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What to Serve with Panini? 7 Tasty Side Dishes

Paninis? Oh, they’re the MVP of quick, tasty lunches.

Sure, they’re fantastic solo – all melty cheese and crispy bread – yet, pair them with the right side, and boom, lunch transforms into a feast.

Think beyond chips; there are worlds of flavors waiting to jazz up that panini experience.

From a tangy slaw that cuts through the richness, to a warm soup that makes it a cozy meal, options abound.

And hey, why not a salad that brings a zesty crunch to the table?

Stick around, and I’ll walk you through seven killer sides that elevate your panini from good to unforgettable.

No fluff, all flavor – let’s dive into the good stuff.

Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Panini?

why consider serving side dishes with panini

First of all, a side dish will turn a plain sandwich into an authentic meal.

It will enhance your dining experience – no doubts about it.

Second of all, a panini will do if you only need a quick meal before or after work.

When cooking for your entire family, chances are they’ll want more than just a sandwich.

Then, while it may seem a bit unusual, you can also surprise your guests with an interesting meal.

If no one expects any fancy dishes, get a few different types of paninis, the right side dishes, and keep it simple – everyone will love it.

What to Serve with Panini? 7 Tasty Side Dishes

There are plenty of sides and sandwich pairings that will most likely impress your family.

Here are some easy suggestions.

1 – Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

grilled cheese and tomato soup

This is one of the most iconic combos in the world – cheese and tomatoes, in different forms, shapes, and sizes.

You will get a creamy, tangy, and rich mix of flavors.

Get the grilled cheese on top of the sandwiches – or even better, you can save yourself a bit of time and put it inside the sandwich before heating it up, It will melt within a minute only.

The tomato soup can be hot or cold – just a matter of personal preferences.

Most people prefer it hot though.

2 – Cheesy Sweet Potato Fries

cheesy sweet potato fries

All fries work wonders with sandwiches, regardless of the type or mix.

Sweet potato fries take this venture to another level.

They simply stand out with their unique aroma.

It makes no difference what type of panini you have.

The ingredients are irrelevant because the sweetness and crispy profile of sweet potato fries will definitely enhance it.

You can keep things simple, but you can also throw a bit of cheese on top of the fries.

If you put cheese on, opt for something mild, such as mozzarella.

3 – Thick Butternut Squash Soup

thick butternut squash soup

A thick butternut squash soup will taste amazing with all sorts of sandwiches.

Make sure it’s warm – cold soups work as well, but you need it warm for this combo.

When it comes to the sandwich, it feels like a turkey club panini could be the ideal choice.

It feels like a Thanksgiving meal – anytime, anywhere.

The combo is great because of the balancing flavors.

On the same note, the soup is sweet and creamy, while the mild bird flavors keep the balance under control.

4 – Mushrooms and Baked Beans

mushrooms and baked beans

Baked beans are the staple of the English cuisine.

Believe it or not, Brits have baked beans for breakfast, and they work wonders – fulfilling and full of flavor.

A mix of well-cooked mushrooms and baked beans will be excellent with barbecue pulled pork inside a panini.

Now, you can open up the panini and put the side dish in, or you can just keep it aside.

You have the smoky flavor of the barbecue, the pork tenderness, and the heartiness associated with baked beans.

5 – Onion, Tomato, and Macaroni Salad

onion tomato and macaroni salad

Salads can be boring, but they do well with paninis.

How about a salad that stands out in the crowd then? Macaroni salads allow lots of room for customization, but you can also keep things simple.

Get a bowl, put the macaroni in, cut some red onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers in tiny pieces and mix everything up.

The salad can get pretty creamy based on what dressing you choose.

As for the combo, it works with any type of panini – no restrictions at all.

6 – Creamy Potato Soup

creamy potato soup

Potato soups can be plain and boring, but you could also make yours a bit thick and creamy – that’s what changes everything.

Your family will die to taste it – they may start dipping their paninis in.

The soup is hearty and has a rich flavor.

You can add a few extra ingredients too, such as red onion or corn – make sure everything is cooked properly.

While the creamy potato soup is great with most types of sandwiches, it tastes even better when mixed with ham and cheese paninis.

Everything must be served hot, so the cheese melts and the soup steams.

7 – Light Tomato and Basil Soup

light tomato and basil soup

The tomato soup’s been mentioned before because it always works well with sandwiches.

This is a different variety that will provide another experience.

The ideal sandwich for this combo should have ham and cheese.

But then, a smoked turkey panini will also work wonders.

There’s just one rule – if you like it, go for it.

Forget about the classic ingredients and try something new.

Throw some basil in – it will change the flavor to 180 degrees.

You will discover an earthy flavor that will most likely become your new favorite.


As a short final conclusion, there are lots of options and ideas when not sure what to serve with panini.

Sandwiches are extremely versatile and will take all kinds of side dishes.

Obviously, the type of sandwich is what defines the final dish – you need all the ingredients to match accordingly, or you might ruin everything.

Sometimes, it pays off sticking to the basics, such as creamy cheese, tomato soups, and so on.

Simply try out different varieties to surprise your taste buds, and you won’t go wrong.

What to Serve with Panini? 7 BEST Side Dishes

Looking to enhance your panini experience? Your search ends here! We've compiled a list of the 7 best side dishes that pair seamlessly with paninis, adding a delightful twist to your meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dishes
Servings 4 Servings


  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
  • Cheesy Sweet Potato Fries
  • Thick Butternut Squash Soup
  • Mushrooms and Baked Beans
  • Onion Tomato, and Macaroni Salad
  • Creamy Potato Soup
  • Light Tomato and Basil Soup


  • Pick your favorite recipe from the article.
  • Organize your ingredients and utensils.
  • Follow the detailed instructions in the recipe to make your side dish.
  • Prepare and serve for delicious meal!
Keyword what to serve with panini
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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