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Pesto Meatball Panini

4 Reviews

It’s like a mashup between your favorite meatball sub and that classic chicken panini- the pesto meatball panini and it’s what’s for dinner!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville Italian Sausage. The opinions and text are all mine.

It's like a mashup between your favorite meatball sub and that classic chicken panini- the pesto meatball panini and it's what's for dinner! Italian sausage

One of the first paninis Cade and I ever enjoyed was a chicken pesto and it was pretty much bomb.com. Since then we’ve posted a few paninis but they were all from years and years ago, in other words really bad pictures. There’s the chicken pesto, peppered turkey pesto, and prosciutto and pear panini, but everything was pretty much basic. I wanted to have a little fun with friends before baby arrived so back in October we had a panini party and let our friends build killer paninis. It was so much fun and even more delicious! I made this pesto meatball panini and oh my heavens, I may have to ditch my chicken pesto forever. It’s like a mashup between your favorite meatball sub and chicken pesto panini! And it’s taken over our pizza night, now we do build your own panini bar and often invite friends!

It's like a mashup between your favorite meatball sub and that classic chicken panini- the pesto meatball panini and it's what's for dinner! Italian sausage

Ok, maybe not forever, but why haven’t I tried mashing up more flavors before? Pesto is awesome of course, but just wait until you add some saucy meatballs, gooey cheese, pesto butter and then grill the whole sucker together. You guys, it’s awesome!

It's like a mashup between your favorite meatball sub and that classic chicken panini- the pesto meatball panini and it's what's for dinner! Italian sausage

We’ve all become obsessed with taking favorite classic recipes and making simple swaps with the meat like we did with our Sausage Alfredo Pasta in our last Johnsonville post.

It's like a mashup between your favorite meatball sub and that classic chicken panini- the pesto meatball panini and it's what's for dinner! Italian sausage

For this recipe I just grabbed Johnsonville meatballs from our local store’s freezer section and some I left plain while others I tossed in a simple marinara sauce.

It's like a mashup between your favorite meatball sub and that classic chicken panini- the pesto meatball panini and it's what's for dinner! Italian sausage

Then we stirred together butter and pesto for the outside of the sandwich, added a smear of fresh pesto on the inside, stacked it with cheese and took those saucy meatballs you normally find on a classic meatball sub and put it on our normally chicken pesto panini!

We loved the meatballs instead of chicken and cannot wait to try even more versions like a meatball french dip, meatball noodle soup (back it up chicken, there’s a new guy in town!) and so much more!

It's like a mashup between your favorite meatball sub and that classic chicken panini- the pesto meatball panini and it's what's for dinner! Italian sausage

What Is a Panini?

A panini  is a grilled sandwich made from bread other than sliced bread.

The most commonly used bread types for panini are baguette, ciabatta, and michetta.

Can Paninis be Grilled in a Skillet Instead of a Panini Press?

Yes, you can use a heavy frying pan or skillet to grill a panini.

Heat grill pan over medium heat; place sandwich in the pan and top with another heavy pan.

How Long Will Pesto Last?

Purchased, unopened Pesto will last 6-8 weeks in the pantry or 6-8 months in the freezer.

If opened, it will last 7-14 days in the refrigerator.

Homemade pesto will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator or 3-4 months in the freezer.

Pesto Meatball Panini

Forget pizza night, we've started having panini night and oh my gosh this pesto meatball is my favorite! ohsweetbasil.com

Pesto Meatball Panini

3.5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 3 sandwiches
It's like a mashup between your favorite meatball sub and that classic chicken panini- the pesto meatball panini and it's what's for dinner!

Ingredients

  • 6 Slices Italian Sourdough Bread
  • 1/2 Cup Pesto
  • 1 Jar Marinara Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Basil chopped
  • 1 Clove of garlic minced
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 1 Bag Johnsonville Meatballs
  • 12 Slices Mozzarella Cheese

For the Pesto Butter

  • 1/3 Cup Butter softened
  • 1/4 Cup Pesto

Instructions

  • In a deep skillet, over medium heat, add the marinara, fresh basil, garlic and parmesan cheese.
  • Add the meatballs and bring to a boil.
  • Turn the heat to low and place a lid on top.
  • Simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  • Heat a panini grill or regular pan to medium high.
  • Spread pesto on the top and bottom layers of bread.
  • Slice the meatballs in half so they don't roll out of the sandwich.
  • Place mozzarella cheese on the two slices of pesto bread.
  • Spoon about 6 meatballs halves and sauce onto the bottom piece of bread and close the lid, pesto side down.
  • Spread the top and bottom of the sandwich with pesto butter and grill until golden.

For the butter

  • Mix the pesto and butter until smooth.
Nutrition Facts
Pesto Meatball Panini
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 2181
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 206.3mg69%
Carbohydrates 172g57%
Fiber 13.4g56%
Sugar 27.8g31%
Protein 78.2g156%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
We used to have pizza night but these pesto meatball paninis are so good we've changed it to panini night! And they are so crazy easy! ohsweetbasil.com

A pesto meatball panini

These are our favorite meatballs and the sauce is awesome too! ohsweetbasil.com

Waikiki Meatballs

The BEST sloppy joes recipes out there, and we should know, we just tested them all! ohsweetbasil.comSloppy Joes

sun dried tomato pesto panini recipe for lunch ideas! ohsweetbasil.com

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Panini with Roasted Tomatoes

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Johnsonville Italian Sausage. The opinions and text are all mine.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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About the authors

Cheney Family

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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6 comments

  • “paninO” is ONE sandwich, but “paninI’ refers to 2 or more sandwiches. The “i” in Italian is one of the plural markers.

    The panini look yummy!

    • Reply
    • Thank you!

      • Reply
  • This was delicious… you said you put pesto butter on the outsides of the bread – right? I found the bread got very wet, hard to pick up. ( maybe my bread slices were thin?) Flavor was so good.. just wondering why mine wasn’t crispy. Thanks

    • Reply
    • Hi Sherri,

      As long as you toasted the panini it shouldn’t have been wet at all. Maybe they weren’t toasted enough?

      • Reply
  • Seriously drooling over this!! I love all of the different flavors!

    • Reply
  • A meatball panini??? Sign me up!!!

    • Reply

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