Lemon-Basil Grilled Cheese Panini

For all of my fellow lemon lovers out there, this one is for you. Lemon zest and fresh basil make these about the most fresh-tasting grilled cheese sandwiches you’re going to find.

Lemon-Basil Grilled Cheese Panini - The Lemon Bowl

I don’t know about you, but cheese is the reason I could never be a vegan. In fact, the only thing I’ve craved more  during this pregnancy is hearty, bakery-style bread. This Lemon-Basil Grilled Cheese Panini from my friend Kathy Stahs’ new cookbook, The Ultimate Panini Press, is pretty much heaven on a plate. Filled with fresh basil, bright lemon zest and a tangy combination of feta and mozzarella cheeses, it hits the spot on every level.

Panini Press Cookbook Cover - The Lemon Bowl

Since I don’t own a panini press, my friend let me borrow her panini pan which is essentially a grill pan with a heavy lid. The panini cooked up in less than 5 minutes with a golden crust and perfectly melted cheese. With recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, I quickly discovered why my friend told me she would miss her pan while I used it!

It looks like I will be adding a panini press to my Christmas wish list….Kathy’s Greek Lamb Panini with Feta, Tapenade and Sun-Dried Tomatoes is next on my list!

No fork required.

Lemon-Basil Grilled Cheese Panini Square - The Lemon Bowl

Lemon-Basil Grilled Cheese Panini

4.67 stars average
Lemon zest and fresh basil make these about the most fresh-tasting grilled cheese sandwiches you’re going to find.
PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 5 minutes
TOTAL: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 4 ounces shredded mozzarella (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 slices Italian or sourdough bread (sliced from a dense bakery loaf)


  • Heat the panini press to medium-high heat.
  • Toss together the mozzarella, feta, lemon zest, and basil in a medium-size bowl.
  • For each sandwich: Brush olive oil on two slices of bread to flavor the outside of the sandwich. Flip over one slice and top the other side with a layer of the cheese mixture. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, oiled side up.
  • Grill two panini at a time, with the lid closed, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted, 4 to 5 minutes.


Calories: 420kcalCarbohydrates: 57.5gProtein: 20.5gFat: 12.4gSaturated Fat: 5.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7.2gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 870mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2g

SHOW AND TELL ON INSTAGRAM!Show me your creation and rate it below! Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!

41 thoughts on “Lemon-Basil Grilled Cheese Panini”

  1. Nice twist to the classic grilled cheese sandwich. Didn’t had the panini press, but turned out fine on a non stick pan.
    Thanks for new breakfast idea

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