Lunchtime Surprise

Forget PB&J—this chicken sandwich will brighten up lunch for kids and adults alike

I like to introduce my family to a variety of healthy foods, and they are adventurous eaters. But when it comes to packing lunches for work and school, I often feel stuck in a rut. Sandwiches, fruit, yogurt and trail mix are lunch-box denizens; dinner leftovers such as soups and casseroles just don’t taste good cold. To keep things interesting, I take creative liberties with the sandwiches. I vary the bread and fillings, using everything from pita bread to rustic rolls and filling them with chutneys and pestos, roasted veggies and various meats. Really, anything is possible! My family loves my most recent creation—the Grilled Orange Mojo Chicken Sandwich with bacon, pickles and greens. Try it—it sure beats a PB&J!

RECIPE: Grilled Orange Mojo Chicken Sandwich


3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Mojo Marinade (recipe below)
1 onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick, brushed with oil
8 slices Italian bread or 4 soft rolls
Mojo Aioli (recipe below), or use 3 tbsp mayo instead
8 slices cooked bacon
Pickles or pickled onion

Mojo Marinade:
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp each salt and black pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp olive oil

Mojo Aioli (make ahead; it keeps in the fridge):
3 tbsp mayo
1/4 tsp orange zest
1 tsp orange juice
1/2 tsp lime juice
Hot sauce (habanero) to taste
1 small garlic clove


Mix Mojo Marinade ingredients in a bowl; place chicken breasts in the marinade. Marinate at least 1–2 hours, turning halfway through to coat evenly.

Grill chicken and onion on about 350 to 400-degree grill, turning when golden (cook the chicken about 7–8 minutes per side). Let cool and store in fridge until ready to use.

Spread Mojo Aioli (or mayo) on bread slices and mustard on one side. Put two strips of bacon on bread. Slice chicken breast widthwise about 1/2 inch thick and place on bread. Put a few grilled onion rings on sandwich. Top with pickles or pickled onions and greens.

Makes four sandwiches.

Otehlia Cassidy is a Madison writer and cook with a passion for local foods and culinary adventures. Check out her blog, Local Flavor, and find more recipes here.

Photo by Martha Busse. 

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