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


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