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Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Arugula-Walnut Pesto

Make the roasted red peppers and pesto in advance and these sandwiches come together in minutes!

Course Sandwiches
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches
Calories 512 kcal
Author Hello Veggie


For the Arugula-Walnut Pesto:

  • 2 cups packed arugula leaves
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the panini:

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 large loaf ciabatta bread cut in quarters and then halved lengthwise (or 4 ciabatta rolls)
  • 1 batch Arugula Pesto
  • 1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 slices
  • Olive oil


To make the pesto:

  1. Combine the arugula, walnuts, cheese, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, then pour olive oil through the feed tube and continue to process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the panini:

  1. Preheat oven to 500ºF or broil.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil. Place the peppers on the pan and broil them until the skin begins to char, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and using oven mitts, wrap the foil around the peppers. Steam the peppers in the foil for 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully remove the peppers from the foil and transfer them to a cutting board to cool slightly. Once they're cool enough to work with, peel off the skin, cut off the stem, scrape out the seeds, and discard them. Cut the rest of the peppers into thick strips.
  4. Spread the pesto onto the bottom halves of the bread. Divide the pepper strips over the pesto, then place the mozzarella on top of the pepper. Top with the remaining slices of bread and brush the tops with olive oil.
  5. Heat a grill pan or griddle over medium heat. Flip the sandwiches over and place them on the grill pan oiled-side down, then brush the other side of the sandwich with oil. Use a spatula to press the sandwiches down slightly. Cook 5-8 minutes on each side, or until the bread is toasted and golden brown and the cheese is melted.

Recipe Notes

To save time, you can use jarred roasted red peppers instead of making them yourself.

Nutrition Facts
Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Red Pepper Panini with Arugula-Walnut Pesto
Amount Per Serving (1 sandwich)
Calories 512 Calories from Fat 245
% Daily Value*
Fat 27.2g42%
Saturated Fat 8.9g56%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 2.8g12%
Sugar 2.6g3%
Protein 23.2g46%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.