Bacon, Cheddar & Grilled Tomato Panini

Bacon, Cheddar & Grilled Tomato Panini

There are days when you just feel like celebrating.

Yup, you can even grill tomatoes on your panini grill

When you look at the world around you and smile because you know that things are going to be all right.  That dreams really can come true.

Bacon, Cheddar & Grilled Tomato Panini

Nothing cutesy or over the top here today – just one of the most comforting, happy-inducing grilled sandwiches I know how to make.  Because I’m feeling really good today.  On this inspirational, historic day for our country.

As an American, I’m proud and hopeful.

As the great-granddaughter of a slave, I’m beyond words. 🙂

Bacon, Cheddar & Grilled Tomato Panini

Bacon, Cheddar & Grilled Tomato Panini

Serves 4


4 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise, pulp and seeds removed
Olive oil
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 slices sourdough bread
8 slices bacon, fully cooked*
4 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced


NOTE: The grilled tomatoes portion of this recipe is adapted from the Grilled Tomatoes recipe on Simply Recipes, modified for the panini grill. If you prefer to grill the tomatoes on a barbecue grill, I recommend following the original recipe.

Preheat the panini grill to high heat.  Ensure the grill is on a slight tilt (not completely flat) and be sure to attach your drip tray.

Brush the cut side of the tomatoes with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place the tomatoes, cut side down, onto the panini grill.  Lower the top grate to just above the tomatoes without touching them.  Grill tomatoes for 10-12 minutes until the outer skins are wrinkly and the tomatoes are soft.  Check the tomatoes often, as some may cook faster than others.  Remove the tomatoes from the grill and sprinkle with basil.

Brush melted butter onto the outer sides of each slice of bread.  For each sandwich, layer two slices of bacon, two grilled tomatoes and 1/4 of the cheese in between two slices of bread (buttered side out).  Grill the panini for 5-7 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

* I cook mine on a broiler tray in the toaster oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.


KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. Elle wrote:

    A great sandwich for a great day!

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  2. Kristen wrote:

    What a neat post… and a fantastic tribute to what a great day this is for everyone!

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  3. HoneyB wrote:

    I should do this for dinner. It looks so good. I think I will! I’m glad you are so happy today! 🙂 I am too!

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  4. Dani wrote:

    there are LOTS of ppl celebrating today, for lots of reasons… enjoy it, as a country u guys deserve him! 🙂

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  5. jillian wrote:

    Lovely post and a great looking sandwich!

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  6. Barb wrote:

    A happy day, indeed!

    I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and I’m having a ball using my new panini grill and your recipes. I look forward to getting to know you and trying more of your recipes.

    Way to go, America! Yay, us!! 🙂

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  7. Esi wrote:

    Oh my GAWD, this looks mouth watering. Today is indeed a very happy day!

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  8. A classic sammy for a day that is definitely one for the ages.

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  9. Vicki wrote:

    What a beautiful sandwich for a beautiful day!

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  10. Julie wrote:

    It’s a happy day for the entire world! Cheers form Canada!

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  11. Dragon wrote:

    A happy day indeed. I’m a canadian and I’m so proud of our neighbours to south today. 🙂

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  12. sweetbird wrote:

    Oh my goodness I’m in heaven. I just received today the panini grill pan I asked for for Christmas – I think this one’s getting made tomorrow…

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  13. Brenda T. wrote:

    Well, your panini needed no further explanation as to why I should make it (it looks yummy on it’s own!) But it wasn’t just the description of the food that makes me want to make this–it’s because I want to celebrate with you and the rest of our country too! So I’m adding it to our menu for the week. Yahoo!

    Posted 1.20.09 Reply
  14. This sandwich definitely should have been on the menu for the inaugural luncheon!

    Posted 1.21.09 Reply
  15. grace wrote:

    this is a primo grilled cheese–it makes the white bread and american cheese version of my youth seem like sawdust on a plate. 🙂

    Posted 1.21.09 Reply
  16. lo! wrote:

    PERFECT celebration food, if you ask me. And the perfect ending to a day that made me (for the first time in a long time) PROUD of my country.

    Your sammich isn’t shabby either. It offers hope for summer, when tomatoes are at their prime. 🙂 So fitting…

    Posted 1.21.09 Reply
  17. Simple but great. I love it.

    Posted 1.21.09 Reply
  18. Nate wrote:

    I think panini-grilling tomatoes is a good thing – you don’t risk losing the tomatoes down a grill grate.

    Thanks for adding us as a friend on Foodbuzz. We welcome you to come visit our site!

    Posted 1.21.09 Reply
  19. Biz wrote:

    Oh my, my mouth is watering!! My daughter does her panini’s in a George Forman – not as fancy as yours but she likes her sammies as flat as can be!

    I don’t know where I went wrong?? 😀

    Posted 1.21.09 Reply
  20. There’s nothing wrong with a great sammie to celebrate a great new president! How lucky are we?!?!

    Posted 1.21.09 Reply
  21. finsmom wrote:

    This looks amazing!
    And yet another reason why I need to but a panini press… Add it to my list!

    Posted 1.21.09 Reply
  22. sara wrote:

    Looks great! I love the idea of grilling the tomatoes first.

    Posted 1.21.09 Reply
  23. Yummy! I love grilled tomatoes in sandwiches!

    Posted 1.22.09 Reply
  24. RobinSue wrote:

    What a nice tribute for a great day! This is a delicious looking panini! Very neat to grill the tomatoes first too. I bet it gives such a nice flavor.

    Posted 1.22.09 Reply
  25. RecipeGirl wrote:

    Loved your words today, and good LORD… just when I think you’ve done every panini imaginable, you come up with this delicious looking creation!

    Posted 1.23.09 Reply
  26. Kevin wrote:

    Great looking panini!

    Posted 1.24.09 Reply
  27. This sandwich is absolutely perfect! Simple ingredients taken up to the next level. I love it!

    Posted 1.25.09 Reply
  28. Margie wrote:

    I was definitely happy to find your blog… and your inspirational bacon panini!

    Posted 1.25.09 Reply
  29. Andi wrote:

    They make a sandwich like this at the restaurant at work, it’s a Texas grilled cheese. Texas toast, bacon, tomato and hot pepper cheese. Mmmmm…

    Posted 1.28.09 Reply
  30. Junie Moon wrote:

    I just want to let you know I’m trying this recipe tonight, my first try at making paninis. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

    Posted 2.25.09 Reply
  31. Karen wrote:

    This looks absolutely scrumptious! I made a similar one a few weeks ago, but I never thought of grilling the tomatoes. I will definitely do this the next time. Great post!

    Posted 8.2.09 Reply