Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

Aug 19, 2020 | Chicken and Poultry, Recipes

Let’s talk about sandwiches. This week, along with the Eating on a Budget Series, I am also launching a Gourmet Sandwich Series to take the place of the Simple Summer Dessert Series that ended last week. The first sandwich in the series is a Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan Sandwich. If you don’t have to or don’t want to eat gluten-free, you can easily make this with full-on gluten ingredients. No problem. Just as a side note, for those of you that don’t know, everything on this site is gluten-free, whether it is labelled “gluten-free” or not. Now you know.

The Chicken Parmesan Sandwich is chicken breast, pounded thin, cut into bun-sized pieces, breaded, pan-fried, finished in the oven, put on a bun toasted with pesto butter, covered with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese then broiled. Are you drooling yet? I am. Beyond the sandwich, in this post, you will find recipes for both the marinara and the pesto. Let’s take a look.

A quick note about eating gluten-free

I am a person who has no choice but to eat gluten-free. Gluten, unfortunately, makes me very sick. But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t still love junk food and gluttonous sandwiches. The majority of the gluten-free recipes I find on the internet are all based around healthy eating. That’s fine sometimes, but sometimes I get cravings for deep-fried things, or a burger, or whatever. So, if you are visiting this site for the first time, and are gluten-free, let me tell you right off the bat, that this site is 100% gluten-free, but it is not a health food site. You are going to find all kinds of things here like gluten-free deep-fried clams, and unhealthy, but gluten-free and delicious desserts. You are also going to see everyday foods that are delicious and gluten-free because I know, from experience, that being gluten-free doesn’t automatically make you a health nut.

Marinara Sauce Recipe

You can’t have a good Chicken Parmesan Sandwich without a tasty marinara sauce. Now, you could just use a jar of store-bought sauce, but why would you do that when you can make a much better sauce in very little time and with minimal effort? Follow the recipe below but substitute the rosemary for basil. Or don’t. That’s up to you. Either way, it will be delicious. You can store this sauce in your fridge for up to five days. It also freezes pretty well.

Basic Tomato Sauce

This is a really great all-purpose tomato sauce. Here I use it with Spaghetti and Meatballs, but it works just as well on a meatball or sausage and pepper sandwich, chicken parmesan or just about anything you can imagine.
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Basic Sauces, Tomato Sauce
Servings: 4 servings


  • 1 796 ml Can Of Whole Italian Tomatoes dumped into a bowl and hand crushed
  • 1 cup Diced Onion
  • 2 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp Fresh Chopped Rosemary or basil
  • 3 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper, and Sugar to taste


  • Heat a large pot over medium heat then add in the olive oil and onions.
  • Cook the onions for 10-15 minutes or until they are lightly caramelized then add in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Add in the tomatoes, and a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water if needed then add in the rosemary and seasoning.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and sugar as needed. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Pesto Recipe

A good pesto sauce is simple, quick and delicious. This recipe will come together in less than two minutes and is better than anything you will buy at the store. Like the marinara sauce, this will last in the fridge for about five days. You can also freeze it in icecube trays. That way, when you need it, you grab a cube, and you are good to go.

In this chicken parmesan recipe the pesto plays double duty. First of all, as you will see, it gets mixed with butter to make a Pesto Butter to put on the bread (also great with mussels, fish or to finish a steak). Secondly, it gets added to the marinara sauce for a little extra pop of flavour. Fantastic!

Pesto Sauce

A simple, classic and delicious pesto sauce.
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Pasta Sauce, Simple Sauce
Servings: 1 cup
Author: Chef’s Notes


  • 1 cup Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Pinenuts
  • 1 tbsp Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Grated Parmesan
  • Salt to taste


  • Put all the ingredients into a blender and purée.
  • Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Making the Chicken Parmesan

Okay, now that we have our marinara sauce and our pesto sauce made and out of the way, it is time to focus on the chicken. To make two sandwiches, I used one chicken breast. Pretty economical. I took the chicken tender off the underside of the breast (The tender is that part that kind of hangs off the breast. It’s what breaded chicken tenders are made of.) Then, I used the flat side of a meat mallet to pound the chicken about an eighth of an inch thick. I sliced the chicken breast into thirds giving me four pieces in total with the tender. If you don’t have a meat mallet you can just whack the chicken a few times with a heavy pot or rolling pin.

Breading The Chicken Parmesan

The next step in making the Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan Sandwich is to bread the chicken. To bread the chicken, set up a standard breading station which is a 1/2 cup of flour, 1 beaten egg, and a 1/2 cup breadcrumbs. Season the flour with salt and pepper then add 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese and 1 tbsp of fresh basil to the breadcrumbs. Dip each piece of chicken in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs and set aside.

For the flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour. The breadcrumbs are Presidents Choice Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs.

Cooking The Chicken Parm

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, then add in 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of butter. Once the butter starts to foam and bubble add in the chicken. Cook the chicken for about two minutes per side or until they are golden brown. You can either drain the oil out of the pan and put it in a 350°F oven or take the chicken out of the pan, put them in a small roasting pan and put them in the oven that way for twelve minutes. I suggest transferring the chicken to a second pan. That way, you can use the frying pan, as you will see in the next section, to toast the bread.

The Bread

While the chicken is cooking combine 1 tbsp of pesto with 2 tbsp of softened butter. Mix well then spread on two Kinnikinnick Gluten-Free Hotdog buns (or whatever bun you want to use) and toast on medium heat in the pan you cooked the chicken in until the bread is golden brown. Make sure to drain the oil out of the chicken pan before toasting the bread.

Making the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the oven and turn the broiler on to high. Take about 1 cup of the marinara sauce and mix in 1 tbsp of the pesto sauce. If you made the marinara sauce ahead of time, heat it up in the microwave for a minute before using it. The sauce doesn’t have to be crazy hot, but you don’t want it to be cold either. Spread a spoonful of the sauce on the bread, then top it with a piece of the chicken. Put the bread in the roasting pan, top the chicken with more marinara, then mozzarella cheese. Put the chicken parm sandwiches in the oven just until the cheese has melted. Watch carefully because the broiler can burn things very quickly. Once the cheese has melted, take the sandwiches out of the oven, fold them together to make two sandwiches and serve.

Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan Sandwich

If you want to give this sandwich an extra boost of awesomeness, you can put a slice of prosciutto and a few basil leaves between the chicken layers. Either way, it is a delicious sandwich. The only problem I had with it was that I didn’t make enough of them. Serve the sandwich with a salad so that you don’t feel too guilty about eating something so decadent.

What is your favourite sandwich? And, are there any sandwiches that you would like to see me make in this series? Let me know in the comments below.

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