picnic loaf

Recipe: Pesto, Chicken, Sweet Pepper & Mozzarella Picnic Loaf

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Half sandwich, half pie – chicken, sweet roast peppers, creamy mozzarella and pesto form the filling of this amazing picnic loaf…

Picnic loaf

I want you to make me a promise…

This summer, will you promise me that you’ll make this sandwich, pack it up along with a few more of your favourite picnic goodies and find a few chums to share it all with – preferably somewhere lovely? Yes? I was hoping you’d say that!  You know the sort of place I mean right?  Somewhere like a little meadow, full of pretty wild flowers and with a crystal clear, blue stream running through it.  If you get too hot in the sunshine, you can lie under the trees and listen to the gentle breeze rustling through the leaves… I mean, it doesn’t have to be exactly like that – I don’t want to be too bossy and after all it’s your picnic, but promise me it’ll at least be outside?  Even if it’s just in the garden (where in fact, we ate ours this weekend when I took these pictures!)

So let me tell you more about this beautiful Pesto, Chicken, Sweet Pepper & Mozzarella Picnic Loaf.  A hollow crusty loaf encases a layer of bright green pesto, succulent morsels of char-grilled chicken, strands of sweet, roast pepper and chunks of creamy mozzarella with little bites of tangy cherry tomato thrown in for good measure.  A summer’s picnic really doesn’t get much better than that!

Picnic loaf

Well maybe if you throw in a bottle of fizz and perhaps some strawberries and cream to finish off….

picnic loaf

This recipe was firstly inspired by something similar from Felicity Cloake in her fabulous book Perfect Host.  The final push I needed came from a post by Karen Burns-Booth on her gorgeous blog, Lavender & Lovage.  Take a look for more tantalizing ideas for fillings.

Pesto, Chicken, Sweet Pepper & Mozzarella Picnic Loaf

Serves 6

You will need:

1 round loaf

1 tbs pesto

200 g char-grilled chicken

1 ball mozzarella

1 x 170g jar char-grilled peppers in oil

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Picnic loaf

  • Slice a small lid off the top of your loaf and then scoop out all of the bread from the inside – I find this easiest with my hands but feel free to use a spoon!


  • Now add the pesto and smooth it all around the inside of the loaf – don’t forget the sides!
  • The fun starts now! Time to add your layers.  I start with a layer of chicken…not forgetting to season as I go…

picnic loaf

  • Then comes the peppers, all sweet and oily…

picnic loaf

  • …then a layer of thinly sliced mozzarella (don’t forget seasoning at each layer) and then the cherry tomato halves
  • You should be able to fit in 2 layers of each before popping your lid back on
  • Now you need to wrap it in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge with something heavy on top.
  • Leave for at least 4 hours or over night
  • When ready to serve, slice it like you would a pie and enjoy 🙂

picnic loaf

Once pleasantly full, lay back on the grass with a good book and snooze away the afternoon.  Hammock optional but strongly recommended…

Colette Broomhead

I am a 30 something mother of 2 little boys and I live with them and my husband in Nottingham. My passions are my family and friends, my kitchen, my cookery books and all things food and drink!

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