This Italian Sub-style Panini takes the classic flavors of an Italian Sub and melts it into a crispy gooey panini sandwich.
Panini is Italian for "bread roll", a diminutive form of "pane" or bread. It usually refers to a sandwich made with Italian bread.
Here in America, the sandwich is most often grilled to heat the ingredients and toast the bread with grill marks.
They sound so fancy when you see them on a menu, but they are actually quite simple to make at home.
Secret Ingredient for Crispy Italian Sub-style Panini
For those that like a crispy outer crust to your grilled cheese/ panini sandwiches I have a secret ingredient... mayonnaise.
Instead of buttering the bread before cooking, spread on a thin layer of mayo.
It is easier to spread on soft bread, crisps up better and tastes delicious. Just hide it for your whiny mayonnaise hating tween if needed.
Make Panini without a Panini Press
Panini are often made with a special machine or pan. Here's a nice electric panini press that has a floating lid so you can make a thick sandwich. And here's a cast iron pan that can be used on the stove, in an oven or over a campfire.
If you don't own a panini press fear not! You can achieve the same effect with a grill pan (or a gas grill with indirect heat) and a cast iron skillet.
Put the sandwich on the grill, place a piece of foil on top and then place your skillet on top of the foil to press it down onto the grill. Flip and repeat to grill both sides.
All the Grilled Cheese! from Our Family Table
Need more Grilled Cheese Sandwich inspirations? Check out these delicious combinations from some of my favorite bloggers:
- Blueberry Ricotta Grilled Cheese by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Breakfast Pancake Grilled Cheese by A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures
- Broccoli Cheddar Grilled Cheese with Bacon by Sweet Beginnings
- Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Easy Grilled Cheese Hot Dogs by Blogghetti
- Grilled Blue Cheese and Onion Sandwich by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Hawaiian Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Italian Sub-Style Panini by That Recipe
- Jammy Brie Grilled Cheese by Art of Natural Living
- Mushroom Pizza Grilled Cheese by Palatable Pastime
- The Cuban Sandwich (Cubano) by Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Making Miracles
Italian Sub Style Panini Sandwich
- ½ small red onion (sliced thin)
- 4 slices thick-cut artisanal white or wheat bread
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 Romaine lettuce leaves (washed and dried, tough ribs at bottom removed)
- 1 ripe tomato (washed, dried and sliced)
- 4 ounces hard salami
- 4 ounces Italian deli ham
- 2 ounces pepperoni slices
- 4 ounces sliced provolone cheese
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Thinly spread mayonnaise on one side of all four bread slices. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat and add 2 slices of bread, mayonnaise side down. (If the pan is not cast iron, spray with non-stick spray first).
- Add lettuce, tomato, red onion, salami, ham, pepperoni and provolone cheese on top of the bread slices in the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired. Top assembled sandwiches with remaining 2 bread slices, mayonnaise side up.
- Place a piece of aluminum foil on top of the sandwiches. Place a cast iron skillet on top of the foil, applying even pressure to the top of the assembled sandwiches.
- When the bread on the bottom is golden brown, carefully flip each sandwich and repeat until the other slice of bread is also evenly browned. Serve immediately.