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Easy Homemade Panini Without a Panini Press

Perfectly cooked panini without a panini press, crunchy and toasted on the outside, warm, gooey, and cheesy on the inside!
Course Dinner
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 533kcal
Author Tracy


Garlic Aioli

  • 1/4 cup (56g) mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove pressed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 4 ounces chicken or turkey deli meat
  • 4 slices cheese of choice
  • 1 tomato optional
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter



  • In a small bowl, mix aioli ingredients together. Set aside.


  • Cut bread into four even sections and slice those in half from end to end.
  • Spread aioli on both sides of bread and assemble sandwiches with meat, cheese, and optional tomato.
  • Give each sandwich a little press with the palm of your hands to flatten slightly.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat for a minute or two, so it has time to heat fully.
  • While skillet is heating, butter the bottoms of two of the sandwiches and place into the hot pan.
  • Place a heavy piece of cookware over the panini (cast iron works great for thiand press down firmly. Allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes until golden and crunchy.
  • Butter the tops of the panini and flip. Set cookware back on top, pressing down to flatten further. Cook for a minute or so and remove from heat.
  • Repeat with the other two panini. Slice diagonally if desired. Enjoy!


Calories: 533kcal