Kale, Apple and Cheddar Panini with Strawberry Jam

Sautéed kale is not just for side dishes. Give it a try as a sandwich base and you will forget all about lunch meat. This Kale, Apple and Cheddar Panini with Strawberry Jam is a hearty vegetarian sandwich with seasonal farm-fresh favorites. It is comfort food that packs a nutritious punch and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.

2 sub sandwich loaves (5 to 6 inches each), cut from a baguette
1 medium bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 small apple, cored and thinly sliced
2 slices white cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons strawberry jam (preferably homemade)


  1. Preheat a panini maker to medium-high. Slice sandwich loaves in half and set aside.
  2. Remove stems from kale and roughly chop. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add kale and water. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Add balsamic vinegar and cook or another minute, tossing to evenly coat.
  3. Layer apple slices, kale and cheddar cheese on the bottom bread slices. Spread strawberry jam on the top bread slices. Stack together and place sandwiches in the panini maker, closing the top. Grill until the bread is crusty and golden and cheese has melted. Slice sandwiches in half and serve.

Note: If you do not have a panini maker, use a grill pan or skillet and flip the sandwich to grill both sides. Placing a heavy skillet on top of the panini while grilling will give you the panini effect.

Servings: 2

5 thoughts on “Kale, Apple and Cheddar Panini with Strawberry Jam

  1. A George Foreman grill doubles as our panini maker!
    I also love jam on a panini. Great flavors here!

    1. What a great idea to use your George Foreman grill! Thanks so much! 🙂 I discovered a strawberry jalapeño jam recently and need to try that one on a panini soon too.

      1. I bet it’s great! There is lovely little spot to grab a panini nearby called Buttermilk in Geneva, IL and they have one called the fig and pig, ham off the bone, arugula, brie, and fig preserves. OMG it’s love! What would you combine with the strawberry/jalpeno? I would love to see that as a salsa with shrimp!

      2. Oh, the jalapeño strawberry combo would be great as a salsa with shrimp! 🙂 I think the jam would go well with smoked meat. We are smoking our turkey tomorrow, so may need to try that with some leftovers. Oh, the panini from Buttermilk sounds amazing!!!

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