My husband and I are both avid cooks and bakers, preferring to create at home rather than venture out to restaurants. When we do go out and we have a really delicious dish, we take the essence of it back home with us to recreate! I love paninis and Panera Bread has some really good ones BUT they also have pretty high price tags. So when the craving for a panini from Panera hit, I opted to make them at home for my whole family for no additional cost. We had all the ingredients at home and handy! If you’re craving your favorite restaurant foods try recreating them at home to save money and test your culinary abilities!
I listed what items I used but not the amount because sandwich building is never precise. Feel free to experiment with any and all items in your own fridge and pantry! Paninis come in many varieties!
- Thick cut slices of bread (I used a fresh baked Parmesan Black Pepper Artisan Bread)
- Cheeses, sliced (I used sliced Gouda, Smoked Provolone & Sharp Cheddar)
- Meat (I used thin sliced black forest ham, smoked turkey & roast beef)
- Sliced vegetables (I used sliced bell pepper, tomatoes, thin sliced onion & romaine lettuce)
- Mayo or alternative sandwich spread (I mixed 3 tbsp. mayo with dried basil & garlic powder)
- Olive oil
- Herbs (I used garlic salt)
- Preheat a grill or panini press to medium high heat.
- Brush the outside slices of the bread with olive oil and season with garlic salt (if desired), then flip over and top the inside with layers of meats, cheeses and vegetables as desired---any items, any way you like! Place the second slice of bread (olive oiled side out) on top.
- Once the required numbers of sandwiches are constructed carefully place the sandwiches on the hot grill or press. If you are using a grill you will need to wrap a heavy stone, brick or grill press with aluminum foil and place on top to weigh the sandwich down, a panini press has both a bottom and a top heating element that accomplishes this on its own. Cook for 3-5 minutes then flip, replace hot stone or grill press and cook opposite side for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown and the cheeses are melted throughout.
- Serve & enjoy.