A panini is a classic Italian sandwich made by pressing the sandwich between two heated surfaces.
Paninis are a popular lunchtime meal because they are quick and easy to make. If you are planning on making paninis for lunch, you may wonder what side dish you should serve with them.
Here are ten delicious side dishes that go great with paninis.
10 Best Foods to serve with Paninis
1. Fruit Salad
A fruit salad is a refreshing and healthy side dish that goes well with paninis. The sweetness of the fruit will offset the panini’s savory flavors, and the fruit’s crunchy texture will add an exciting contrast to the softness of the bread.
To make a fruit salad, simply mix together your favorite fruits. For example, you could use strawberries, blueberries, apples, grapes, and oranges. Add a light dressing of your choice, such as lemon juice or honey, and enjoy!
2. Chips and Salsa
Chips and salsa is a classic pairing that goes well with just about anything, including paninis! The salty chips will complement the flavors of the panini perfectly, and the salsa will add a touch of sweetness and acidity.
Plus, chips and salsa are always a hit with kids! If you’re ambitious, you could make your own chips by slicing and frying up some tortillas.
3. Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is another excellent option for a side dish because it is filling and can be made ahead of time. This way, you have to heat up your panini when ready to eat.
Pasta salad also allows you to get creative with your ingredients. You could use any type of pasta and any combination of vegetables, cheeses, meats, or dressings.
Get creative and experiment until you find a flavor combination that you love!
4. Green Salad
A green salad is always a good idea when you’re looking for a healthy side dish. The leafy greens in a salad will help balance out the richness of the panini, and the veggies will add some much-needed vitamins and minerals to your meal.
To make a green salad more filling (and tasty), add some croutons or shredded cheese. Or, for a heartier option, top your salad with some grilled chicken or salmon.
5. Roasted Veggies
Roasted veggies are another excellent choice for a side dish because they are healthy and can be made ahead of time.
Plus, they go well with just about anything! To roast veggies, simply toss them in some olive oil and your favorite seasonings (I like to use garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning), then bake them in the oven at 400 degrees until they are cooked to your liking.
Some of my favorite veggies to roast are Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, and zucchini.
6. Mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes always make for a comforting side dish. They pair especially well with comfort food like grilled cheese or ham sandwiches—in other words: paninis!
To make mashed potatoes from scratch, simply boil some peeled potatoes until they are soft, then mash them up with some butter, milk (I like to use almond milk), salt & pepper to taste.
You can also mix some shredded cheese or green onions for extra flavor. If you’re quick on time (or patient), you could also use instant mashed potatoes from a box—just follow the instructions on the back!
7. Potato chips
Potato chips are a classic side dish that pairs well with almost anything. They add a nice crunch to your sandwich and provide a salty contrast to the other flavors in your meal.
Plus, they’re easy to consume with one hand, freeing up the other for holding your panini!
8. Tomato soup
A cup of soup makes a perfect starter or side for your panini lunch. The acidity of the tomato soup will help cut through the panini’s richness, making it a refreshing and light accompaniment.
9. Grilled Chicken
Grilled chicken is a classic protein to include in a panini. It pairs well with most cheeses and can be seasoned with herbs or spices to suit your taste.
10. Pulled pork
Pulled pork is another excellent protein option for a panini. It’s flavorful and delicious, especially when paired with sharp cheeses like cheddar or Gruyere.
8 Best Sauce goes well with Paninis
A decent panini sauce can make or break it. Here are 5 of the best sauces to pair with your next panini:
Pesto is a classic sauce for paninis. It is a traditional Italian sauce with basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and olive oil.
The ingredients are combined to make a tasty green sauce. Its pesto is perfect for countering the richness of meats like ham and sausage.
Tapenade is a Mediterranean sauce with olives, anchovies, capers, olive oil, and lemon juice. It has a salty, briny flavor that pairs well with the richness of panini and also pairs well with sharp cheeses like cheddar and Gruyere.
Romesco is a Spanish sauce traditionally made with roasted red peppers, almonds, bread crumbs, garlic, and olive oil. The roasted peppers give the sauce a smoky flavor that compliments the grilled bread and fillings in a panini.
Harissa is a North African chili paste made with roasted red peppers, garlic, chili peppers, cumin, coriander, and olive oil. It is fiery and flavorful, adding a touch of heat to a panini.
Tzatziki is a Greek sauce with yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, dill, and lemon juice. It is refreshing and cooling, making it the perfect accompaniment to a hearty panini.
Mayonnaise is just another flexible condiment with numerous applications. Mix it with herbs and spices for a flavorful spread, or use it as-is for a classic flavor. No matter how you use it, mayonnaise is sure to make your panini delicious!
Chimichurri is a South American sauce made from parsley, oregano, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. It’s perfect for adding a bright, fresh flavor to grilled sandwiches.It also goes with Lamb Meatballs.
8. Mustard Sauce
Mustard is a classic condiment that comes in wide different varieties. Whether you prefer Dijon, honey mustard, or whole-grain mustard, it’s sure to add a zesty zing to your panini.
Read More- 13 Best Sauces to Serve with Duck Confit
6 Best drinks paired with Paninis
Paninis are multi-purpose foods that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And while they’re traditionally served with a side of soup or salad, a few other drinks pair perfectly with paninis.
Here are six of the best:
1. Iced Coffee: The rich, flavorful coffee pairs well with the crispy bread and savory fillings in most paninis. Plus, the iced coffee will help cut through the dish’s richness.
2. White Wine: A glass of white wine is the perfect accompaniment to a chicken or turkey panini. The acidity of the wine helps balance out the dish’s flavors.
3. Lemonade: A cold glass of lemonade is refreshing and pairs well with most types of paninis. The sweetness of the lemonade helps offset the dish’s savory flavors.
4. A light beer or cider. The acidity in these beverages helps to cut through the richness of the cheese and meat, while the carbonation keeps the palate refreshed.
5. A dry red wine. The tannins in red wine pair well with the fatty flavors of panini ingredients like ham and salami.
6. A fruity white wine. The sweetness of white wine helps to offset the salty flavors of panini ingredients like olives and capers.
What type of bread is used for paninis?
The best bread for paninis has a sturdy texture and can stand up to the press without falling apart.
Use, Michetta, focaccia, baguette, rosetta, and more, including
Another option is ciabatta bread, which has a large, open crumb that absorbs moisture well. This helps keep the panini from getting soggy while also ensuring that the bread is nice and moist inside.
Another good option is sourdough bread, which has a relatively thin crust that crisps up nicely in the panini press. If you’re looking for something with more flavor, you can also try using a Parmesan or herb-infused bread.