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Pepperoni Panini

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Pepperoni Panini is a mix of Italian ingredients melted into a perfect meal. This grilled sandwich is a good thing to serve if cheese melts are a family favorite dish.


Main image for Pepperoni Panini


We love grilled cheese sandwiches, and one thing that takes a classic grilled cheese and takes it up a notch is turning it into an Italian panini instead.

This grilled pepperoni panini is filled with 3 different meats, delicious cheese, and has perfect grill marks and crispy edges that everyone loves.

Just for fun, you can cook it outside on the grill to enjoy beautiful weather. Or freeze in the snow while still warming up by the grill. We like it both ways.

My favorite part about this recipe is that I can assemble all the sandwiches, then stick them in the fridge to grill later and still have a great dish at the end. That makes it perfect for camping or cooking at the beach or the park.

Whether you need a fresh sandwich, a new meal to take camping, or just something fun to shake up your meal plans this week, this is the best Italian panini recipe I have ever made. You are going to love it.


All ingredients laid out on counter, ready to assemble panini


What is a Panini?

A panini is in the family of Italian sandwiches. It is made with Italian bread, typically ciabatta or baguette, and filled with a variety of ingredients. Italian paninis are grilled to perfection, creating a crispy crust while ensuring a melty, flavorful interior.

Panini de pepperoni is a grilled sandwich where one of the meats included is pepperoni.


pepperoncini's layered on top of roasted peppers


What Ingredients are in Pepperoni Panini?

  • Italian Bread: the base for the grilled Italian panini.
  • Italian Dressing: gives the bread flavor inside the sandwich.
  • Provolone Cheese: adds a creamy element to the sandwich.
  • Ham: important meat to give classic flavor to the sandwich
  • Salami: must be included in all Italian panini meats
  • Pepperoni Slices: an important part of the Italian meat sandwich
  • Tomato: Brings a juicy freshness to the panini.
  • Roasted Red Pepper: adds a smoky sweetness.
  • Pepperoncini: Adds a mild, tangy kick between slices of bread.
  • Olive Oil: Brushed onto the bread for a golden, crispy exterior when grilled.

Pro Tips: 

  • While Italian bread is classic panini bread, try using sourdough bread for a delicious variation on this dish.
  • Italian Dressing gives it a great Italian flavor, but you can also try a thin layer of pesto if you love that flavor more.


Grilled panini on cutting board


How to Make Pepperoni Panini:

  1. Brush the side of each slice of bread with Italian dressing.
  2. Assemble the sandwich layers with meats on the bottom half.
  3. Brush olive oil on outsides of bread and wrap in foil.
  4. Grill with a weighted press over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  5. Slice and serve.

Pro Tip: Don’t skimp on the olive oil—it’s the secret to achieving that perfect golden brown panini crunch.

Can I Make Pepperoni Panini Ahead of Time?

Pepperoni panini is best enjoyed fresh, but you can still prep it ahead of time. Make the sandwiches and wrap them in foil in advance. 

Then refrigerate until you are ready to grill and serve. That makes this a perfect dish to bring camping or ready to eat after a long day of activities.

Grilling is always a fun change for dinner and it heats up so fast without heating up your house.


pepperoni panini cut in half to show filling


How to Store Leftover Pepperoni Panini:

Store leftover pepperoni panini in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Reheat it in a panini press or skillet to get a crispy crust.

Can You Freeze Pepperoni Panini?

No, you should not freeze pepperoni panini as a whole sandwich. The texture of the tomato and bread will not be the same once it is frozen and thawed. 

Is Pepperoni Panini Healthy?

No, pepperoni panini is not really healthy. But it can be part of a healthy lifestyle with good portion control and moderation. Enjoying this as a treat every once in a while is fine.


hand holding cut pepperoni panini to show yummy fillings


Do You Need a Panini Press to Make a Panini?

No, you do not need a panini press to make a panini sandwich. While a panini grill helps with even cooking and a perfect crispy exterior, you can get similar results using a large skillet and a heavy object for pressing. Or like in this recipe wrap your sandwich in foil and use the grill and a heavy cast iron pan.

Pro Tip: If you want grill marks on your bread slices without using an outside grill or panini maker, use a grill pan inside with a heavy cast iron skillet or brick on top. That will give you similar results as Italian panini recipes for an easy dinner inside.

What to Serve with Pepperoni Panini?

Serve this pepperoni panini with your favorite sandwich sides. I like to serve it with a side salad, marinara dipping sauce, or a bowl of hearty soup.

Here’s a list of our favorite Side Dishes to eat with this panini with pepperoni…


zoomed in panini to show yummy fillings


If you want a fun pepperoni panini the whole family will enjoy, try making this on the grill outside with all your favorite things inside. It’s a fun twist on classic cheese sandwiches.


hand holding cut pepperoni panini to show yummy fillings

Grilled Italian Panini with Hormel Pepperoni

Yield: 1 Sandwich
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

Take your sandwich making to the next level with this Pepperoni Panini. A combination of Italian meats and cheese!


  1. Brush the inside of your bread slices (the sides that the cheese and meat will touch) with Italian dressing.
  2. Layer cheese and Italian meats on top in order of: cheese, ham, salami, pepperoni, tomato, roasted red pepper, pepperoncini.
  3. Top with second slice of bread.
  4. Brush both sides of outside of sandwich with olive oil.
  5. Grill in a panini press according to instructions.
  6. If you do not have a panini press you can make it on your outdoor grill.
  7. Wrap the sandwich with tin foil.
  8. Place wrapped sandwich on the grill horizontally and cover with something heavy (like a bacon press) to press sandwich down. Grill 3-4 minutes on each side.
  9. Shut the lid of the grill while cooking.
  10. Slice and serve with a pickle wedge and favorite side dish.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1295Total Fat: 89gSaturated Fat: 31gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 50gCholesterol: 278mgSodium: 5048mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 89g
Originally Posted: March 25, 2015

Photos & Text Updated: January 13, 2024



Monday 22nd of January 2024

Made this pepperoni panini for lunch, and it was a flavor explosion! The crispy bread, the gooey cheese, and the savory pepperoni—it's a classic with a gourmet twist!

Erin | Dinners, Dishes and Dessert

Thursday 18th of January 2024

This is so good! I'm definitely making this again and again!


Friday 23rd of February 2024

Thanks Erin!


Thursday 18th of January 2024

My kids loved this for snack or lunch! Perfect on busy weekdays!


Thursday 18th of January 2024

This is such a great lunch or snack! Made these for my kids and they really loved it!


Thursday 18th of January 2024

This recipe is fantastic, so easy to make!

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