Turkey Broccoli Cheddar Panini

I had the idea to make this sandwich for weeeeeeeeks. In my head I was thinking of the beauty of roasted broccoli & melted cheddar mixed with the crispy crunch grilled foccacia. It had to be mine. Oh yes, it had to be mine. I can't begin to tell you how much brain energy went into thinking about this sandwich. #ALOT.

And when I went to execute it, my husband suggested I put turkey up in it. WHAAAT?! My food fantasy went screeching to a halt. Turkey? Hmmm. I think he wanted me to recreate his favorite hot pocket flavor... You know, to maybe reminisce on his bachelorhood.

Those were the days!  <--- (we need a font that connotes sarcasm)

He was definitely onto something...and it's a good thing he's married to me because I have a way of taking an idea and running with it...

Hot Pockets, you ain't got nothing on this! Go, Team Benjamin, GO.

And we're off!

First we roast some broccoli. We're gonna lay down the flavor foundation. Red pepper, garlic, olive oil & broccoli.

It all gets mixed up and goes into the oven. ROAST. Do what you're told.

And once it's done and roasted, CHOP.

Now let's set up our assembly line.





Grill it in your panini press.

Slowly...magic happens.

Cut it up. Stack it up. Get out your favorite mustard.

Things are about to get UNREAL.

Just another reason why I'm obsessed with panini press.

Turkey Broccoli Cheddar Panini

serves 3-4

  • 1 head broccoli (about 4 cups florets)
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • pinch red pepper flakes (or two)
  • salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 1  8×12 inch slab herbed foccacia, edges trimmed
  • 6 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 slices roasted pepper turkey breast
  • spicy honey mustard (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, mix broccoli, 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic,and red pepper flakes. Season with salt & pepper and roast for 10-15 minutes, until broccoli is soft and slightly browned. Let broccoli cool for 5 minutes and then chop. Set aside.

Heat panini press to HIGH. Trim off the ends of foccacia and cut in half to create a sandwich. Top one side chopped roasted broccoli, followed by a layer of cheddar cheese, and then turkey. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Top the sandwich with the other piece of bread and brush both sides of sandwich with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place sandwich in panini press and grill for 10-15 minutes until the cheese melts & starts sizzling. Cut into 4-6 pieces and serve with a side of spicy honey mustard.

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  • January 28, 2013

    Wauw, this sandwich looks so Yum!
    And the green of the broccoli makes it look so healthy!
    Defenitly gonne make this one. Realy soon.
    Like tomorrow. I want. But at work it is not a good idea I guess.
    So next weekend Turkey Broccoli Cheddar Panini it is!

  • January 28, 2013

    BONKERS! Look at that melty goodness.

  • January 28, 2013

    Are you serious Tracy? What are you doing to me???? Photos are awesome by the way, I really like the "ROAST" picture. I love the font as well :)

  • Michelle M
    January 28, 2013

    Dang girl. You make sandwiches look SO good.

  • January 28, 2013

    OOOOO. this looks so good. I LOVE broccoli and everyone thinks that is so strange. Melted cheese and turkey too. This is a crazy sandwich. I need to lie down. The photographs are delicious! X

  • January 28, 2013

    Also, I think you and your blog are awesome.

    Hot bod.

  • January 28, 2013

    I have no idea what to do with my life now.

  • January 28, 2013

    jaysus, this looks freakin' amazing! broccoli + cheddar is one of my favorite combos. thank you for bringing this idea into my life :).

  • January 28, 2013

    Love the "roast!" and "omg!" pictures. I need a panini press!

  • January 28, 2013


  • Ems
    January 28, 2013

    Girl, you know how to make a sandwich!!

  • January 28, 2013

    Looks amazing--this makes me think that I don't know why I've never added broccoli to a panini before!

  • January 28, 2013

    You keep giving me serious panini press envy. Delish.

  • January 28, 2013

    High fives for the husband. Those hot pockets were totally a weakness. These are leaps and bounds better, though. I bet he was thrilled!

  • January 28, 2013

    I KNOW these are way better than hot pockets!! And they have broccoli in them, so they must be healthy. ;)

  • January 28, 2013

    OMG. This just put everything I've eaten in the last week to complete shame.

  • January 28, 2013

    Well, this is definitely making me wish I owned a panini press. But that's ok--I can do an open-faced version in the toaster oven. :) It's like a dinner in a sandwich!

  • January 28, 2013

    Wow, it looks very tasty! I think I will try to do it at home. My man would like it! :-) Thanks for the idea!

  • January 28, 2013

    Looks so good! Have been trying to think of some new things to whip up on my panini press. This goes to the top of the list.

  • kareen
    January 28, 2013

    Ridiculous. I have only been a visitor of your blog for a few weeks now, but already I'm convinced that I NEED a panini press.

  • January 28, 2013

    I have that griddle and love it! I don't use it enough. I was just thinking of just storing it on my counter to try and use it more often!

  • January 28, 2013

    I kind of have a thing for Hot Pockets, embarrassing but true. This looks like an un-guilty substitute!

  • January 28, 2013

    Bonkers. I'm so glad you made a better version of the hot pocket instead of diving head first into nostalgia. Sometimes I get a hankerin' for SpaghettiO's with Meatballs (I know, right!?), but I will not let myself go there. It tastes better in my memory, so in my memory it will stay!

  • January 28, 2013

    yummy.... ♥ it.

  • January 28, 2013

    that panini press is totally your bitch. well-played!

  • January 28, 2013

    I do love a good panini! And this one sounds perfect.

  • Jane M
    January 28, 2013

    Great I'm stuck in Trade Show hell and I'm salivating over this sandwich! Good thing I'm in Chicago and can get a great dinner each night!

  • krystal
    January 28, 2013

    THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS ON MY BIRTHDAY!!!! I think this guarantees 24 is going to be a good year. :D

  • January 28, 2013

    you had me at melted cheddar.

  • Nicolle
    January 28, 2013

    Please tell me you've seen this!?


    Any time anyone mentions hot pockets...

    • Tracy
      January 28, 2013

      I knew exactly what that video was before I clicked on the link! We can't say hot pockets without imitating him! Hahaha

  • gretch
    January 28, 2013

    looks great. & nice wayne's world reference= extra points for you!!

  • January 28, 2013

    Oh.... I have to have this. I've never thought of broccoli this way before. I have it in stirfries and salad but never in a sandwich. Things are about to change around here.

  • January 28, 2013

    PS; I know how much brain strength goes in when you're obsessing about wanting to make something. Some nights I can't fall asleep because I'm strategizing on how to execute the particular dream dish. It's crazy.

  • January 29, 2013

    WHOA. I was smitten at the title of this recipe, then reading that you ROASTED the broccoli first made me fall in love instantly!! There is nothing I love more than roasted broccoli, it's so damn good!
    A great creation Tracy!! I can't wait to try it out!

  • January 29, 2013

    OMG. Your last panini post had me seriously contemplating getting a panin press. But this! I need to shush all my doubts about a panini press and go. Get. One. Now.
    Roasting the broccoli first? Shut the front door, amaze.

  • All of that cheese looks YUM. I will have to make these for my omni-boyfriend!

  • January 29, 2013

    Awesome! I don't have a panini press but I have something that might work as well... and that was my favorite Hot Pocket flavor too. = )

  • January 30, 2013

    "We need a font that connotes sarcasm."
    That quote was the best part of my day.
    We have made an open-faced sandwich similar to this in our broiler in the past, but a panini...w/ turkey? Love it. And not that this is surprising, but I'm thinking bacon would be a happy addition to this sandwich.

    • Tracy
      January 30, 2013

      Oh man!! Bacon. It's like the baked potato of my dream...but with a panini.

  • January 31, 2013

    I love that he wanted his favorite Hot Pocket flavor!

  • January 31, 2013

    Hot Pockets...oh man, this is epic. You're ridiculous and I dig you for it. Go Team, GO!

  • January 31, 2013

    Looks amazing! What type of mustard did you serve it with?

  • February 3, 2013

    This looks amazing Tracy, especially for those of us who love broccoli and cheese.

  • Inde
    February 6, 2013

    I made these last night for dinner and it was amazing. The smell of the roasting garlic. Just delish thanks!!

  • February 11, 2013

    You can put broccoli in a sandwich? I didn't know this! Trying to decide whether this or last night's panini is better. Think it's a tie.

  • February 12, 2013

    that first photo looks like it should be on the cover on bon appetit!

  • May 22, 2013

    This panini looks amaZing! Can't wait to try this recipe out!

  • Theo
    June 26, 2013

    This looks yummy. It is reminding me of a broccoli taco I had at No. 7 in Brooklyn. My version didn't come out as tasty but I think if I apply your roast technique it will come out better.

    Also, has anyone tried to use the George Foreman grill as a panini press? I keep saying that I'm going to try it but haven't as yet. It's got the same grooves and would definitely give a crust and grill marks.

    • Tracy
      June 26, 2013

      You should be able to use a George Foreman grill. Should work like a charm.

  • Tory
    September 3, 2013

    This is seriously good. I'm a vego so I left the turkey out but seriously awesome sandsich

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