Sandwiches, well, they are food that you eat, but Panini’s are food you get excited about. Toasty and warm, packed full of gooey melted cheese, and the perfect vessel for delivering big flavors, you can’t go wrong picking a Panini for any meal. However, if you are still visiting your favorite Panini-serving restaurant, you are missing out on a world of flavor. With a Panini press, you are afforded so much more creativity. If you have yet to get onboard, here are 14 Panini wonders that you have been missing out on.
The Caprese Panini
Typically you enjoy caprese cold on some nice bruschetta, but melted in a Panini? Well, that is so much better. Brushing the inside of your baguette or other crusty bread with olive oil, you layer slices of fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil leaves together and toast. Want to amp up the flavor even more? Use smoked mozzarella, or add in either turkey, prosciutto, or anchovy filets.
The Lobster Roll Panini
This isn’t the same delectable roll you’d find served from a shack on the coast of Maine, but it provides the same flavors with none of the mayonnaise. After combining chopped lobster with minced shallots, melted butter, chopped tarragon, and lemon juice. The important part of this Panini is that unless you want the insides to spill outside, you need to use a thick roll, like a baguette, and hollow out the interior. This allows you to press the sandwich and your flavorful interior stays right where it belongs.
The Chorizo Manchego Panini
This Spanish-inspired Panini has you brushing the inside of your bread with quince paste or fig jam then adding in manchego cheese, spicy chorizo, and apples. You can also use pears instead for a bigger boost of sweetness.
The Pumpernickel Panini
In the mood for something different? The German-inspired Pumpernickel Panini features whole-grain mustard spread across two slices of pumpernickel bread alongside liverwurst and thick slices of Muenster. It may be cooked the Italian way, but you could not find a more German sandwich.
The Cuban Panini
The beloved sandwich of Cuba, or at very least, Miami, the Cuban combines yellow mustard, dill pickle, ham, roast pork, and Swiss cheese inside of Cuban bread or any other soft sub rolls you can find to create a taste sensation. The best thing is that this Panini isn’t so different from the original thing. Typically, Cubans are fried up in a skillet so you still get the same melted interior and crispy exterior without all the grease. If you are particularly daring or hungry, add in some sliced turkey or replace the pickles with jalapenos if you want something with more kick to it.
The Apple Brie Panini
Among the pretentious restaurants that serve a Panini option for lunch, the apple brie Panini has become the king. Yet, there is no denying that it is a match made in heaven, but you don’t need to pay $12 for one simple sandwich you can make yourself with a Panini press. Spreading bread with a thick slather of Dijon mustard, all you need to do then is add in some brie and apples, then cook until golden. Easy, right?
The Spicy Italian Panini
An Italian-style sandwich like the Panini greatly benefits from Italian tastes. Layer together ham, salami, capicollo, banana peppers, and provolone cheese inside a crusty ciabatta roll and press. The great thing about this sandwich is that you can add in whatever you have around like bell peppers, tomato, pepperoni, jalapeno, and whatever else you think might taste great.
The Three Cheese Panini
Don’t let your Panini press go to waste making boring old grilled cheese sandwiches. Instead, put mozzarella, fontina, and asiago inside a ciabatta roll with a few basil leaves and enjoy the most flavorful grilled cheese of your life. You can also go bigger by including a good pesto and/or some sun-dried tomatoes.
Turkey and Avocado Panini
If you are looking for something a little more healthy than three different cheeses melted together, if there is such a person out there, this Panini provides a healthier option. Combining sliced ripe avocado, roast turkey, arugula, and goat cheese, put the mix on your favorite whole grain bread and toast. It’s no cheese fiesta, but it is still really good.
Nutella Bacon French Toast Panini
Yeah, you read that right. A nutella bacon French toast Panini. Cinnamon French toast, perhaps even made from that lovely cinnamon swirl raisin bread they have out there, slathered in nutella, layered with bacon, and then pressed together in your Panini press. It’s… A revelation to eat.
Buffalo Chicken Panini
Sometimes you just need the flavor of chicken wings in your mouth, and this Panini can provide. Combining shredded chicken with Buffalo wing sauce, caramelized onions, and blue cheese provides the perfect chicken wing flavor all melted inside your sandwich. Like the aforementioned lobster roll, this might be a mix that thrives in a hollowed out roll so that it doesn’t all ooze out.
Cheddar, Apple, and Horseradish Panini
Cheese and apples are popular Panini fare, but add the sharp bite of spicy horseradish to it and you can completely reinvigorate an old recipe. Combine these three ingredients on a hearty country-style bread and get to toasting. You can coat the outside with melted butter for a richer flavor or even grill the apples beforehand with your Panini press.
Peach and Bacon Panini
Salty, sweet, and the perfect summer sandwich – That’s what this recipe makes. Did you know that Panini presses are also the best way to grill fresh peaches? Well, you do now. Grill the peaches in halves, slice them, and then layer them on a baguette or ciabatta with crispy bacon and mozzarella cheese for a refreshing new combination of flavors.
Too bad the holidays are over and the leftovers are all gone, this would be a good way to eat up all that extra turkey. This recipe is simple, layer turkey, Swiss cheese, and cranberry sauce onto some thick potato bread and toast. You can also use sourdough bread, but whatever bread you use, you can also toss in some gravy, Dijon mustard, and perhaps a little leftover stuffing to make it a true feast.