11 Sweet and Savory Panini Ideas

Don’t miss out on the sweet and savory twists that make this Italian specialty one of our favorite pressed sandwiches

Shutterstock / keko64

11 Sweet and Savory Panini Ideas

Shutterstock / RoJo Images

The crunchy exterior and the warm molten center are what make panini so appealing. We have the Italians to thank for these warm pressed sandwiches. The popularity of panini first hit its stride in 1970s Milan, when specialty restaurants dedicated to these pressed sandwiches first started opening. Soon, the panino (the singular of panini in Italian) trend traveled to cities in the United States.

Cuban Panini

Shutterstock / Jesse Kunerth

A Cuban-style panini is an easy way to change up that ham and cheese sandwich you’ve been eating since third grade. By adding a couple ingredients that are probably already in your fridge, you can make a jealousy-inducing packed lunch that looks more like restaurant take-out. 

For the Cuban Panini recipe, click here.

Focaccia Panini with Prosciutto alla Caprese

Shutterstock / bonchan

This panini is unique because it features focaccia, a dense, “quilty” Italian bread whose spongy texture soaks up flavor. I also like the fact that focaccia doesn’t have an overly chewy crust — it’s perfect for your picnic enjoyment!

For the Focaccia Panini with Prosciutto alla Caprese recipe, click here.

Grilled Eggplant and Mozzarella Panini

Shutterstock / keko64

The sliced eggplant is grilled first, then layered with the other ingredients between two pieces of pesto-brushed focaccia. After another brief trip to the grill to crisp the bread and melt the mozzarella, the hot panini are ready to slice and savor.

For the Grilled Eggplant and Mozzarella Panini recipe, click here.

Grilled Sweet Potato and Blue Cheese Panini

Shutterstock / mama_mia

Potato cakes, a traditional Irish food, are available in supermarkets and Irish specialty food stores. If you can’t find potato cakes, pita bread makes a good substitute in this recipe.

For the Grilled Sweet Potato and Blue Cheese Panini recipe, click here.

Italian Ham and Naan Panini

Shutterstock / Michelangelus

This recipe uses Indian naan instead of the traditional Italian bread. The garlicy flavor from the flatbread adds extra flavor to the panini-style sandwiches.

For the Italian Ham and Naan Panini recipe, click here.

Nutella Panino

Shutterstock / bonchan

No one knows Nutella like the Italians, which is why this panino recipe perfectly harmonizes the national ingredient into a favorite staple.

For the Nutella Panino recipe, click here.

Peach Panini

Photo Modified: Flickr / Neil Conway / CC BY 4.0

This sweet, dessert-style panino uses summer peaches, brown sugar, and pound cake for the bread to create an unusual twist on the grilled sandwich.

For the Peach Panini recipe, click here.

Ricotta and Pear Drizzle Panini

Shutterstock / Natalia Wimberley

Whether you are planning a lazy day or are in the mood for a special treat, this mouth-watering breakfast combination of sweet pear, creamy ricotta, and warm drizzled honey is perfection itself.

For the Ricotta and Pear Drizzle Panini recipe, click here.

Super Club Panini with Grain Mustard

Shutterstock / Foodpics

Part turkey club and part warm, gooey panini, this sandwich hits the spot every time with its combination of wafer-thin turkey, sharp Cheddar, spicy mustard, and smoky bacon.

For the Super Club Panini with Grain Mustard recipe, click here.

Triple Chocolate Chunk Panini

Shutterstock / Jiri Hera

A deceptively simple dessert sandwich made up of three different kinds of chocolate and crunchy hazelnuts.

For the Triple Chocolate Chunk Panini recipe, click here.

Turkey Pesto Asiago Panini with Cranberry Served with Pan-Fried Stuffing

Shutterstock / RoJo Images

Love turkey and stuffing all year round? Use them to make this panini. It's great to eat for lunch at home or on the go.

For the Turkey Pesto Asiago Panini with Cranberry Served with Pan-Fried Stuffing recipe, click here.