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Panini Press- A Great Sandwich

I am interested in making delicious, unusual meals and desserts, particularly for special occasions. Quick and easy meals are also great.

Ham, turkey, bacon, cheeses, tomato My photo

Ham, turkey, bacon, cheeses, tomato My photo

Panini Sandwich History

Webster's dictionary tells us that the sandwich was named after the Earl of Sandwich, which is defined as two or more slices of bread with a filling of meat, fish, cheese, jam, etc.

The Panini sandwich dates back to 1956, from Italy referring to a bread roll stuffed with meats and cheeses and toasted in a Panini press. Then, this sandwich started to become very popular in the 1970s in the United States restaurants, first in New York, then it spread to other US cities.

Sandwiches or Grilling My Cuisinart Panini Press

Sandwiches or Grilling My Cuisinart Panini Press

Panini Christmas Gift

I decided I wanted the Panini press and grill for Christmas two years ago, and that is exactly what I received. The Cuisinart Griddler is Stainless–steel, and comes with a grill/griddle in the Panini press. It can be used as an open flat grill, as well as, a Panini press.

There are floating hinges that adjust to the thickness of food and an adjustment for temperature control. The nonstick cooking plates drain grease away from the food for healthier cooking, and they are dishwasher proof.

My photo - Bacon on the Grill

My photo - Bacon on the Grill

Panini Sandwich Perks

We enjoy making different types of sandwiches, and use the flat plates for breakfast food, which is perfect for making breakfast pancakes, French toast, bacon, sausage, omelets, etc. The Cuisinart Panini press that we own has too little cups that catch any grease that runs off the grill, so your food has fewer calories as it isn't sitting in grease while cooking.

We also use the Panini plates for steaks and hamburgers, as they have much less grease that way. The varieties of sandwiches you can make are only limited only by your imagination. There is a huge variety of foods that you can cook, including vegetables and desserts.

My husband's favorite, just a regular panini grilled ham and cheese sandwich. The cooking plates flip over so you have a smooth and a ridged side.

My husband's favorite, just a regular panini grilled ham and cheese sandwich. The cooking plates flip over so you have a smooth and a ridged side.

Cuisinart GR4U Griddle Contact Grill & Panini Press

Panini recipe book by Jo McAuley Roasted Rosemary Chicken

Panini recipe book by Jo McAuley Roasted Rosemary Chicken

Roasted Rosemary Chicken


  • 2 chicken breasts, about 5 oz. each
  • 2 teaspoons tapenade
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, cut into slivers
  • 3-4 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large wholegrain rolls, cut in half horizontally
  • 2 ounces pecorino cheese, shaved
  • salt-and-pepper
  • arugula to garnish


Using a sharp knife, make a horizontal slit in each chicken breast. Do not cut all the way through but just deep enough to create a pocket in the flesh. Stuff the tapenade, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic slivers into the pocket and close it.

Lay the chicken breast on top of the rosemary sprigs in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.

Season with a little salt and pepper and cook in a preheated 350° oven for about 18 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into slices. Arranged to meet on the whole green role basis, sprinkle with the pecorino shavings, and top with the lids. Toast in the sandwich grill for 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately garnished with arugula.

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  • Serves 2
  • Preparation time: 8 minutes
  • Cooking time: 22 minutes

How to Make a Breakfast Panini!

source paninirecipes Vegetarian Quesadilla

source paninirecipes Vegetarian Quesadilla

Vegetarian Quesadilla


  • 1/4 cup re-fried beans
  • 4 taco size tortillas
  • 1 cup cooked long grain white rice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely sliced
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2/3 cup pinto beans, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cups salsa
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and sliced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced ( optional)
  • 3 pounds Monterey Jack cheese, sliced


Spread the refried beans over half of each tortilla and spoon the cooked rice over them. Scatter red bell pepper and onion on the sandwich, then the pinto beans. Spoon on the salsa and top with the tomato and jalapeno pepper. Finish with the sliced Monterey Jack cheese.

Fold the tortillas in half and toast in a sandwich grill for 3-4 minutes or until they are crispy and the filling is hot and melted. Serve immediately with sour cream and guacamole.

  • Serves 2
  • Preparation Time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3-4 minutes

source Panini cookbook by Jo Mculey

source Panini cookbook by Jo Mculey

How to Make Grill Chicken Quesadillas

Crunchy Lemon Cream and Sponge Toffee


  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, plus extra to serve
  • 1 1/2 oz. sponge toffee, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup candied lemon peel, finely chopped (optional)
  • 6 Scotch pancakes


In a bowl combine the cream, sponge toffee, and lemon zest, candied peel (if using), and lemon curd. Place a dollop of the lemon cream on a pancake, topped with a second pancake and another dollop of lemon cream on top then finished with a third pancake. Repeat the process so that you are left with two triple-decker lemon pancakes.

Toast the pancake stacks on the Panini grill for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the outside pancakes are toasted and the lemon cream is beginning to lose from the sides. Serve immediately with the blueberries.

  • Serves 2
  • Preparation time: 6 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1-2 minutes

Sponge toffee is known by many names around the world; honeycomb, cinder toffee, sponge can be, hokey pokey, toffee honeycomb, puffed candy, and seafoam candy.

In Summary

We have really enjoyed our grill/Panini press and have come up with many new ingredients for sandwiches as it's fun to experiment. There is no easier way to eat delicious Italian food.

There are some great cookbooks available, which will give you even more ideas on different types of recipes. The grill and Panini plates slip on and off so easily, and they come with a little plastic blade that makes cleaning a breeze.

Anytime I can make a meal that my husband likes, taking almost no effort on my part, and it cleans up so easily. That is a hard combination to beat.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on May 11, 2011:

toknowinfo, I have become much more aware of buying USA products than I was a couple of years ago. We really do enjoy the cuisinart and I would hope an American company makes one here in the US. Thanks for your comments.

toknowinfo on May 11, 2011:

I have always wanted a panini press. But I try not to buy products made in China. When I find one made elsewhere, I will get one. Your recipes look great and I will try them with another gadget. The pictures are great. Rated up, beautiful, and awesome.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 06, 2011:

KKGals, That is one of the great things that you can cook Panini sandwiches, meats are used the flat grill and cook keep your breakfast pancakes and so forth. I appreciate your comments.

Always exploring, Try to get out to a restaurant that serves Panini sandwiches and you will find out that you probably love them. Thank you so much for your comments.

Truckstop Sally, I think the Panini press would be wonderful for you. I appreciate your comments.

Om Paramapoonya, That sandwich sounds great and I never would've thought to use it on the Panini press but I think I will now. Thanks so much for your comments.

Audrey, I hope you enjoy the recipes some I appreciate your comments.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on April 05, 2011:

I'm a huge panini fan - thanks for the great recipes!

Om Paramapoonya on April 05, 2011:

Ok, I just put a panini press on my wish list. I'll use it to make my favorite banana sandwich (banana + peanut butter + honey). Yum! :)

Truckstop Sally on April 05, 2011:

Oh my! Your pictures are delicious, and I don't even like sandwiches or pancakes! The grill marks are beautiful. I think the panini press would add to my repertoire!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 05, 2011:

I've never heard of this grill, the sandwiches look delicious, esp. the quesadilla. Thank you for sharing.

Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on April 05, 2011:

Pamela, I love paninis. I didn't realize the Panini Press was so versatile. Great recipes. Rated up, useful, and bookmarked.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 05, 2011:

Katie, it seems like most children love Panini sandwiches and we really have enjoyed our Panini maker. I appreciate your comments.

Becky, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I really appreciate your comments.

cardelean, when we bought the Cuisinart it was at the before Christmas sale so we got a really good deal but certainly another a less expensive brand should work just fine. Thank you for the comments.

cardelean from Michigan on April 05, 2011:

Great hub Pamela. We actually just got a less expensive one but with both the flat and panini plates and we love it. I will definitely be trying some of those recipes that you posted. And for WillStarr, I have lots of gadgets too but this one isn't very big! :) I actually rotate my gadets in and out based on what I'm using most at the time. Kinda feels like Christmas again when I take one out that I haven't used in a while!

Becky from Oklahoma on April 05, 2011:

The Panini Press sounds like a great small appliance to have. Your Roasted Rosemary Chicken sandwich looks and sounds delicious. Thanks for letting me know about this cool little appliance.

Katie McMurray from Ohio on April 05, 2011:

My kids love panini and now that we know the benefits of a great panini maker we will def be investing in a panini press, it is a great way to make a sandwich, I love the toasted goodness of panini. Thanks :) Katie

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 05, 2011:

Darsky, As always I appreciate your comments and I don't always win but it is nice when you do. I am behind on reading other peoples hubs due to health problems and then I have time company that were here through last night. I am struggling just to get the hub posted for the contest right now but I promise I will get to your hubs. Love and peace.

Ingenia, Hopefully you will get one for a gift. Thank you so much for your comments.

Mama_em, Gluten bread will work just fine. I appreciate your comments.

Eidden, Thanks so much for your comments.

Frog Prince, Yes, they are a bit pricey but the one I posted is on sale for $77 but is usually $235. That is still a lot of money to pay and there may be a cheaper brand that works as well. You are right, there is no free lunch. Thanks so much for your comments.

The Frog Prince from Arlington, TX on April 05, 2011:

Gonna have to try this Pamela. Sounds scrumptious. As a side note, Cuisinart is a bit pricey but one has to pay for quality. There is no free lunch. LOL.

Thanks for sharing.

The Frog

Eiddwen from Wales on April 05, 2011:

Mmmm delicious , so thank you for sharing.

Take care


mama_em on April 04, 2011:

These Panini's look amazing! I will have to give it a whirl with gluten-free bread.

Ingenira on April 04, 2011:

I love this Panini sandwich press! I wish I will get this for the coming mother's day. :P Voted up !

Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on April 04, 2011:

Hi Pamela, great hub, and the pictures are making me so hungry. Really beautiful work, like a piece of art. I am wishing you the best and hope you win, which you always win. Come visit a few of my hubs, rate up, love & peace darski

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2011:

drbj, I don't know but it I love panini sandwiches. Exotic works for me. Thanks for your comment.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 04, 2011:

Why is it, Pamela, when a plain old sandwich is made in a Panini grill it just tastes so much better? So much more, how shall I say, exotic!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2011:

Will, It is good and I've got too much in the kitchen also. thanks for your comment.

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on April 04, 2011:

I'm with Pop! I love to cook, but I'm out of counter space with all my gadgets.

(That Panini press does look great though...maybe just one more!)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2011:

Lidian, I'm glad you liked the hub and I hope you get a grill. thanks for your comments.

Lidian on April 04, 2011:

I definitely want one of these grills - those sandwiches (and your recipes)all look terrific!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2011:

Pop, I have that same problem in my kitchen, not enough space. Thanks so much for your comment.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 04, 2011:

Rob, You certainly are quick this morning as I just got this posted. I know a lot of people who really love their foreman grills also. Thanks for your comments.

breakfastpop on April 04, 2011:

Wonderful recipes. I have to say I'm running out of room in my kitchen for all these cool appliances. I may have to add on!

rpalulis from NY on April 04, 2011:

I love making Panini sandwiches, I use my foreman grill however these Panini Press's look pretty impressive. Thanks for these simple to use instructions and recipes.

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