Food, Recipes

Recipe: Chicken Pesto Pita Sandwiches

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pesto chicken sandwich pita flatbread lunch

On a cool but sunny Sunday in March, we casually coasted the dirt road that winds through Valley of The Gods in southern Utah. It took longer than we expected, which shouldn't be all that surprising because that's the way it goes when the Stephens Family travels. The end of the road comes at Scenic Highway 163, north of Mexican Hat. It was lunchtime. Since the odds of finding any place to rustle up some grub were awfully slim, Brooke had an idea.


"Let's just pull off the road here, we can fix some sandwiches," she offered.

Assuming she meant peanut butter and honey or something, I fell silent and accepted with a grumble. But instead, she surprised me with this tasty treat. There's not much to making it, and with the basil pesto I simply couldn't let my family just hop up on the tail gate to eat. Nope, I whipped out the chairs and a small camp table so we could eat properlike on the side of this dirt road in the barren desert.


  • Whole wheat pita bread
  • Sliced deli chicken
  • Basil pesto sauce
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Spinach leaves
  • Sliced red onion


This should be obvious, after all it is a roadside sandwich with no cooking involved, but for posterity:

  1. In the pita bread, begin with a thin spread of basil pesto in the center. Spread it in a manner that will give you a blast of pesto in every bite if you want
  2. Lay slices of chicken
  3. Top with your veggies
  4. Fold the bread over
  5. Serve

Shortcuts and/or Alternatives

Naturally, you can pick and choose your own vegetables. Or try this with turkey. Or go all veggie.

You can get Classico basil pesto at nearly any grocery store, or perhaps a fresh basil pesto at a deli. Nevertheless, this sandwich packs a decent amount of vitamins especially with the spinach, and the whole wheat pita bread contains all the nutritious parts that have been stripped out of white bread. Basil pesto makes up for all the flavor you think you're going to miss — it's olive oil with crushed basil and garlic, some Romano cheese and often some other spices and perhaps a bit of soybean oil. And it is yummy.


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