Skip to Content

Everyday Chicken and Prosciutto Panini Recipe

A chicken, provolone and prosciutto panini recipe. Learn how to make a panini sandwich without a panini press.  Discover super ideas for panini fillings, toppings and the perfect bread for panini! Make this today.

Chicken and prosciutto panini sandwich cut in half on a cutting board.
Pin this recipe.

While traveling in Italy, we came across some of the best food I have ever eaten.  Besides the amazing cheese and charcuterie selections, we were blessed with some beautiful Italian sandwiches called paninis.

They were everywhere in Tuscany and my favorite was made by Stefano Ricci at Bar Pan e Vin in Corniglia located in a small thousand year old town in the region known as La Cinque Terra.

While enjoying my Italian lunch on the patio, I witnessed an exuberant fan exclaim, “Molto Bene!  How do you do it?”  Stefano was beaming and leaned over to reveal his secret ingredient.

“Rosemary and olive oil”, he whispered, looking around suspiciously.  He told anybody who asked but as long as he whispers it, I guess it’s a secret.

If you are planning a trip to La Cinque Terra, consider staying in Corniglia.  It is the least over-run-by-tourists of the five towns. This is probably due to the fact that it is high on the hill overlooking the Mediterranean.  You can either walk up the hill from the train or wait for the bus to take you up.

Christiana Ricci is Stefano’s lovely wife and she rents small flats to visitors.  You can find her rentals on AirBNB or VRBO.

Ciabatta bread being cut in half on a bread board.
Ciabatta bread being cut lengthwise on a cutting board.
Ciabatta bread cut into fourths.

Tips for making great panini sandwiches

  • Lots of rosemary and olive oil is key.  It’s amazing how herb infused oil can transform a sandwich.  You can also use other herbs or blends such as za’atar, oregano or thyme.
  • Ciabatta or focaccia is the best bread for this type of sandwich, it holds up well to the harassment of the panini press.
  • Use the best quality ingredients.  I’ve heard this so many times it’s almost cliche but it is absolutely true.
  • If you are going to use vegetables for a vegetarian version, roast the vegetables first to bring out their flavor and to release some moisture.  This will help prevent your panini from getting soggy.
  • Get creative with your sauces and fillings.  I bet pesto or mustard would be great.
Rosemary in a small dish.
Olive oil being poured over rosemary.
Brushing olive oil and rosemary on ciabatta.

Ideas on how to make a panini without a panini press

The main idea is to press the sandwich and make it more dense.  Without a panini press, you would weigh it down while cooking on one side and then flip the sandwich over and press again.

Items you can use to press your panini:

  • heavy skillet like cast iron
  • a plate and then something heavy on top like a tea kettle with water in it
  • a small but heavy casserole dish
  • a brick wrapped in aluminum foil
Prosciutto and provolone on a cutting board.

Panini fillings

Below are some ideas for simple Italian panini as well as gourmet panini.

  • Turkey and swiss
  • Cuban
  • Tomato, mozzarella and basil – also known as a Caprese
  • Roast beef and swiss
  • Ham and cheddar
  • Corn beef, sauerkraut, swiss, Russian dressing – also known as a Reuben
  • Steak, swiss and onions
  • Bacon and smoked gouda
  • Brie and apples
  • Salami and provolone
  • Roasted red peppers and gruyere
  • Pesto
  • Olive oil and rosemary or Za’atar
  • Serbian relish
  • Curry Fry Sauce
  • Chimichurri Rojo
Pin this recipe.
Panini sandwich assembled and on a cast iron skillet.
Panini sandwich being pressed using a second cast iron skillet.
Finished panini sandwich.

Great sides to serve with panini 

Cafe in Oltrarno, Italy

Get creative with your panini creations and leave a comment below sharing how you made yours.

Also, very important, go explore the World around you.

CRAVING MORE?  Subscribe to my newsletter and join me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest recipe and news!

Did you make this recipe?  Don’t forget to rate the recipe and comment below!  Take a picture and tag us @FusionCraftiness #FusionCraftiness on Instagram for a chance to be featured in our Insta Stories:)

La Cinque Terra

All the best, Ciao!

Pin this recipe.
Chicken and Prosciutto Panini.Reminiscent of some wonderful sandwiches Miss B and I had in Corniglia, Italy.

Everyday Chicken and Prosciutto Panini

Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

A chicken, provolone and prosciutto panini recipe plus how-to instructions on how to make a panini sandwich without a panini press.  Discover super ideas for panini fillings and toppings too!


  • 1 Ciabatta bread loaf, sliced into four servings
  • 4 oz Prosciutto
  • 8 oz sliced cooked chicken breast
  • 8 oz Provolone
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbs minced rosemary, fresh or dried
  • 1 brick covered in foil or heavy pan such as cast iron


  1. Mix olive oil and rosemary, set aside for a few hours or overnight.
  2. Brush both sides of bread with rosemary olive oil.
  3. Assemble sandwiches with ciabatta, prosciutto, provolone and chicken.
  4. Cook in heavy skillet, cast iron works well, heat on low-medium.
  5. Weigh sandwich down with brick or second heavy skillet or both. When one side is browned, flip sandwich and re-apply weight. Sandwich is done when browned, heated through and cheese is melted.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 sandwich
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 772Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 1858mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 50g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Amy Nash

Tuesday 27th of March 2018

I loved this post! Not only because I'm obsessed with panini (hot, dense savory sandwiches are my jam), but because when we traveled to Italy, Corniglia was also my favorite spot for lunch as well while hiking Cinque Terra! Only I opted for the most incredible bruschetta there instead of a panini that day. And it was too long ago for me to remember where it was that we were eating but it very well could have been the same place. Thanks for transporting me back there!


Monday 26th of March 2018

That first photo totally drew me in to your post! I wanted to reach in and grab that panino for lunch! I've been dying to go to Italy. I'd really like to experience Tuscany without getting too touristy. Your VRBO recommendation sounds like the perfect way to do that. I think I need to make some panini and make my travel plans!


Monday 26th of March 2018

If you love food, Italy and France are a must-do. Thank you for your kind words, I'm rooting for you.

Tracy Koslicki

Sunday 25th of March 2018

Wow! What a sandwich! And oh my gosh I am SO bummed now that Corniglia was one of the 2 villages in Cinque Terra we didn't make it to because actually there was a fire! I've always said it just means I have to go back, and now I know where to stay and eat!


Monday 26th of March 2018

Isn't Cinque Terra AMAZING Tracy? I want to go back. If you hike the trails up the mountain, there's actually more small towns and the trails take you through terraced vineyards. It was so amazing.


Sunday 25th of March 2018

What a wonderful "trick". I can just taste the crispiness that the olive oil provides and the earthiness of the rosemary. I love foccacia in a panini sandwich as it usually has quite a bit of oil in the dough and it adds even more flavour to the panini. Oh, and thanks for your ideas on how to make it without an actual panini press. I'm definitely going to try one of them


Monday 26th of March 2018

Good luck Julia and have fun! It really is very easy.


Sunday 25th of March 2018

What a gorgeous panini! I love the flavors here. I've been wanting to make panini sandwiches for ages now, but it keeps getting put on the back burner for some inexcusable reason. Thanks for the delicious reminder. So jealous of your voyage through Italy! I hope to one day go, and eat my way through the entire journey. I mean, can you do Italy any other way?


Monday 26th of March 2018

I think eating everything is a must! If you go during off season, everything is about 30% cheaper, including airfare.

Skip to Recipe