Before I made these panini, it had probably been two years since I had bitten into a grilled cheese sandwich. Two years. After one bite of these grilled beauties, I began wondering what had kept me away for so long. Crusty bread, melted cheese – salty, crispy and gloriously delicious. And when you add a layer of mashed California Avocado, it’s nearly impossible to resist these panini.
As satisfying as a basic grilled cheese sandwich can be, I am a sucker for any dish that combines sweet and savory flavors. If you’ve ever had melted Brie with pepper jelly or salmon with a sweet peach salsa, you know what I mean. They light up every taste bud and satisfying every craving in one fell swoop.
With a bounty of California Avocados in my kitchen and some melt-worthy fresh mozzarella on hand, I put together a grilled panini, complete with sweet mango slices and chopped basil, that we’ll be making over and over again.
Tips for making these Grilled Avocado Mango Panini:
- Smash the avocado, squeeze in some lime juice, and season with salt and a drizzle of agave nectar or honey. The agave nectar offsets the tang of the lime juice. If the mango you’re using isn’t terribly sweet, add extra agave to the avocado. You’re going for a good balance of sweet and savory.
- Using a ripe mango is key! Ideally, you want tender pieces of fruit that have plenty of flavor.
- If you have a panini maker, grilling these sandwiches couldn’t be easier. No panini maker? No problem! Instead, you can use a grill pan or cast iron skillet.
- To achieved that pressed panini look without a panini maker, place a heavy skillet on top of the sandwiches while cooking. Another option is to use a brick covered in foil.
Grilled California Avocado Mango Panini Recipe
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
1 California Avocado, peeled and seeded
2 tbsp. lime juice
½ tsp. agave nectar
1/8 tsp. salt
4 slices bread, toasted
½ mango, thinly sliced
4 oz. fresh mozzarella
4 basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
- Preheat a panini maker or grill pan
- Scoop the avocado into a bowl. Mash with the back of a fork, then stir in the lime juice, agave nectar and salt.
- Divide the mashed avocado evenly between two pieces of the bread. Divide the mango, mozzarella and basil between the two sandwiches.
- Close the sandwiches with the remaining pieces of bread. Brush both sides of each sandwich with olive oil.
- Place the sandwiches on the panini maker and close the lid. Cook until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted. If using a grill pan, flip the sandwiches halfway through cooking and place a heavy skillet on top of the sandwiches to press down.
- Cut in half. Serve.