Vegan Panini

Vegan Italian Panini

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: sandwich, lunch, healthy, vegan
  • Method: Grill, Cook
  • Cuisine: American


Vegan Italian Panini! This panini is SO good, the best sandwich for summer! Grilled mushrooms, zucchini with lemon tofu and lemon-basil mayo.



  • 1 (14 ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, from the lemons you just squeezed
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 2 large portabello mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup vegan mayo (I love Chosen Foods, Just Mayo and Vegannaise the best)
  • ~1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 8 slices whole grain bread of choice (I love a sourdough for these)


  1. Drain and press the tofu to get as much water out as possible, then slice into slabs as pictured. You want them to be able to easily fit on the sandwich, so I usually slice in 1/2, then 1/2 again and then into quarter slabs.
  2. Place the tofu in a single layer in a rimmed baking sheet and whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic and salt. Pour over the tofu and shake to evenly cover, then marinate for at least 15 minutes. I think this tastes best when marinated for at least 30 minutes-1 hour- but I’ve also made it without marinating it at all. Do what you’ve got time for!
  3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the tofu on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through and until golden brown.
  4. While the tofu is baking, thinly slice the mushrooms and zucchini. I remove the stem from the portobellos, then thinly slice widthwise. For the zucchini, I remove the ends and thinly slice into long strips.
  5. Heat a grill pan over medium heat and lightly brush with oil. Place the veggies on the grill, lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and grill until tender and slightly crispy. Remove the veggies.
  6. Whisk together the mayo, chopped basil, zest together.
  7. Assemble the sandwich! Spread the lemon basil mayo on all slices of bread. Place 1 slice of bread on the grill pan and top with a layer of tofu, zucchini and mushrooms. Place another slice of mayo’d bread on top (face down) and place a heavy object on top to press the sandwich down. (This is our version of a panini press.) I usually use my cast-iron pan and press down on it for a minute or so. Flip once golden, then do the same thing to the other side- pressing down until cooked and golden.


You may end up with more tofu and vegetables than you need, depending on how loaded you make these and how large your bread is. That’s OK! Leftovers are good.

Keywords: sandwich, vegan, lunch, healthy, tofu, zucchini