Ham and cheese never looked so good! This ham, gruyère, and apple panini is a step up from your typical sandwich, but it couldn’t be easier. Sautéeing the Granny Smith apples with thyme gives them a delicious savory-sweet flavor, and softens them just enough so they still keep some of their bite. The creamy, nutty flavor of the gruyère pairs perfectly with the smokey ham, and the apples add an unexpected tartness.
A cross between a classic deli sandwich and grilled cheese, this panini is bright, savory, and super comforting on a chilly fall day. It’s easiest to make with a panini maker, but grill pan or skillet works just as well. Griddled sandwiches are one of my favorite ways to kick a basic lunch up a notch. I especially love a pizza panini, and this cinnamon swirl one is the perfect balance of sweet and savory.
Ham, Gruyère, and Apple Panini
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 8 ½-inch-thick slices country-style white bread
- ½ cup whole-grain mustard
- 2 cups 8 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
- 8 1-ounce slices Black Forest ham
- In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the apple slices and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are slightly soft, about 4 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes. Preheat a panini press (see Cook's Note).
- Spread each bread slice with 1 tablespoon mustard. Arrange ¼ cup of cheese on each of 4 of the bread slices and top each with 2 slices of ham. Divide the apple mixture evenly over the ham. Add the remaining cheese and place the remaining 4 bread slices, mustard side down, on top.
- Grill until the cheese has melted and the tops are golden and crispy, 5 to 6 minutes.