Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro-Lime Mayo
I recently showed you all a post on how to roast red peppers, so I thought I would show a great way to make use of them, since you probably have a few extra ones lying around. This is seriously one of my favorite vegetarian paninis, and now that red peppers are in season I find myself making this sandwich up all the time, yes all the time, because I’m addicted! This panini is overloaded with flavor from the roasted red pepper, smashed avocado, juicy heirloom tomato and the cilantro-lime mayonnaise. It’s truly as satisfying as any panini made with meat, (just ask my meat loving daughter, Zoe) and it’s a great meatless Monday sandwich to pair with your favorite soup or salad. I mean who knew that a veggie panini could be SO satisfying and taste SO good 🙂
Life is crazy busy for all of us, so I’ve been trying to come up with some simple, tasty and satisfying weeknight dinners, and this panini falls into that category. I know some of you think that sandwiches are not a complete dinner, but in my house they are, especially on those crazy nights where everyone is running around, or we have to eat dinner on the earlier side because of an activity or event. You can pair a grilled cheese, quesadilla or panini with your favorite soup or salad and have a complete meal. If you don’t have time for a salad, then you can slice up some veggies and serve those alongside. Hey, there are plenty of veggies in this sandwich, so don’t feel bad if this panini is all you serve up!
This panini comes together fast if you make up the cilantro-lime mayonnaise and roast the red peppers ahead of time, making it a great weeknight dinner or even lunch. All you have to do come dinner or lunch time is heat up the panini press, slice up a tomato and avocado and then assemble your sandwiches. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
roasted red pepper panini with cilantro-lime mayo:
- ciabatta bread or your favorite sturdy bread to use for paninis
- extra-virgin olive oil for brushing on the top and bottom of the bread
- cilantro-lime mayonnaise
- roasted red peppers – here’s my recipe for how to roast red peppers – about 2-3 whole red peppers will give you enough roasted peppers for 4 sandwiches.
- sliced provolone or Monterey jack cheese
- 1-2 ripe avocados
- 1 ripe tomato
Below are all the fixings you will need for the panini.
I would highly recommend roasting your own peppers as it’s super easy and definitely cheaper than buying them in a jar, plus they’re fresher. To make 4 sandwiches you will only need to roast about 2-3 peppers, depending on how many peppers you want to put on your sandwich. We typically like to place 2 roasted peppers per sandwich.
Here’s my post on how to roast red peppers.
Let’s make up the cilantro-lime mayonnaise. If you want a detailed recipe for the cilantro-lime mayonnaise then you can click over to my post, otherwise here it is. In a small bowl or ramekin, whisk together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, (regular mayo, not Miracle Whip) 1/4 cup minced cilantro, 2 teaspoons lime juice and 2 minced garlic cloves until well combined. You can quickly make up this mayo in 5 minutes or feel free to make it up ahead of time, but make sure that it’s stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. The mayonnaise is best day 1 or 2, I wouldn’t recommend using it past day 2.
Fast forward to dinner! Get our all of your ingredients as well as your panini maker. If you don’t have a panini maker, no worries, you can heat up this sandwich in a cast iron skillet using a pan lid to press down on the sandwich. Heat up a panini maker or a skillet.
Slice up the tomato, scoop out your avocado halves, slice up your ciabatta bread and get our your cheese. Now you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches.
I like to brush a bit of olive oil on the top and bottom of my bread to help brown it up a bit.
You can really assemble these anyway you want, but this is how I assemble mine. Spread a nice layer of the cilantro-lime mayonnaise on the bottom half of the ciabatta bread.
Add a slice of cheese. I used provolone, but my kids like Monterey Jack.
Add on the roasted red peppers.
Add on the sliced tomatoes.
Top it off with some arugula. I like to smash my avocado using a fork into the top half of the bread. Smashing the avocado into the bread helps to flatten the bread. Using sliced avocado just adds another slippery layer to the sandwich, so it’s just easier to smash it into the bread. That’s just a little helpful tip for you all! Feel free to add a bit more of the cilantro-lime mayo to the top of the bread as well, if you’re into that sort of thing!
Now it’s time to put the sandwich together and get it on the panini press or skillet. Take your sandwich and gently press it together so that it doesn’t fall apart when you place it in the panini press. I just press it down and then tuck in the sides as I’m pressing down.
Gently place the sandwich into the panini press (or on a skillet) until the cheese melts and the top and bottom of the bread are browned.
That’s all there is to it. This is a messy but delicious sandwich, so make sure you have a napkin handy.
15 thoughts on “Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Cilantro-Lime Mayo”
I would love one of these for lunch today! It looks so fresh and delicious.
Yay! I have been really looking forward to this post! I really like your step by step directions and pictures, and what a great idea to smash the avocado into the bread to help flatten it! I can’t wait until the farmer’s market on Tuesday…I need some peppers and cilantro ASAP! So excited to try this : )
Hey Christine! I thought you would love this sandwich because it’s full of veggies of course, and one of your other favorite things, AVOCADOS! I learned the smashed avocado trick from Whole Foods as they were making my sandwich one day. I saw it and thought that it was a pretty nifty trick! You can learn some pretty cool tricks from sandwich and burrito bars! Have a great weekend girl! xoxo, Jackie
Oh my goodness, my mouth just watered looking at this sandwich! I like the smashed avocado tip, it’s always a bit messy when those slices slide around and makes an extra messy sandwich and smashing it would totally help with that! With a bowl of soup, this would be such a great fall meal.
Have a great weekend, girl! Jake might actually come home this weekend, he is catching a ride with someone coming down. I was joking with Rick that he’s not even giving us a chance to miss him yet! haha! 🙂 xoxo, Sharon
Hey girl! That is truly so cute that Jake is coming home this weekend. He must miss your great cooking 🙂 I’m totally craving that pot roast you just made, and I’m so making it this fall.
I learned the smashed avocado trick from Whole Foods as they were making my sandwich one day. I saw it and thought that it was a pretty nifty trick! Have a wonderful weekend. xoxo, Jackie
OMG can I come over for lunch???
Yes, anytime neighbor 🙂
This looks and sounds delicious! I’ll be making it soon! Y photos are stunning. Not just a magazine….but the cover…that’s what they look like!
Oh Annie! You’re truly too sweet, thanks so much for the photography compliment. I’m trying to shoot in manual mode now and it’s challenging, but worth it when you can get a few great pics! xoxo, Jackie
I am in panini heaven! Made these tonight and they were awesome! The hubby even requested to have them again, with bacon (he practically wants bacon with everything :)). I am normally not a mayo person, but I liked the cilantro-lime mayo on this. Thanks for the recipe!
Hi Christine! Yaaay! I’m so happy that you made this sandwich and loved it. I mean it did have one of your favorite things in it, avocado 🙂 You can also substitute Greek yogurt for the mayo if you want, but I’m glad you liked the mayo. I hate to say it, but I’m a fan of mayo 🙂 So funny that hubby wants this sandwich with bacon. A man and his meat, right? Let me know how it tastes with bacon! Have a great day girl!
This looks unbelievably good – I love everything in it. Have just had breakfast and now am thinking about how soon I can make this for lunch!
Hi Anna! You will love this sandwich! Let me know what you think when you try it 🙂 xoxo, Jackie
I just made this for my husband and I. It was delicious. I added chicken for mine and a portobello mushroom for his, and red onion. But you know, after eating it, I felt that it would’ve been best without the chicken or portobello. The cheese and avocado made it rich and filling.
Hi Linsey! Awesome! So happy to hear you both loved the sandwiches. I agree, the sandwich is pretty amazing on it’s own. The roasted red pepper and the cheese and avocado make it feel hearty! 🙂 xoxo, Jacquelyn