A panini is one of my favorite quick meal ideas for both lunch and dinner. I love this vegetarian panini recipe because not only is it healthy, but it is loaded with Italian flavors, provolone cheese and basil pesto. This sandwich is especially delicious if you happen to have some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes on hand!
Until I owned a panini press, I never really thought it was an important small appliance for my kitchen. When my daughter wanted to serve grilled paninis as one of her food stations at her wedding, suddenly I needed to buy a lot of them! That was three years ago and I still use my panini presses all the time! I don’t know what it is about smoothing together all kinds of yummy ingredients and grilling them until they are toasty and melted, but it makes any boring sandwich 100% better.
Panini presses come in all styles and price ranges but these inexpensive ones from Amazon have lasted 3 years and my family uses them all the time. My kiddos especially love to make their own sandwich creations with these panini presses.
This is my favorite vegetarian panini recipe, but feel free to play with it and make it your own. Sometimes I will swap out the pesto for some olive tapenade or garlic hummus. It is amazing how changing one ingredient can completely change the flavor profile.
- 2 slices bakery quality bread
- 1 Tb prepared pesto
- 1 slice provolone cheese
- sliced tomatoes
- fresh spinach
- sliced red onion
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat your panini press or grill pan to high. Spread the pesto on one slice of bread, then layer on the provolone cheese, fresh spinach, red onion and sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the sandwich before topping it with the second slice of bread.
- Place in the panini press or grill pan and cook until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted. Slice in half and serve immediately.