Panini Press Grilled Cheese – Without the Press

Panini grilled cheese
Sandwiches made in a Panini press are very good, especially grilled cheese. However, I’m one of those people that really doesn’t like to buy things that only have one use.  Everything in my kitchen can do more than one job, even the strawberry huller can take the stem off tomatoes.

Panini presses go for $23.00 to $75.00, a lot when it really only does one job. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to use things you already have?

So, what can you use instead?  I put whatever it is I want to press on a cast iron griddle, then top it with a cookie sheet for balance, and a cast iron pan on top of that.

Panini Press

“Panini Press”

By using a cookie sheet under the cast iron pan, I can press down without any problems with stability or uneven pressing.

Cookie Sheet

Using a cast iron griddle ensures heat retention. Putting the sandwiches in the middle also ensures they will not get too hot and burn.

You might find that the cheese is not melted enough, as shown in this sandwich. That is easily remedied with a 30-second visit on a plate in the microwave.

Then, suddenly, you have this gorgeous sandwich with lovely melting cheese on Ciabatta bread. Heavenly!

Let’s Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

Panini Press Grilled Cheese - Without the Press
Recipe type: Sandwich
Cuisine: American/French
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 sandwich
Of course, you can use whatever cheese you like, and whatever bread you have available. I happened to have these, and they were perfect together.
  • 1 Ciabatta Bun
  • Swiss cheese
  • White cheddar
  1. Slit the ciabatta bun in half. Put the Swiss cheese on one side of the bun and then the white cheddar.
  2. Preheat a cast iron griddle on low. Put the sandwiches, cheese side up. When you see that the cheese is beginning to melt a little, put the other piece of bread on top of the sandwich.
  3. Put the cookie sheet on top of the sandwich, followed by the cast iron pan. Press down.
  4. Let the sandwich cook, undisturbed on low, for about 5 minutes. Remove the "press", flip and sandwich, and put the press on again, making sure to press the sandwich down. You will get a lot flatter sandwich at this point because the cheese has now softened. Cook undisturbed on low for another 4 minutes.
  5. If your cheese was thick and has not melted enough for your liking. and the bread has sufficiently browned, put the sandwich on a microwave-safe plate and put in the microwave for 30 seconds. Serve immediately and enjoy!
You can use whatever cheese or bread you like and happen to have. White cheddar and swiss, or white cheddar and French madrigal are fabulous!


Recommended Products

I’m not getting paid to promote these, I just happen to have them and like them.

Reversible Grill/Griddle Cast Iron – Amazon

Reversible cast iron grill/griddle

Reversible cast iron grill/griddle

Cast Iron Skillet – Amazon

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Cookie Sheet – Amazon

Classic Cookie Sheet

Classic Cookie Sheet

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