Sun dried Tomato Pesto Panini, my cure for when you feel like you’re in a rut with lunch and dinner. Sun dried tomato pesto and lots of gooey mozzarella!
This Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Panini is warm and cheesy and how could you not love that?! I had a similar recipe at a restaurant in South Carolina where my cute mother in law lives and I was sold forever. It’s crazy easy, but the flavor is fantastic. Those are my favorite kinds of recipes, simple but flavorful.
This panini takes only a couple of ingredients, one of which we make a whole jar of and freeze it so we can use it anytime. There’s sun dried tomato pesto, mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, and really good sour dough or ciabatta bread. That’s it! You could certainly add meatballs, zucchini, or anything else you’d like.
How to Make Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
Sun dried tomato pesto is one of the easiest things to make. Grab a blender or food processor and blend sun dried tomatoes (always choose the oil packed), basil, parmesan and wait on seasonings until the end.
read more: Looking for more Italian recipes? Try our favorite Bolognese Sauce too!
This pesto is really easy to make but in case you need an even faster version, Costco sells sun dried tomato pesto every now and again so watch for that for sure!
Let me tell you this, sun dried tomato pesto takes literally two minutes to make. You don’t have to cut, chop, or do anything until it’s out of the blender, and then you just grate in cheese and stir. Two minutes. I timed it. Watch the video above and you’ll see just how to make this all happen tonight.
Can You Freeze Pesto?
You absolutely can freeze pesto! You can store pesto in small amounts by placing it in ice cube trays and freezing and then storing in ziploc bags, or we just freeze it in mason jars.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Panini
How to Make Paninis
The best way to make a panini is to start out with a panini press. These are our favorites.
A good panini press will make the best paninis. It will evenly melt the cheese without under or overcooking the bread.
Next, make sure that you start out with a higher heat in order to leave grill marks on the bread then turn to medium heat so as to not over cook the bread but still melt the cheese.
Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Panini
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Panini
For the Sandwich
- 4 Tomatoes, Vine or Roma, sliced in half or into thick slices depending on the size of your tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper, fresh ground
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Sourdough Bread
For the Pesto
- 1 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, oil packed
- 1 Cup Fresh Basil
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts, toasted
- 1/2 Cup Olive Oil, extra virgin
- A dash of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/4-1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, fresh grated
Roast the Tomatoes
- You'll start this recipe by getting the tomatoes roasting in the oven. Place the Roma (or vine ripe) tomatoes on an oiled baking sheet.
- Sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper and then drizzle with a little more olive oil.
- Bake in a 250 degree oven for 2 hours or until the tomatoes have wilted down.
To Make the Pesto
- While the tomatoes are roasting, you can make the best. Start by toasting the pine nuts. To toast the pine nuts, place a pan over medium heat and add the pine nuts.
- Cook, tossing the nuts occasionally, until they begin to turn golden.
- Blend the sun-dried tomatoes, basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor until the mixture is beginning to smooth out.
- Drizzle in a little olive oil until you get to the desired texture. I used about 1/2 cup. Because you are using oil packed sun-dried tomatoes you may not need the extra oil. I only did because we were towards the end of the jar and I had already used too much of the oil.
- Add the cheese in and pulse twice.
- Set aside.
Assemble the Panini
- Slice open bread and spread a generous layer of pesto on each side.
- Place slices of fresh mozzarella on next followed by the roasted tomatoes on top.
- Cover with the other slice of bread and drizzle the top with olive oil.
- Place in a hot panini press or onto a grill.
- Close the lid and let them cook until the cheese is beginning to run out and you can see grill marks on top of the bread.
- If you are grilling them in a pan place a heavy plate or cast iron lid on top to smoosh down the sandwich.
The ultimate pot roast sandwich with a sauce that is going to have you drooling at the table.