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Pizza Panini Recipe

With gooey melted mozzarella, spicy pepperoni, and golden brown crust, this pizza panini tastes just like your favorite slice in easy sandwich form. 

Perfect for a quick lunch, casual dinner, or even a midnight snack, it’s as versatile as it is delicious. 

Better yet, there’s no need to fuss over rolling dough or waiting for the oven to preheat. Just a few minutes on the panini press or grill pan, and you’re ready to dig in.

Gooey pizza panini with melted mozzarella and pepperoni in grilled ciabatta bread rolls
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Why You’ll Love This Pizza Panini

Portable Pizza Perfection: Technically, all pizza is portable if you’re brave enough. But this pizza panini means you can enjoy all those amazing flavors, without the mess!

Crowd-Pleasing Taste: With its classic pizza flavors like tangy tomato sauce, savory pepperoni, and ooey-gooey melted mozzarella, it’s sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

Quick and Easy: With a jar of sauce and a pre-made loaf of bread, this comes together in a snap, making it perfect for busy weeknights or a quick lunch.

Ciabatta bread grilled with pizza sauce filling, gooey cheese and pepperoni.


  • Thick-Cut or Ciabatta Bread: The sturdy foundation that stands up to the hearty fillings and grills to perfection. Feel free to use a loaf of Italian bread instead.
  • Pizza Sauce: Tangy, savory tomato sauce brings the pizza parlor to your panini. Marinara works well too.
  • Pepperoni Slices: Spicy cured sausage adds that classic pepperoni pizza taste. 
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese: The melty magic. Slice fresh cheese for the best cheese pull.
  • Olive Oil: Just a little to coat the bread so it gets nice and crispy.
Pepperoni pizza Panini with melted mozzarella, spicy pepperoni and pizza sauce.

How to Make Pizza Panini

This recipe takes the best parts of a pizza and sandwiches them between crispy, thick bread slices.

Grilling it in the panini press makes the cheese all melty and the bread perfectly toasted. The smell alone will have your mouth watering.

But you can pull it off without a sandwich press!

1. PREP: Heat a panini press, George Foreman grill, or grill pan over medium heat.

2. FILL: If using, scoop some bread out of the ciabatta. If using a loaf, slice the bread nice and thick. Spread the pizza sauce on cut sides and layer in the cheese and pepperoni on the bottom. Top with the other half.

3. SPRAY: Lightly spray the bread crust with olive oil.

4. GRILL: Place the sandwich on the press or grill. If using a grill pan, press with a heavy skillet. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side until toasted and melty.

5. SERVE: Remove from heat, let cool for 1-2 minutes, slice, and serve. Enjoy!

Grilled ciabatta bread with pizza sauce, melted mozzarella and spicy pepperoni

Tips For the Best Pizza Panini

Whether you’re a die-hard pizza fan or just looking for a fun twist on your usual sandwich, the pizza panini is sure to hit the spot.

And it’s so easy to modify! Check out these tips and recipe variations.

  • Bread choice. Use a sturdy bread like ciabatta, focaccia, sourdough, or a crusty Italian loaf that can hold up to the fillings and grilling.
  • Sauce sparingly. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce on the bread to avoid making the sandwich soggy.
  • Cheese matters. Use a good melting cheese like fresh mozzarella, sliced thin for even distribution. For more flavor, grate your own mature cheddar!
  • Filling options. In addition to (or instead of) pepperoni, try other pizza toppings like cooked sausage, ham, bacon, olives, peppers, onions, or cooked mushrooms. But don’t overstuff the sandwich or the cheese won’t melt properly.
  • Grill right. Preheat the panini press or grill pan well. If using a grill pan, press the sandwich using a heavy pan. Grill on medium-low heat until the bread is crisp and golden and the cheese melts.
  • Serve with. Enjoy your pizza panini with a side salad, tomato soup, potato chips, or roasted vegetables for a complete meal.
  • Enjoy immediately. Like any grilled sandwich, this is best eaten right away. The longer it sits, the soggier the bread will become.

More Grilled Sandwiches We Can’t Resist

Buffalo Chicken Panini
BLT Sandwich
Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese
Grilled Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich

Pizza Panini

Course: Main CourseCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time




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With gooey melted mozzarella, spicy pepperoni, and golden brown crust, this pizza panini tastes just like your favorite slice in easy sandwich form.


  • 4 thick slices hearty bread (or 1 (12-14 ounce) loaf ciabatta)

  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (or marinara)

  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

  • 3-4 ounces pepperoni slices

  • Olive oil spray


  • Preheat a panini press, George Forman grill, or grill pan over medium heat.
  • Slice the bread nice and thick or scoop some of the bread out of the ciabatta. Then spread the pizza sauce evenly over the cut sides. Layer the bottom half with the mozzarella slices and pepperoni and place the top half of the bread on top.
  • Spray the crust of the bread with a little olive oil spray.
  • Place the sandwich on the preheated press or grill. If using a grill pan, place a heavy skillet on top of the sandwich to press it down. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side, until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted.
  • Remove from heat and let cool for 1-2 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!


  • Use sturdy bread like ciabatta that can stand up to the fillings without getting soggy.
  • Don’t overload the fillings or the cheese won’t melt properly.
  • Melt 2 tsp butter with 1 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Brush the outside with garlic butter for extra flavor.

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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