Pizza Panini from Our Best Bites A lot of my family’s favorite recipes are born out of necessity, when I’m simply forced to pull something together from whatever I can scavenge in the fridge and pantry when groceries are running low.  And many of the very best recipes are most simple ones!  I made homemade pizzas for my kids last week so I had half a jar of sauce left and some turkey pepperoni in my fridge.  I wasn’t in the mood to do pizza all over again, but I did have a good loaf of bread in the pantry so I came up with these sandwiches.  It’s like a little pizza, smashed between two pieces of buttery garlic bread.  Paired along side a simple green salad, this is a great (and quick) weeknight meal that both kiddos and grown ups will love.   I think these would even be great on baguette slices as a party appetizer too!

Start with a good loaf of rustic style bread. The bakery section of the grocery store should have plenty of options, but it’s important for a sandwich like this, you don’t whip out something like Wonder Bread.  Get something with a little more oomph that will hold up to the fillings and grilling.

Rustic Bread

Lightly butter each slice on one side, making sure to cover all the way to the edges.  You could also brush lightly with olive oil if you prefer.  Then sprinkle on some garlic bread seasoning.  If you’ve never tried our homemade seasoning, it takes just seconds to whip up and I swear to you it is better than anything I have ever purchased in a jar. (Click here for the Our Best Bites Garlic Bread Seasoning Recipe.)

Garlic Bread Slices

Gently pat the seasoning down with clean hands so it sticks to the butter, then flip each piece of bread over.

Next you’ll need a little pizza sauce.  This is a great recipe to make when you have half a jar left in your fridge, or even spaghetti sauce would work here.  I just used some store-bought pizza sauce  from a jar that I happened to have on hand, but if you want to try making your own, our recipe for homemade Pizza Sauce is super easy and so, so good. (Click here for the Our Best Bites Pizza Sauce Recipe.)

Pizza Sauce on Bread

I’m pretty generous with the sauce because it starts to soak into the bread.  I also like my pizza practically oozing with sauce, so just put on as much as you like.

Now, we can’t have a hot grilled sandwich without ooey-gooey melty cheese. Grate or slice some quality mozzarella

Grated Cheese

and sprinkle it on both slices of the sandwich.

Grated Cheese on Bread

Then layer on some pepperoni slices on one of the halves.  I use turkey pepperoni; it actually tastes great and is pretty low calorie.  And even if you’re not a pepperoni pizza fan, the pepperoni here adds great flavor, so give it a shot.

Pepperoni on Sandwich

Now put the two sides of your sandwich together

Pizza Panini Ready for cooking

And you can either cook them on a panini grill, like I’m doing, or in a skillet (flip after one side browns) or to make a bunch at a time, put them on a baking sheet and broil until the tops are golden brown and the insides are cooked through.

I use my panini pan, and I set the height up a little so they don’t get totally smashed.  I set it so the top just barely rests on the top of the sandwich.

Pizza Panini on the Grill

Then just cook them until the garlicky bread is golden brown and toasted

Grilled Pizza Panini

and the cheese is oozing out.

Grilled Pizza Sammy from Our Best Bites

Let them cool for of couple minutes, or chances are, they’ll fall apart on you when you start to cut them!  Use a sharp, serrated knife to slice in half and then eat up.

 

 

Cheesy Grilled Pizza Sandwich on Garlic Bread from Our Best Bites

 

original

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38comments

  1. 1
    Michelle says:

    This looks amazing! Definitely will be making these this week for dinner. :)

  2. 2
    Thesha says:

    Oh my goodness! If I were into eating midnight snacks this would be it! My husband (who is sitting here drooling over this with me)and I will be eating some of these very soon. Thank you for another amazing recipe.

  3. 3
    Christine says:

    These look Yummy and Fun :-) I’m putting this on our menu for this week, I think it will be a hit with our 6 and 9 year old kiddos. Thanks for sharing so many great recipes, it is awesome to have a little help in the kitchen :-)

  4. 4
    Jenn says:

    Holy goodness. You so totally hit this one out of the park. I’m going to be a rock star at my house this week for sure. Thanks!

  5. 5
    Ashley says:

    I did something similar the other week after I made pizza and have leftover sauce and pepperoni, but didn’t want to make pizza again…except I made pizza rice! I just added some sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and olives to rice, and it was delicious!

  6. 6

    These are great! I make something similar for an easy weekday lunch for my kids, minus the pepperoni. Basically just a grilled cheese sandwich with marinara sauce and mozzarella or provolone instead of American cheese. Delicious and easy!

  7. 7

    Sara, the bread alone makes my mouth water! My kids would love this for lunch! love your blog!

  8. 8
    Heather says:

    This looks good, and just the style of my uber-picky family. Thanks for sharing!

  9. 9
    Stacey says:

    It looks SO good! Great idea!

  10. 10
    Ned says:

    This looks like our kids “style” they would love this!!!

  11. 11
    Laurie says:

    What type of panini pan do you use?

  12. 12
    amelia says:

    Yum! I’ll have to try these. I’ve also had great luck with grilling sandwiches in a waffle maker..mine is Belgian style. The sandwiches don’t turn out as pretty as with a panini press, but they sure are good.

  13. 13

    You are making me want to buy a panini press, but I bet I can just use a cast iron griddle.

    • 13.1
      sara says:

      Yep, cast iron griddle would work great. (But if you’d like some peer pressure to push you into buying another appliance, I’d be more than happy to help, just say the word! ;) )

  14. 14
    Renay says:

    These look great! This looks like the Kneaders bread we love. We call it bunny bread, cause that’s what the slices look like. Bunny bread makes killer grilled cheese!

  15. 15
    Gena says:

    Thanks goodness because I never know what to do with that leftover-too-much-to-throw-out spaghetti sauce! BTW, bacon bouquet was a hit for my husband for Valentines Day. I got dressed up all hot, wrapped the bouquet in cello paper lined with a white paper towel and took it to him at work. He was shocked and amazed and dragged me all over the office to show off his gift. Pics on my FB page.

    You two make me look so smart. Love!

  16. 16
    Tricia Sutherland says:

    I have been wanting to buy a panini pan, and I think your post pushed me over the edge. I looked at the Williams Sonoma one you have, and although pricey, I’d still get it. My question is this: is it easy to clean? I only buy things that are easy to clean! And, besides paninis, what else do you cook on it?

    I have to add that turkey pepperoni is the best! It has great flavor and like 1/3 of the calories. My kids can’t even tell the difference.

    • 16.1
      sara says:

      Yeah, it’s really easy to clean. The grills have a super nice non-stick finish, so most of the time I can honestly just wipe it out with a hot cloth, but when it’s pretty dirty, I just hold it on the edge of my sink and wash it with hot soapy water and a scrub brush. We have grilled sandwiches a LOT at my house, so I mostly use it for that, but I’ve used it for steak and chicken before too, and flat breads.

  17. 17
    Nancy Smith says:

    I saw this recipe on the way to the grocery store, so I picked up a loaf of Three Cheese Semolina bread and some ground beef. I used Swiss cheese instead of mozzarella and made some very thin burgers instead of the pepperoni. They were totally over the moon delicious!! I just used my George Foreman grill and it worked perfectly.

  18. 18
    Annie says:

    Those look amazing! I recently did the same with a tortilla- viola! the Pizzadilla! My kids ask for it about every other day now. I go light on the sauce or the crisp quesadilla won’t be quite strong enough to hold all the yummy goodness. I’ll be trying this version very soon! And, with my waffle maker! Thanks for the recipe OBB and thanks for the tips fellow readers.

  19. 19
    carrian says:

    hahaha, I totally made the exact same thing last week when the hubby was at scouts, and thought, I should just post this. Way to move on it faster than me! ;)

  20. 20
    Andrea says:

    I followed the link and voted for your blog. However, after clicking on each and every other canidate, I have to say that I think you should have been nominated in several of the catagories. It’s not that I don”t like your photos – they are beautiful – it’s just that your blog is so much more than just photos. Most of the other entries in this catagory, were just photo journals. I very much enjoy your blog. Thanks Andrea

  21. 21

    I think you’re trying to kill me. This looks SO AMAZING. You’ve managed to combine so many amazing things into one, I can’t even stand it.

  22. 22
    Moriah Cochran says:

    What a genius idea! I love you ladies! I’m wondering if my george foreman grill would work like your special panini grill? I can’t wait to makes these!! Thanks for all the fabulous ideas!

  23. 23

    what a genius idea! this sandwich looks amazing!

  24. 24
    Jennifer says:

    What a simple and amazing idea! Pizza and sandwiches are 2 of my very favorite things. I can’t BELIEVE I never thought to put them together! I made these for lunch yesterday and everyone loved them! Only thing I will do differently is to toast the bread that ends up on the inside before building them. We think we would prefer a crispier texture on the inside as well. Thanks so much for the idea!

  25. 25
    Stephanie G. says:

    Made these today for lunch because, well, I had French bread from dinner last night that needed to be used up and I’m sick of Pb&j. Delicious! And my 3 year old cleared her plate! Thanks for the quick and easy recipe!

  26. 26
    Amanda says:

    I made these tonight for dinner and my family went crazy over them! Thanks Sara!

  27. 27
    Jonny Blair says:

    Looks absolutely delicious!!! I’m a big fan of pizza and anything similar to pizza on all kinds of bread. This ticks the boxes! Jonny

  28. 28
    Meena says:

    Is the pepperoni optional? And this looks amazing!!

  29. 29
    Sarah says:

    Hi I’m from Scotland and I dnt rly understand a lot of the measurements on this site because the way we measure things is different from America ^^ we weigh everything in grams and measure liquids in pints or ounces so if there is any chance someone could post what measurements like a cup mean tht would be really great. These look amazing aswell and I rly want to make them :)

  30. 30
    Brittany says:

    Just made these– holy smokes– super simple, easy and delicious!! I’m going to go make another one…

  31. 31
    Janet says:

    These are SO good! They are on the menu for tonight for my fam. Unfortunately for me, I am on a cleanse, so I won’t be able to enjoy these with them :-( So sad! I’m drooling just thinking about them. mmmmmm…

  32. 32
    Heather says:

    Tried these tonight- major WIN at my house with 6 picky kids. Like pizza, only way, way easier, and maybe even more flavorful! Thanks!!

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