Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt

Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt is a hearty and delicious sandwich perfect for lunch or dinner. Black pepper focaccia bread is filled with smoked chicken breast, avocado, peppers, smoked gouda cheese, and chipotle sauce.

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copycat Panera chipotle chicken avocado melt on parchment paper.

What Makes the Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt the Perfect Sandwich?

The smokiness of the chicken and cheese combines wonderfully with the creaminess of the avocado. The peppers and sauce add just enough sweet heat to make things interesting.

Sure, this recipe is a little more work than slapping together a typical deli sandwich, but it is worth it.

Why This Is the Copycat Panera Bread Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt Recipe For You?

Never had a Panera Bread Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt on black pepper focaccia before? Then you don’t know what you are missing. But if you are already a fan, you know just how addictive they can be.

The problem is you have to go to Panera Bread to buy one, and they are not cheap. This version delivers a sandwich that tastes like the original for much less money.

Originally Panera served this sandwich as a pressed panini but now it is simply warmed to melt the cheese.

Ingredients For a Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt

To make the creamy chipotle sauce, you’ll need:

  • Mayonnaise 
  • Tabasco chipotle sauce

Alternatively, you can use a prepared creamy chipotle sauce like Kraft Chipotle Aioli or Sir Kensington’s Chipotle Mayonnaise to save time.

To finish the sandwich, you’ll need:

  • Focaccia bread
  • Chopped fresh cilantro 
  • Smoked chicken breast 
  • Peppadew Piquant Peppers
  • Avocado 
  • Smoked gouda cheese

food, panera chipotle chicken avocado melt

Panera chipotle chicken avocado melt ingredients on a tray.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

Focaccia is a flat, leavened Italian bread, almost like an extra-thick pan pizza dough. It is highly seasoned and comes in many flavors. Panera Bread uses a black pepper version for this sandwich, but you can switch things up if you want.

Other Bread – Instead of focaccia, you can make this sandwich with sourdough bread, French bread, or ciabatta bread. Any of them make great sandwiches.

Smoked Chicken – You don’t need to smoke your own chicken breast to make this Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt recipe. If you can’t find smoked chicken breasts or smoked chicken deli meat, use a regular cooked chicken breast or rotisserie chicken instead.

Peppadew Peppers is the brand name for mildly hot peppers known for their unique blend of heat and sweetness. Since Peppadew Peppers are only grown in South Africa, they can be tough to find in a US grocery store. However, you can buy them online or use sweet cherry peppers as a decent substitute.

Gouda is a mild cheese with a smoky flavor that works well in this sandwich. You can use Cheddar cheese or your favorite cheese as an alternative if you prefer.

Bacon makes everything better, right? Well, you can add some crispy cooked bacon to the sandwich if you want to add to the smoky flavor.

Sliced Tomatoes would also be great on this sandwich. Feel free to add some slices.

How to Make Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt

To prepare the creamy chipotle sauce:

  1. Mix the mayonnaise and Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce in a small bowl.
  2. Cover and keep in the fridge until you need it. 

To assemble the copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt:

  1. Move the rack in your oven to the highest position and turn on the broiler. 
  2. Rinse and dry the sprig of cilantro. Pick off the leaves, and give them a rough chop.
  3. Drain the Peppadew Peppers and cut them in half.
  4. Rinse the outer skin of the avocado and dry. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the seed. Use a spoon to scrape the avocado flesh from one of the halves. Thinly slice one half. Wrap the other half in plastic and put it in the fridge. 
  5. Use a bread knife to cut the focaccia bread into your preferred sandwich size. Slice the sandwich bread horizontally in half. 
  6. Use a knife to spread a layer of creamy chipotle mayo sauce on the bottom slice. 
  7. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro on top of the sauce.
  8. Layer the smoked chicken, peppers, Peppadew Peppers, sliced avocado, and gouda.
  9. Put the open-face sandwich on a baking tray and broil until the cheese melts. 
  10. Place the top slice of bread on the cheese and serve. 

food, panera chipotle chicken avocado melt

copycat Panera Bread chipotle chicken avocado melt sandwich.

What To Serve With The Sandwich

Your favorite brand of potato chips provides the crunch this sandwich is missing and makes the ultimate side. But you can also pair a Panera Bread Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt on black pepper foccacia with a salad or soup.

How To Make Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melts Ahead of Time

Melts are always served hot, but this sandwich is almost as good when it’s cold. That means it is ideal if you are brown bagging it.

To prepare a copycat Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt to go, use the same method above, but don’t bother sticking it under the broiler.

To stop the sliced avocados from turning brown, you can try brushing them with either lemon or pineapple juice. And if they get a bit darker by lunchtime, don’t worry. They are still perfectly edible.

food, panera chipotle chicken avocado melt

closeup of copycat Panera chipotle chicken avocado melt.

More Panera Copycat Recipes

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Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt

You can make a delicious Panera Chipotle Avocado Melt Sandwich at home with this easy copycat recipe. Course Main CourseCuisine AmericanKeyword Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt, Panera Bread Recipes Prep Time 10 minutesCook Time 5 minutesTotal Time 15 minutes Servings 1 Calories 997kcal Author Stephanie Manley


Chipotle Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • teaspoons Tabasco chipotle sauce


  • 1 Black pepper focaccia bread
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 ounces smoked chicken breast
  • 2 or 3 peppadew peppers
  • 6 slices avocado
  • 2 slices gouda 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 chopped cilantro.

    Add the smoked chicken, peppadew peppers, avocado slices, 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.


Calories: 997kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 69g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 21g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 1529mg | Potassium: 917mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 736IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 446mg | Iron: 1mg

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