Carnitas Pineapple Panini

This carnitas pineapple panini is made with the meat from the Pioneer Woman’s Carnitas Pizza. Mouthwatering in every bite.

Carnitas pineapple panini

If yesterday’s carnitas pizza didn’t convince you that you need to try out the meat in that recipe, today’s post will. Unless you’re a vegetarian, in which case you’ve probably already exited out of here. Sorry, come back tomorrow, I have alcohol for you!

In my pineapple soaked meat induced haze, there was only one thing to be done with the leftover carnitas.

Paninify it with more pineapple and cheddar cheese.

Carnitas panini

This would be my 5% for last week and while I usually reserve such occasions for chocolate, there was no beating this greasy deliciousness.

It’s messy, sweet & savory with the perfect contrast of crispy chewy bread on the outside to soft, melt in your mouth carnitas on the inside. As I stood over the counter eating this (because waiting a second longer to get from the panini maker to the table was unthinkable) all I could think about was how this would be an awesome contender for that Guy Fieri show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

That’s something I never thought I’d say in reference to food on here, but there it is. Embrace it.

Beef carnitas pineapple panini

Do you want to know how nice of a person I am? I’ll tell you.

I shared this. I only ate half and saved the other one for Ulysses.

It might’ve been his birthday and I might not have been so nice the other 364 days of the year.

Just being real.

Yield: 1-2 servings

Carnitas Pineapple Panini

Carnitas Pineapple Panini

This carnitas pineapple panini is made with the meat from the Pioneer Woman's Carnitas Pizza. Mouthwatering in every bite.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • about 1/2 cup carnitas
  • 3 slices pineapple rings, core removed
  • handful of baby spinach
  • 8 thin slices of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter


  1. Preheat panini griddle to medium-high or, if doing stop top, heat a skillet or griddle to medium high.
  2. Spread butter on one side of each piece of bread.
  3. Flip the bread over and layer cheese on both pieces.
  4. Next lay the pineapple rings on one piece of bread and then the meat on top of that.
  5. Finish with a handful of baby spinach on the piece of bread with just the cheese and flip that piece on top of the other to make a sandwich.
  6. Transfer to panini maker or skillet and press for about 3-5 minutes until cheese is sufficiently melted and oozing.
  7. Slice and half and enjoy warm.
filed in: Main Dishes
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  1. Jess

    OMGGGG. I never EVER thought to put pineapple in a panini!! I am totally going to try this with a grilled cheese, I think that would be AMAZING with the pineapple!!!

  2. Val

    Sweet and savory is the best combination. I’ve never been a big fan of the pineapple/ham Hawaiian pizza but for some reason this panini idea seems sooo delicious.

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I’ve never liked that combo either! This is different, I promise. So much better :)

  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Ok that 1st pic of yours, seriously Gina, belongs in a magazine. That is probably your best singular image I think Ive seen of yours, but on a *weekly* basis I watch you grow. Ironically, it’s of something I would never eat, ever. So that’s saying something that I think it’s so stunning :)

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I’m *blushing* Thanks, Averie :) I wish you did eat meat. It would be worth it for this ;) haha

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Thank you! coming from you, that means a lot as your pictures are constantly amazing!

  4. Yana

    This just looks fabulous. I think my 5% is going out of the window this weekend. With Cinco de Mayo, and my husbands birthday yesterday, celebration for which has been pushed to the weekend on account of him being out of town. And this. I better do my end of LiveFit Phase I measurements tomorrow morning. And maybe not step on that scale for couple days after that. That cardio on Monday will be very welcome. Now I need to go buy me some beef.

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