Paninis are the perfect sandwich: Whether you perfect them on the grill or a traditional panini press, you get to pick the ingredients you pack within your two layers of carbs, and the combination possibilities are endless. Check out our take on the seven best paninis you can possibly make this season. No matter if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or a meat-lover, we can guarantee you’ll find a sandwich on this list that will appease you.
1. Ham and Cheese Panini
You can’t go wrong with a classic, and this recipe from Martha Stewart proves it. The combination of warm ham and melty cheese packed between two thick slices of bread will simply never get old, and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cups thinly sliced shallots
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- ¼ cup grainy Dijon mustard
- 8 slices rustic white bread, sliced ½-inch thick
- 8 slices Gruyere cheese
- 8 ounces sliced cooked ham
Read the recipe directions at Martha Stewart.
2. Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Panini
This next caprese sandwich combination from Cooking Light will delight carnivores and herbivores, alike. The paninis are dressed with a sophisticated balsamic syrup, and they take just a handful of ingredients to make. Yielding 4 servings, you can whip these sandwiches up in 20 minutes or less — all you need are some carbs, cheese, tomatoes, and basil.
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 (8-ounce) piece Cuban bread, cut in half horizontally
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 large basil leaves
- 5 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ freshly ground black pepper
- Cooking spray
Read the recipe directions at Cooking Light.
3. Chicken Salad Panini
Care for a Chicken Salad Panini? The recipe for this sandwich masterpiece can be found on Taste of Home. Chicken salad is good on its own, but when it’s combined with cheese, apple, and pecans on a bread of carbs, it’s truly irrestible. Cook your panini on the grill or on a fancy panini press and get ready for a fancy, crunchy, and satisfying sandwich.
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1½ teaspoons honey
- ¾ teaspoon snipped fresh dill
- ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Dash salt
- Dash pepper
- 1 cup cubed cooked chicken breast
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup chopped peeled apple
- ¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
- 6 slices white bread
- 4 teaspoons butter, softened
Read the recipe directions at Taste of Home.
4. Avocado Spinach Panini
Up next is a lean and green panini recipe featured on Vegetarian Times. Enter: the Avocado Spinach Panini. It doesn’t get much more nutritious than this, and luckily, it doesn’t get more delicious, either. This sandwich is not only vegetarian-friendly, it’s vegan, too, and the avocado and sun-dried tomatoes steal the show. What the Avocado Spinach Panini lacks in meat and cheese, it makes up for in healthy fats and greens, and while we admit this isn’t the most indulgent dish on our list, we have to warn you that it still might become your new favorite.
- 2 avocados, halved and thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup julienned, smoked sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion
- 2 cups lightly packed baby spinach
- 4 (4-ounces) ciabatta rolls, split in half
Read the recipe directions at Vegetarian Times.
5. Four Cheese Panini
Speaking of indulgent, this next recipe from Food & Wine fits the bill, and it’s safe to say that this sandwich isn’t vegan. But it is vegetarian, and it is sinfully delicious. This Four Cheese Panini defines comfort food, and it’s packed with four types of cheese: mozzarella, fontina, Gorgonzola, and provolone. Aside from your cheese, all you need for your sandwiches are ciabatta rolls and arugula leaves and you’re good to go.
- ½ cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup shredded fontina cheese
- ¼ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- ½ cup shredded provolone cheese
- 4 ciabatta rolls, halved lengthwise, or 8 slices firm white sandwich bread
- 8 arugula leaves
Read the recipe directions at Food & Wine.
6. Turkey and Pesto Panini
Next up is a Turkey and Pesto Panini from Real Simple. Pesto boosts the flavor in every dish it stars in, as is also the case with this sandwich. This Turkey and Pesto Panini is hearty and healthy, packed with turkey, pesto, Swiss cheese, onion, avocado, and lettuce. It’s also dressed with an easy homemade vinaigrette that easily takes your traditional turkey sandwich to the next level.
- 1 loaf soft French bread, split
- ⅓ cup store-bought pesto
- 8 ounces sliced roasted turkey
- 4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
- ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 small head red leaf lettuce, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 1 avocado, cut into bite-size pieces
Read the recipe directions at Real Simple.
7. Chocolate and Brie Panini
We’re concluding our list with a panini you can serve for dinner or dessert. Say hello to this Chocolate and Brie Panini from Cooking Channel TV. This is what foodie dreams are made of. With this sandwich, you’re stuffing chocolate chips, Brie cheese, and fresh basil leaves between two thick slices of sourdough bread, and then all you need to do is grill the panini until the chocolate and cheese are melted, and then Bon Appetit!
- 12 slices sourdough bread
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
- 1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
Read the recipe directions at Cooking Channel TV.