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Star Chef Aaron Sanchez Amps Up Your Football Snacks!

These snacks will have your taste buds screaming, "touchdown!" (Photo courtesy of Sara Jaye Weiss)

Written by Jennifer Fiorentino, editorial intern

If you're looking to tackle your Monday night football snack lineup, we have just what you need (minus the shoulder pads). PopChips, along with Iron Chef America and Chopped star Aaron Sanchez, have teamed up to give you a new fall recipe perfect to pair with a crisp, fall beer. What could scream "football season" more?

"These cemita sandwiches are my version of the classic sub, full of flavor and healthy goodness," Sanchez says. "By grilling the chicken and using nutrient-rich avocado instead of mayonnaise, we take out some of the unnecessary fats. Salsa Tortilla PopChips are the perfect complement - their sweet and salty flavors enhance the smoky heat of the sandwich." We guarantee these won't make it to half time.

Grilled Chicken Cemitas and Garlic-Chipotle Love Sauce with Salsa Tortilla PopChips

Serves 4

210 calories per sandwich

For the Cemitas:

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 Cemita rolls (or hamburger rolls with sesame seeds)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup refried beans, warmed
  • 8 oz. oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • Thinly sliced lettuce
  • Fresh cilantro leaves

For the Garlic-Chipotle Love Sauce:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp. canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
Tailgating snacks that are nice to your waistline. (Photo courtesy of David Bowers)


  • Make the sauce: In a dry, medium-heavy sauce pot, place oil and garlic cloves. Cover with foil and place in 300-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until garlic has browned and become soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place remaining sauce ingredients and cooled garlic oil mix in a food processor and puree until it's a smooth paste.


  • Make the sandwich: Prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire, or preheat a gas grill with the lid down for 10 minutes on high. Split each chicken breast in half horizontally, and lay each piece between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound each breast half until it's 1/4" thick (if you don't have a meat pounder, use the bottom of a small saucepan). Sprinkle each piece with salt, pepper and cumin on each side.
  • Mash avocado with lime juice and season with salt. Warm refried beans on stovetop.
  • Grill chicken breasts for 4-5 minutes, turning once. Set aside and keep warm. Split the buns and brush lightly with olive oil. Grill, cut sides down, until just golden brown (about 1 minute).
  • Assembly: Spread the bottom half of each toasted roll with a quarter of the mashed avocado. Top with a chicken breast, then spoon on 1/4 of the refried beans. Divide cheese evenly among sandwiches, then top with tomato, lettuce and sprinkle of cilantro. Drizzle on chipotle love sauce and top with remaining bun half. Cut each sandwich in half before serving.
  • Pair with Salsa Tortilla PopChips and Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat Ale.