Jump to RecipeJump to VideoLeave a ReviewPin Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

Bursting with sweet-and-savory flavor, this Ham, Brie and Apple Panini Sandwich is a quick lunch or an easy dinner recipe that’s ready in less than 20 minutes! Your family will go crazy for the upgraded version of a classic ham and cheese sandwich!

Ham and Cheese Panini Sandwich on a blue and white plate with fresh apples in the background

This particular ham and cheese panini is one of the best panini sandwich recipes I have ever tasted! I know that’s a big statement, but it’s very true.

I first tried this flavor combination when Keith and I ate lunch at a small art gallery café in Savannah, Georgia over 13 years ago. We were there to celebrate our first wedding anniversary! A lot has changed since then (dogs, 3 kids, houses, jobs, etc.)…but I still remember that panini!

What is a panini? What’s the difference between a panini and a sandwich?

A panini (or panino) is a sandwich made with Italian bread, usually served warm by grilling or toasting (source). The Italian definition of panini is “small bread, small bread rolls,” but in America this term has come to describe any grilled sandwich made with a variety of different breads.

Two halves of a Ham Brie and Apple Panini Sandwich stacked on top of each other on a plate

What kind of bread do you use for a panini?

While traditional Italian panini recipes use an Italian bread (such as Ciabatta), I’ve made this recipe with many different types of bread — and they all taste great!

I prefer a thick-cut, hearty bread that can stand up well to the panini press. Here I’ve used thick slices of Hawaiian bread (because my boys love it), but a loaf of Italian bread or crusty sourdough bread are also favorites.

Loaf of sliced Hawaiian bread

How to Make a Panini Sandwich:

This is literally as easy as making a grilled cheese sandwich! The panini ingredients include:

  • a homemade honey-Dijon spread;
  • sliced ham;
  • Brie cheese;
  • apple;
  • bread;
  • butter or olive oil.

Apple ham and brie cheese on a cutting board

First, make the creamy honey-Dijon spread by stirring together mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and honey. This sweet, tangy and creamy sauce offers the perfect balance for the rest of the ingredients in the sandwich!

Bowl of honey dijon spread for Ham and Cheese panini sandwich

Spread the mustard sauce on a slice of bread, and top with apple, ham and cheese.

Half of an assembled ham apple and brie panini on a cutting board

Place the top slice of bread on the sandwich, and toast in a panini press.

Closed panini press

Can you make a panini without a panini press?

Absolutely! If you don’t have a panini press, you can use a grill pan or a large skillet. Just make sure that you flip the sandwich halfway through so that it turns golden brown and crispy on both sides.

I like to allow the panini to cool on a cutting board for a few minutes before slicing and serving!

Ham Apple and Brie Cheese Panini Sandwich on a blue and white plate with yellow and white striped towel in background

What goes with a panini sandwich?

I like to serve our panini sandwiches with:

Close up image of a hand holding half of a Ham Brie and Apple Panini Sandwich

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

This recipe can be adapted in a variety of ways to create YOUR perfect sandwich recipe! Just choose your favorite panini fillings…

  • Pick your crusty bread — thick-sliced Texas Toast or Hawaiian bread, sourdough bread, ciabatta bread, or a loaf of Italian bread will all work well.
  • Use any cheese — swap out the Brie and replace it with sharp cheddar, American, Swiss or Gouda!
  • Don’t want to use my honey Dijon spread? Try the sandwich with just mustard, just mayonnaise, or even with raspberry or apricot preserves!
  • Use leftover ham from a previous meal (such as this Virginia Brown Sugar Baked Ham) or buy sliced honey ham from the deli counter — anything will work!
  • Use sliced pear instead of the apple.
  • Swap out the ham in favor of your favorite meat. Use what you have in the fridge! Chicken panini recipes are great, and so are turkey paninis.
  • Vegetarian panini recipes can omit the ham and just use the apples and cheese; or swap out the apples and make a roasted vegetable and cheese panini for another delicious meat-free combination.

Close shot of ham panini on a plate with apples in background

Other easy sandwich recipes that you might enjoy:

Ham and Cheese Panini Sandwich on a blue and white plate with fresh apples in the background

Ham, Brie and Apple Panini Sandwich

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Cooling Time 2 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches
Calories 880 kcal
Bursting with sweet-and-savory flavor, this Ham, Brie and Apple Panini Sandwich is a quick lunch or an easy dinner recipe that's ready in less than 20 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used light mayonnaise, but any variety will work)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 8 slices crusty bread (such as ciabatta, sourdough, Italian or Hawaiian bread)
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces sliced ham
  • 8 ounces brie cheese, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature (or olive oil)

Instructions

  • Preheat panini press to 375 degrees. If you do not have a panini press, you can use a grill pan or a large skillet (just be sure to flip sandwiches halfway through cooking time so that they toast on each side).
  • In a small bowl, stir together mustard, mayonnaise, and honey. Spread mixture evenly on one side of 4 bread slices. Top with apple, ham, and then cheese. Top with remaining bread slices.
  • Spread butter on outside of sandwiches (both sides), or brush with olive oil. Toast sandwiches in press until golden brown, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  • Allow sandwiches to rest on a cutting board for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

  • Pick your crusty bread -- thick-sliced Texas Toast or Hawaiian bread, sourdough bread, ciabatta bread, or a loaf of Italian bread will all work well.
  • Use any cheese -- swap out the Brie and replace it with sharp cheddar, American, Swiss or Gouda!
  • Don't want to use my honey Dijon spread? Try the sandwich with just mustard, just mayonnaise, or even with raspberry or apricot preserves!
  • Use sliced pear instead of the apple.
  • Use leftover ham from a previous meal (such as this Virginia Brown Sugar Baked Ham) or buy sliced honey ham from the deli counter -- anything will work!
  • Swap out the ham in favor of your favorite meat. Use what you have in the fridge! Chicken panini recipes are great, and so are turkey paninis.
  • Vegetarian panini recipes can omit the ham and just use the apples and cheese; or swap out the apples and make a roasted vegetable and cheese panini for another delicious meat-free combination.

Nutrition

Serving: 1paniniCalories: 880kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 44gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 2185mgPotassium: 533mgFiber: 4gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 710IUVitamin C: 2.3mgCalcium: 171mgIron: 5.3mg
Keyword: ham and cheese sandwich, leftover ham recipes, panini recipe, panini sandwich
Course: Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in March, 2013. It was updated in March, 2019.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

Square overhead shot of hands serving a chicken pot pie recipe with biscuits
Overhead image of a bowl of chili mac on a dinner table with cornbread
Hands serving a platter of sheet pan sausage and potatoes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. Hi Blair! This looks delicious. Will be trying it soon! What kind of panini press do you think is best? I do not have one but have been wanting to invest in one!

  2. Panini means “sandwiches” in Italian (hot or cold). A panino is one sandwich. “Panini sandwiches” means “sandwiches sandwich.” Just throwing that out there.