How to use a panini press for anything but paninis

A panini press doesn’t “press” you into only making sandwiches, there is a variety of foods that you can cook on this type of appliance!

By Paige O’Connor

Everyone knows what a panini press is for… it’s in the name. But did you know that there are multiple unique and unexpected foods that can be cooked on this grill? Whether you’re looking to make a scrumptious dessert or a quick and easy meal, the panini press guarantees a delicious treat. 


No matter if you’re a desperate college student or a hungry kid, making quesadillas on a panini press delivers a delicious, speedy, and stove-free meal. Simply put your cheese of choice into a tortilla and place it into the panini press until your quesadilla is the perfect level of gooey cheesy goodness! 

Waffle Cones and Bowls

Who doesn’t love an ice cream cone on a warm summer day? With a panini press, you can make them yourself! Simply mix up your waffle batter (homemade or boxed will work) and pour it into the panini press. Be sure to use a spoon to flatten the waffle batter before closing the press. Check on the waffle batter every few minutes until it appears cooked to golden-brown perfection. Once it has cooked, safely remove the pressed waffle and wrap it around a cone or bowl shaped mold. Let the mold harden, then enjoy your sweet treat!


Crispy, crunchy, hand-crafted croutons are absolutely delectable when made in a panini press. This grilling appliance truly comes in handy when you need to add the perfect crunch to your salad but seemed to have run out of croutons! To begin this process, slice your bread of choice into small squares and scatter them across the grill. Check on the croutons to make sure they don’t burn — or let them if you love extra crunchy croutons! 

Hash Browns

Calling all breakfast lovers, this one’s for you! Rather than relying on frozen hash browns to get you through the most important meal of the day, use your panini press to make a fresh, homemade version! Shred your potatoes into a bowl, add in some olive oil, seasonings of your choice, and group the hash brown mixture in small sections on the grill. Wait a few minutes until your hash browns are crisp and golden, and then remove them from the grill to cool. Add some salt and enjoy your tasty hash brown! 


Lastly, we will discuss the art that is reheating leftovers. If you are looking to avoid the sogginess of leftovers and create that true crunch, the panini press is the perfect way to quickly reheat your food without needing a stove or oven! Whether it be french fries, bacon, vegetables, pizza, or chicken, the panini press will save your time, money, and appetite in the kitchen.

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