Grilled Cheese Panini Recipe

Grilled cheese panini

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 9 mins
Cook: 7 mins
Total: 16 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
493 Calories
32g Fat
32g Carbs
18g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 493
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 18g 91%
Cholesterol 86mg 29%
Sodium 761mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 18g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 490mg 38%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 124mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Using a panini press is one of the fastest and easiest methods for creating the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. The heat is evenly distributed from both sides, the weight from the top of the grill presses the sandwich perfectly, and most importantly there's no flipping involved. But it's important that you follow a few steps when using a panini press to make grilled cheese, like using the right amount of cheese and fillings to assure your sandwich doesn't fall apart in the maker.

This is a basic recipe calling for bread, cheese, and butter or mayo, but feel free to enhance the sandwich as you like, using different types of cheese and add-ins like tomatoes and bacon. Just be sure to use a sturdy enough bread to handle the heat and weight of the panini press.

“There aren’t many things as satisfying as a grilled cheese sandwich, except if you’re making one in a panini press. I spread mayo on the outside of the bread before pressing, and it toasted up crunchy and delicious. I probably could have left it in the press longer, but I couldn’t wait to eat it!” —Diana Andrews

Grilled Cheese Panini Recipe/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 2 slices cheese

  • 2 slices hearty bread

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter, softened, or mayonnaise

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make a grilled cheese panini

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. Allow your panini press to heat up for about 7 minutes. If your press has a temperature range, check the manufacturer's instructions for details.

    A panini press

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Place the cheese between the slices of bread. Coat the outside of the bread with either the butter or mayonnaise.

    A cheese sandwich with the bread coated in butter

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Carefully place the sandwich in the panini maker and press the lid down, gently enough so that it doesn't completely smoosh the sandwich but enough that both sides are touching the heated grates.

    Let the sandwich to cook for a few minutes until the cheese has melted and the bread has crisped, 5 to 7 minutes.

    A hand holding down a panini press

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. Remove the sandwich from the maker and let it to sit for a few minutes before serving so that the cheese can thicken up and won't ooze out when you cut the sandwich. 

    A grilled cheese sandwich on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack


  • You can use a variety of bread for a grilled cheese panini, but make sure the slices are thick enough that they can withstand the pressure and the heat of the panini press.
  • Don't overstuff your sandwich with cheese or other fillings because most of the ingredients can ooze out of the sandwich and onto the panini grates.
  • Use a plastic spatula to remove the grilled cheese sandwich; most panini presses have a nonstick coating that will get damaged if metal scratches it.
  • If you prefer, you can eliminate the butter or mayo as the heat of the press will create a crispy exterior on the bread.

Grilled Cheese Filling Ideas

  • Fig Jam and Cheese: A combination of cheddar, muenster, and Colby Jack pair perfectly with the sweet fig jam.
  • Pesto Grilled Cheese: Spread a layer of basil pesto on the insides of the slices of bread and fill with mozzarella and sundried tomatoes.
  • French Onion Soup Grilled Cheese: Caramelized onions and gruyere cheese melted between toasted bread create a sandwich reminiscent of the classic soup.
  • Roasted Artichoke Grilled Cheese: Add creamy and crunchy texture to your grilled cheese with roasted artichoke hearts.
  • Bacon and Avocado: Layer the cheese with slices of crispy cooked bacon and creamy avocado.