Provolone Pepperoni Pepper Panini


Nom Nom Nom! That’s one gorgeous panini!

Today I am going to introduce you to Karen from Inspired Art of Cooking, and also the author of her very own cook book, Karen’s story.

Karen’s story is an inspirational one, and I urge you all to take a moment and read about it on her site.

“Karen came to a place of true acceptance of living with a chronic illness and traded the animosity for a life of meaning and purpose. She has chosen to overcome the obstacles in life, and through that, God has given her the passion to create recipes from scratch, and to live life to the fullest no matter how hard it is.”


Cooking shouldn’t be an obligation. It’s meant to be enjoyable and creative. It’s about putting your personal touch into everything you make. Cooking isn’t black-and-white, but it’s meant to be a mixture from the entire spectrum. With my recipes, I allow you to play with your food again! In this panini recipe, I offer a range of measurements so that you can be the chef of your meal and decide how little or much flavor you desire in this sandwich. Like all of my recipes in my cookbook Karen’s story, alternative ingredients are listed below for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free dieters, those with peanut allergies, as well as eaters with other dietary needs. You’ll also find plenty of helpful and fun tips below to aid in both preparation and food storage and to help save money, among others.

This recipe came about when I didn’t know what to cook one night. We had not been to the store, and the cupboard was nearly bare. I’ve discovered that I write some of my best recipes when making something out of nothing. This off-the-cuff recipes has become one of our family favorites, and I hope it becomes one of yours too.

Provolone Pepperoni Pepper Panini

(serves 4)

You will need:

  • ¼ – ½ sliced onion
  • ¼ – ½ sliced bell pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 slices pumpernickel bread
  • ¼ -½ lb deli-sliced pepperoni
  • 8-16 slices provolone cheese
  • ½- 1 Pesto, store- bought or homemade (recipe below)

Homemade Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • ½ bunch fresh parsley
  • 2-3 cloves grated/chopped garlic
  • ¼ – ½ cup peanuts/pine nuts
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ – ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Pesto Preparation

  • In a food processor combine basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts/peanuts, lemon zest with the juice from lemon and parmesan cheese.
  • While processing, pour in extra virgin olive oil. Add amount of oil to reach desired thickness. Makes roughly ¾ cup.

Sandwich Preparation

  • Turn on Panini/sandwich maker or place non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  • In a separate skillet on stovetop over medium- high heat, sauté onion and pepper slices with olive oil until onion is translucent and/or vegetables are tender.
  • Spread pesto on one side of each piece of pumpernickel bread.
  • On top of pesto side, layer 4 slices of bread with a couple of pepperoni slices and 1-2 slices provolone cheese. Spoon on onions and bell peppers.
  • Add another couple of slices of pepperoni on top of peppers and onions. Form a sandwich by placing a piece of bread on top, pesto side down.
  • Place in Panini/sandwich maker or skillet. Cook until cheese is melted. If cooking in skillet, flip sandwich halfway through.


Original Ingredient: Replace With:
bell pepper mild peppers (cubanelle, poblano, or Anaheim), medium heat to hot peppers (fresno, jalapeño, chipotle in adobo, serrano or habanero peppers), or any type of pepper
extra virgin olive oil vegetable oil, butter/margarine, or dairy-free margarine
pumpernickel bread brown rice bread, rice bread, or any type of sliced bread
deli-sliced pepperoni thinly sliced soy-based pepperoni, pancetta, prosciutto, salami, ham, corn beef, pastrami, turkey or prepackaged pepperoni
provolone cheese any type of sliced cheese or soy-based cheese
basil tarragon or mint
parsley chervil or cilantro
garlic cloves ¼ – ½ tsp garlic powder or ½ – 1tsp minced garlic
peanuts/pine nuts sunflower seeds, almonds, chickpeas (drain and dry), or any type of nuts
lemon lime
parmesan cheese soy-based cheese or any type of grated cheese




  1. says

    Yes kate! That is a gergeous panini!!
    Tq for posting the recipe & introduce us to karen…
    I already enjoying my read in this short post by karen :)
    And I want u to know that u won an award at my site kate… congratulations!! 😉

    • says

      Thank you for your comment. I hope you will love this panini as much as we do. The flavors just go together and taste so great. Thanks again for your post and I was happy to share with you all. Thanks for reading.

    • says

      Thanks for your post. It is great to hear that some of your best have come out the same way mine have. Thanks for the comment my pics. I hope you will love this recipe as much as we do. Thanks again for your post.

    • says

      Thank you so much. I have swaps not just in this recipe but in all my other recipes in my cookbook. I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the book. I am glad my picture is making you drool because the panini will even more. Thanks for your post.

    • says

      Thank you so much for your comments. The alternatives are not just in this recipe but also in all my others in my cookbook. I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy all my recipes. Thanks again for your post.

    • says

      Thank you for your comment. I hope when you make this you will love it as much as we do. The substitutions are not just in this recipe but all my recipes from my cook book. I wanted everyone to be able to use my book and enjoy each recipe. Thanks for your post as well.

  2. says

    Nice to meet you Karen, your panini look fantastic. Flavors blend together and I can imagine the great aroma of peppers…and of course provolone and pesto are always amazing in sandwiches. Thanks for sharing ! Wishing you both awesome day!

  3. says

    Hello, my friend! I hope you’re still having an awesome time. I do miss you.

    Karen, so good to meet you. I look forward to heading to your blog and seeing more of your delicious food, as well as reading your story. This may be the first panini I’ve seen made with pumpernickel and I’m in love with it. I’d swap out the peppers since we’re not fans of them heated, but the rest looks fantastic. Many thanks for sharing your “winged-it” recipe!

    • says

      Thank you so much for checking out my website. I hope that I was able to inspire you through it. The Pumpernickel bread makes it even more tasty. I hope you will love it when you make it. Thanks again for your sweet comments. As for the peppers, you can leave them out all together or swap for any other vegetable you like. Either way, it will taste great!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>