Pizza Paninis

Published online: Sep 14, 2020 Articles, Dining Jessica Hallam
Viewed 1561 time(s)

Craving something warm and comforting as we get back into the school year routine? Me too! These pizza paninis are cheesy and saucy, and the best part is that you can pack the leftovers in your lunch box the next day. I made these for the first time back in July and they instantly became a family favorite. We have had them countless times since then. I love how versatile they can be. I hope your family enjoys them as much as we have!


¼ c. olive oil

8 Ciabatta sandwich rolls 

1 lb. fresh mini mozzarella balls

½ c. Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 c. marinara sauce

1 lb. sweet Italian sausage

½ sweet onion, minced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and minced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper


Begin browning the meat in a large sauté pan over medium heat. After 5 minutes add the onion and the bell pepper. Cook until the meat is browned and the peppers are soft. Drain any excess oil out of the pan.

Add the marinara sauce to the meat and veggie mixture. Stir in the garlic and the salt and pepper. Set aside.

Slice the ciabatta rolls in half. Take the top half of each ciabatta roll and use your fingers to scoop out some of the top of the roll. Making a small pocket. Repeat with each roll.

Once the rolls are ready, take the sauce mixture and mix in the mozzarella cheese. 

Scoop a third to half of a cup of the sauce mixture onto each roll. Sprinkle a pinch of Parmesan cheese on top. Then, top each roll and set aside. 

Preheat the oven to the warm setting (or the lowest temperature). 

In a cast iron skillet over medium heat add a few tablespoons of olive oil and place the sandwich into the pan. Cook until lightly golden and then flip the sandwich and cook until golden brown again. Repeat with each roll adding a little more oil as needed. 

Keep sandwiches hot by placing them in the oven on a cookie tray. Serve when ready.

Store leftovers in the fridge.

Recipe Notes:

  • Add any of your favorite pizza toppings, such as olives, pepperoni, chicken, ham, pineapple, mushrooms, etc.

  • The marinara can be store bought or homemade.

  • You will have some of the sauce mixture leftover. You can make and freeze leftover sandwiches or serve it with pasta.

Click here to read more of the September issue of Idaho Falls Magazine.


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