My wife sometimes buys Lean Cuisine meals to leave in the freezer. They’re good in a pinch, and I eat them sometimes during the week. The meals usually include great flavors and ingredients, but they’re never quite as tasty as they look like they should be.
I’d much rather cook a meal (mostly) from scratch than heat up something from a box. It always kills me how she complains when I put any salt on the food I’m cooking, but she’ll eat a prepared meal that contains 600+ milligrams of sodium.
Sometimes you can get the best of both worlds – using a Lean Cuisine meal as a guide to cook your own meal.
Pesto Chicken Flatbread Sandwich
I really liked the idea of the Pesto Chicken Flatbread Melt from Lean Cuisine. It includes some of my favorite flavors (Chicken, Cheese, and Pesto Sauce). It also avoids the carb-overload that comes with serving Pesto Chicken over pasta.
It’s an incredibly simple sandwich, and you can put it together with some left overs in about ten minutes. If you’re cooking the chicken fresh, it’ll probably take a little over a half hour to make. Great for a weeknight meal or a lunch on the weekends.
- Chicken (around a half a chicken breast per sandwich)
- Pita / Flatbread
- Pesto Sauce (store-bought or your favorite recipe)
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Shredded Mozarella Cheese
- Salt, Pepper, Italian Seasoning
First, you’ll want to cook the chicken. Coat each side with a little oil and season with salt, pepper, and italian seasoning. Cook the chicken using your preferred method. Grilling would be great if it’s warm outisde. If inside, I usually cook it in a pan. Brown each side for about three to four minutes, then cover the pan with a lid, lower the heat, and cook slowly for ten to fifteen minutes.
Once your chicken is done, shred or chop it into bite-size pieces. About half a chicken breast should be more than enough chicken for each sandwich.
Next, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and start assembling your flatbread sandwiches.
Take a pita and smear a little pesto sauce on it. Be careful not to add too much – a little bit of pesto sauce goes a long way. Sprinkle a light coating of mozarella cheese over the sauce, and then spread out the chicken.
Add some chopped pieces of roasted red peppers and then top with a little more mozarella cheese. You could use sun-dried tomatoes instead – that was used in the original Lean Cuisine meal – but I prefer the peppers. Either vegetable adds some contrast in color, texture, and taste to the sandwich.
Finally, put your sandwich into the oven for about five minutes – until the cheese is melted. Fold the pita over, wrap in foil, and enjoy!
Next time I make some of these, I’ll be sure to take a picture.
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