Pepperoni Pizza Panini

Last updated: June 5th, 2024

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This pepperoni pizza panini is your favorite late night comfort food turned into a saucy, crispy sandwich! You only need 5 ingredients and 10 minutes to make this tasty treat.

A cheesy pepperoni pizza panini sliced in half and stacked on a plate

Pepperoni pizza, a simple recipe made with just 3 ingredients and a pizza crust, has inspired so many different foods over the years. From stuffed breads to pizza dip to loaded pizza fries, we’ve seen it all! With how delicious this classic comfort food is, there’s no limit to what recipes you can make with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni. So it’s no surprise that this homemade pepperoni pizza panini tastes incredible, yet only requires 5 ingredients and 10 minutes of your time.

Next time you’re craving a comforting lunch or late-night snack you can throw together with leftovers from the fridge, you’ll want to give this pizza panini a try. It’s the ultimate crossover between the perfect grilled cheese and a slice of your favorite pepperoni pizza. Does it get any better than that??

Oh, and here’s the best part – you don’t even need a panini press to make this pizza-inspired sandwich at home. Keep reading to learn how to make a pepperoni pizza panini and cook paninis with a cast iron skillet or frying pan.

Two halves of a pepperoni pizza panini stacked on a plate

Pepperoni Pizza Panini Ingredients

You’ll only need 5 ingredients to make a pepperoni pizza panini:

  • Fresh bread – French loaf, Italian, or sourdough
  • Butter
  • Pizza sauce
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Pepperoni

For a super simple and easy shortcut, use your favorite brand of store-bought pizza sauce. If you’re feeling more ambitious, try making this panini with homemade pizza sauce (get our easy recipe here)!

How To Make A Pepperoni Pizza Panini

It’s easy to make any kind of panini at home, no matter what tools you have at your disposal. You can use a panini press, a cast iron pan, or a large nonstick skillet to cook your panini. While some of these methods may not create those perfect grill lines you see on paninis from your local café, your panini will definitely taste just as good! 

No matter the method you choose, here’s how to make a pepperoni pizza panini:

  1. Butter the outsides of two slices of bread and set one aside.
  2. Spread some pizza sauce on the not-buttered side of the bread. Then, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and top with pepperoni.
  3. Next, sprinkle more mozzarella cheese over the pepperoni and drizzle with more pizza sauce.
  4. Close the sandwich with the buttered side up, then cook on a hot panini press or skillet.

Buttering the outside of the bread gives the panini a crispy, crunchy texture that’s so satisfying to bite into. Make sure to add pizza sauce on both the bottom and top layers of the panini for extra moisture and flavor, and don’t skip the second layer of cheese! Extra mozzarella on both sides of the pepperoni acts as a “glue” to hold the panini together as it cooks.

A golden-brown crisped panini cut in half on a plate

Cooking A Panini At Home

If you have a panini press, then making a panini at home is a breeze – simply preheat it, then toast your panini until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden-brown. But how do you make a panini without a panini press?

Here’s the simple answer: cook the panini like you’d cook a grilled cheese, or any other toasted sandwich.

The tricky part is, some paninis are loaded with ingredients which make them difficult to flip halfway through cooking. To cook the top of your panini at the same time as the bottom, we have a few tips:

  • Set a preheated cast iron grill press on top of the panini as it cooks on a cast iron skillet – just make sure it’s nice and hot!
  • Preheat two cast iron pans and set one on top of your panini as it cooks on the other, much like you’d use the grill press. Put the bottom surface of one pan on top of the panini so it’s in direct contact with your sandwich to help it crisp. This method works particularly well for making multiple paninis at once!

Of course, you can always carefully flip the panini and cook one side at a time on a single skillet or frying pan. This method works great for thinner paninis like this pepperoni pizza sandwich, since there’s less risk of ingredients escaping during the flip!

A pepperoni pizza panini sliced in half and stacked on a plate with sliced bread in the background

For more tips and details on how to successfully cook a panini at home, check out our Pesto Chicken & Spinach Panini recipe here.

Try our pepperoni pizza panini recipe and don’t forget to rate, comment, and share if you love it!


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Pepperoni Pizza Panini

This pepperoni pizza panini is your favorite late night comfort food turned into a saucy, crispy sandwich! You only need 5 ingredients and 10 minutes to make this tasty treat.
Servings 1 panini
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 slices fresh bakery bread French, Italian, or sourdough
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 4 teaspoons pizza sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 slices pepperoni

Instructions

  • First, assemble the panini. Spread about 1 tsp butter on the outside of each slice of bread, then carefully place one slice of bread butter side down on a plate. Spread half of the pizza sauce onto the bread, then sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Top with pepperoni slices, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese and drizzle with the remaining pizza sauce. Close the sandwich with the remaining slice of bread, butter side up.
  • Heat a cast iron pan over medium-low heat. Carefully transfer the panini to the pan once it's warm and cook until the bottom is crisped and golden-brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully flip and cook until the bottom is crisped and golden-brown again, another 3 to 4 minutes. (Alternatively, you can use a preheated grill press on top of the sandwich to crisp both sides at once and avoid flipping your panini.)
  • Transfer panini to a cutting board and slice diagonally in half. Serve immediately.

Notes

Pizza sauce: For an easy and simple shortcut, use your favorite store-bought pizza sauce! If you’re feeling more ambitious, try making our delicious homemade pizza sauce (recipe here) and use it on this sandwich.
Cooking methods: If you have a panini press, you can easily toast this sandwich on it in about the same amount of time as it takes on the stove. Alternatively, cook the sandwiches on a cast iron griddle and optionally use a cast iron grill press to toast both sides at once.
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Author: Nicole & Alex
Calories: 535kcal
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: butter, comfort food, fresh bread, late night, lunch, mozzarella, panini, panini press, pepperoni, pizza sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 535kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 827mg | Potassium: 249mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 703IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 295mg | Iron: 2mg

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

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