I’m not going to lie; lunchtime today was a déjà vu moment. Just like Monday, Jon was asking me what’s for lunch. Actually this has probably happened so many times in the last seven years that I wouldn’t even be able to give a ballpark estimate. You see my husband started working from home at the end of summer all the way back in 2013. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since a few months after that so the midday meal almost always happens in our kitchen. I guess it’s a good thing I enjoy cooking.
We still had some leftovers - turkey meatballs with sauce and baked boneless skinless chicken breast pieces.
So my brain went something like this: red sauce + chicken + shaved parmesan cheese = chicken parm
I decided some Italian ciabatta rolls would be the perfect holder for this concoction since sandwiches seem to be a reoccurring theme for Team JB lunches. I’ve never taken a cooking class but it’s fun to create something new in the kitchen. Jon is of course test subject No. 1 ha ha ha…
I sliced the rolls and preheated the toaster oven to 425 F. I cut the leftover chicken – it was originally baked in the oven with just salt and pepper for seasoning – and attempted to divide it in half for each sandwich. It ended up a little more for Jon than me (2.75 oz. vs. 2.65). Next I spread the leftover sauce onto each half of the ciabatta rolls. I added the chicken on top on the bottom half and shaved parmesan on the top half. Then I placed all four halves in the toaster oven to bake for eight minutes.
After removing from the toaster oven I put the tops over the bottoms. I tried to cut my sandwich on the diagonal but it was a bit messy. I think it hit all the right flavor notes but next time I’ll cut the chicken into smaller chunks to ease cutting and eating.
Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches – Leftovers Disguised Edition
Note: My leftover sauce was from cooking turkey meatballs on the stove which thickened it. If your sauce is thin, straight from a can or jar, I recommend shredding the chicken in a small bowl, add the sauce and mix well before adding to the bottom half of the ciabatta.
4 to 6 ounces leftover fully cooked chicken (I used 5.4 oz. of baked boneless skinless chicken breast seasoned with salt & freshly ground pepper)
1 serving / 0.5 cup leftover red pasta sauce (I used Prego+ Traditional Hidden Super Veggies)
1 serving / 1 ounce shaved parmesan cheese (I used Stella Aged 10 Months)
2 Italian ciabatta rolls (I used Specially Selected from Aldi)
- Preheat oven or toaster oven to 425 F. Choose bake setting for toaster oven.
- Split the ciabatta rolls with a knife.
- Spread leftover sauce onto all 4 halves.
- Place chicken on bottom halves.
- Add shaved parmesan to the top halves.
- Place in oven/toaster oven for 7-10 minutes until cheese is melted and sandwich has reached desired hotness. 8 minutes seemed about perfect for our toaster oven.
- Remove from oven and place tops over the bottoms. Cut sandwich in half if desired.
Calories per serving (based on brands used above): 371
If you like your chicken parmesan heavy on the parmesan, add some cheese to the bottom halves before the chicken. This was a very filling sandwich that ate like a meal. I only added a very small freshly peeled clementine to this lunch.
Here are a few more ideas I have for leftover red pasta sauce:
- Use as a dipping sauce for mozzarella sticks or breadsticks
- Spread on flatbreads or crusts as pizza sauce
- Serve over polenta (grits)
- Add to rice – great for making Spanish style rice or stuffed peppers
Please let me know if this disguised leftovers recipe fooled you. Thanks for reading!