Got some leftover chicken? Try your hand at this chicken panini with butternut squash spread by Healthy Nibbles & Bits. A panini makes the perfect brown bag lunch item–crispy bread on the outside and melted cheese, chicken and spinach on the inside. The butternut squash spread is high in vitamin A and just enough moisture for this pack-and-go meal.

Ingredients for servings

    butternut squash spread

  • 1 medium butternut squash (approx. 30 ounces or 850 grams)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 0.5 teaspoon salt

  • 0.25 teaspoon curry

  • 0.25 teaspoon cumin

  • chicken panini

  • 3 tablespoons butternut squash spread (above)

  • 1 panini flatbread (or any type of bread), sliced in half (approximately 120 calories)

  • 0.33 to 0.5 0.33

  • 0.25 cup baby spinach

  • 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella (enough for a thin layer of cheese)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Take the butternut squash, and chop off the stem. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skin of the squash. You’ll see the green veins of the squash, but that’s okay. Chop the squash into 2 large pieces by making a horizontal cut where the neck starts to meet the bottom bulb. Split the bulb in half, remove the seeds, and chop into 1-inch pieces. Chop the neck into 1-inch pieces also.

  • Toss the cubed squash with the olive oil and a pinch of salt, and spread it onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork.

  • Once the squash is cooked, let it cool for about 10 minutes, then blend it with the rest of the butternut squash spread ingredients.

  • Using a regular grill pan, heat the pan over medium-high heat. Spray the pan with cooking spray, and assemble the sandwich on top. Press the sandwich down with a heavy pot, and let it cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the sandwich over, press the pot down, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.


To make the panini on the Griddler (also known as a panini press), set it to 400 degrees F for the lower plate, and 425 degrees F on the upper plate. Once plates have been heated (and the green light is on), spray both grill plates with cooking spray. Spread some of the butternut squash dip on each side of the panini roll. Place one half of the roll on the grill, then layer on the chicken, spinach, and cheese, and top with the other half of the roll. Press the top grill plate down, and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese is adequately melted.

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