DISCOVER
×

How to make a panini sandwich

Updated November 21, 2016

In Italian, the word "panini" literally means "small breads," a plural noun referring to the country's sandwiches as a whole: thick breads, grilled or not, stuffed with any number and combination of ingredients. The late 20th century brought the panini trend to the United States. As American culture has adopted it, a panini -- used as a singular noun -- sandwiches melted cheese between slices of pressed, crispy bread. As Italian panini press salesman Domenic Seminara described a panini, "It's a sandwich with romance, just like cappuccino is coffee with romance."

Slice bread for your panini. Use dense bread such as ciabatta, sourdough or rye. Cut slices to be 1/2 inch thick. Spread a small amount of butter on one side of each slice, if desired.

Assemble a sandwich using fillings of your choosing. Face buttered side of bread outward. Incorporate cheeses for a customary Americanized panini. Use assorted vegetables as fillings. Make an entire sandwich of leftovers. Do not overfill.

Heat both skillets on separate burners on medium heat until hot. Spray inside of large skillet with cooking spray. Place sandwich inside large skillet.

Spray a layer of cooking spray on the bottom of the second, smaller skillet. Lower small skillet on top of sandwich inside larger skillet.

Place heat-safe weighted object, such as a teapot filled with water, on top of smaller skillet. Cook for approximately four minutes on medium heat.

Remove weight and upper skillet to make sure panini has turned golden brown and cheese has mostly melted. Replace top skillet and weight to cook several minutes longer if necessary.

Remove sandwich from heat and enjoy!

Tip

Use ridged skillets to create appetizing lines on bread while cooking. Reheat a cooked panini in an oven. Do not microwave; your panini may end up soggy or rubbery.

Things You'll Need

  • Bread
  • Knife
  • Butter
  • Sandwich fillings
  • 1 large skillet
  • 1 small skillet
  • Cooking spray
  • Heat-safe weighted object
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Alyssa Brode began writing in 2001. She served as a staff writer for her high school newspaper, "The Arrowhead," and has been freelancing ever since. She has a Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College of Rider University with a double major in voice performance and computer information systems and is pursuing a Master of Music in opera performance.