How to Make Great Grilled Sandwiches
with Recipes

(Includes Tips for Great Grilled Sandwiches)

 

My mother was the queen of grilled cheese sandwiches.  She made grilled cheddar sandwiches, ham and cheese, and tuna and cheese—usually on giant slabs of homemade bread.  She would spread butter on the slices and cook them until they were golden and crispy with cheddar oozing out the sides.  I would pull the slices apart, warm cheddar clinging to both slices, and load the sandwiches with homemade sweet pickles.

My mother started my love affair with grilled sandwiches.  Since then, I’ve discovered a world of cheeses and meats with which to make my grilled sandwiches plus Reuben sandwiches and patty melts.  Still, there is nothing like a grilled sandwich with a bowl of soup or a garden salad.

Today, we’ll share some of our favorites.

Panini Press or
a Grill?

These sandwiches were made with a Panini press but a grill works fine.  A Panini press applies heat to the top and the bottom at the same time and is therefore faster.

The weight of the top grill compresses the bread so you need a firm bread, one with some structure.

Any Panini sandwich can be made as an old-fashioned grilled sandwich and you can make any grilled sandwich with a Panini press.

Bacon Panini Sandwich Recipe

This is an Italian version of the popular club sandwich.  It calls for an Italian dressing made with garlic and basil.  Of course, if you prefer you can use mayonnaise or salad dressing.

Ingredients
For the dressing:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoons crushed basil or 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh basil
1/2 clove garlic
3 drops hot sauce

For the sandwich:

1 small tomato
salt
pepper
4 slices of bread, thickly sliced
4 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp
lettuce
mozzarella cheese, very thinly sliced
olive oil

Directions

  1. To make the dressing, pulse the olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, basil, garlic, and hot sauce in the blender until smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Slice the tomato, sprinkle with salt and place on a paper towel.  The salt will draw some of the moisture from the tomato.  After fifteen minutes, sop up the extra juice with another paper towel.  Sprinkle with pepper.
  3. Spread the dressing on two slices of bread.  Place a layer of cheese on one slice of bread over the dressing, then bacon, then tomato, and then lettuce.  Brush the outside of the sandwich with olive oil.
  4. Cook on the heated grill pan or griddle, cheese side down and topped with a Panini press until crisp and golden.  If you are not using a Panini press, turn the sandwich after one side is cooked. 

Italian Prosciutto Panini Sandwich Recipe

This made a great sandwich on New York Rye Bread. Yes, we know—New York Rye is not Italian but it works.

In our test kitchen, once the photos were taken these sandwiches disappeared in an instant.  Tomato, mozzarella, and Prosciutto always make a great combination.

Ingredients

1 small tomato
salt
pepper
4 slices of bread, thickly sliced
mozzarella cheese, very thinly sliced
Prosciutto, sliced
1/2 tablespoon crushed basil or 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh basil
olive oil

Directions

  1. Slice the tomato, sprinkle with salt and place on a paper towel.  The salt will draw some of the moisture from the tomato.  After fifteen minutes, sop up the extra juice with another paper towel.  Sprinkle with pepper.
  2. Place a layer of cheese on one slice of bread, then Prosciutto, then tomato, and then the basil.  Top with another slice of bread.  Brush the outside of the sandwich with olive oil.
  3. Cook on the heated grill pan or griddle, cheese side down and topped with a Panini press until crisp and golden.  If you are not using a Panini press, turn the sandwich after one side is cooked.

Grilled Rueben Sandwiches

I love this sandwich.  I go easy on the sauerkraut; use it as a condiment much as you would pickles.  I want the roast beef to be the star of the show, not the sauerkraut.

And I love this bread.  Black Russian (Pumpernickel) Bread is our best-selling bread.  It’s sized for a bread machine but I’ll mix it in my stand-type mixer with the dough hook and bake it in the oven.

Black Russian Bread $3.49 reg. $4.69Ingredients

4 slices of bread, thickly sliced
Thousand Island salad dressing
Swiss cheese, very thinly sliced
Deli-style corned beef, thinly sliced
sauerkraut
olive oil or melted butter

Directions

Spread one side of each slice of bread with the Thousand Island dressing.  Place a layer of cheese on one slice of bread over the dressing, then corned beef, then sauerkraut, and then another layer of cheese.  Top with another slice of bread.  Brush the outside of the sandwich with olive oil or melted butter.

Choose gourmet spreads for sandwiches.Cook on the heated grill pan or griddle, cheese side down and topped with a Panini press until crisp and golden.  If you are not using a Panini press, turn the sandwich after one side is cooked.

To get more like this . . .

We’re baking in our test kitchen every day. If you would like the best recipes and methods from our test kitchen, just tell us where to send them.

Enter your email address here. You’ll get tested recipes and proven methods to make the very best desserts and treats.