Lately I can’t seem to stop making this Italian panini any time I want a quick, no-stress lunch or dinner! It’s everything you love about an Italian sub – salami, Italian cured meats, yummy cheese, spicy peppers, and more all heated in a panini press to make it even better. Yum!
Hello! 🙂 Another sunny (but chilly!) fall day here.
This past weekend the daughter and I went apple picking. Great fun and now I have a PILE of apples which need recipes. Have any ideas? I have a bunch of my own apple recipes, but I’m always happy for some more!
But, onto today’s recipe. Italian sub paninis are my new favorite lunch and we’ve been having them regularly!
They’re easy, they’re tasty, they’re cheesy. What’s not to love? And paninis in general are great because you can switch them up to your own tastes. Amp up (or down) the peppers, switch up the exact meats, go for provolone or fontina or mozzarella. It’s all good.
They’re also a great change up from pizza on the nights when you’re just not in the mood for cooking. Keep some salami, cheese, and a jar of sliced banana peppers in the house and you’ll be having dinner quicker and cheaper than take out. And tastier!
Not that I’m ever not in the mood to cook or tired out from taking pictures of dessert and am all ‘it’s pizza or paninis’ tonight. Never. 😉
How do you make an Italian Panini?
To make an Italian sub panini, spread a little mayonnaise on two slices of bread. Then layer on Italian deli meats, provolone cheese, and banana peppers. Grill the panini on both sides, then lever it open and add shredded lettuce and sliced tomatoes.
- Start by cutting a ciabatta bun in half or getting two slices of hearty sandwich bread.
- Spread a thin coat of mayo on the bread then add some shredded cheese to each side.
- Layer on your deli meat, such as salami, pepperoni, ham, and soppressata.
- Add some sliced hot peppers.
- Grill the panini in a panini press or grill pan with a weight.
- Add the lettuce and sliced tomatoes.
Making a panini is pretty simple. All you need to do is layer everything and then grill/toast the sandwich until the cheese is melty and the bread is browned. What makes a panini special is the ingredients you use.
First up is the meat. The exact meats you use in your Italian panini are up to you. I like to have a variety on hand for people to pick and choose, and I usually have a salami, some pepperoni, and at least one of soppressata, coppa, or prosciutto. Also, some lean ham or turkey makes a nice addition if you want more meat without the extra calories of cured sausages.
Then choose a bread. Two great choices for bread are to use either ciabatta rolls or a sliced rustic loaf. Whatever you use, you want a hearty bread which isn’t too sweet or too sour, since either will tend to take over the flavors.
Next up is the cheese! Since this is an Italian panini, I’ve stuck with Italian cheeses. Salami and provolone is a classic pairing and my personal favorite. My husband prefers fontina. And you could also use a nice, fresh mozzarella! Just stick with a softer cheese and shred it for optimal melting.
Spicy panini = hot peppers. You can use anything from a mild banana pepper or cherry pepper to jalapeno peppers to whatever jarred or fresh hot peppers which tickle your fancy.
Finish it off with some veggies! Sweet peppers, crispy lettuce, tomatoes, onions. They’re all good. Whatever you like on a sub is perfect here.
More Easy Panini Recipes
- Turkey, Brie, and Cranberry Mustard Panini – just the panini you need for after holiday munchies
- Cheddar, Apple, and Roast Beef Panini – classic combo and also great for leftovers!
- Italian Chicken and Pesto Panini – the caramelized onions are awesome is this panini
If you try my recipe for this Italian Panini, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.You can connect with me by subscribing to my emails (see the form in the sidebar or below the recipe card), liking my FACEBOOK page, or by following me on PINTEREST.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
This spicy Italian panini is everything you love about Italian sub sandwiches in a toasted, melty, panini! Spicy peppers, gooey cheese, and yummy deli meats. Great for lunch or an easy dinner.
- 2 slices hearty bread, such as a rustic dinner bread or ciabatta
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1-2 oz Italian cheese, see note
- 1-2 oz Italian deli meats, see note
- sliced pickled hot peppers, see note
- olive oil
- 2-3 slices tomato
- shredded lettuce
- optional toppings: onion, sweet peppers, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried oregano
Lay out all your panini fillings.
Begin heating your panini press or grill pan with a weight.
Spread a thin coat of mayonnaise on two slices of bread.
Layer on the cheese, deli meats, and hot peppers. Close the panini and brush the outside of the bread with a little olive oil.
Put the panini onto your panini press and grill until the outside is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
Open up the panini (carefully since it's hot) and add your desired toppings. Slice the panini in half and serve.
- Italian Deli Meats: You can use a combination of salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, coppa, sopressata, smoked ham, and/or mortadella.
- Italian Cheeses: Provolone, fontina, and fresh mozzarella are all great choices, either sliced thinly or shredded.
- Hot Peppers: Depending on your spice tolerance, you can use cherry peppers, banana peppers, or jalapenos.
- Grill Pan: I have a Calphalon panini grill pan which I've had and used for several years now.