How to Make a Pork Panini Italian Sandwich You Will Love

Last updated on April 27th, 2023 at 08:56 am

When it comes to classic Italian sandwiches, the pork panini stands out from the rest. Made with crusty bread, flavorful pork, and fresh vegetables, this sandwich is a treat for your taste buds.

The pork panini is a great choice whether you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch or a satisfying dinner.

Pork Panini

Pork Panini

This pork panini recipe is a quick and easy lunch option that can be prepared in minutes using thinly sliced pork tenderloin, Italian bread, provolone cheese, red onion, tomato, and fresh basil. The pork is seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme before being cooked in a skillet. The sandwich is assembled with mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, cheese, and vegetables before being toasted in a panini press or stovetop grill. The result is a delicious and satisfying sandwich that can be customized to personal taste preferences.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 2
Calories 595 kcal


  • Large skillet
  • Spatula
  • Panini press or stovetop grill/griddle
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mixing bowl (Optional)


  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 slices of Italian bread
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese
  • 4 thin slices of red onion
  • 4 thin slices of tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves


  • Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork tenderloin slices with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and dried thyme.
  • Add the olive oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the seasoned pork slices and cook for 2-3minutes per side until browned and cooked through.
  • While the pork is cooking, spread the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard evenly over one side of each slice of Italian bread.
  • Place a slice of provolone cheese on each of the four slices of bread.
  • Divide the cooked pork evenly between two slices of bread. Top each with two slices of red onion, two slices of tomato, and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil.
  • Place the remaining slices of bread on top of each sandwich to create a panini.
  • Place the panini in a preheated panini press or a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  • Remove the panini from the heat and let cool for a few minutes before slicing in half and serving.



  • You can use leftover cooked pork or even deli-sliced pork instead of cooking it from scratch to save time.
  • To make the sandwich healthier, you can use whole wheat bread, low-fat cheese, and skip the mayonnaise or use a light version.
  • Experiment with different vegetables and spreads to customize the sandwich to your personal taste preferences.
  • If you don’t have a panini press, you can use a stovetop grill or griddle and press the sandwich down with a heavy object while cooking.
  • Be careful not to overcook the pork, as it can become tough and dry. Cook it just until it’s no longer pink in the center.
  • If you prefer a spicier sandwich, you can add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce to the mayonnaise or Dijon mustard.
Keyword Pork Panini

The History of Pork Panini

The panini has its roots in Italy, where it was originally made with simple ingredients like bread and cheese. Over time, the sandwich has evolved and now features a variety of meats, vegetables, and cheeses. The pork panini, in particular, has become a popular variation of the classic sandwich.

Variations on the Pork Panini

Once you’ve mastered the classic pork panini, there are plenty of ways to customize the sandwich. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add some spice with sliced jalapenos or hot sauce.
  • Swap out the pork for turkey or chicken.
  • Use different cheeses like cheddar, gouda, or blue cheese.
  • Experiment with other vegetables like caramelized onions, roasted eggplant, or sliced avocado.

Can I use another other type of bread for the panini?

Yes, you can use any bread you like for the panini. However, I recommend using bread, such as Italian or sourdough, that can hold up to the filling without becoming too soggy.

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Yes, you can use any cheese you like for the panini. However, I recommend using a cheese that melts well and complements the other flavors in the sandwich, such as provolone, mozzarella, or cheddar.

Can I use a different type of meat?

Yes, you can use any meat you like for the panini, such as chicken or turkey. However, I recommend using thinly sliced beef cooked quickly so it doesn’t become tough or dry.

Can I make the panini ahead of time and reheat it later?

You can make the panini and reheat it later in a preheated oven or toaster oven. However, the bread may not be as crispy as when freshly made.

Can I make this recipe on a stovetop grill or griddle instead of a panini press?

You can make this recipe on a stovetop grill or griddle instead of a panini press. Press the sandwich down with a spatula or heavy object while cooking to achieve the same results as a panini press.

Can I add other vegetables to the panini?

Add any vegetables you like to the panini, such as roasted peppers, spinach, or arugula. Just slice them thinly so they don’t make the sandwich too bulky.

Can I make this recipe without mayonnaise or Dijon mustard?

Yes, you can make this recipe without mayonnaise or Dijon mustard. You can use any other spread, such as pesto, hummus, or aioli.

Can I use leftover cooked pork instead of cooking it from scratch?

You can use leftover cooked pork instead of cooking it from scratch. Just reheat it in the skillet before adding it to the sandwich.

Can I freeze the panini for later?

I don’t recommend freezing the panini as the bread may become too soggy, and the filling may not reheat well.

Can I make this recipe vegetarian or vegan?

Yes, you can make this recipe vegetarian or vegan by using plant-based alternatives for pork and cheese and vegan mayonnaise or mustard.

Final Thought On Making a Pork Panini Sandwich

The pork panini is a must-try if you’re looking for a delicious and satisfying sandwich.

This sandwich will become a favorite with crispy bread, savory pork, and fresh vegetables.

By following these simple steps, you can easily make a pork panini at home and enjoy all the flavors of Italy in the comfort of your kitchen.