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Turkey Paninis with Candied Bacon and Avocado

While the ingredients matter, and the candied bacon really adds a whole other level to your panini, the secret is in the mayo on the outside of the bread for the ultimate crust!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: panini, sandwich
Servings: 4 sandwiches

Ingredients

Candied Bacon

  • 1 lb thick cut bacon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne optional

Sandwiches

  • 8 slices bread I love Trader Joe's San Fran bread
  • 1/2-1 lb sliced turkey
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 4-8 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • mayo & mustard, optional, for sandwiches
  • lettuce, optional

Instructions

Candied Bacon

  • Prepare baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on top of the baking sheet; spray cooling rack lightly with cooking spray to prevent sticking. 
    Set aside.
  • Coat bacon in brown sugar and line cooling rack with bacon slices.
  • Place in the cold oven set to 350. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the bacon reaches desired crispiness. 
  • Allow to cool and harden at least 5 minutes before using. 

Sandwiches

  • Prepare bread by spreading mayonnaise on the outside of the slices. 
  • Heat up panini maker; if using a grill pan, wait to heat the pan until your sandwiches are assembled. 
  • Layer sandwiches with cheese on one side of the bread and make this the side you place down first. The cheese will stick to the bread making it easier to flip. 
  • If you are using a grill pan, lightly spray the grill pay with cooking spray and place your sandwich(es) down on the pan; place a heavier pot on top to press the sandwich into the grill pan. 
    If you are using a panini maker, place two sandwiches on the grill and gently close the top applying light pressure. (Do not press so hard that your fillings spill out.)
  • Monitor the bread for toastiness; remove from grill pan or panini maker when done. 
  • Optional: I add lettuce and mayo/mustard to the inside of the bread on the slices without cheese once the paninis are done. Nobody likes hot lettuce!