This vegan pizza panini has all the vegan fixings with vegan pepperoni and cheese. Make with pizza sauce on the inside and an Italian herb infused olive oil on the outside.
Cheesy, gooey, with vegan pepperoni or sausage, it’s vegan comfort food at its best! This pizza panini is made extra special with flavorful olive oil you brush on the outside of the sandwich before grilling.
For some other tasty, crusty, grilled vegan sandwiches try my:
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Ingredients needed to make a pizza panini:
(You will find a handy printable recipe card below with exact measurements and directions. In the meantime, feel free to read the following sections to learn how to make the best vegan pizza panini ever!)Jump to Recipe
For the grilled sandwich:
- ciabatta buns or loaf, or similar bread
- favorite pizza sauce
- favorite vegan mozzarella cheese shreds
- Today I used Follow Your Heart
- large precooked vegan sausage link or package pepperoni or recipe for Sausage Tofu Crumbles
- Today I used (precooked) Tofurky Italian Sausages
- If your vegan meat is not precooked, you will need to do that first.
For the Italian herb-infused olive oil:
- extra virgin olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- garlic and onion powders
Making the Grilled Panini:
You will need a panini maker/press. Or if you just want to make a pizza grilled cheese , a skillet or griddle of some sort.
This recipe is made super easy because you just buy the vegan-friendly items and make the grilled sandwich. But, buying vegan items can be tricky and sometimes you just have to go with what you can find.
The best vegan-friendly items to use:
The vegan cheese:
Any kind of vegan mozzarella cheese shred that you can find and enjoy. There are so many flavors with this sandwich that the type you buy doesn’t matter much. If you are unable to find vegan cheese, my Vegan Cashew Mozzarella Sauce would work with this recipe – but it is a sauce, not a shred.
The vegan meat (pepperoni or sausage):
It’s important that what ever plant-based/vegan meat you choose, that it is fully cooked and needs no further cooking. Yes, the sandwich will cook on the panini grill, but the filling inside needs to be already fully cooked.
My preferences are (in order):
- vegan pepperoni – but it’s really challenging for me to find
- vegan (cooked) sausage stick
- vegan uncooked breakfast sausage patties – which I then cook and cut up
- my Sausage Tofu Crumbles – which taste fabulous and amazing! But are a lot of work for a quick and easy sandwich.
Putting together your grilled pizza panini:
First make the Italian herb-infused olive oil and set aside. Then slice the ciabatta buns horizontally, if not already cut.
If you go with a large flat loaf of ciabatta bread, portion it into two and then slice horizontally. You should have four bread/bun halves.
Brush the outsides of each piece with the infused olive oil. Set aside.
Next, spoon some pizza sauce on the sides of each piece of bread. On one side, place the sliced pepperoni or sausage pieces.
Choose whichever cheese shred you prefer. It really took me a while to come to peace with vegan cheese. I just don’t care much for the flavor I guess. I really do like it mixed in with other flavors now.
Then, top with the cheese shreds.
Put your sandwiches together. Depending on the size on your panini press or griddle, you might be able to cook two at once, but perhaps just one at a time. It takes about five minutes in my panini press. If you are cooking on a griddle, you’ll need to turn and cook both sides.
The grilled sandwich will be fully cooked when it is golden brown on the outsides, and insides are heated through and the cheese melted.
Serving the Pizza Panini
Let cool slightly, then cut through each sandwich on a diagonal. These are very filling sandwiches, so for me, one sandwich half is enough. I am saying this recipe is for four servings.
Your appetite might be heartier than mine. In that case, consider this two servings. I’d hate for you to be hungry. But feel feel to serve your grilled pizza panini with soup, like my tomato soup, or a nice green salad with balsamic dressing.
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Vegan Pizza Panini with Herb-Infused Olive Oil
- panini maker or griddle
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
The Panini Sandwich
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese shreds vegan
- 24-32 slices pepperoni or sausage vegan
- 4 small ciabatta rolls or one large loaf
- Mix the oil with the herbs, garlic and onion powders, sugar and salt, and set aside. It will be quite thick but will soften as it sits.
The Panini Sandwich
- Cut the rolls in half lengthwise. If using a loaf, cut into two portions and then slice lengthwise.
- Brush the infused oil onto the crusty outside of each piece of roll. Keep in mind this will need to cover the insides of all halves.
- Add sliced pepperoni or sausage to the bottom portion of each sandwich.
- Sprinkle cheese evenly on top of the pepperoni slices.
- Cooking one or two at a time (depending on size of grill), put on panini maker and gently press the top down. Don't latch.
- Cook for about 5 minutes or until outside is golden brown and the lines have cooked into the sandwich. If you are cooking on a griddle, you'll have to turn the sandwich and cook the other side.
- If you are using a large flat loaf and have made two large sandwiches, cut in half on the diagnol. Each half is one serving.
- The nutrition calculations are just for amusement on this recipe and represent my best guess of the products you’ll use.
- Use precooked vegan pepperoni or sausage. Slice if needed. If not yet fully cooked, you will need to cook before adding to the sandwich.
- A great recipe for vegan tofu sausage crumbles can be found here.