7 Delicious Panini & Sandwich Ideas For Lunch

Last updated: June 5th, 2024

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These easy and delicious sandwich recipes are perfect for lunch, whether you’re packing something for work or making your midday meal at home.

In a lunch rut? We’ve all been there. When life gets busy, it’s all too easy to forget about sustaining ourselves throughout the day. And then we inevitably end up with nothing in the fridge for lunch, so we either spend money getting lunch out, or worse – don’t eat at all.

If this sounds familiar, you might need to take it back to the basics with the holy grail of lunch food: the sandwich. But that doesn’t mean you have to make a boring stack of cold deli meat and cheese between sliced bread. There’s a whole world of delicious panini and sandwich ideas out there! 

We’ve rounded up 7 of our best sandwich recipes for lunch to help you out of your midday meal slump. Each of these sandwich ideas are fairly easy to make (some with a little prep work) and offer plenty of variety to suit different tastes. If you find a favorite on this list, use it as a starting point to inspire your own sandwich creations! Because that’s the beauty of the sandwich – totally customizable with endless possibilities.

A prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich with tomato and basil on baguette

1. Prosciutto and Mozzarella Sandwich

This Italian sandwich is just like a caprese with prosciutto added into the mix. Fresh mozzarella layered with juicy slices of tomato and basil leaves, then layered with salty prosciutto? It doesn’t get much better than that! Since this is a cold sandwich, you can easily pack it for work or bring it on a picnic.

Prosciutto and Mozzarella Sandwich
1 sandwich
9 minutes
667 kcal
Get the recipe
Two halves of a caprese panini with tomato, mozzarella, and pesto stacked on a plate

2. Caprese Panini With Pesto

On the other hand, you can easily make a hot caprese sandwich at home in the form of this vegetarian panini. Basil pesto, fresh mozzarella, and tomato melt together into a gooey and flavorful filling between two crispy slices of your favorite bread (we recommend an Italian loaf or sourdough). If you often make lunch fresh at home, this panini is a winner.

Caprese Panini With Pesto
1 panini
10 minutes
684 kcal
Get the recipe
A chipotle chicken melt with bell pepper and onion on sourdough

3. Chipotle Chicken Melt

Are you a fan of smoky flavor and sweet-and-savory contrast? This chipotle chicken melt with pepper jack cheese, bell pepper, and red onion is for you. Use your favorite store-bought chipotle mayo or make it from scratch and whip up a quick batch of chipotle chicken, and you’re golden. It might be a little more work than some sandwiches, but it’s totally worth the effort!

Chipotle Chicken Melt
1 sandwich
25 minutes
562 kcal
Get the recipe
A BLT on fresh ciabatta bread

4. BLT with Roasted Garlic Aioli

This elevated BLT sandwich on ciabatta features a creamy roasted garlic aioli (instead of plain mayo) for punchy flavor in every bite. The combination of crispy bacon, juicy tomato, and crunchy lettuce will satisfy any midday craving! Plus, this one’s another cold sandwich you can easily prep ahead of time and bring to work or school.

BLT With Roasted Garlic Aioli
1 sandwich
5 minutes
337 kcal
Get the recipe
A pesto chicken and spinach panini stacked on a plate

5. Pesto Chicken & Spinach Panini

For a more filling panini idea, try one with chicken and spinach. A little bit of pesto makes the chicken pop and complements the mozzarella cheese on this savory hot sandwich. Don’t have a panini press at home? No worries – this recipe outlines how to make a panini without a press, using a frying pan on the stove instead.

Pesto Chicken and Spinach Panini
1 panini
20 minutes
641 kcal
Get the recipe
A sourdough buffalo chicken grilled cheese sandwich

6. Sourdough Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese

This spicy grilled cheese is made for lazy days when all you have is some plain leftover chicken in the fridge. Toast it between bread with American cheese and Frank’s Red Hot, and you’ve got an easy, cheesy comfort food sandwich for lunch.

Sourdough Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese
1 sandwich
15 minutes
700 kcal
Get the recipe
A basil pesto caprese sandwich on a baguette

7. Basil Pesto Caprese Sandwich

Finally, this easy and simple variation on the caprese is perfect for a vegetarian lunch option. Fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil leaves, and basil pesto taste like summer on a sandwich! You can pack this work lunch in less than 10 minutes, or whip it up fresh when the clock strikes noon.

Basil Pesto Caprese Sandwich
1 sandwich
10 minutes
767 kcal
Get the recipe

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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Join the Conversation

  1. Pat Langdon says:

    I think paninis will be in our near future! They all look so good!
    Tonight we are making chicken parm sliders. We really enjoyed them last time.

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