The combination of turkey, Swiss cheese, mushroom and garlic mayo flavors work so well together in this sandwich, it's a must-try the next time you feel like making a panini.
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Years ago, I regularly ordered this panini sandwich from a little lunch deli in Hillside, Illinois. I don't remember what they called it, but I call my version the Loaded Turkey Panini Sandwich. The combination of turkey, Swiss cheese, mushroom and garlic mayo flavors work so well together! The only thing I didn't care for was they didn't butter the outer sides of the bread. That made it dry and rough on the roof of your mouth, so I added butter - which also helps the browning process - and it did the trick. Hope you enjoy it, because it's like a turkey sandwich on steroids.
So, what is Panini?
Panini translates literally from Italian as "little bread" or "small bread." The word describes a sandwich made with Italian bread and any variety of ingredients. The sandwich is generally grilled on both sides at the same time and served warm. Panini sandwiches gained popularity here in the USA during the 1970's and 1980's, and even more so when appliance companies began marketing double-sided grills and panini presses.
On a Panini Sandwich, Anything Goes!
The sky's the limit when it comes to choosing ingredients. Picture a panini sandwich piled with strips of chicken breast, mozzarella and pesto sauce - wow! In the States, there are even regional panini, and my favorite would have to be the Fried Chicken version. It's popular in the Southern states, and it consists of fried chicken, zesty tomato sauce and mozzarella. Just imagine that panini sandwich toasted and served all melty hot! (Fried chicken on a sandwich is nothing new, of course, but have you ever had it in a wrap? Delish!)
How to make the Loaded Turkey Panini Sandwich
- Cremini or portobello mushrooms, sliced
- Garlic powder
- Sliced Italian bread or your bread of choice
- Swiss cheese sliced
- Deli sliced turkey
- Saute the mushrooms in butter until tender, then set aside.
- Make the garlic mayo by mixing the mayo, garlic powder and butter from the mushroom pan.
- Butter one side of each of the bread slices, and be sure to butter all the way to the edges.
- Turn them over and spread garlic mayo over each slice.
- Now start layering in this order: Swiss cheese, mushrooms, turkey, more garlic mayo, more mushrooms, more Swiss cheese. Top the panini sandwich with an "empty" bread slice, buttered side up and garlic mayo side down.
- Grill on a panini press at 350° for 7-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. Don't go higher on the heat setting or you risk burning the bread before the insides are heated through. Alternatively, you can cook the sandwich in a non-stick skillet, medium-low heat. Wondering how to turn the panini sandwich without it falling apart? Try this method for turning foods in hot oil - it's really cool!
- Remove from the heat, slice them in half, and enjoy!
Love a good sandwich? Try these recipes, too...
- Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich - it's got an Italian flair
- California Wrap with Crispy Chicken and Spicy Sour Cream Sauce - one of my favorites!
- Grandma Iva's Sloppy Joe recipe - since the 1920's, don't change a good recipe!
A fan favorite recipe here at The Unfussy Cook is The Best Guacamole - give it a whirl, I just know you're going to love it!
Loaded Turkey Panini Sandwich
- 2 cups sliced cremini or portobello mushrooms cleaned and stemmed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 4 slices Italian bread or your bread of choice
- 4 tablespoons softened butter more or less, depending on the size of your bread slices
- Swiss cheese sliced, enough for 2 slayers of cheese on each sandwich
- 8-10 slices deli sliced turkey or enough to be generous for both sandwiches
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet or saucepan. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender. Turn off the heat, remove the mushrooms and set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix well the mayo, garlic powder and the butter that remained in the mushroom pan.
- On a sheet of wax paper, lay out the slices of bread. Butter each side of the slices that will be the outside of the sandwich, all the way to the edges. Turn them over.
- Spread the garlic mayo over each slice.
- Add a layer of Swiss to one side of each sandwich.
- Add a layer of the sauteed mushrooms on top of the cheese.
- Now add the turkey on top of the mushrooms.
- Slather more garlic mayo on top of the turkey.
- Add another layer of mushrooms on top of the turkey, then add another layer of Swiss on top of the mushrooms. Top the sandwiches with the "empty" bread slices, garlic mayo side down.
- Heat a panini press to 350° on the grill setting. Don't go higher on the heat setting - using 350° will allow the sandwich to heat through, melt the cheese and not burn the bread. Alternatively, you can cook the sandwich in a non-stick skillet, medium-low heat (Wondering how to turn the sandwich without it falling apart? Try this method for turning foods in hot oil - it's really cool!)
- When the press is ready, add the sandwiches and bring the top grill down on top of it.
- Grill the sandwiches for 7-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown. If using a skillet, flip the sandwiches when one side is golden brown and cheese is melting, then repeat for the second side. It's also helpful to press the sandwich down with a spatula.
- Remove from the heat, slice them in half, and enjoy!