Apple Orchard Panini


Apple Orchard Panini is fall in a crunchy, cheesy, perfect panini.

Apple Orchard Panini |

I never knew how much I liked deli sandwiches until I became pregnant and couldn’t eat them for 9 months.*

Yes, for 9 long months I ordered a veggie sandwich or salad for lunch until one afternoon when I was 1,000 weeks pregnant (or what felt like it, anyway!) I found myself sitting across from Ben at one of our favorite delis on town, Palmer’s Deli. While I stabbed away at my umpteenth salad in as many months, he was molars deep in a mammoth-sized turkey, ham, and bacon sandwich, and it all got to be too much. On a whim, I reached over and snatched the sandwich from his hands then sunk my teeth into what tasted like THE best sandwich I’d ever had. 

Like a drink of cold water in the scorching Sahara desert, the taste of turkey and ham was sweet salvation for my deli meat-deprived taste buds!

That is to say, I’m so very glad deli meat is back on the table because I’ve been eating it like crazy for lunch lately, including in this Apple Orchard Panini! 

Apple Orchard Panini |

Apple Orchard Panini is actually inspired by another trip I recently made to Palmer’s Deli. Roasted turkey, tart Granny Smith apple slices, creamy brie cheese, and sweet and cinnamony apple butter are layered between two slices of crusty Italian bread then pressed until golden brown and audibly crunchy. You guys. I had this panini for lunch at Palmer’s earlier this week, and have made it two more times since then at home. It is ridiculous!

The apple butter in here drives me wild. It reminds me of the cinnamon-sugar toast I used to make myself as a snack when I was a kid, and when mixed with the drippy brie and roasted turkey, it’s just heaven. The crunchy apple slices in here really bring the apple orchard theme home.

This panini is perfect for fall, and fast but special, know what I mean?

Apple Orchard Panini |

Start by heating up your panini press to medium-high. I’ve had this Griddler > for several years, and just love it. If you don’t have a panini press you can cook the sandwich in a skillet on the stove top grilled cheese-style. I’ve heard that a George Foreman works well for panini making, too!

Apple Orchard Panini |

Next lay out a couple slices of Italian bread. Palmer’s uses ciabatta buns cut in half, which would also work. Brush one side of the bread slices with extra virgin olive oil, then flip ’em over and liberally spread apple butter on each slice too. Don’t be shy – really schmear it on there. It totally makes the sandwich.

Apple Orchard Panini |

Next layer on roasted turkey and brie cheese.

Apple Orchard Panini |

Palmer’s uses provolone slices, but brie is one of my favorite cheeses to pair with apples and tastes awesome in here. I got this enormous wedge from Trader Joe’s for just $2.50!

Apple Orchard Panini |

Next layer on thin slices of Granny Smith apple. I used GS because they’ve got a strong tart flavor that really shines through, but whatever you’ve got in the fridge is just fine!


Plop the lid on top…


Then press. RIGHT?!

Apple Orchard Panini |

Slice in half with a serrated knife then dig in!

Apple Orchard Panini |

Apple Orchard Panini


Apple Orchard Panini is fall in a crunchy, cheesy, perfect panini.


  • Italian bread or Ciabatta buns
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Apple butter
  • Roasted deli turkey
  • Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
  • Brie cheese, sliced


  1. Preheat panini maker to medium-high. Brush one side of 2 slices of bread with extra virgin olive oil. Turn slices over then spread apple butter generously on both slices. Layer on turkey, apple slices, and brie cheese then place other side of bread on top. Place in panini maker (alternatively, cook the sandwich in a skillet on the stovetop) until golden brown and crispy. Allow to rest for 2 minutes then slice with a serrated knife.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Apple Orchard Panini |

I am telling you – this panini is absolutely incredible. The brie and apple butter sizzle through the cracks in the bread and get nice and crusty-caramelized on the outside. The brie is to die for, too. Enjoy!

Apple Orchard Panini |

*Whether or not you eat deli meat while pregnant is completely up to you. I don’t care either way – to each her own!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Oh I love creamy cheese and fruit combo on a panini. The apple butter addition is genius.

  2. I’ve had turkey and apple paninis a lot, but never with apple butter as the condiment. Now I’m dying to try it!

    I totally get the wanting something so much more when your pregnant and can’t have it. Soooo hard!

  3. C. 10.04.2013

    YUM! This looks awesome. Definitely adding to my list of recipes!

  4. Andrea 10.04.2013

    I was planning to go to an apple orchard this weekend and now I have an extra reason. Such an easy way to dress up my usual turkey, cheese, lettuce sandwiches!

  5. Kaitlyn 10.04.2013

    Wait! What about Friday Favorites? I look forward to that every week!

  6. Tieghan 10.04.2013

    This is my kid of sandwich! I love the combo of brie and apples!

  7. Dena 10.04.2013

    So which is it? Apple butter or pumpkin butter? heehee ;) This sounds delicious and will definitely be making it for lunch this weekend! Thanks for making my life easier :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 10.04.2013

      Oh my gosh I am such a dope! I also bought pumpkin butter this week, which I am clearly excited to use! ;) Thanks for letting me know – changed the ingredient in the recipe.

  8. Oh my gosh. I am so right there, in the middle of the desert of no deli sandwiches. One day I had a turkey sandwich then didn’t feel well after wards and was convinced it was the turkey so I haven’t pushed my luck again. I cannot wait until the baby is here and I can go back to quick delish sandwiches like this one!

  9. Sara 10.04.2013

    Oh man, I LOVE Palmer’s…the cranberry turkey one is awesome, too, if you ever wanted to re-create it. ;)

    I am for sure going to put this on my apple-making list after our trip to the orchard this weekend.

    • Elizabeth 10.04.2013

      Yum. Yes, the apple orchard and turkey cranberry sandwiches at Palmer’s are my favorites!

  10. Stef 10.04.2013

    I have had almost this exact same sandwich THREE TIMES this week. My version: a ciabatta bun spread with cranberry-cinnamon goat cheese, turkey, sliced granny smith apples and fresh black pepper. TDF. The cranberry/apple/turkey combo is insane! But this version with apple butter looks sooooo good too. Must try!!

  11. Jean 10.04.2013

    I enlisted my best friend to bring a giant turkey sandwich to the hospital after my baby is born in a couple weeks! This version looks amazing!

  12. I haven’t eaten meat in over 8 years but the one thing I miss is turkey sandwiches!! I don’t want steak or even chicken, just a freakin’ turkey sandwich. I think it’s because I used to eat them for lunch almost everyday growing up. With Boars Head maple turkey too, yum. Okay, I have to stop!

    This looks awesome! Ill have to try it with Tofurkey…mmmm. ;)

  13. Apples on a sandwich is genius! I need to get a sandwich maker so I can have those wonderful grill marks on my bread.

  14. Angie Shaffer 10.04.2013

    There is a restaurant in Swisher, Iowa that makes this exact sandwich and it is truly delicious (the sandwich and everything else there too). It is called Kava House, if you are ever over by Iowa City or Cedar Rapids I highly recommend it it for breakfast, lunch or dinner! My family certainly loves it!

  15. Bekah 10.04.2013

    I miss Palmers! Love that place. This Panini looks sooo good; can’t wait to try this one out.

  16. Katie 10.04.2013

    Oh my gosh – I felt the exact same way when I was pregnant! I was never a huge sandwich girl but all I could think about was a delicious turkey sandwich! I finally gave in towards the end of my pregnancy, I just couldn’t take it anymore :)

  17. I love when brie is all melty gooey yumminess!

  18. Lizzie 10.04.2013

    Yum! I can’t wait to try this. This looks like a great variation on my favorite grilled cheese – whole grain mustard, ham, Granny Smith slices, and cheddar! Give it a try :-)

  19. this is the thing i am LEAST looking forward to when i get pregnant. deli meat is another food group for me!

  20. I just finished making Baked Apple Brie for a tailgate and this seems like the perfect dish to complement it. Just need to get some good ol’ turkey!

    Any sandwich with apple butter has my name written all over it :-)

  21. Jill 10.04.2013

    Haha, love the * disclaimer. Isn’t it crazy how opinionated women get about pregnancy/new motherhood?! Sandwich looks fantastic!

  22. Barbara 10.04.2013

    I just made apple butter last night, yum!

  23. Carma 10.04.2013

    We love Palmers. (Okay, I may be mildly obsessed with their brownies….) The Apple Orchard sandwich and the Cranberry Turkey sandwich are about the only ones I ever get when I get a sandwich.

    Need to see about doing this with and without apples (My honey has a weird thing about no meat and fruit together. He doesn’t get it.)

  24. I love the apple and brie combination! Makes my lunch taste kind of boring right now!

  25. Anne [A Squared] 10.04.2013

    I love all of these flavors– perfect combination on a toasted sandwich!

  26. Steve Perry 10.04.2013

    have i ever told you, you are best,YES!!, making this tonight, THANKS.

  27. This looks seriously yummy. I love adding apples to my grilled cheese, so of course I’m loving the sounds of melty brie. And the apple butter? Best idea ever.

  28. Diane N 10.04.2013

    I used to live in Des Moines, and I LOVE Palmer’s Deli, especially their chili, iced tea and cookies. And I also remember this wonderful sandwich. All of this makes me a bit homesick. I will try your recipe; it looks easy and good!


  29. Tracy 10.04.2013

    Ohh I feel like I’m in the Sahara of no subs!! Almost 17 weeks and all I want is a deli sub!!! I’ve Ben having my husband make cheesesteaks at least on the weekend but still not the same! This looks delicious :)

  30. Gail 10.04.2013

    Oh My Goodness!! Could you be pregnant? Maybe a little brother or sister for that beautiful little boy you have? lol I hope so!! That sandwich looks delicious.

  31. Meredith 10.04.2013

    These look great! I have to tell you, my husband’s birthday is tomorrow and we celebrated tonight with three of your recipes…burboun chicken and apple slaw, Chick-a-Filet poppers with honey mustard and Magic Carrot Cake Bars, which I made into a two layer cake. Just wanted to give you a HUGE thank you for such delicious, well thoughout recipes that turn out like you hope they will. I honestly gave my hubby the blog and told him to pick his meal and that’s what we had!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 10.05.2013

      That is so great to hear, Meredith! Made my day. :) Happy birthday to your hubby!

  32. Karla 10.04.2013

    Kristin, this looks AMAZING. And can we talk about how even the dollop of apple butter in the picture is absolutely perfect? You’ve got skillsss girl. :)

    I am also obsessed with Palmer’s. We should make that our next outing!

  33. Love apples & cheeses and apples on sandwiches. These look delicious! Makes me want to put on a big warm sweater and eat them curled up on the couch.

  34. Barbie 10.05.2013

    I love your blog, but since you had Lincoln, I find myself scrolling quickly down to see the pictures of him and when there are none, I am disappointed! I’ll have to go back to get my Lincoln fix today!

  35. Yum!!! That looks so good!!

  36. Jeanie 10.05.2013

    OMG…my mouth is literally watering reading this post! Cannot wait to try this. I would make it this instant, but, it’s 1 o’clock in the morning here in California and I’m in bed, in the dark, catching up on email, next to a sleeping husband. But, guess what I’m having for lunch tomorrow…or maybe breakfast!

  37. Oh, I love a good oooey gooey panini.

  38. Ahhhh I LOVE Palmer’s!! I am totally drooling right now. Thank goodness I will be in town soon for the half marathon and I can get that goodness. I know exactly which sandwich you are talking about, and it is the best thing ever! I have tried to recreate it at home too, but the original is the best!!

  39. This would be d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. with Honey Crisp apples too!

  40. Oooh I love adding fresh apple to savory dishes! And this panini is a sure win in my book!

  41. lindsey 10.06.2013

    You had me at brie! I’ve just come around to the world of soft spreadable brie and couldn’t be happier! Will definitely be trying this!!

  42. […] handy tips and tricks she shares with each recipe. Today is no exception with her latest post, an Apple Orchard Panini! This is the perfect fall sandwich, pairing up granny smith apples, brie, and […]

  43. Connie 10.06.2013

    Want a super fun blog? Check out “Cooking With Mr. C.” on WordPress and on Facebook. It’s a great blog just like yours. Connie R.

  44. Ashley L. 10.06.2013

    I made this sandwich today and Since I’m living in California, I always have quality sourdough bread in the apartment so that’s what I used for this and it tasted great! I’m always looking for great lunch ideas for work, and since we have a panini maker in the teacher’s lounge, I will definitely start using it more! Thanks from this native Iowa girl!

  45. Coty and Mariah 10.06.2013

    Just went to a local apple farm. This is a perfect way to start using them:)

  46. Megan 10.07.2013

    YUM! This looks absolutely delicious and such a fun recipe for my orchard apples!

  47. Samantha 10.07.2013

    I made this with pumpkin butter from Trader Joe’s instead of apple butter & it was amazing!!

  48. […] budgeting. But when I saw this recipe, I changed my mind. I was scouring my new favorite blog, Iowa Girl Eats (check it out!), when I saw this beauty. You had me at […]

  49. Hannah 10.08.2013

    I discovered this combo about a year ago and it’s one of my fav quick go-tos. I hadn’t thought to add the apple butter, I’ll have to try that next time; but it’s delicious with out too!

  50. Jess R 10.08.2013

    Tell me about it with the deli meats! I’ve been telling my husband for months now that I would like my first post-pregnancy meal to be a nice, thick salami sandwich with cheese.

    This Panini looks delish! Looking forward to trying it in a few months once our baby boy makes his appearance and I’ve gotten my fill of salami sandwiches.

Leave a Comment