Chicken and Avocado Sandwich with Spinach Bread

Adapted from a lunchtime favorite from a hip Washington, D.C. bistro, this sandwich is hearty enough to see you through the final frigid days of winter but, with the inclusion of only the freshest ingredients, will have you thinking of summer afternoons spent lingering at a sidewalk café.

As an aside, we want to mention that in penning the spinach “bread” recipe we perhaps should have issued a warning that it can sometimes be…well, a little on the dry side (on par with, say, a drier rye bread or a seriously crusty loaf). However, the inclusion of the avocado provides the creamy texture you would usually rely on mayonnaise to provide, while the tomato offers both a burst of freshness and some much-needed moisture without veering into soggy territory.

4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
8 slices bacon
2 ripe avocados (they should feel firm, but yield to gentle pressure)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 large tomatoes, sliced
8 slices of spinach bread

Place chicken strips in a lightly greased shallow casserole dish (large enough so that the pieces don’t touch so that they can cook evenly) and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in a preheated 375 degree oven and cook until the juices run clear when pierced and the chicken begins to brown (about 30 minutes depending on your oven).

Once the chicken is in the oven, line a baking tray completely with foil (including the sides… trust us, it makes cleaning up a heck of a lot easier!). Place bacon strips on foil and place on top shelf of oven. Bacon is cooked when it crisps up and turns brown.

While all that is cooking, take each avocado, cut in half and, using a spoon, scoop the flesh out of the skins. Discard skins. Using a fork, mash the avocado until smooth. Add finely chopped basil to give it a flavor kick and lemon juice to prevent browning.

Assemble all the ingredients between the bread – 2 slices of red onion, 2 slices of tomato, a quarter of the chicken, 2 slices of bacon, and a quarter of the avocado mixture – and dig in! Serves 4.

Nutrition Analysis:
Calories per serving: 692
Fat: 36.3 grams (46% calories from fat)
Carbs: 23.6 grams (13% calories from carbs)
Protein: 68.4 grams (41% calories from protein)

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18 thoughts on “Chicken and Avocado Sandwich with Spinach Bread”

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  1. How do you cut the round “bread”? Is a slice triangular like a pizza?

  2. We tried this tonight and it was great! We tried the gazpacho yesterday and it was fantastic too! About halfway through the book, thanks!

  3. I made this yesterday for my husband, our friend, and myself. I made it in the exact same glass dish, cut it into 6 pieces then sliced each piece through the width to make it like a triangle slice of bread. I cut it and ate it while it was still warm which, I’m not sure if the changes the taste or texture.

    I didn’t have pine nuts so I used 1/2 cup of almond meal. It took 22 minutes for the “bread” to cook in the oven.

    I also cooked the chicken and the bacon in a cast iron skillet rather than in the oven so it would cook faster.

  4. Made the bread last night and it was great (had some leftovers for breakfast this morning!)

    I used 6 eggs and, due to lack of pine nuts, added 3 Tbsp of Flax Meal to give it a little “body”. Tasted great and I can’t wait to make it again using these additions. Thanks, Mark, for all your wonderful recipes!!

  5. I’m surprised to see you using so much balsamic vinegar here. While the traditional balsamic vinegar is really not vinegar at all but a non-fermented aged concentrate of grape juice (must), the balsamic vinegars we see in the stores are almost always just vinegar with added sugar and caramel coloring and flavoring. I haven’t read your whole site, and you may caution against commercial balsamic vinegar elsewhere, but as someone who just linked to the recipe this was a red flag to me.

    Tasty idea otherwise though!

    1. This is why it is important to read labels. “Real” balsamic vinegar is just like other “real” vinegars. They usually cost more than ‘flavored’ vinegars which you rightly point out have colorings, flavorings, and sugar added.

  6. oops, sorry, that should have read “…you rightly point out often have….”

  7. Well, I made the recipe for the spinach “bread” and I really enjoyed it. But it was nothing at all like bread to me. It was pretty much just an egg bake and the thought of eating a sandwich on it reminds me a bit too much of “meatza”. I made a flax bread instead and put the spinach on the sandwich.

  8. An even easier way to make this spinach bread is just to blend a ton of raw or frozen spinach or kale with about five eggs and a couple tablespoons of coconut or olive oil. It is totally runny and looks impossibly wrong until you pop it into the oven… really great flavor, and in my experience it is way less dry than trying to use pine nuts or almond meal.

    Delicious if you add fresh herbs or spices, or even just salt and pepper.