Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich is great for lunch or dinner. Black pepper focaccia bread filled with smoked chicken, bacon, avocado, mozzarella cheese, tomato, onion, and chipotle sauce is a delicious and hearty meal.
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What Makes This Sandwich So Good?
Have you ever had a toasted Frontega Chicken from Panera Bread? It is one heck of a well-balanced sandwich!
The combination of smokiness from the chicken, bacon, and chipotle sauce works extraordinarily well with the creaminess of the avocado and melty mozzarella cheese. The tomato and red onions’ acidity with the basil’s freshness lifts the flavor of the entire sandwich.
Complex yet completely coherent, this is one sandwich you need to try.
Be Ready If the Sandwich Disappears Again!
For those hopelessly addicted to the taste of the Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich, the decision by the chain to pull it as a menu item hit hard to all its fans. Although the restaurant eventually brought the sandwich back, at least temporarily, there’s no guarantee it’ll stick around forever.
Oh, and originally it was a Frontega Chicken Panini Sandwich. However, it has since changed to simply being toasted in the oven instead of being made in a panini press.
If you are a fan, your best bet is to learn how to make it at home with the recipe below.
Ingredients For a Toasted Frontega Chicken Sandwich
To make the chipotle mayo sauce, you’ll need:
- Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
To make a Frontega Chicken Sandwich Panera style, you’ll need:
- Black pepper focaccia bread
- Fresh basil leaves
- Smoked chicken
- Small red onion
- Mozzarella cheese
- Chipotle sauce
If you can’t find black pepper focaccia bread, feel free to substitute another type of focaccia or focaccia rolls. You can also use ciabatta bread or any bread you prefer.
Panera uses a smoked pulled chicken that most stores don’t sell. If you are not up to smoking chicken just for this recipe, you can use easier-to-find smoked sliced chicken as an alternative in this recipe.
Fresh mozzarella cheese is best, but deli-style cheese is acceptable.
Preparing a Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich
To make the chipotle sauce:
- In a small bowl mix ingredients for the chipotle sauce until combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store the chipotle mayonnaise in the fridge until needed. The sauce will last up to five days in the refrigerator.
To assemble the sandwich:
- Move an oven rack to the top position and preheat the broiler.
- Put the loaf focaccia bread on a cutting board. Place one hand on top of the bread and use a serrated knife to cut the bread in half parallel with the cutting board. Then cut the sliced bread in half from the top.
- Place the bread cut-side up on a baking tray. You can spray the tray with nonstick spray or line it parchment paper.
- Use a rubber spatula or knife to spread about 2 teaspoons sauce into a thin layer on the cut side of both the top and bottom slices of bread.
- Layer the ingredients on the bottom half of the bread in the following order: basil, bacon, chicken, and mozzarella cheese.
- Place the tray in the oven and broil until the cheese melts and the bread gets crispy. Don’t walk away because it won’t take too long.
- Remove the sandwich from the oven.
- Put the red onion slices and tomatoes on top of the melted cheese.
- Cover with the top slice of bread and serve the hot sandwich.
A Beefy Recipe Variation to Try
Besides the ingredient substitutions already mentioned, try replacing the smoked chicken with thinly sliced beef and swapping out the chipotle sauce in favor of extra spicy prepared horseradish sauce.
What To Serve With This Toasted Frontega Chicken Sandwich
Tips for Brown Bagging This Sandwich for Best Results
A Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich makes an excellent take-along lunch. Here are a few hints when making the sandwich to go:
- Consider packing the tomatoes separately in a plastic bag to prevent the sandwich from getting soggy. Alternatively, you can try making the sandwich with sundried tomatoes instead of fresh ones.
- Apply an extra thick layer of chipotle sauce on the top and bottom slices of bread. The mayo provides some protection against the bread becoming soggy.
- Putting the sandwich in a plastic bag can cause condensation. Instead, wrap it in parchment or butcher paper.
More Panera Copycat Recipes
- Barbecue Chicken Salad
- Black Bean Soup
- Green Goddess Salad Recipe
- Mediterranean Grain Bowl
- Panera Autumn Squash Soup
- Panera Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Steak Panini
Favorite Sandwich Recipes
- Arby’s Chicken Pecan Salad Sandwich
- Chicken Fil A Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- Jalapeno Poppers Sandwich
- Patty Melt Sandwich
- Steak n Shake Frisco Melt
- Taco Bell Taco Sandwich
Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1½ teaspoons Tabasco chipotle sauce
- 1 Black pepper focaccia bread
- 2 or 3 fresh basil leaves
- 2 ounces smoked chicken
- 2 slices cooked bacon
- 2 slices tomato
- 3 to 4 slices red onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 slices avocado
- 1 slice mozzarella cheese
- Chipotle Sauce
- In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise and Tabasco Chipotle Sauce.
- Stir well, and set aside.
- Cut the focaccia into fourths. Then slice each piece horizontally so that you have bread for 4 sandwiches.
- Spread the chipotle sauce on the bottom of the bread, and add the basil.
- Add the smoked chicken, bacon, tomato, avocado, onion, and cheese.
- Before covering the sandwich, pop it under a broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until the cheese begins to melt.
- Remove the sandwich from the oven, and place the top slice of bread onto the melted cheese. Serve immediately.