Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Pancetta

During our visit to Kansas City this summer, my mother-in-law (M.I.L.) made the most awesome Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Pancetta paninis I've ever tasted.  First let me preface this story with the fact that my M.I.L. loves to watch Food Network and this particular panini recipe was featured on Giada at Home.  My M.I.L. loves to cook and try new recipes in the kitchen.  She has a kitchen full of gadgets to support her cooking habit, but she didn't have a panini maker.  Well, what does she do.... she goes out and buys one of course.  This was such a good purchase in my opinion because the paninis she made were to die for!  I've made the same recipe at home on my mini George Foreman grill.  Terrance said that mine tasted as good as his moms.  I said "as good as or better?"  He said "as good as, that's all you're gonna get!"  I guess it's true that boys are loyal to their moms!

Well here's the recipe for everyone to try:


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 6 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mild Cheddar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil, plus extra, as needed
  • 2 packed cups coarsely chopped baby spinach
  • 16 (1/3-inch-thick) slices country-style white bread

 Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray. Lay the pancetta in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets and bake until crispy and brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Cool for 5 minutes and crumble. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine the butter, cheeses, salt, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Blend until smooth, adding extra oil, as needed, until the mixture is spreadable. Add the spinach and pulse until just combined.

Preheat a panini maker. Spread the cheese mixture over 8 slices of bread. Top with the crumbled pancetta. Put the remaining bread slices on top. Grill the sandwiches, 2 at a time, until golden and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes, then cut each sandwich in half and arrange on a platter.

Umm Umm Good!


  1. Where is the photo of the sandwich? This sounds awesome but I'm a visual person when it comes to new receipes. I have to see it and it has to look good for me to try it. Pic please!


    your bff/cuz....

  2. Tan,

    ummm...it's a friggin' grilled cheese sandwich basically. So close your eyes and imagine two slices of bread toasted with cheese oozing from the sides.... oh and with a surprise of bacon on the inside...oh and the spinach turns it green so don't freak out! You can't taste the spinach. It just makes you feel healthy and takes some of the guilt out of all that oozing cheese!

  3. I STILL WANT A PIC!!!!!!!


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