Cheesy Grilled Pizza Sandwich

Pizza Panini from Our Best BitesA 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 Grilled Pizza 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.  (Our garlic oil would be amazing here.) 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 press, 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.

Be sure to use our pizza sauce & garlic bread seasoning recipes – you won’t be disappointed!

Cheesy Grilled Pizza Sandwich

Grilled cheese and pizza hitch up in this easy (and yummy!) dinner idea.


  • Rustic style sandwich bread
  • Butter or olive oil
  • Pizza sauce
  • Garlic bread seasoning
  • Pepperoni or turkey pepperoni
  • Mozzarella cheese


  • Lightly butter one side of each slice of bread, or brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic bread seasoning on each slice and gently pat on with clean hands.
  • Turn slices of bread over. Spread pizza sauce on each slice and sprinkle with cheese. Place pepperoni slices on one of the sandwich halves and then place the two pieces of bread together.
  • Grill on a panini press or hot skillet, or place under a broiler in the oven, flipping once, until both sides of bread are toasted and golden brown and cheese is melted.
  • Cool for 3-5 minutes before slicing in half and serve.
Author: Our Best Bites
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Cheesy Grilled Pizza Sandwich on Garlic Bread from Our Best Bites

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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

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

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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! 😉

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    1. 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.

  13. 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!

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

    1. 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! 😉 )

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  21. 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 🙂

  22. 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.

    1. We love Grilled Pizza Sandwiches! The best is adding Lawry’s Garlic Salt on the outside.