Chicken Sandwich Recipe

Panera Bread Stacked Chicken Pepperoni Mozzarella Melt, A No-Brainer Copycat Recipe

Chicken sandwich recipe is an easy copycat dinner ideas. Even kids can make it.   You will want this sandwich on repeat forever.

Chicken Sandwich Recipe | Panera Bread Stacked Chicken Pepperoni Mozzarella Melt

Total Time:
18-20 Minutes
Prep Time
: 8-10 Minutes  

Inactive Cook Time: 10 Minutes  
Serving: 3-4

My son loves this sandwich in Panera Bread. Apparently, my husband took him to the restaurant once without my knowledge. And the kid loves it so much that when we had a get-together with a family friend, he automatically called this sandwich out. That was also my first encounter of this chicken sandwich recipe.

We made a special trip back to the restaurant because I had been wondering about the baking time and temperature. Through these trips, I also learned that the bread used for the sandwich is different every time. I will share with you later. Anyway, I can guarantee that you are going to love this chicken sandwich recipe and have repeats every week. It is super simple and affordable to feed an entire family. You will not be able to resist it.


The Bread

Panera Bread chicken sandwich in the restaurantThe sandwich in the restaurant with sourdough baguette

In the last 2 trips to Panera Bread, I learned that they use different kind of baguette. It is either French or sourdough baguette. I personally prefer the French one to the other. Plus, there was a slight brush of melted butter on top of the French baguette which gave a glossy look and an extra crunch. I didn't brush a layer of butter on mine when I tested this recipe. So, the butter is optional.

You may know me by now that my son and I always strive for bold flavor. So, we did use garlic bread to make this sandwich once and it was

The garlic bread recipe has just released in my newsletter. If you want to get this exclusive recipe, sign up now and you will get the access to the only-for-subscriber page. Obviously, you can choose to use other store-bought garlic bread. If so, make sure that you warm up the bread first, but not bake to crispy as the package or recipe directions. Otherwise, the bread will be as hard as a rock. It will crisp up when you bake it again with toppings added.


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The Chicken

The restaurant used 2 different types of chicken. One was cold cut, pre-sliced chicken. The other time was cooked chicken cut into bite size. During and after the recipe development, I have been using pre-cooked grilled/roasted chicken mainly because the meat was cut in a very uniform size and shape. As a result, it is easier to stack them with other ingredients on top of the bread. Plus, I didn't devote any extra time to cut the meat up. One less step to worry about. It's more convenient for you and me.

But there are a few other options to cut down the cost of making this copycat recipe. You can use store-bought rotisserie chicken. It is cheaper with a bigger volume of meat after shredding it. It does take some time to de-bone and shred the meat though. But if you are doing your meal prep already, may as well, right?

Another way is homemade rotisserie chicken which is more economical. That's for sure a big money saver. And you have an option to choose what type of chicken meat you want. Some people prefer to have dark meat to white meat. Then, you can load up the sandwich with your preferred meat in this case.

Obviously, any chicken leftover would be great as long as you don't mind of mixing up the flavors. As you know, I create plenty of leftover makeover dishes.  So, why not try out this route?

The Sauce

Panera Bread chicken sandwich in the restaurantAlmost non-existent sauce in the sandwich at the restaurant

The sauce in the original sandwich was literally non-existent. It was more for giving some colors of the face of the sandwich. So, if you want to skip the sauce, it is perfectly fine. I personally prefer to have the sauce and a little bit more than the restaurant add on the sandwich. So, here is my rule of thumb how much sauce you want to add on top of yours and do feel free to adjust it per your preference.

For an open face baguette, I add one teaspoon of sauce to cover an area about 1" x 4" and one side only. The sandwich is going to bake in the oven open face and stack up before serving. So, one side of the open sandwich will have sauce and the other side won't. Like I said, please feel free to adjust the quantity as you prefer.

Side note: The first time when we tried it, the restaurant used roasted pepper tomato sauce. I didn't use it because that would be one extra step and a food processor to clean. But you see the options that you have to spice up this chicken sandwich recipe, right?

Kick Up Another Notch

Adding bacon bits on chicken sandwich

My son has been asking for more flavor in this sandwich. So, we did add bacon bits on the stack. You can either use store-bought bacon bits to make it quick and easy or make your own bacon.

Chicken Sandwich Recipe and Instructions

1 French Baguette (cut into halves lengthwise. I also divide the whole loaf of bread into 4 equal portions before adding toppings. It is easier at the time of serving.)
1 (8 oz) Pre-cooked Grilled/Roasted Chicken (any pre-cooked chicken works)
24-32 pieces Bite Size Pepperoni Slices
8oz Pre-Sliced or Pre-Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 (8 oz) Tomato Sauce (any leftover spaghetti sauce works. You can also skip this ingredient entirely)

  1. Preheat oven at 350F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil/parchment paper for easy cleanup later.
  2. Cut baguette into halves lengthwise so that it can open up like a book.
  3. Cut baguette into 3-4 portions which will make the same number of sandwiches later.
  4. Transfer the open face baguette to the baking sheet to assemble.
  5. Add 2 tsp sauce on only one side of the baguette. (Too much sauce could make the bread soggy.)
  6. Divide chicken evenly among sandwiches and add it on top of the bread with sauce.
  7. Add pepperoni on the other half of the bread where there is no sauce.
  8. Divide mozzarella cheese evenly and add on top of chicken and pepperoni of the open face sandwich.
  9. Transfer to pre-heated oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  10. Add bacon bits on top (optional)
  11. Top the the one side of the sandwich to the other and enjoy immediately.

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Chicken Sandwich Recipe Steps with Photos

Ingredients used to make chicken sandwich recipe5 easy ingredients to make Panera Bread Stacked Chicken Pepperoni Mozzarella Melt
Cutting baguette into halves lengthwiseCut baguette into halves lengthwise
Baguette was cut into portionsThen, cut baguette into 3-4 portions and open it for adding toppings
Adding sauce on the breadAdd sauce on one half of each sandwich (optional)
Add chicken on the breadAdd chicken on one half of the sandwich
Adding pepperoni on the breadAdd pepperoni slices on the other half of the sandwich
Adding mozzarella cheeseAdd mozzarella cheese on top of chicken and pepperoni slices
Cheese is all melted from the bakingBake sandwich in the oven until cheese is melted
Sandwich without sauceFold both halves together to make sandwich. This one has no sauce
Sandwich with sauceCopycat Panera Bread Stacked Chicken Pepperoni Mozzarella Melt with sauce
Sandwich is ready to!!! ENJOY!

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