The word panini may mean small bread in Italian, but there’s nothing small about the flavor of these panini sandwiches. They’re endlessly customizable, but we can all get stuck in a sandwich rut from time to time, and so we’ve compiled our favorite recipes to get your creative toasted panini juices flowing again.
Whether you’re looking for vegetarian paninis, meaty paninis, classic panini fillings, or something more inventive – we’ve got you covered.
And yes, we’ve even included a couple of sweet paninis. Because who said paninis aren’t for dessert?
Let’s take a look through 24 of the best panini recipes out there celebrate everything great about stuffing crusty, warm bread with gooey fillings and calling it a meal.
It’s only right to start with a classic Italian combination of fresh tomatoes, arugula, mozzarella, and basil.
It *nearly* makes us feel like we’ve been transported somewhere along the Italian coastline.
The secret ingredient with this vegetarian panini is the balsamic glaze that’s drizzled over the filling before the sandwich is grilled.
It offers a really nice sweetness and depth of flavor that will have you making seconds for yourself and everyone around the table.
2. Pesto Panini
If you want to enjoy Italian flavors but don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing lots of different ingredients, this combination of pesto, mozzarella, and tomato is great.
It’s like an elevated version of grilled cheese and if you want to cut even more corners, try using shredded mozzarella.
Any bread will be delicious here, but ciabatta or focaccia would work well and keep with the Italian theme.
This is no ordinary chicken sandwich.
Smoked chicken, melted cheese, bell pepper aioli, and creamy avocado are sandwiched between two crusty slices of sourdough before being toasted to create this up-market deli-style panini.
The ingredient that transforms this panini is the bell pepper aioli, which is best made in a large batch because you’ll find yourself dipping into it at every meal.
Yep. This ticks every box and, if it’s possible, more.
Salty, tangy, and sweet – this panini is delicious.
The secret with this one is the maple bacon made by sprinkling maple sugar over bacon before crisping it up in the oven.
Maple sugar is just the granulated form of maple syrup, and so the bacon caramelizes in the oven and brings the panini to life.
Gouda and pepper Jack cheese give the perfect amount of goo and make for a seriously moreish sandwich.
Packed full of flavor, this easy panini recipe is one you’ll be coming back to time and time again.
This panini is a great way to use leftover Sunday lunch leftovers and bring them back to life again with flavorsome ingredients.
Mozzarella, roasted red pepper, and garlicky pesto come together to make this a perfect lunch option.
If you want to transform this into a more substantial meal, try pairing it with a green salad dressed with an Italian creamy dressing!
If you’ve never ventured outside of pine nut pesto, try making this grilled mozzarella panini loaded with walnut pesto.
The walnuts add a rich earthiness, while the tomatoes add a fresh sweetness that makes this a really fresh and easy panini to make for lunch.
Homemade pesto is best, so try making a large batch of this walnut version and keeping it in the fridge to use in salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes throughout the week!
If you thought paninis were a savory-only zone, think again!
The only thing that’s hard about making this panini is that you’ll have great difficulty just having one of them.
Sweet banana, gooey chocolate, and nutty peanut butter – we’re hooked.
The chocolate is pretty minimal, and so you can easily get away with calling this a breakfast panini recipe.
If you’re not a chocolate lover, try swapping the chocolate with jelly!
When we think of deli-style sandwiches, we think of two hunks of crusty bread piled high with deli meats and cheese – don’t you?
This is definitely a panini recipe for the carnivores as it features no less than three cuts of meat: deli-sliced ham, spicy salami, and spicy capicola.
The provolone cheese adds just the right amount of goo, and if all the ingredients are layered nicely, this easy panini recipe is sure to impress as it feels like you brought the deli home.
Buffalo wings are great, but sometimes you need something a little carb-y and cheesier.
Best of all, this panini recipe makes it ridiculously easy by suggesting using store-bought buffalo chicken sauce.
The savory kick off the blue cheese dipping sauce with buffalo wings isn’t missing in this recipe either, as the gooey cheese comes in the form of blue cheese and mozzarella combined to give you the goo as well as the sharp, tangy flavor.
A great one for if you want to cut down on your meat intake or have a vegetarian guest visiting, this vegetarian panini is a winner.
The medley of onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and asparagus are rich and sweet as their flavors are intensified through being roasted.
The great thing about this panini recipe is that it’s fully customizable, and you can switch up the veggies depending on what’s in season.
We know this flavor combination sounds strange, but hear us out.
We all know that certain sweet and savory combinations are a match made in foodie heaven, and this combination is no exception!
The blueberries act as a sort of fruit chutney that perfectly matches the salty creaminess of the goat cheese, and the basil adds a pop of freshness.
Trust us – don’t knock this one till you’ve tried it!
The addition of the chipotle flavored chicken breast and the chipotle gouda cheese give this ranch panini a point of difference and are both packed with flavor!
This chicken panini recipe calls for store-bought chipotle gouda cheese; however, if you have trouble getting your hands on this, we recommend using ordinary gouda and mixing the mayonnaise in the sandwich with chipotle paste instead.
Either way, this is a simple and smoky panini that works well served alongside a ranch-dressed salad.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY
13. Apple Pie Panini
For most of us, apple pie tastes like home. Right!?
And as much as we love it, a homemade apple pie can take a long time to prepare.
Luckily, this panini gives us all the flavor of an apple pie without the time or effort needed to create the version we all love and remember.
Raisin bread, honey-whipped mascarpone, juicy green apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar come together to create this ridiculously comforting dessert-worthy panini.
Have you ever used avocado in pesto?
It’s a great and more affordable way of getting that creamy texture without spending a small fortune on good-quality olive oil and pine nuts.
The pesto is thickly spread onto sourdough before being topped with sliced mozzarella, fresh tomatoes, and more fresh basil leaves before being toasted.
Absolutely delicious and another great option for veggies.
Sometimes, going back to the basics is exactly what we need.
The combination of meaty chicken, salty bacon, and creamy avocado here is a culinary hero trio.
The secret ingredient is the lime juice, which cuts through the richness of the bacon and the avocado and makes it a fresher, lighter lunch option.
It might not be fancy, but it’s likely to become one of your favorite go-to paninis! Looking for more Bacon Sandwich Recipes?
Chewy focaccia bread is stuffed with pulled chicken, mozzarella cheese, tomato, red onion, fresh basil, and chipotle mayo before being grilled.
It’s smoky, melty, filling, flavorful – in short, it’s everything we could ever wish for from a panini recipe. You could also switch out the veggies for anything you have hanging around that needs using up.
To add to the serious deli quality of this panini, try adding in some additional smoked deli meat slices!
This is a perfect light lunch or dinner option.
A simple combination of hummus, mozzarella, and spinach makes for a tasty, fairly healthy vegetarian panini.
The hummus is used in place of mayonnaise, so this is a healthier option than calories.
This recipe calls for plain hummus. However, you could use a spicy red pepper or Moroccan-flavored hummus to inject even more flavor.
Loaded with sliced turkey, creamy guacamole, Havarti cheese, bacon, and tomatoes, this panini is just as satisfying as it sounds.
The guacamole adds a nice bit of freshness, and store-bought is fine to use here.
If you wanted to skip on additional cooking steps, you could also replace the bacon with smoked deli ham.
Our top tip for cutting through all those rich flavors and textures? Try spreading your bread with Dijon mustard.
This is the perfect recipe to celebrate St Patrick’s day with, although we don’t need to find an excuse to enjoy this all year round.
The secret ingredient that transforms this simple panini recipe is the caramelized Guinness onions. They add a delicious flavor and help to keep the panini really juicy.
Warm rye bread, Guinness infused onions, cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce, melting beef, and lots of butter – what’s not to love?
Apple and grilled cheese are a dreamy combination, and the brie here adds a gorgeously creamy texture that perfectly contrasts with the sharp green apple. That’s got us thinking – is brie the meltiest cheese of them all?
Add in salty bacon, and you quite possibly have the perfect panini.
A smear of mustard gives the perfect tang, and this sandwich hits all the right notes – sweet, savory, tangy, and salty.
It’s what we like to think of a gourmet grilled cheese.
If you’re gluten intolerant, this sandwich is here to prove that there is absolutely no need for you to miss out on all things panini!
This recipe suggests a great gluten-free panini bread, but you could use any of your favorite gluten-free options.
The prosciutto is a more delicate flavor but adds a beautiful salty hit to cut through the richness of the mozzarella. Do you have any good gluten-free bread recommendations? Let us know!
This recipe uses pizza dough as the bread, and we’re here for it.
It’s just as delicious as it sounds, and the fillings of juicy chicken breast, Florentine sauce, and provolone cheese make this feel almost like a folded white pizza.
The florentine sauce is typically made with cream, white wine, butter, and spinach, but this panini recipe makes it a little easier and time-friendly as mayonnaise, spinach, minced garlic, and herbs are mixed and spread onto the pizza dough slices.
A panini recipe that utilizes leftovers to make an easy but delicious weeknight dinner? Yes.
The spicy and smoky juices from the pulled pork sauce begin to soak through the crusty bread layers and make this the ultimate comfort panini.
The spicy brown mustard, pickles, and swiss cheese help to bring freshness to the palate.
The recipe details how you can make the Cuban pulled pork, and if you choose to make it especially for this recipe, you could also use it again in the week in baked pasta!
Are you salivating yet?
If you want a French bistro feeling panini recipe that’s as easy to pull together as it is to eat ten of, you’re in the right place.
Made with honey mustard, fresh thyme, two kinds of cheese, and apples, this panini feels as though it jumped straight out of a café.
This is 100% worth the effort would be great served on a warming vegetable soup side. We think a cauliflower and hazelnut soup would work really well with this one!
- 1. Caprese Sandwich
- 2. Pesto Panini
- 3. California Smoked Chicken Panini
- 4. Turkey Bacon Avocado Panini
- 5. Italian Chicken Panini
- 6. Grilled Mozzarella Sandwich
- 7. Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Paninis
- 8. Spicy Italian Panini
- 9. Buffalo Chicken Panini
- 10. Roasted Vegetable Panini
- 11. Blueberry, Basil & Goat Cheese Panini
- 12. Chipotle Chicken Bacon Ranch Panini
- 13. Apple Pie Panini
- 14. Caprese Panini with Avocado Pesto
- 15. Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Panini
- 16. Panera Frontega Chicken Panini
- 17. Cheesy Hummus Veggie Panini
- 18. Turkey Panini with Bacon and Guacamole
- 19. Corned Beef Panini
- 20. Bacon, Apple & Brie Panini
- 21. Gluten Free Panini Sandwich
- 22. Chicken Florentine Panini
- 23. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Paninis
- 24. Apple Panini Recipe
- Choose your favorite panini dish!
- Prepare ingredients according to the recipe.
- Be ready in 30 minutes or less!