Photo of Spicy manchego and serrano panini by WW

Spicy manchego and serrano panini

Total Time
13 min
7 min
6 min
Bring home the flavors of Portugal with this cheesy, delicious and oh-so-speedy panini recipe. Ready in a quick 13 minutes, these panini feature Serrano ham, a traditional Spanish air-dried cured meat. Serrano has a drier texture than prosciutto and thus a more intense flavor. It is paired with the creamy roasted flavor of Manchego cheese and a spicy pimento aioli, making these sandwiches burst with big taste. Arugula pairs well with these sandwiches whether added to the ingredients or as a peppery-fresh side salad with a lightly lemony vinaigrette. In colder months, try these sandwiches with another Portuguese favorite, stew. With so many varieties from fish to chicken, a warming meal is definitely easy to construct.


Reduced calorie mayonnaise

¼ cup(s)

Whole wheat sandwich thin(s)

4 item(s), split opened


1 tsp, smoked

Serrano ham

4 oz

Shredded manchego cheese

10 Tbsp

Cooking spray

4 spray(s)

Table salt

1 pinch(es), optional


  1. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and paprika; spread about 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture on each roll bottom. Layer each sandwich with 1 ounce ham and 2 1/2 tablespoons cheese; cover with roll tops.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Coat both sides of sandwiches lightly with cooking spray; sprinkle tops with salt. Cook sandwiches, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, until cheese is melted. Slice each in half and serve warm. Yields 2 panini halves per serving.


The directions above are for cooking the sandwich in a skillet. If you prefer to make your sandwich open-face (as photographed), divide all the ingredients evenly between the bread tops and bottoms and broil until the cheese melts.