Giada De Laurentiis’ Grilled Vegetable Pesto Panini

If you’re looking for a vegetarian take on panini, look no further than Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis’ Vegetable Pesto Panini. 

Packed with eggplant, onion, zucchini and, of course, pesto, this Italian sandwich is a satisfying, irresistible meal.

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis wears a black and white dress in this photograph.
Giada De Laurentiis | Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Vegas Uncork’d by Bon Appetit

De Laurentiis’ hearty sandwich is a vegetarian delight

The Simply Giada star said of her pesto panini on Giadzy: “This hearty and healthy sandwich is one delicious vegetarian option at a cookout! A sweet medley of grilled vegetables paired with pesto, fresh mozzarella and a baguette is perfection in summertime.”

And, this sandwich can also be enjoyed at room temperature or cold: “For a tip, you can grill the veggies well in advance and refrigerate them until needed to assemble for a cold spin on the sandwich.”

Another quick and delicious panini recipe from Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis.

This panini comes together so easily

In her cookbook Everyday Italian, De Laurentiis says that “Sandwiches in Italy are called panini, but they aren’t nearly as popular in Italy as they are here in the United States. Italians just don’t have the same type of eat-on-the-go culture as do Americans, for whom the quick-to-prepare, quick-to-consume, ultra-portable sandwich has become a national obsession.”

This panini isn’t the pressed-down popular variety of the sandwich. All of the ingredients are cooked, grilled, sliced, or heated beforehand and then assembled on warmed bread.

For this recipe, the pesto is prepared first or, you can use jarred pesto sauce. “The pesto really gives the vegetables a lot of flavor,” she says in the Food Network video, link below, for this recipe.

Next, the vegetables of your choice are grilled. De Laurentiis uses sliced eggplant, red peppers, onions, and zucchinis. She slices raw tomatoes as well for the finished paninis.

To assemble each sandwich, the chef uses a portion of a baguette and arranges each with pesto sauce, slices of the grilled vegetables, tomato slices, and fresh mozzarella cheese.

Get the complete recipe, video, and reviews on Food Network’s site.

Try chef Giada De Laurentiis’ saucy and easy Pizza Panini.

Reviewers loved the chef’s simple-to-make sandwich

De Laurentiis’ easy panini is a cinch to make. With its abundance of vegetables, the sandwich is also a delicious vegetarian meal.

“My husband recently turned vegetarian so I lack creative vegetarian recipes until I tried this one. I made it this weekend and he absolutely loved it. He’s already asked me to make it again. Giada, you’re fantastic. The panini was delicioso,” one reviewer wrote.

Another home cook added, “What a great sandwich! The vegetables were sweet and succulent and grilled up perfectly. This combination of veggies is quite satisfying even for my meat-eaters. I did melt the mozzarella for some extra gooiness, that went over well.”

One person substituted other veggies, with excellent results: “The panini was excellent. I had to substitute portabella mushrooms, red peppers….but no matter…it was excellent and simple.”

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