The 10 Best Panini of 2008

What a year of panini-making it has been!  Whether Santa just brought you a new panini press this week or you’ve been grilling with me all year, I hope you’ll enjoy this little summary of my best panini of 2008.  And stay tuned in the new year for lots more fun with the panini grill – be sure to subscribe to Panini Happy to keep posted!


10. Barbecued Salmon Panini Wild coho salmon is basted with a layer of barbecue sauce and crusted in panko bread crumbs before being grilled to perfection.  It’s then transferred to some lightly-charred rustic bread, with a generous amount of barbecue remoulade, fresh tomatoes and red onions. 

9. Grilled Brownie Sundae Panini Grilling brownies on the panini press – it works!  I grilled these up with some slightly tart frozen yogurt inside, the most wonderful blueberry balsamic syrup, a sprinkling of chopped nuts and some freshly whipped cream. 

8. Burger Mini-Panini Sliders For the 4th of July this year we had a blast dressing up our mini-panini hamburger sliders with Humboldt Fog, Point Reyes Blue and Old Quebec Vintage Cheddar cheeses, a variety of condiments and other fun toppings.


7. Grilled Cheese & Honey Panini This sandwich pairs smooth and creamy Swiss raclette cheese with a touch of honey on crispy buttered French bread to create and sweet and savory combination you’ll want to devour in minutes. 


6. “Town” & “Country” Pulled Pork Panini My “Town” version features creamy goat cheese, sweet caramelized onions and fresh cilantro.  The “Country” version – tossed in tangy BBQ sauce and nestled with coleslaw and a blend of cheddar and monterey jack cheeses – is more like the classic southern favorite.  Plus cheese.

5. Tomato, Mozzarella & Basil Panini A classic Italian caprese salad is reinvented as bright-flavored panini…and it’s not just for vegetarians either. Sweet heirloom tomatoes and creamy, melted fresh mozzarella are accented by fresh basil and a hint of lemon zest and olive oil on a French baguette.

4. Buffalo Chicken Panini One of my first panini, it’s still a favorite. Simmered in wing sauce, the chicken has all the spicy and tangy Buffalo chicken flavors you love nestled with creamy melted blue cheese and sweet caramelized onions. All folded up inside a pita bread, grilled nice and toasty. 

3. Classic Reuben Panini  Just the sight of all of that bright pink, salty corned beef piled on top of mouthwateringly-acidic sauerkraut, with Thousand Island dressing and melted Swiss cheese on rye…you know you’re in for a flavor explosion.

2. French Dip Panini Sweet caramelized onions, tender roast beef, and Gruyere cheese grilled on crispy French bread with a side of richly robust au jus.


1. Emmental, Honey & Ham Panini My all-time favorite so far! It’s a sweet and savory balance of honey, sharp aged Emmental cheese and thin slices of Black Forest ham, all grilled on a seeded French baguette.


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. Erin wrote:

    Mmm! These all look so delicious. Thanks for the sandwich retrospective.

    Posted 12.27.08 Reply
  2. Whenever I think of Panini’s I still remember the Cuban sandwiches we had. Not exactly called a panini but the concept is the same….all of these Panini’s are destined to be favourites!!

    Posted 12.27.08 Reply
  3. HoneyB wrote:

    Yumm! I still make the buffalo chicken panini often! I love it!

    Posted 12.27.08 Reply
  4. RobinSue wrote:

    Love them all! I think the French Dip is my favorite though. I am still amazed at the brownie panini, who knew you could panini-ize a brownie!

    Posted 12.27.08 Reply
  5. My favorite was the brownie panini.

    Posted 12.27.08 Reply
  6. Curt wrote:

    Yea, the one you made for me made the top 10! I’m somebody! 🙂

    Have you tried a french country bread with brie and ham? I think that would be a fave of mine!

    Posted 12.27.08 Reply
  7. Arlene wrote:

    A great retrospective. Now, may I give you some “food for thought”? I have an inspiration for a new panini:

    panettone spread with fig jam and layered with prosciutto and mascarpone cheese?

    What do you think?

    Posted 12.28.08 Reply
  8. grace wrote:

    panini heaven, that’s what this is. how glorious. 🙂

    Posted 12.28.08 Reply
  9. Great round-up of your own favorite posts — and all of the panini look wonderful! That brownie one might be top of my list, though. Happy new year to you!

    Posted 12.28.08 Reply
  10. Julia wrote:

    Wow, #3 and #1 are making me salivate! Can’t wait to try them.

    Posted 12.29.08 Reply
  11. alishajoy wrote:

    I made the buffalo Chicken one tonight. Eveyone LOVED it (husband, me, 4 year old and 7 year od). I have a request for a new creation. What about a Grilled Portobello. I found a recipe on line but I don’t know how to adapt it for the panini press. here is the link:

    Posted 12.29.08 Reply
  12. sara wrote:

    They all look amazing, not sure which one to try first!

    Posted 12.29.08 Reply
  13. lo wrote:

    oooh. It has been a good year, hasn’t it?

    Thanks for all your inspiring ideas… this has got me craving panini!

    Posted 12.30.08 Reply
  14. Sandie wrote:

    It was wrong…so wrong of me to look at this post so close to lunch time. Enjoyed your panini review—lots of yummy sandwiches here. Happy New Year, Kathy! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2009!

    Posted 12.31.08 Reply
  15. These all look scrumptious! Numbers 7 and 2 look especially good at the moment…

    Posted 1.2.09 Reply
  16. RecipeGirl wrote:

    Love all of these choices. Bookmarked for future panini grill purchase!

    Posted 1.4.09 Reply
  17. katy wrote:

    these look so yummy! the honey and cheese one sounds the most amazing to me… cant wait to see all the 2009 paninis!

    Posted 1.6.09 Reply
  18. Dragon wrote:

    I might be biased but I think the Grilled Brownie Sundae Panini is the best. 🙂

    Posted 1.6.09 Reply
  19. Nicole wrote:

    Ohhhhh… all so yummy. I think I’ll take the french dip or the tomato, basil and mozzarella!

    Posted 1.14.09 Reply