the easy pesto aioli by adding the drained tomatoes, light mayo, and pesto in a mixing bowl. Stir until creamy and completely combined. Set aside in the fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Step 2: Add the olive oil to a large skillet over med-high heat. Heat for 5 minutes, then drain the chicken tenders from the marinade and add to the hot skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until the tenders are browned on the outside and cooked through. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Step 3: Cut the sandwich rolls in half with a serrated knife. Spread 1 tbs. of pesto on the bottom half of each roll. Add 3-4 chicken tenders on top of the pesto. Top the chicken with two slices of provolone and 2-3 tbs. of the pesto aioli. 
If you love pesto, this is the perfect sandwich for you! The easy pesto aioli is creamy and flavorful thanks to the mayo, the garlic-studded tomatoes, and the basil in the pesto. The chicken is tangy and so juicy thanks to the zesty marinade, and the melted provolone helps hold it all together. We kept it simple and served the sandwiches with chips, but a pasta salad would be a great side dish too.

Disclosure: Red Gold sent me a variety of their flavored Petite Diced Tomatoes to facilitate participation in their #easyaioli promotion and recipe development. All opinions are my own.

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