Make a chili cheddar panini with your leftovers for dinner tonight

Mar 17, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. ET

I have a panini maker that takes up about one-third of a corner cabinet worth of space, and yet I never use it. So I made a decision the other day to give myself a month to see how often I can use it, and if it's not used at least three times, it's getting donated, because after spending the last year trying to clean out my parents' house of all their stuff, I've resolved to never become that person who has an attic and basement full of things that never get used.

So, with that in mind, leftover chili got a makeover. A messy, cheesy, comfort food decadence kind of makeover. But I can assure you, every bite and all the napkins you'll need while eating this are worth it. Because thick buttered bread makes everything better, even chili.

Chili cheddar panini recipe

Chili leftovers are sandwiched between bread with lots of melted, gooey cheese. Comfort food in panini form!

Serves 1

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes | Total time: 10 minutes


  • 2 slices thick bread
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup warm leftover chili
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 green onion, chopped


  1. Preheat a panini maker or griddle.
  2. Spread butter on the outside of both slices of bread.
  3. Lay 2 slices of cheddar on the opposite side of each piece of bread.
  4. Spread mozzarella on top of the cheddar.
  5. Place the bottom slice of bread buttered side down onto the panini maker.
  6. Spoon the chili on top of the cheese, sprinkle green onions on top, and carefully place the other slice of bread on top.
  7. Press down on the panini maker (or cook for 2 minutes on 1 side, and carefully flip the sandwich if using a pan or griddle), and cook for 3 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the bread is toasted.

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