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Chicken and pesto sandwich on a plate.

Chicken Pesto Sandwich with Sauteed Onions

This chicken pesto sandwich is easily made in the air fryer and topped with mozzarella cheese, sauteed onions, and tomatoes. Topped with a homemade pesto mayo, this tasty chicken sandwich is prepared for a satisfying lunch or an informal dinner in just 20 minutes!
Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches
Calories 898kcal
Cost 15


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion sliced
  • 1 lb chicken breast boneless, skinless; thin sliced
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese sliced
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 8 slices multigrain bread

Pesto mayo


Sautee the onions

  • Heat olive oil in a pan. Once heated, add the onions. Cook for 10 minutes until soft and until they start to turn a brownish color. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
    2 tbsp olive oil, 1 cup onion

Cook the chicken

  • Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees. Pat chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Once air fryer is preheated, add the chicken and spray the top side lightly with the olive oil spray (can also lightly brush with some olive oil if you don't have a spray). Flip halfway through cooking, spraying the other side of the chicken. When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees (use your instant thermometer), add the mozzarella cheese and cook until melted, about 2-3 minutes.
    1 lb chicken breast, 8 oz mozzarella cheese

Make the pesto mayo

  • While the chicken cooks, add the ingredients to a tall mixing jar, with the oil being put in last. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 seconds. Push the immersion blender all the way to the bottom of the jar. Mix for about 10 seconds and then start to slowly move the mixer up and down until the mayo starts to form. Take mixer out and finish mixing with a spoon.
    1 egg, 1 tsp white wine vinegar, ½ tbsp lemon juice, ¼ tsp dijon mustard, ¼ tsp sea salt, 1 cup olive oil
  • Add 3 tbsp of pesto to the mayo - mix all together with a spoon. Set aside.
    ¼ cup pesto

Assemble the sandwich

  • While the cheese is melting, toast the bread. When toasted, spread 1 tbsp of pesto mayo on one piece of toast. Top with the chicken, then the sauteed onions, and then the tomato. Spread another 1 tbsp pesto mayo on the other piece of bread and lay on top.
    8 slices multigrain bread, 1 tomato


  1. The homemade pesto mayo recipe will make about a cup of mayonnaise. You will probably have leftovers so see the rest of the tips below for storage information.
  2. Don't overcook the chicken! Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. The best way to do this is to use an instant meat thermometer. I was always guilty of overcooking the chicken, but since I started using my thermometer, I have yet to 'burn the bird'. 
  3. As I mentioned in the post, many of the ingredients in this recipe can be easily substituted if you desire. The homemade pesto may simply be made by combining the two store-bought condiments. The multigrain bread can be replaced for sourdough, ciabatta or a brioche bun and if you can’t find mozzarella then Swiss cheese is a great alternative. Mix and match to find the combo that you like best!
  4. If you want to bulk this meal out more, than this sandwich goes great with a side of fries and aioli. Aioli can also act as a great dipping sauce for your sandwich!
  5. If making this sandwich as part of a packed lunch then I would recommend making it in the morning so it isn’t left to sit for too long. If this isn’t an option however, you can cook the chicken and onions, chop the tomatoes and whip up the pesto mayo the evening before. Store them separately in airtight containers overnight and assemble in the morning for a crispy fresh sandwich.
  6. Nutritional information provided is based on a best guess-timate and will vary depending on the brands you use and other variations you take with this recipe.  It is recommended you check your exact measurements to come up with your own figures.


Calories: 898kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 46.5g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 143.5mg | Sodium: 1194mg | Potassium: 733mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 676IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 406mg | Iron: 3mg