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Lisa’s Pizza Panini

If you’ve been to Italy you must have stopped in to an Italian forno. These bakeries have everything from cookies to pizza and, Lisa’s favorite, stuffed panini. One of Lisa’s favorite memories is of taking her children to Sartoni, the forno in downtown Florence that was right behind the old Coin store, where Lisa would buy her children’s clothes. After a long day of walking around Florence and outfitting her children, Lisa would stop with them into Sartoni and they would eat their favorite stuffed panini. Sometimes it would be pizza, sometimes it would be tuna! It would just depend on what the forno had made that day. Over the years Lisa has made her own version of these panini, combining the best of pizza and Italian sandwiches. Let’s call it a pizza panino! Make these to feel like you are walking into your favorite Italian forno, picking a number to stand in line, and ordering your favorite panino or slice of pizza while you are home in the U.S. And while you’re at it, buy Lisa’s Italian Sunday Sauce here or at Whole Foods stores in Indiana, or even on Amazon, to make the recipe even easier! Buon appetito e tutti a tavola!

Lisa’s Pizza Panini Ingredients:

Pizza Panino

4 balls of pizza dough, 1 lb each

12 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese

1 26 ounce jar Lisa’s Italian Sunday Sauces, Classic Red

Various vegetables:

  • 12 ounces sautéed and sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can sliced black olives
  • 2 handfuls of arugula
  • optional 6 slices prosciutto
  • optional 6 slices mortadella
  • optional 4 ounces sliced provolone

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper.

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

Lisa’s Pizza Panini Directions:

Roll out 4 balls of pizza dough to fit in 13 x 9 inch jelly roll pans. Coat the bottom of the pans with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place 1 rolled out pizza dough on each pan. Cover with ½ a jar of tomato sauce, followed by shredded mozzarella, followed by ingredients of your choice.

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After all the fillings have been placed on the bottom layer of the pizza dough sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Top each pizza with the second rolled out pizza dough. Pinch at the edges so it closes.

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Pour 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil on each pizza and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning on top of each pizza. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until as golden as you like.

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  • Lisa Caponigri

    Lisa Caponigri is the author of This is Sunday Dinner and Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?, published by Sterling Epicure. Both of Lisa's cookbooks brim with her memories of living in Italy, both as a child and as an adult raising her own family, anecdotes about her family, regional and seasonal Italian specialties, and all the advice needed to get a spectacular Sunday Dinner on the table, every Sunday of the year. She has developed a line of prepared foods and sauces called Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Lisa debuted on HSN and has appeared on QVC. She has also appeared on a variety of television programs, including Seattle's New Day Northwest, Good Morning Toronto, Chicago's WGNLunchbreak, and New England Cooks, to name a few. Lisa is frequently consulted as an expert in Italian lifestyle and food. Lisa Caponigri lives in South Bend, IN and travels frequently to Italy to research the latest in "la dolce vita". Visit to learn more about Lisa!

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