(Last Updated On: November 9, 2022)


National Panini Month is the perfect time to celebrate the hot, melty sandwich on a beautiful August day. Panini is derived from Italian origin and is basically a grilled sandwich made with non-sliced bread. National Panini Month is an opportunity to break the regular old sandwich habit and panini away!

A precursor of panini appeared in a 16th-century Italian cookbook but didn’t become popular 1970s and 1980s. In the 1980s young Italian hipster types who hung out in coffee-and-panini bars were known as “paninari.” The paninari revolted against the drabness of urban culture with colorful Italian fashion and a taste for fast food and “caferacer” motorcycles. Based in Milan, the paninaro craze spread across Italy. The British pop group Pet Shop Boys even recorded a song, Paniniaro, celebrating the paninari culture.

There are many different ways to make a panini, but we suggest sticking to the original ingredients. Panini’s taste great with ciabatta, rosetta and baguette bread. Panini’s can be made from a variety of options. Paninis are especially good when pressed flat in a “panini press.” They resemble waffle irons, only with flat plates. A panini press is a versatile device. You can use it to make French toast, grilled cheese sandwiches, pita chips, omelets, pizza and your favorite breakfast sandwiches. Paninis go great with chili, coleslaw, French Fried potatoes, and your favorite soup!

Try these panini variations:

  • CAPRESE – Mozzarella (smoked optional), tomato and basil, cooked until golden.
  • EGGPLANT-MOZZARELLA – Mozzarella (smoked optional), grilled eggplant and basil, cooked until golden.
  • CAPRESE VARIATIONS – Anchovies and capers, or prosciutto and Parmesan cheese.
  • PESTO TURKEY – A Caprese with pesto and slices of turkey breast.
  • CHICKEN SALTIMBOCCA – Grilled chicken with pesto and prosciutto.
  • APPLE-MANCHEGO – Apple slices and manchego cheese with olive oil and quince paste.
  • THREE-MEAT – Sliced soppressata, capicola, salami, fontina and roasted red peppers.


Enjoy your favorite panini today! Use #NationalPaniniMonth in social media correspondence.


Sargento Foods, Inc. founded National Panini Month in 2008.


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