Easily make this Mediterranean Panini with the flavors of sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, pesto, and more! No panini press needed!
If you’ve ever had a panini sandwich, you know how amazing they are. The lovely crunchy outside with the warm, gooey inside. What would just be a regular sandwich on any other day turns into something amazing when you brush it with olive oil and press it.
There are panini presses you can buy, but you can also get this George Foreman 4 Serving Removable Plate Grill and Panini Press. I just use a counter top indoor grill like that to make my paninis. They make those lovely golden stripes and heat the sandwiches to perfection. But if you don’t have a grill, you can use two frying pans. (You will use one of the pans to press the sandwiches down while they cook in the other frying pan).
The flavors of this panini come from Greece and Italy. Pesto, spinach, artichokes, mozzarella or provolone cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes are the special ingredients that bring this sandwich to life.
Here’s how you make it:
Get two slices of sourdough or French bread. Brush the bottom of each slice with olive oil. Turn over and spread pesto on both slices and top the bottom slice with cheese. I like to put the cheese right on top of the bread so that as it melts, it holds the whole sandwich together. Add a generous layer of chicken lunch meat (or a thick slice of chicken breast). Then top with spinach, sliced or diced artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and more cheese. Place the other slice of bread on top.
Now you are ready to grill and press it. Gently place the sandwich onto your grill. I push the top slice a little off the sandwich toward the back of the grill. I do this because as you close the lid of the grill, it pushes the top slice forward.
Next, fold a towel or cloth and put it over the top of the grill. Press down firmly on the lid and hold it for 30 seconds to a minute. The towel will catch the steam and keep you from getting burned.
Once the sandwich has been sufficiently flattened, you can stop putting pressure on the lid and just let it continue to cook until it is golden brown.
- 4 slices French or sourdough bread
- 4 thick slices of chicken breast or chicken lunch meat
- 1/4 cup fresh spinach chopped
- 1/2 artichoke heart. chopped
- 2-3 sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp. pesto
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese or 2-4 slices provolone cheese
- Brush olive oil on the bottom of all four slices of bread.
- Turn bread over and spread each slice with pesto.
- Top with cheese, then chicken, spinach, artichoke heart, sun-dried tomatoes, and more cheese.
- Place the other slices of bread on top with the olive oil side facing up.
- Place each sandwich into your panini press or indoor grill. (Alternately, you can place each sandwich in a heated frying pan).
- Press the lid down on the grill or press, and hold down firmly for 30 seconds to a minute. Be sure to use a towel over the lid to protect yourself from any escaping steam. If using a frying pan, press the sandwiches with a smaller pan on top.
- Grill until golden. Then remove, slice, and serve immediately.
Add these wonderful complementary dishes to your meal!
For more delicious sandwich ideas, try these: