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If I have a choice between a hot sandwich and a cold sandwich, I’m pretty much always going to order a toasty warm one. I love how heating and pressing a sandwich makes the cheeze all melty inside. And can we talk about how good toasted bread is? That first crunchy bite is like heaven. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been obsessing over this Vegan Panini Recipe!

vegan panini

Panini is literally the Italian word for “sandwiches.” The singular form is “panino,” so I suppose we can call this recipe a vegan smoked gouda, apple, and arugula panino. Though, I’m not sure anyone would know what I’m talking about if I go around shouting “panino” and dramatically shoveling a toasted sandwich in my mouth. Whatever you want to call it, this little handheld is a flavor bomb.

vegan panini

This Is How You Get It Real Crispy

While delicious, this vegan panini filled with smoked gouda, apple, and arugula isn’t hard to make. It all starts with really good bread and ends with a sprinkle of garlic powder, which gets seared into the crispy crust. Inside, sliced apple, fresh arugula, and a schmear of our Smoked Gouda Cheeze Spread seals the deal. I also added a dab of dijon mustard to each bread slice – it’s a little known secret that takes vegan grilled cheese and paninis to the next level.

vegan panini

If you don’t have a panini press, you can use a waffle iron like I did. Just rotate it once halfway through to get your sandwich nice and crispy all the way around. Don’t have any sort of device for making hot pressed sandwiches? You can make this on the stovetop in a skillet. Just set another heavy pan on top of the sandwich to get the pressed effect, then flip and toast the other side. I hope you enjoy it!

Ps. Let me know on Instagram if you make this Vegan Panini Recipe and what you thought of it!



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Vegan Panini Recipe

with a Vegan Filling of Smoked Gouda, Apple, and Arugula

vegan panini

Serves 2


  • 4 slices of sourdough bread (or gluten-free bread)
  • 4 teaspoons of dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup Plant Perks Smoked Gouda Cheeze Spread
  • 1 sweet apple, sliced (I used a Pink Lady apple)
  • 2 cups of arugula
  • 4 tablespoons vegan butter
  • Sprinkle of garlic powder


  1. Heat up your waffle iron or panini press. 
  2. Spread a teaspoon of dijon mustard on all four slices of bread, followed by a tablespoon of Smoked Gouda Cheeze Spread. Add the sliced apple and arugula to two of the slices and top with the remaining bread. Now spread both sides of each sandwich with vegan butter and sprinkle with garlic powder.
  3. One at a time, press the sandwiches in the waffle iron or panini press until the bread is golden brown and the cheeze is gooey. Slice and enjoy!  

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