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Turkey Panini Recipe – Simply Home Cooked

Sliced Turkey Panini on a white plate with some jalapeno slices.


This Turkey Panini Recipe on perfectly toasted ciabatta bread has a hint of spice with sliced jalapenos and Havarti cheese slices for the perfect light but satisfying sandwich.

Sandwiches are a great way to add flavor to your day. Check out this tutorial for how to make a grilled cheese sandwich that will blow you away or this simple turkey croissant sandwich for a traditional option everyone loves.

Sliced Turkey Panini on a white plate with some jalapeno slices.
Table Of Contents

Recipe Details

This Turkey Panini recipe was one of the first things I made for my husband after we got married. It’s so simple and delicious, he still loves it to this day. Whenever I have unexpected guests come over, it’s also my go-to sandwich.

  • TASTE: This richly flavored panini has turkey and gooey Havarti on pressed ciabatta that’s smeared with mayo and mustard. The spicy jalapenos add the most delicious heat.
  • TEXTURE: It’s perfect with its crispy outside and warm, gooey inside. The creamy dressing, juicy jalapenos, and melted cheese are so scrumptious.
  • TIME: This recipe will take just 7 minutes to make.
  • EASE: This Turkey Panini is a quick and easy sandwich to make for yourself or guests. It uses simple ingredients and cooks fast, making it the perfect lunchtime dish.

What You’ll Need

Ingredients for Turkey Panini: mayo, Dijon mustard, smoked turkey, ciabatta, Havarti cheese, and jalapenos.

Ingredient Notes

  • Ciabatta Bread- This crusty bread has a crisp outer layer and airy inside that makes it perfect for paninis.
  • Smoked Turkey Breast– You can use other variations, but I like the flavor of smoked turkey. You can get it at the deli or slice your own.
  • Havarti Cheese– This semi-soft cheese is creamy and melts so well. It’s great in this Turkey Panini.
  • Jalapeno Peppers– I chose pickled jalapeno slices, but you can also use fresh if you prefer. Just remember that the heat is in the seeds, so the more seeds, the hotter the pepper.
  • Mayonnaise– This creamy, rich ingredient will moisten your bread and add flavor.
  • Dijon Mustard– This condiment is strongly flavored and tangy so a great counterpoint to the creaminess of the mayo.
  • Olive oil- This is used to help the bread crisp up in the panini press and get its golden brown color.

Add-ins and Substitutions

  • Substitute different breads- You can make this Turkey Panini with focaccia, Italian bread, or a French baguette.
  • Add other veggies– You can add avocado, sun dried tomatoes, red peppers, onions, artichoke hearts, and spinach to this sandwich for extra flavor.
  • Substitute other cheeses- Besides Havarti, white cheddar, provolone, gouda, parmesan, mozzarella, ricotta, and feta are all great options.
  • Use different meats- Try this recipe with roast beef, ham, salami, bacon, steak, or roasted turkey for a fresh spin.

How to Make Turkey Panini

  • Add condiments to the bread. Slice each ciabatta bread roll in half and spread mayonnaise on both slices. Then spread Dijon mustard on only one of the halves.
  • Layer on the turkey, jalapenos, and cheese. Add the smoked turkey breast to each half. Then layer on the jalapenos and Havarti cheese.
Steps to make Turkey Panini: spread condiments on bread, add turkey, and then jalapenos, and cheese.
  • Oil the bread. Place the two halves together and dab a little bit of olive oil onto the top and bottom of the bread before placing it onto the heated panini press.
  • Grill it. Keep the press closed for about 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown. Serve warm.

Pro Tip: I like using a pastry brush to add the oil to the bread. This way, there are no overly oiled spots and I get a nice even covering.

Steps to make Turkey Panini: brush the bread with oil and grill on a panini press.

Recipe Tips

  • Choose fresh ingredients- Use the best fresh ingredients for a perfect panini. If possible, fresh baked ciabatta rolls and fresh smoked turkey is ideal.
  • Don’t overdo the Dijon- Dijon mustard has a pretty strong taste, therefore I don’t put it on both halves of the bread like I do the mayo. But if you love the flavor, go for it.
  • Preheat the panini press- You don’t want to slowly warm your Turkey Panini and cause steam to soften the bread, so preheat it so the sandwich cooks hot and fast.
  • Press it without a panini press- If you don’t have a panini press, you can easily cover the sandwich with aluminum foil and a can or brick while cooking, then flip and do the same to the other side.

FAQs

What makes a panini sandwich a panini?

A panini is a sandwich that is made with a bread other than sliced sandwich bread and is grilled on both sides, in this case with a panini press. This causes the bread to get a crispy outside while the inside is full of deliciously gooey ingredients.

Can you use regular bread in a panini press?

A panini is usually made with crusty bread like ciabatta or focaccia. But you can use sandwich bread as well, but make sure you cut it thick because it needs to be able to handle both the heat and the pressure of the panini press.

Overhead view of Turkey Panini sliced in half on a white plate with jalapeno slices.

Serving Suggestions

This Turkey Panini is a great sandwich that is satisfying all by itself, but you may want to add something to the side. Here are some tasty ideas to try.

Make This Recipe in Advance

Make ahead: You can assemble these sandwiches and store them in the fridge until later when you’re ready to grill and serve them.

Storing: Store any leftover Turkey Panini in the refrigerator in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. It should last for up to 3 days.

Freeze: You could freeze these sandwiches wrapped in foil and then plastic wrap for up to 3 months. They can be thawed and then reheated.

More Yummy Sandwiches!

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5 star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below ⬇️ and/or a review in the comment section further down.

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This recipe was originally posted February 24, 2015, we’ve tweaked it a bit since then. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Full Recipe Instructions

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Turkey Panini

This Turkey Panini Recipe on perfectly toasted ciabatta bread has a hint of spice with sliced jalapenos and Havarti cheese slices for the perfect light but satisfying sandwich. 

Print Pin Rate

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: American

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Servings: 2 paninis

Calories: 325kcal

Instructions

  • Slice each ciabatta bread roll in half and spread mayonnaise on both slices. Then spread Dijon mustard on only one of the halves. Dijon mustard has a pretty strong taste, therefore I don’t put it on both halves.

  • Add 6 slices of smoked turkey breast (or any other favorite deli meat) to each halve. Then layer on a desired amount of jalapenos, and one slice of Havarti cheese.

  • Place the two halves together and dab a little bit of olive oil onto the top and bottom of the bread before placing it onto the panini press. A pastry brush would work as well.

  • Place the panini onto the heated press and keep closed for about 2-3 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown. Serve warm.

Notes

  • Choose fresh ingredients- Use the best fresh ingredients for a perfect panini. If possible, fresh baked ciabatta rolls and fresh smoked turkey is ideal.
  • Don’t overdo the Dijon- Dijon mustard has a pretty strong taste, therefore I don’t put it on both halves of the bread like I do the mayo. But if you love the flavor, go for it.
  • Preheat the panini press- You don’t want to slowly warm your Turkey Panini and cause steam to soften the bread, so preheat it so the sandwich cooks hot and fast.
  • Press it without a panini press- If you don’t have a panini press, you can easily cover the sandwich with aluminum foil and a can or brick while cooking, then flip and do the same to the other side.

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 1059mg | Potassium: 325mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 367IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 183mg | Iron: 1mg

Dina





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