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Easy Vegan Chicken Pesto Panini (20 Minute Recipe)

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  • Author: Gregs Vegan Gourmet
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 1


Air fried chicken cutlets and homemade vegan pesto layered on a bed of sourdough, vegan cheese and red onion make for the perfect lunch panini.


The Sandwich:

  • 2 slices sourdough bread or ciabatta
  • 1/4 diced red onion
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter

Seitan Chicken:

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 3/41 cup vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • (Optional) Replace seitan with 1 block extra firm tofu


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp paprika salt & pepper to taste
  • 21/2 cups broth for simmering
  • oil for frying


  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup kale
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • generous pinch of salt


    1. Make the seitan chicken: Whisk together seitan dry ingredients until combined. Add broth and stir until it forms a dough ball.
    2. Knead a few times with your hands until dough has no dry spots.
    3. Add rest of broth to instant pot. Rip off chunks of seitan and add to pot. Cook on “manual” for 15 minutes. Once it is done, quick release steam.
    4. Meanwhile, whisk together breading ingredients. When seitan is done, toss in the breading mixture until coated.
    5. Heat a large frying pan with oil. When hot, add seitan and fry a few minutes per side until crispy and golden brown. Remove from pan and plate into a paper towel-lined bowl to rest. (If you have access to an air fryer, fry on 400 degrees F for 10 minutes until golden brown).
    6. Make the pesto: Add pesto ingredients to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth(ish).
    7. Onto each slice of bread, layer the pesto blend, vegan cheese, and seitan chicken and red onion.
    8. Add to oil coated panini press and cook for 5 minutes until golden brown and crunchy on both sides. Remove from heat and serve.


Store leftover seitan chicken in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a frying pan or in the oven until crispy.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15

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