crispy gooey cheese and turkey 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. 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! 

crispy gooey cheese and turkey panini

Apple Orchard Panini is actually inspired by another trip I recently made to our favorite aforementioned deli. Roasted turkey, tart Granny Smith apple slices, creamy brie cheese, and sweet and cinnamony apple butter are layered between two slices of bread then pressed until golden brown and audibly crunchy.

You guys. 

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The apple butter in here drives me wild. Mixed with the drippy brie and roasted turkey, it’s just heaven! Plus the crunchy apple slices really drove home the apple orchard theme.

This panini is perfect for fall yet so delicious you’ll crave it all year long!

hand holding half of a cheesy panini

Start by heating up a panini press to medium-high. I’ve had this Griddler for 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.

Apple Orchard Panini | iowagirleats.com

Next lay out a couple slices of Italian bread (or gluten-free bread if GF). Brush one side of the bread slices with extra virgin olive oil, then flip ’em over and liberally spread apple butter on each slice. Don’t be shy – really schmear it on there. It totally makes the sandwich.

Apple Orchard Panini | iowagirleats.com

Next layer on roasted turkey and brie or provolone cheese.

Apple Orchard Panini | iowagirleats.com

Finally 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!

Apple-Orchard-Panini_08_mini

Plop the lid on top…

Apple-Orchard-Panini_09_mini

Then press!

Apple Orchard Panini | iowagirleats.com

Slice in half with a serrated knife then serve. 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 sliced in half on a plate

Apple Orchard Panini

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Description

Apple Orchard Panini is a seasonal grilled cheese recipe that's packed with gooey cheese, deli turkey, fresh apple slices, and apple butter. Fall sandwich perfection! iowagirleats.com keywords: lunch ideas, lunch recipes

Ingredients

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

Directions

  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, http://iowagirleats.com.

photo collage of apple orchard panini