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Easy Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt (Copycat)

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Are you a sandwich lover like me or a Panera Bread fan?


Then this Copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt is the perfect sandwich recipe to try!

It’s a simple recipe made with delicious ingredients that you can make in the comfort of your own home with leftover chicken for one of those easy weeknight meals! 

Simple Ingredients For A Copycat Panera Bread Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt

  • Focaccia bread
  • Chipotle sauce
  • Smoked chicken
  • Cooked bacon – optional
  • Avocado
  • Piquant peppadew peppers
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Smoked gouda cheese

To Make The Creamy Chipotle Sauce You Will Need

  • Mayonaise
  • Adobo sauce
  • Lime juice
There is a wooden board with sandwich ingredients which includes an avocado, slices of cooked bacon, 4 slices of chicken, 4 slices of yellow cheese, a small clear glass bowl with a light orange sauce in it, sprigs of cilantro, a pile of red round peppers, and 4 triangular cut pieces of bread. Board is on a white marbled surface.

Ingredient Notes And Substitutions 

Focaccia Bread – Black pepper focaccia bread is the type of bread that Panera uses to make this sandwich. Use a different kind if you want to.


Alternative Bread – Instead of focaccia bread, switch it up by using french bread, ciabatta bread, or sourdough bread. Any of them will make a delicious sandwich.

Smoked Chicken – Now, you don’t have to smoke your own chicken to make this Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt Recipe.

You can usually find smoked chicken at the deli counter of your local grocery store but if you can’t, sometimes I can’t find it. No worries there!

Rotisserie chicken, leftover chicken, or regular cooked chicken breasts are all great options to use for this tasty sandwich, either shredded chicken or sliced chicken.

Peppadew Peppers – These peppers can be a little hard to find and have a kick to them! Great alternatives are sweet cherry peppers or roasted red peppers.

Smoked Gouda – Regular gouda or cheddar cheese slices can be used.

Bacon – Smoky bacon added to any sandwich takes it to another level! I love it!

Adobo Sauce – This sauce is what canned chipotle peppers are in. A little goes a long way!

Alternatively, you can use Tabasco Chipotle Sauce or a prepared chipotle mayonnaise found at your local grocery store.

You definitely want to use some type of chipotle sauce. It’s what gives the sandwich tons of smoky flavor!

Cilantro – You can use either fresh or dry cilantro. This is one herb that I don’t use a lot of. It’s very strong to me however, a little bit sprinkled on this sandwich blends nicely with the rest of the ingredients. It’s completely optional! 

Panera Copycat Recipe – Chipotle Chicken Sandwich

There is a triangular shaped sandwich with sliced chicken, sliced avocado, bacon, small red peppers, yellow cheese and a light orange sauce on it. There is a second sandwich and a mound of potato chips in the background. Items are on a light brown piece of paper.

Make The Chipotle Sauce

  • Mix 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 2 teaspoons adobo sauce, and a splash of lime juice (about 1/4 teaspoon) throughly in a small bowl.
  • Cover and place in the fridge if not using right away.

How To Assemble The Copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Sandwich

There is a mound of small round red peppers, sliced avocado, and chopped cilantro on a wood surface.
  • Preheat oven to broil. (see Recipe Note)
  • If the focaccia bread is not pre cut, use a bread knife to cut the focaccia bread into your preferred sandwich size. Slice the sandwich bread horizontally in half. 
  • Rinse, dry, and roughly chop a few sprigs of fresh cilantro.
  • Rinse the outer skin a ripe avocado and dry with a paper towel. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Use a large spoon to remove the flesh from the halves and thinly slice them.
  • Drain the peppadew peppers well and pat dry. Cut them in half.
There are two pieces of bread with sliced chicken and bacon on them. There are 4 slices of yellow cheese, a mound of small round red peppers, sliced avocado, and chopped cilantro on a wood surface.
  • Spread a layer of creamy chipotle sauce on the bottom slice of bread.
  • Layer the smoked chicken.
  • Add the cooked bacon if using.
There are two pieces of bread with sliced chicken, bacon and sliced avocado on them. There are 4 slices of yellow cheese, a mound of small round red peppers, and chopped cilantro on a wood surface.
  • Place the sliced creamy avocado on top of the chicken or bacon.
There are two pieces of bread with sliced chicken, bacon, sliced avocado, small round red peppers, and chopped cilantro on them. There are 4 slices of yellow cheese laying next to them. Items are on a wood surface.
  •  Add the peppadew peppers.
  • Sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top of the open-face sandwich.
There are two pieces of bread with sliced chicken, bacon, sliced avocado, small round red peppers, and chopped cilantro on them. One of the sandwiches has 2 pieces of yellow cheese on it. Items are on a metal baking pan.
  • Cover the open-face sandwich with 2 slices of gouda cheese.
  • Put the open-face sandwich on a baking tray.
There are two pieces of bread with sliced chicken, bacon, sliced avocado, small round red peppers, chopped cilantro, and melted yellow cheese on them. Items are on a metal baking pan.
  •  Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese melts. 
  • Use oven mitts and remove the baking tray.
  • Spread a little creamy chipotle sauce on the top slice of bread.
  • Place the top slice of bread on the melted cheese.
  • Serve warm.
There is a triangular shaped sandwich with shredded chicken, sliced avocado, small red peppers, yellow cheese and a light orange sauce on it. The sandwich is on a white piece of paper laying on a wood surface.

Recipe Note

I use my toaster oven on broil if I’m making 1 or 2 sandwiches, it works great! If using a standard oven, raise the rack  to the highest position and turn on the broiler.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is A Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt?

Panera Bread Chipotle Chicken Melt is a delicious sandwich made with their black pepper focaccia bread. It consists of smoked chicken breast, avocado slices, peppadew peppers, chopped fresh cilantro, gouda cheese, and topped with smoky chipotle mayo.

What Is Focaccia Bread?

Focaccia is a flat leavened oven-baked Italian bread. It is often used to make thick crust pizzas, sandwiches, and as a side dish. It can be square, round, or rectangular and is offered in many flavors.

What Is The Difference Between Peppadew Peppers And Piquante Peppers?

They are one in the same! Peppadew peppers are a brand name for piquante peppers that are produced in South Africa.

These peppers have a peppery sweet flavor and can usually be found at your local grocery store.

What Can I Serve With A Chipotle Chicken Sandwich?

Panera Bread offers a variety of wonderful sides like white cheddar mac, broccoli cheddar soup, salads or a bag of crunchy chips.

Other great sides you can make for a complete meal are Steamed Broccoli With Garlic Butter, City Barbeque Potato Salad, or Buffalo Wild Wings Potato Wedges.

Can I Grill The Chipotle Chicken Sandwich?

Yes, you can grill a chipotle chicken sandwich! If your in the mood for a delicious buttery crispy sandwich, grilling is the way to go!

Heat a cast iron skillet or large skillet over medium heat. Butter both sides of the sandwich, place in heated skillet. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly brown.

Love This Recipe? Then you have to try a few more of my favorite easy recipes!

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Easy Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt (Copycat)

There is a triangular shaped sandwich with shredded chicken, sliced avocado, small red peppers, yellow cheese and a light orange sauce on it. The sandwich is on a white piece of paper laying on a wood surface.

This copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt sandwich is a simple recipe made with delicious ingredients that you can make for an easy weeknight meal!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 slices focaccia bread
  • Chipotle sauce
  • 4 ounces smoked chicken
  • 4 slices cooked bacon - optional
  • 1 avocado
  • 6 to 8 Piquant peppadew peppers
  • 4 sprigs chopped cilantro
  • 4 slices smoked gouda cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. If the focaccia bread is not pre cut, use a bread knife to cut the focaccia bread into your preferred sandwich size. Slice the sandwich bread horizontally in half. 
  3. Rinse, dry, and roughly chop a few sprigs of fresh cilantro.
  4. Rinse the outer skin a ripe avocado and dry with a paper towel. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Use a large spoon to remove the flesh from the halves and thinly slice them.
  5. Drain the peppadew peppers well and pat dry. Cut them in half.
  6. Spread a layer of creamy chipotle sauce on the bottom slice of bread.
  7. Layer the smoked chicken.
  8. Add the cooked bacon if using.
  9. Place the sliced creamy avocado on top of the chicken or bacon.
  10.  Add the peppadew peppers.
  11. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top of the open-face sandwich.
  12. Cover the open-face sandwich with 2 slices of gouda cheese.
  13. Put the open-face sandwich on a baking tray.
  14.  Broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese melts. 
  15. Use oven mitts and remove the baking tray.
  16. Spread a little creamy chipotle sauce on the top slice of bread.
  17. Place the top slice of bread on the melted cheese.
  18. Serve warm.

Notes

Homemade Creamy Chipotle Sauce For 2 Sandwiches

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime juice

Mix all together in a small bowl.

Recipe Note

I use my toaster oven on boil if I'm making 1 or 2 sandwiches.

If using a standard oven, raise the rack  to the highest position and turn on the broiler.

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