Thought to have originated in Italy, paninis are now a lunch food that you can find all over the world. Pretty much like pizza or pasta, because Italian food is too good not to share.
Paninis are basically toasted sandwiches using ciabatta bread, but what turns them into a panini is the use of a panini press. The press gives it a nice crispy, toasted exterior but warms and melts the inside. They are often sound in cafes, but if you want to save your pennies or stay in control of the ingredients, they are really easy to make at home.
In this article, we discuss 24 panini recipes that are absolutely delicious and easy to make at home.
Not strictly a panini as it uses flatout bread, but by using a panini press you get that delicious panini texture and it’s much easier on the carbs than a bread roll. It’s almost a combination of a quesadilla and a panini, which is enough of a reason to try it out. It’s very easy to make and has bacon and cheese filling so need we say more…
Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen shares how to pull off this classic panini filling in your own kitchen. It’s a great weeknight meal for the family, as the simple flavors are appealing to children but also flavorsome enough for adults. The homemade pesto is really what makes this recipe stand out in the crowd.
Paninis may originate from Italy, but you can take any cuisine in the world, stuff it into that ciabatta and call it a panini. Carlsbad Cravings says this panini is all about the garlic-citrus mojo roast pork and smoky Black Forest ham, combined with the pickles and mustard. This sandwich is definitely an indulgence, and can be eaten for lunch or even dinner with a side of vegetables, salad, or fries.
Chef Denise takes elements of the classic dish chicken parm and adds them to a giant panini. Chicken Parm can take a while to make but this sandwich version doesn’t take long, but still had the same great taste! To make it even more simple/quick, you can use leftover dinner so you don’t need to cook it for the sandwich, then it really is ready in a pinch.
What’s Cooking Love takes two of the best sauces - chipotle and ranch - and throws them both into the mix. She also changes up the bread choice, because as we know ciabatta is the traditional panini option, but she goes for slices of sourdough for that extra crispy crunch. It’s worth trying, as it gives a delightful texture!
White Kitchen Red Wine shares her copycat recipe for this panini from Panera Bread. The most important part is the chipotle mayo, the recipe for which is included in the post, because without that the taste is just way off. It’s a great sauce to have in your back pocket actually as it goes really well with lots of other dishes, especially chicken ones.
How To Feed A Loon recommends making your own pesto for this panini, because it just takes the sandwich to the next level. The filling of this panini is pretty much like looking at the deli counter, it’s stuffed with salami, prosciutto, mortadella, and soppressata. Again, they opt to use wholegrain bread slices instead of ciabatta. It’s up to you whether you follow this recipe or go the traditional route. Or maybe try both and see which is yummier!
Alyona’s Cooking gives us another Panera Bread copycat recipe, because if that place is known for something it’s great sandwiches! This one has since been discontinued, making us more grateful for this recipe to make it at home. She tries to recreate the deep orange, smoky sauce and comes up with a tasty combination of Dijon mustard, sweet, hot mustard with honey, chipotle mayo, and paprika.
Moved out of Philly but are craving a cheesesteak? This is the answer. Best of Life Magazine shares how to recreate this iconic panini no matter where in the world you are. Grill up some onions and steak, throw on some cheese, and press that panini.
This is as traditional a panini recipe as you’ll get. Take a lovely crusty focaccia or ciabatta roll, spread it with pesto, slices of fresh mozzarella, and roasted tomatoes, then grill it in a panini press. As fun and convenient as it is to go to Starbucks for this treat, it’s much cheaper and healthier to make it yourself at home. With this recipe from Lifestyle of a Foodie, now you can.
Mama’s Guide Recipes uses French brioche bread for this panini. It’s a combination of the salty flavors of cheese and ham, with the sweetness of raspberry jam. It’s got a delicious creamy sauce as well, so it feels like a really gooey and glutinous lunchtime treat, sure to keep that belly satisfied.
12. Pizza Panini
Brown Sugar Mama says why not have a pizza but call it a panini? Take the ciabatta, or whichever bread you choose, and fill it with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and any other pizza toppings of your choosing. It’s much more sophisticated than showing up to the office with a takeout pizza box, anyway.
White Kitchen Red Wine adds yet another Panera copycat recipe to the list. The first of which to include avocado though, which is madness when you think about how the fruit becomes even more creamy and heavenly in taste when grilled and melted. Throw in the chipotle mayo, and why isn’t this the number one recipe on the list?!
14. Vegetable Panini
Chef Savvy shares a tasty vegetarian option for a panini, or if you don’t feel like chicken or a buffet of deli meat, here is a great recipe for you. The key with paninis is that there needs to be an ingredient that acts as a ‘glue’, and so Chef Savvy has thrown in slices of mozzarella so it doesn’t all fall apart on the grill.
Another vegetable panini option comes from Recipe World. This one includes juicy portobello mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, and mozzarella again as the glue. Huge slices of crispy sourdough are used in this panini.
A simple recipe from A Quaint Life, pesto, ham, and zucchini. It is noted that the zucchini should be grilled prior to adding to the panini or else you’ll have too much liquid and it’ll go soggy. Another hot tip given is to brush the outside of the bread with olive oil to maximize crispiness.
Another simple but absolutely delicious filling idea is bacon and cheddar. Cheddar packs more flavor than cheeses like mozzarella and compliments the bacon very well. Easy Good Ideas uses ciabatta and suggests buttering the outside of the roll before grilling.
A much more unusual combination of fillings than bacon and cheddar, but packing a huge punch of flavor. Neighbor Food Blog gives us a recipe for those days when you want to try something new and with a bold, fresh flavor. This would be a fun one to try out when friends are over for lunch.
Goat’s cheese goes fabulously with grilled vegetables and has a much stronger flavor than mozzarella. Vanilla and Bean highly recommend adding balsamic vinegar for even more flavor, if you can handle it! It also uses sun-dried tomatoes or peppers, delicious and makes for a super colorful sandwich.
The full name should be corned beef panini with Guinness caramelized onions because these guys shouldn’t be left out. It might seem like a lot of effort to go to for a panini, but these onions are well worth the hassle. Renee’s Kitchen Adventures recipe is a fun one to try out for a game day party.
The reduced balsamic vinegar sauce is what this recipe’s all about! The Shabby Creek Cottage shows us how to make a spinach and mushroom panini taste a whole lot better than it sounds. Sometimes it really is all about the sauces and spreads than the filling.
AKA the Thanksgiving leftovers panini. If you can’t think what to do with all those leftovers, this is a delicious way to use them. All you really need to add is the brie, and hopefully, you have that on hand from the Thanksgiving cheese platter! Whole and Heavenly Oven has you add mustard to the cranberry sauce, which is an interesting and delectable twist.
This recipe from Julie Measures takes the chicken parm panini to the next level by actually just putting the meal inside the panini, not just elements of it. It’s very quick to make if you have mac and cheese leftovers or whip some up from a box if not, we’re not judging.
Recipe Boy helps us finish off the list with a dessert panini recipe! In this day and age, we can experiment with anything we want, and this 100% includes dessert sandwiches. Some people just love sandwiches so much, we didn’t want them to miss out on the option of having a cheese panini followed by a chocolate panini!
And below I'll share one of my personal favorites, my Monte Cristo Sandwich recipe. You can make this one without a panini press, but using a panini takes it to the next level.
24 Perfect Panini Recipes
- In a bowl (big enough to dip your folded flatout) whisk together your egg, egg white, milk, salt and pepper and pinch of paprika.
- Spray a medium size frying pan with some non stick spray and heat on stove top over medium.
- Lay out your fold it breads and spread ½ tablespoon of your ranch dressing over each fold it.
- Place 2 oz of deli ham on each and top with 2 tablespoon of your cheese, fold sandwich over and dip thoroughly in your egg mixture.
- Cook in pan, flipping over after 5 minutes, be sure to get around your edges as well.
- Serve immediately.. Makes 2 sandwiches..
- *Updated, originally had this as 4 WW freestyle points, I was getting the flatout fold its mixed up, the 5 grain and flax I buy in the U.S are 2SP each, these everything ones are 3SP, so if using the everything fold it these are 5 smart points each on WW freestyle, the other 2 points come from the ham (1SP) and cheese (1SP)