If you don’t have a panini press in your kitchen, add it to your next shopping list. A panini press is essentially a two-sided contact grill perfect for sandwiches, quesadillas and even chicken breast or steaks. A good quality panini press has durable, non-stick grill plates that make weeknight dinners or weekend lunches a cinch, especially if you have a small crowd to feed. Make an assembly line of your sandwich ingredients and then press away!
Cran-apple, brie and smoked turkey panini
Smother two slices of hearty country bread with cranberry spread. Pile slices of fresh smoked turkey, sliced brie, baby spinach leaves and slices of apple. Granny Smith slices are delicious for this!
Classic grilled cheese panini
Using your food processor, blend 1 stick room temperature butter with heaping ½ cups of the following cheeses: sharp cheddar, fontina, pepper jack and a medium white cheddar. Once smooth, spread generously between two slices of hearty wheat or white bread. If you desire, add tomato slices or black forest ham.
Italian grinder panini
This panini is excellent on foccacia bread or wheat or white pita bread. Pile your favorite italian meats between two slices of bread; some classic options are ham, mortadella, pepperoni, salami, sopressata and speck. Slather one side with spicy brown mustard and garlic aioli. Add as a traditional pickled pepper giardiniera relish and you’re set to press!
Veggie patch panini
This is a great panini pick if you have leftover grilled or cooked veggies from dinner the night before. Pick your favorite bread and spread mayo or ranch dressing and mustard on both slices. Pile grilled veggies (mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant) and some fresh veggies if you desire. Baby spinach and arugula are tasty options.
Buffalo chicken panini wrap
If you have leftover chicken, use that. If not, grab a rotisserie chicken and shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Mix in your favorite buffalo hot sauce. Make a side slaw of shredded carrots and celery with your favorite ranch or bleu cheese dressing. Pile the meat and slaw mixture in a tortilla and place seam side down on your panini press.
BBQ pork and apple panini
Roast a pork loin according to package directions or in your slow cooker with onion and your favorite bbq sauce. Pull the pork apart into bite-size pieces. Add a heaping pile of pulled pork and slices of tart apple between a soft roll. You’re ready to press this southern bbq sandwich.