19 perfectly piled panini recipes ready for your empty plate

Learn How to Make a Panini Without a Press

Did you know that the singular form of the word "panini" is actually... panino? In many English-speaking countries, a panini is a grilled sandwich made from bread other than sliced bread. The "real Italian Panini" isn't even grilled or hot-pressed like it is here in the U.S.

Since August is National Panini Month, we thought it'd be cool to figure out the facts about this beloved sandwich. Naturally, food is more appetizing when it's toasted golden brown and filled with melted cheese and so the panini will always win over the boring un-pressed sandwich.

Whether you're looking for a quick lunch or a hearty dinner, a panini can definitely hit the spot. We thought it'd be appropriate to do a round up of the best recipes within our Lifestyle Collective.

Panini recipes
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19 perfectly piled panini recipes ready for your empty plate

Chicken Panini with Goat Cheese and Arugula

With a few fun ingredients, you can easily turn a run-of-the-mill sandwich into a melty, gooey, crispy lunch.

Photo Credit: Eating Made Easy 

Chicken Fajita Panini

Take the elements of fajitas- chicken, peppers, onions, cheese, guacamole- and grill them up in a sandwich.

Photo Credit: The Usual Bliss 

Chicken Chile Verde Panini

This sandwich is kind of a chile verde burrito and grilled cheese hybrid. Add spicy verde sauce to kick up the heat.

Photo Credit: The Usual Bliss 

Turkey Spinach Artichoke Panini 

That crispy bread on the outside with that warm meat and melty cheese on the inside… now that’s a satisfying lunch!

Photo Credit: Garnish & Glaze

Triple-Decker Caprese Grilled Cheeze Panini

Don't have cashews? Use any nut you have on hand; fun flavors abound from brazil nuts, macadamias, and pine nuts as well!

Photo Credit: Fettle Vegan 

Lean Green Portobello, Pesto & Artichoke Panini

The portabello acts as the meaty base, with a spread of homemade hemp seed basil pesto and topped with artichoke hearts, onions, and creamy avocado. It's got a ton of flavor and makes a great lunch, plus takes just a few to whip up.

Photo Credit: Fettle Vegan 

Havarti and Apple Panini

This sandwich does a great job of celebrating fall flavors — crisp apples, havarti cheese and a little touch of Dijon make for a quick and easy meal that everyone likes. Yes, please! (In case anyone was asking, the grown-ups like to pair this with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.)

Photo Credit: Eat Drink Garden 

Cheesy Pesto Chicken Panini with Prosciutto and Tomatoes

As far as flavor goes, the situation happening in this particular panini is rather extraordinary. In fact, I’d venture to say it warrants all four of my favorite words: glorious, magical, mind-blowing, and life-changing. Take a second to let that sink in…

Photo Credit: Domesticate Me

Grilled Fluffernutter Paninis

We even tossed some sliced strawberries on some of them! This worked out really well. I think this would be even better if I used a brioche or other type of sweeter bread. Italian bread worked well, though. The grill might look a little messy in the photos above but the marshmallow fluff burns off quick. No mess at all.

Photo Credit: Grilling 24x7

Harissa Avocado and Turkey Panini with Homemade Bread

Throw in Harissa sauce made with roasted red bell peppers, garlic, chipotle in adobe peppers and cilantro, then pair it with homemade French bread and that grilled cheese sandwich just keeps getting better and better! Not to mention, avocado anyone? Yes, please! 

Photo Credit: Lemons and Basil

Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro-Lime Mayo

This panini comes together fast if you make up the cilantro-lime mayonnaise and roast the red peppers ahead of time, making it a great weeknight dinner or even lunch.

Photo Credit: Marin Mama Cooks 

Buffalo Chicken Panini

These Buffalo Chicken sandwiches are not overly hot, for those who are wary of that kind of thing, but instead give a gentle tingle that allows all the flavor to shine through.

Photo Credit: Taking On Magazines 

Turkey and Cranberry Panini

A handful of baby spinach adds a burst of color and fresh flavor. These panini are simple and delicious. Thanksgiving leftovers never tasted so good!

Photo Credit: The Foodie Physician 

Apple Bacon Cheddar Panini

No jaw unhinging is required to consume this Apple Bacon Cheddar panini. Or is it a grilled cheese? I’m not sure it matters when you’re about to scarf down a bacon sandwich.

Photo Credit: PDXFoodLove 

Fig & Goat Cheese Panini

Figs are a great source of fiber and full of vitamins and minerals, dried and fresh figs have a long and illustrious history. 

Photo Credit: PDXFoodLove

McDonald's Cheeseburger Panini

This started out as a fun little kitchen experiment, and quickly turned into something really delicious! When you hit the heat with that cheeseburger and squish it inside that panini/waffle maker, something magical happens.

Photo Credit: Oh Bite It! 

Peaches and Cream Pound Cake Panini

Pair your favorite pound cake with peaches and cream cheese for this one. delicious. treat.

Photo Credit: Today's Nest 

Eggplant Ricotta Panini

Absolutely nothing beats this savory, creamy Eggplant Ricotta Grilled Cheese recipe.

Photo Credit: Well Plated 

Jalapeño Popper Pork Panini

The beauty of this recipe? You can totally use whatever meat you have on hand. Grilled chicken would be delightful and crispy, salty bacon might make this Panini too hot to handle. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Photo Credit: With Salt & Wit 


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