Smoked Salmon Panini with Lemon Dill Mayonnaise

Five minutes and a panini press is all you need to turn your smoked salmon sandwich into a gourmet meal.

Smoked Salmon Sandwich with Lemon Dill Mayonnaise

Getting a panini press was one of the best ideas I had in all of 2015. If you don’t have one of these kitchen tools I urge you to get one, it’s one of the best ever invented. Being able to transform any regular sandwich into a hot and delicious meal within minutes and with almost zero cleanup is close to magical and has revolutionized my lunches.

I have already stuffed just about anything I could think of between the two hot plates and one of my current favorites is this smoked salmon panini with lemon dill mayonnaise. Now this sandwich is a bit of a special case because it is delicate (you don’t want the mayo to be squirting out all over the place) and because it tastes best just warm but not hot. So what I do is I press it very lightly, just enough to grill the bread and warm the stuffing just a tad.

The star of this recipe is the lemon dill mayonnaise; it’s tangy, dilly and slightly peppery from the freshly cracked black pepper I mix in (the pepper is a very important component, don’t be tempted to skip it). The mayo complements the smoked salmon perfectly and really elevates the panini from good to great. If you don’t have a panini press you can make this recipe just as a sandwich of course but it’s definitely better pressed.


Smoked Salmon Panini with Lemon Dill Mayonnaise Recipe

serves 2


For the lemon dill mayonnaise:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the panini:

  • 4 slices multigrain bread
  • lettuce leaves
  • 4 ounces smoked salmon
  • sliced red onion (optional)



For the mayonnaise:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.

For the panini:

  1. Layer one slice of bread, one lettuce leaf, salmon, lemon dill mayonnaise, red onion (if using) and another slice of bread on top of each other and very lightly press in a hot panini press.


Food Photography and Styling: I generally don’t cluster all props together like I did here but I think in this case here it really worked because the glass, the pitcher and the sandwich were all of different height. Because the mayo is the real star of this recipe I put a bit of it in a cup and set it on the plate along with the sandwich. (The little mayo cup is from Wendy’s, I occasionally grab a few of them and take them with, you never know when they come in handy). As usual, I used my strobe to light the set.

Nikon D600, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight.


  1. Allie says:

    Taking the condiment cups from fast food places- brilliant. Guess I will have to take more trips to Wendy’s ;) And I’m envious of the at-home lunches- makes it a lot easier to have a lunch you want than having to bring stuff into the office.

    • Nicole B. says:

      Yeah, we are very lucky with our work situations, it is wonderful to have access to one’s home kitchen all day long, definitely! Enjoy your weekend, Allie! :)

  2. Shinee says:

    Nicole, I want this sandwich right now! I couldn’t eat smoked salmon for 10 months! Now that my baby boy is here, I can finally stuff my face with it!

    And I love everything about this recipe. Dill is perfect compliment to the salmon, and mayo is just the best! I need to send my husband for some salmon now! :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Omg, congratulations, Shinee!! I am excited for you!! I have never been pregnant myself but from everything I see and hear it seems to be a tremendous chore, so you absolutely deserve as many of these paninis as you like! :)

  3. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way says:

    Your sandwich looks amazing — how could you possibly take a picture of it without drooling all over the set?? I love it “icy” background — it makes the pink of the salmon jump out. Absolutely beautiful shot. AND you’ve given me a fantastic idea. A few Christmases ago we bough our son a panini press — do you know where I’m going with this?? He doesn’t use it that much and I think my hubby and I are just going to have to borrow it for a while. :-) He’s offered to lend it to us — can’t wait to pick it up. Thank you for giving me a kick in the rear — I have been wanting to get it. Now is the time.

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Marisa! This was actually the second sandwich I made, the first one didn’t look symmetric enough for a photo and I ate it, so my belly was full when I took this photo. And, yeah, go get that press, you’ll love it! :)

  4. Jay @ IndustryEats says:

    Hi Nicole,

    I was going to comment on your cream puff post and then I scrolled down to this one. I got sucked in. I’ll have to save that comment for another day.

    Anyway, I think I can handle this recipe. It looks clean and elegant. There aren’t too many ingredients, which is nice. I think the only issue will be finding smoked salmon. I live in a town of 756 people, so I’ll have to make a trip. I think it’ll be worth it though.

    Thanks for the great recipe. Thanks for the great photography.


    • Nicole B. says:

      You’re quite welcome, Jay, and thank you for your kind words! I thought I lived in a small town but you’ve definitely got me beat, we have about 9,000 people here (and thankfully a number of good grocery stores). :)

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